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Compare Sunroom vs Screened Porch Costs

Sunroom Overview

Building a sunroom is a great way to add living space to your home at a reasonable cost. Sunrooms bring the feel of the outdoors inside, with glass walls or large windows that create a bright, sunny space. Sunrooms are very versatile spaces, too. They can be used for relaxing, entertaining, dining - even as a guest bedroom in a pinch.

Sunrooms are often categorized by the number of seasons in which they provide comfortable living space - two, three or four. In cold climates, a four-season sunroom will be constructed very differently than a two-season sunroom. For starters, it will have a heating system and better insulation.

How Much Does a Sunroom Cost?

Sunrooms can cost anywhere from about $10,000 to upwards of $70,000. The cost depends on many factors, including size, layout, cost of materials and cost of labor. Four-season sunrooms cost considerably more than two-season sunrooms because of extras such as heating and insulation.

The smallest two-season sunrooms or prefabricated sunrooms with glass walls start at about $10,000. The average prefabricated, or factory-built, sunroom costs about $15,000 to $35,000, including the foundation and all site work.

Custom-built, four-season sunrooms with heating systems, full foundations and insulation usually cost $40,000 to $60,000. In this price range, you’ll get finishing touches such as window screens and shades, tile flooring and ceiling fans.

Average Sundroom Prices

Sunroom Pros

  • Brighter space - Sunlight is therapeutic and sunrooms are designed to let in lots of natural light. Sitting in a sunroom can help improve your mood. Sunrooms also give you a taste of the outdoors, even in the dead of winter.
  • More versatile - Sunrooms are extremely versatile spaces. Use a sunroom as a family room, a dining room, a playroom, an exercise room, a hobby room - you name it. If your needs change, use the room for a different purpose.

Sunroom Cons

  • Not as energy efficient - Because sunrooms are usually completely enclosed in glass, they’re harder to heat and cool than regular additions.
  • Less privacy - Don’t do anything in your sunroom that you wouldn’t want the neighbors to see - particularly if the neighbors are close. A room with glass walls doesn’t provide much privacy.
Average Addition Prices

Addition Overview

If your family is outgrowing your home but you love the location, it might be time to think about building an addition. Avoid the hassle of moving and create the extra space you need in the neighborhood you love.

Additions come in all shapes and sizes. You can build up or out. You can expand existing rooms or create new ones entirely. Build a new kitchen, family room, master suite, guest room - or pick more than one.

How Much Do Additions Cost?

It’s very difficult to estimate the price of an addition. The total cost depends on size, layout, design, geographic location and the cost of labor and materials. According to data from ServiceMagic.com, the average cost of an addition is more than $40,000. However, very large or second-floor additions can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Additions Pros

  • Greater resale value - A well-constructed addition that is an appropriate size for the neighborhood can bring a dollar-for-dollar return when you sell the house. The return on sunrooms caps out at about 70 cents on the dollar.
  • Fewer placement restrictions - Sunrooms need to be constructed on the side or the back of the house. With an addition, there are fewer restrictions. You can always build up if your lot is small.
  • More energy efficient - Traditional construction is much more energy efficient than a sunroom because there are fewer windows and more insulation. You’ll save money on heating and cooling costs.

Additions Cons

  • Disruptive construction - The construction process is far more disruptive with an addition because it impacts the main structure. Sunrooms can usually be built without removing existing walls, but that is rarely the case with an addition. The construction process takes longer, too.
  • More expensive - Building an addition is usually considerably more expensive than building a sunroom. The construction process is more involved due to factors like heating, plumbing and removing existing walls.

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