Sunroom additions can be bright blessings as well as clear-sided curses. You can classify them according to the number of seasons for which they are able to provide comfortable living spaces (two, three or four) as well as according to their construction (traditional or prefabricated). If you are thinking of adding a sunroom to your home, consider the pros and cons before finalizing your decision.
The glass walls or large windows that sunrooms characteristically feature allow for ample amounts of sunlight to penetrate through. This helps to create spaces that are bright and inviting. The transparency of sunrooms also allows for views of the outdoors, which is beneficial both for enjoying the surrounding landscape and for keeping an eye on children playing in the yard.
Unlike kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, which have clearly defined roles within homes, sunrooms provide spaces that are highly versatile. While some people may use their sunrooms as quiet nooks or dens for reading and enjoying the sunlight, others may utilize them as entertainment areas for hosting company. Still others may transform their sunroom additions into mini-greenhouses, and adorn them with plants.
As "This Old House" notes, sunrooms are not the best options for creating private spaces. Their open, transparent design, although great for letting in sunlight and providing views of the outdoors, is not great for discouraging potential peepers, be them neighbors or passersby.
The open designs of sunrooms also make them inefficient when it comes to conserving energy. According to "This Old House," while the glass surfaces of sunrooms trap in heat from the sun during the day, at night this heat is able to easily escape back out. So unless you plan on constructing a four-season, fully-insulated sunroom complete with a working heat source, be prepared to deal with temperature fluctuations.
Adding new interior floor space to your home will help increase its resale value, should you ever decide to sell. However, the precise amount your sunroom addition will add depends largely on the quality, size and attractiveness of it, as well as how many seasons it is designed for. While a large, modern four-season sunroom could potentially add thousands of dollars, a small, two-season sunroom, which may be little more than a deck with some glass screens, will likely have a negligible impact on resale value.
Whether you are ordering a prefabricated, all-glass sunroom kit or building a traditional wood-frame or masonry sunroom, be prepared to spend money. As Cost Helper notes, while the most basic two-season sunrooms will typically cost you between $500 to $1,500. But once you start incorporating foundations and more sophisticated weather-proofing materials, the costs can skyrocket. For a four-season sunroom with all of the bells and whistles, such as remote-control blinds and a cathedral ceiling, costs can be as high as $60,000 to $70,000.