sunroom-in-home

How to build a sunroom & how much it'll cost you

Discover the costs and the benefits of building a sunroom in your home, from increased natural light to extra living space.

Catherine Collins
January 9, 2024
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Building a sunroom is a great way to enjoy the outdoors without actually heading outside. If you’re interested in adding one to your home, here is more information about the benefits and overall cost of building a sunroom. 

The advantages of building a sunroom in your home

There are many advantages to having a sunroom, like additional living space, more natural light, and a connection to nature.

Increased natural light

The natural light a sunroom provides can be great for your health, especially during the dark and dismal winter months. Not only can it elevate your Vitamin D levels, but it can improve your mental health and your immune system too.

Additional living space

A sunroom also adds square footage. It can serve as a flexible living space and a transition between the indoors and out. You can use this versatile space in several ways.

  • A garden room that serves as a greenhouse for indoor plants that need lots of sunlight.
  • A playroom for the kids, giving them a sunny space to explore.
  • A quiet retreat for hobbies like crafting, puzzling, or knitting.

Connection with nature

Many recent studies show our connection with nature can be beneficial and healing. A sunroom can give you convenient, everyday access to a slice of nature. Not only can you bask in natural sunlight from large windows, but you can enjoy the view of your yard. To amplify your connection with nature, bring in plants or a small fountain.

Cost to build a sunroom

On average, building a sunroom costs between $100 to $350 per square foot. Your final cost will depend on several factors, including the type of sunroom, its size, materials, and the specific requirements of your project.

Factors affecting the cost of building a sunroom

Calculating your total sunroom addition cost will depend on a few factors.

Size and design complexity

The primary factor that affects the cost of a sunroom is the square footage. For example, a small 10x10 three-season room may cost anywhere between $8,000 and $23,000, while a larger 16x24 four-season room might range from $75,000 to $120,0001.

Additionally, the complexity of custom sunrooms, including features like specialized windows or intricate architectural details, can further exacerbate the cost.

Location and climate

Where you live will impact the type of sunroom that’s best for your home. In colder regions, a four-season room with full insulation, heating, and cooling systems might be necessary. However, in milder climates, you might only need a simpler three-season room.

Material choices

Your choice of materials will also impact the overall cost of a sunroom. High-quality, energy-efficient glass and superior insulation materials might initially cost more, but they’ll offer long-term energy savings. If you prefer more budget-friendly options, vinyl window frames and fiberglass insulation are typically more affordable.

Labor and contractor fees

The cost of labor, including foundation work, assembly, insulation, electrical work, and finishing, will be a large part of the total cost of this project. If you take on part of the work yourself, even if it’s painting, you can save.

Permits and building code requirements

To meet local building codes, you’ll need to get the necessary permits to start your build. The cost for permits can range from $200 to $500, depending on your area. 

Breakdown of sunroom construction costs1

  • Foundation: $1,000 – $6,000
  • Insulation: $300 – $1,500
  • Roof: $500 – $7,000
  • Windows: $3,500 – $12,000
  • Doors: $700 – $2,400
  • Electricity: $250 – $600
  • HVAC: $300 – $5,000
  • Interior Finishing: $500 – $5,000
  • Site Cleanup: $300 – $700
building-a-sunroom

Types of sunrooms you can build in your home

Understanding the different types of sunrooms can help you decide which one is best for your home. It can also help you decide what your budget will be and your potential return on investment should you decide to sell your home.

Three-season sunrooms

Features and benefits: Three-season sunrooms are designed to be used from spring to fall. They don’t work as well in winter due to a lack of insulation. However, because of that, they are much cheaper to build. There are also pre-fab sunroom kits that can help.

Costs: $75 – $250 per square foot

Ideal uses: Perfect for those who want a place to relax or entertain without the extra features.

Four-season sunrooms

Features and benefits: Four-season sunrooms, or all-season rooms, differ from three-season because they are insulated and have heating and cooling, allowing for use in the winter, even in colder climates. It’s a nice extension of your living space that’s seamless with the rest of your home. 

Costs: $220 – $450 per square foot

Ideal uses: If you want a sunroom you can use year-round, essentially adding a full-time room to your home, a four-season is the perfect choice. 

Solariums

Features and benefits: Glass solariums have glass on all sides, including a glass roof, similar to a greenhouse. This offers beautiful panoramic views and maximum sun exposure. Plus, most have features like climate control for optimum comfort.

Costs: $30,000 – $150,000 in total (grandest option)

Ideal uses: Solariums are best for homeowners looking for the ultimate sunroom experience. They offer tons of natural light and are perfect for indoor gardening and connection to nature.

Screened porches

Features and benefits: Screened porches, or patio enclosures, forgo glass for a simpler overall sunroom, consisting of a roof with mesh screen walls for protection against insects and the elements while still allowing airflow. They can also be built on an existing deck. 

Costs: $8,000 – $30,000 in total (most affordable option)

Ideal uses: A screened porch is a great choice if you’re looking for a more porch-like experience with some exposure to the elements and you have less of a concern for temperature and climate control.

How to build a sunroom in your home

If you have experience completing home improvement projects, building a sunroom is complex but doable. It requires some detailed planning and execution on your part. The following is a step-by-step guide to understanding what that construction entails:

Secure your permits 

Before starting any work, you need to get the proper permits from your local building authority. Missing this step can lead to stiff fines or, worse, having to take down your sunroom after it’s built.

Lay the groundwork

Next, get the site ready. Clear the area and tear down existing structures. Then, lay a strong foundation and build the frame. Doing this properly ensures your sunroom will be solid for years to come.

Add windows, doors, and a roof

Once your sunroom frame is in place, the next step is to install windows, doors, and the roof. Your choices here will depend on whether your sunroom is for all year or just three seasons (no winter use). 

Insulate and wire

If you want a sunroom that remains functional even when it’s cold out, you’ll need to insulate it. Then, run electrical wiring for lights and plug points. You might even install heating and cooling systems. This kind of work is best left to licensed electricians and HVAC professionals. 

Finish with flooring and decor

Now it’s time for the fun part: adding the finishing touches. Choose a paint color you love for the walls, put down flooring, and add your favorite home decor. Keep things cozy with plants and comfortable furniture, so it becomes your favorite spot to relax or entertain.

Partner with pro builders

Of course, if you’re not an experienced builder yourself, it makes sense to hire experienced contractors to build your sunroom – or to do the most challenging and technical parts of the process. Good contractors keep things moving smoothly and, most importantly, will make sure your sunroom is structurally sound.

Final thoughts

Building a sunroom can give you a new place to relax and potentially increase your home value at the same time. So, if you’ve been wanting a room with natural light or a unique living space, adding a sunroom could be a great choice. Overall, the cost to build a sunroom will vary depending on your labor costs and material choices. However, it can be worth it for the value it will add to your life and home.

If you’re considering financing the cost of building a sunroom, explore a Home Equity Investment from Point. Homeowners can tap into their equity with no monthly payments or need for perfect credit. Visit Point to see how much you could qualify for.  

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