Sunroom additions adjacent to your family room or kitchen can be an excellent long-term investment for your family. Whether you want a 3-season room with screened windows that allow you to soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature for part of the year; or you want a fully-insulated and heated room you can use year round, a sunroom addition adds living space and ultimately increases your home’s value.
One of the most important considerations when building a sunroom is location. Here in the Chicago area, winters are harsh, so you will either be adding a sunroom that has limited 3-season use, or constructing an addition that is essentially another room of your house with full insulation and HVAC.
The difference between a 3- and 4-season sunroom comes down to three factors:
Windows – A 3-season room will typically feature single-pane glass windows and screens, with the idea that the windows will be open for fresh air most of the time. A 4-season room features energy efficient double- or triple-pane glass windows to keep the room comfortable year round. Because a sunroom has so many windows, this is an important comfort factor and will also be a significant part of the budget.
Insulation – The degree to which you insulate all non-glass areas and the ceiling also affects how comfortable the room will be at different times of the year.
HVAC – Finally, whether or not you extend your home’s HVAC system to the sunroom is the ultimate factor that will determine how much you can use the room. A well-insulated room with high-end windows that doesn’t have heat in the winter and A/C in the summer will have limited use. Conversely, if you skimp on the windows and insulation, HVAC capabilities are going to be wasted energy and it may be impossible to keep the room comfortable during the heat of the summer and cold of the winter.
How you plan to use your new sunroom will also affect whether you choose a 3- or 4-season room.
If you place the room off your kitchen and plan to use it as an informal dining room for breakfast and evening entertaining, an open air concept you use only part of the year may be important to you. On the other hand, if you plan to use it as an extension of your family room complete with couches and a television, comfort will be a top priority.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value figures, homeowners in the East North Central region, which includes Chicago and the surrounding communities, can expect to pay $76,677 for a midrange sunroom addition, which includes these basic features.
While a sunroom has a lower ROI than some other home remodeling projects (44.6% in the East North Central region), it is ideal for anyone who plans to stay in their home long-term, as the added living space is invaluable.
To see how your family home could benefit from sunroom additions, contact Synergy Builders, the leading design-build and home remodeling firm in the greater Chicagoland area. Call 630.293.8070 today for your complimentary consultation.