Sunroom Additions vs. Conventional Stick-Built Additions

If you want to expand your living space and enjoy more natural light, you might be considering adding a sunroom or a conventional stick-built addition to your home. But what are the differences between these two options, and which one is right for you? Here are some factors to consider before you make your decision.

What Is a Sunroom Addition?

A sunroom addition is a type of room that is mostly made of glass or other transparent materials, allowing you to enjoy the views and the sunlight without being exposed to the elements. Sunrooms can be attached to your existing house or built as a separate structure. They can also have different levels of insulation and heating, depending on how often and when you want to use them.

There are several types of sunroom additions, such as:

  • Four-season room: This is a fully insulated and heated room that can be used all year round, even in winter. It is the most expensive type of sunroom addition, costing between $25,000 and $80,000 on average.
  • Three-season room: This is a less insulated and heated room that can be used in spring, summer, and fall, but not in winter. It is cheaper than a four-season room, costing between $10,000 and $40,000 on average.
  • Glass solarium: This is a room that has glass walls and a glass roof, creating a greenhouse-like effect. It is more expensive than a three-season room, but less than a four-season room, costing between $30,000 and $75,000 on average.
  • Garden room: This is a room that is designed for growing plants indoors or relaxing in a natural setting. It can have various styles and features, such as skylights, ceiling fans, or water fountains. The cost of a garden room can vary widely depending on the design and size.

What Is a Conventional Stick-Built Addition?

A conventional stick-built addition is a type of room that is constructed from scratch using wood or metal frames and other materials. It is integrated with your existing house and follows the same architectural style and design. It can have any function or layout that you want, such as a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, or an office.

A conventional stick-built addition is more expensive than a sunroom addition because it requires more labor, materials, permits, and inspections. The average cost of a stick-built addition is around $100 per square foot, but it can go up to $200 per square foot or more depending on the complexity and quality of the project.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between a sunroom addition and a conventional stick-built addition depends on your needs, preferences, budget, and location. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide:

  • How much space do you need? If you need a lot of space or want to add multiple rooms to your home, a stick-built addition might be a better option than a sunroom addition. A sunroom addition is usually smaller and more limited in terms of layout and function.
  • How much do you want to spend? If you have a tight budget or want to save money on construction costs, a sunroom addition might be a better option than a stick-built addition. A sunroom addition is usually cheaper and faster to build than a stick-built addition.
  • How do you want to use the space? If you want to use the space for relaxing, entertaining, or enjoying nature, a sunroom addition might be a better option than a stick-built addition. A sunroom addition offers more natural light, views, and ambiance than a stick-built addition. However, if you want to use the space for sleeping, working, or cooking, a stick-built addition might be a better option than a sunroom addition. A stick-built addition offers more privacy, comfort, and functionality than a sunroom addition.
  • What is the climate in your area? If you live in an area with mild weather or want to use the space all year round, a four-season room or a stick-built addition might be better options than other types of sunroom additions. They offer more insulation and heating than other types of sunroom additions. However, if you live in an area with hot or cold weather or only want to use the space seasonally, a three-season room or a glass solarium might be better options than other types of sunroom additions. They offer more ventilation and cooling than other types of sunroom additions.

Benefits of Adding Either Type of Room

Whether you choose a sunroom addition or a conventional stick-built addition, you can enjoy several benefits from adding either type of room to your home, such as:

  • Increasing your home value: Adding more space and features to your home can increase its market value and appeal to potential buyers. According to Remodeling Magazine, a sunroom addition can recoup about 50% of its cost, while a stick-built addition can recoup about 60% of its cost.
  • Enhancing your lifestyle: Adding more space and features to your home can enhance your lifestyle and satisfaction. You can have more room for your hobbies, interests, or needs. You can also have more opportunities for relaxation, entertainment, or socialization.
  • Improving your health: Adding more space and features to your home can improve your health and well-being. You can have more exposure to natural light, which can boost your mood, energy, and sleep quality. You can also have more access to nature, which can reduce your stress, anxiety, and blood pressure.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about sunroom additions and conventional stick-built additions:

  • Do I need a permit for a sunroom addition or a stick-built addition? Yes, you will likely need a permit for either type of addition, as they involve structural changes to your home. The requirements and costs of obtaining a permit may vary depending on your location and the scope of the project. You should check with your local building department before you start the project.
  • How long does it take to build a sunroom addition or a stick-built addition? The duration of the project may vary depending on the type, size, design, and complexity of the addition. Generally speaking, a sunroom addition takes less time to build than a stick-built addition because it requires less labor and materials. A sunroom addition may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete, while a stick-built addition may take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to complete.
  • How do I choose a contractor for a sunroom addition or a stick-built addition? You should choose a contractor who is licensed, insured, experienced, reputable, and reliable. You should also compare different contractors based on their portfolios, references, reviews, estimates, and contracts. You should also communicate clearly with your contractor about your expectations, preferences, budget, and timeline.
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