There are several different types of sunrooms available, and they all make excellent space for your indoor vine plants and climbers to thrive. Your sunroom cost will fluctuate depending on the type you choose, as well as because of other factors. Adding a sunroom or transforming a room into one can include any interior space that has enough light streaming in through the windows. Solariums have full walls of windows while four-season rooms are more like enclosed porches. Others are spaces with a lot of natural space that looks out onto your yard. Whatever you choose, it’s a good way to justify your sunroom cost because it’ll help you maximize your living area while boosting your home’s curb appeal.
You can use it in many ways. It allows you to feel like you’re outside eating while you’re inside. You can also use it as an entertainment or relaxation hub in your home. You may hear it called a patio room, garden room, solarium, or sun porch, but the main idea is the same. It’s the perfect place to grow a huge variety of plants, especially those that love full or partial sun. They can get warmer than the other areas of your home, so they can support tropical plant life.
The sunroom cost will vary depending on the style of room you want, the labor costs, and the materials you want to use. If you want a four-season-style room, your sunroom cost starts at $25,000 and gos up to $80,000. This type of room has enough insulation to shield your plants during the colder winter months. A solarium is a fully glass enclosed space, and it can easily cost you between $30,000 and $75,000 to complete.
The average homeowner will spend around $45,000 to construct a 14-foot by 14-foot sunroom. This sunroom cost does include painted walls, a laminate floor, lighting, outlets, windows, and a sliding door. If you’re trying to get a good estimate for your sunroom cost, this guide will break down the biggest factors you want to consider. This way, you can see which ones apply to you with their price points.
Sunrooms are an attractive addition to any house, and they serve both ornamental and functional uses. They’re a great place to keep your plants all year-round, and they can work to boost your home’s value if you ever want to sell it. sunrooms ecobel, leiden haagwegkwartier by naturalflow / CC BY-SA 2.0
Sunroom Costs Per Square Foot
Per square foot, a conservative estimate would say that a sunroom cost ranges between $150 and $300 per square foot. We’ve put together a few estimates that come based on room size, and they allow room in your budget for material, site preparation, wiring requirements, glass choice, decor, and seasonality needs. They include:
- 80 Square Feet (8 by 10) – $18,000
- 100 Square Feet (10 by 10) – $22,500
- 120 Square Feet (12 by 10) – $27,000
- 240 Square Feet (12 by 20) – $54,000
Sunroom Cost Estimates by Type
One big decision that will factor into your total sunroom costs in the type of sunroom you want. There are several different types available, and each has different styles, designs, and purposes. For example, if you want a sunny but insulated area to grow your low-maintenance house plants, you’d want a four-season sunroom over a conservatory.
This type of sunroom was originally meant to be a greenhouse for young plants. This is a popular pick for anyone who wants to add a touch of elegance to the outside of your home. This sunroom has a traditional appearance that uses glass walls. The roof features glazed glass or polycarbonate. It uses wood beams or aluminum as connectors, and you’re spoiled for choice with this style. You can expect your sunroom costs to vary from $18,000 to $95,000 to complete it.
This sunroom gives you a beautiful and graceful look when you’re on the outside looking in, and it gives you a nice way to bring the outdoors inside. The glass roof seamlessly curves down to the walls to give you gorgeous unobstructed views of your dogwood trees or ornamental flowers. It gives you a comfortably weathertight four-season sunroom that you can use all year-round. There are many factors that’ll drive your total sunroom cost, but it can range from $40,000 to $80,000.
As the name suggests, this room gets designed for use during all four seasons. You won’t have to worry about insects or weather because it comes thermally engineered to allow you to cool or heat it in a cost-effective manner. It uses an aluminum or vinyl frame, and it has double-pane insulated windows to help keep your energy costs low. You won’t need a door to separate it from your home, but it looks nice with French doors. This is more expensive than a three-season sunroom due to the heating and cooling elements that get built in. Your sunroom costs for a four-season model ranges between $25,000 and $90,000.
Maybe you want a space that doesn’t look like a brand new extension or addition. If so, an integrated sunroom mimics the look of your home to look like it was originally there. You’ll use similar materials to the rest of your home, and you nestle it into an existing space. This is a lower-end project because you’re not building a whole new space, so the sunroom cost range starts at $12,000 and goes up to $25,000. Your project’s scope will dictate your price.
A screen room allows you to enjoy the warmer weather and fresh air without those pesky bugs. Some rooms use black aluminum screens to make them more durable and visible. They work well on your balcony, room, or porch. If you want to turn this area into one that is appropriate for seasonal use, you can look into adding panes of glass. This is another lower-end sunroom cost that ranges from $5,000 to $25,000.
A solarium-style sunroom allows you to enjoy nature and relax under the stars. It comes completely enclosed by glass on each side, and the roof is also fully glass. You’ll use wood or aluminum for the frame on this style, and you can add cooling or heating elements. You’ll pay between $40,000 and $90,00 for your total sunroom cost, so this puts it on the higher end of the spectrum.
This is one of the most popular types of sunrooms available, and you can enjoy it in the spring, summer, and fall months. It uses a durable aluminum frame in the construction, minimal to no insulation, and less energy-efficient glass that makes it frigid during the winter and hot during the summer. You can build it using single or double pane glass, depending on the intended use. It is separated from the house using a doorway to keep the cold air out. It’s a good pick if you want a protected but hot place to put your Bird of Paradise during the spring and summer months. This sunroom cost ranges between $12,500 and $50,000.
Picking out a type of sunroom is one of the first steps to creating a budget, and the style you end up picking will determine how you use the room all year-round. This is especially true if you live in a colder climate as some won’t be very suitable. Sunroom with framing by Dan Fendler / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Additional Costs That Factor Into Building a Sunroom
Once you pick out a style of sunroom, your other sunroom cost factors come into play. Ultimately, your costs will depend on the size of the sunroom and what you want to use the space for. Think about where you want your new sunroom to go. If your area gets full and direct sunlight, you may have to factor in the costs to add shaded areas to keep yourself comfortable.
Are you going to install an infrared heater to keep the space warm during the winter? If so, make sure you install electrical wiring. Does your location get a lot of strong winds, snow, or hail? You’ll need more insulation and possible design changes to accommodate it. Maybe you need a heating or cooling system to make it habitable all year round. Each of these elements will impact your total sunroom costs, so they’re worth answering early on in the project.
Each time you add an addition onto your home, you’ll need to get a building permit. These permits can range between $400 and $1,800. If you don’t get a permit but go ahead and build, you’re setting yourself up for a denial from your insurance if something happens and you need to file a claim, or you could face steep fines from your local municipality. You could also run into problems down the road when you want to sell the property. You’ll typically have a four to eight week wait on the permit once you submit your application.
If you want to add power to your sunroom but you have older electrical work, you may need to rewire the house. Some contractors have the certifications required to perform this task, but you may have to hire an electrician to come in. They usually charge between $65.00 and $85.00 an hour for their work. While they’re at your home, they could have to install outlets, lighting fixtures, or ceiling fans to keep the air moving.
You’ll want to have a floor in your sunroom, and you have many different choices available. If you’re on a tight budget and your sunroom costs are already edging close to your high end, vinyl flooring is a cost-effective choice that ranges between $1.00 to $6.00 a square foot. Stone or ceramic tile is on the higher end for costs, and you can expect to pay between $5.00 to $25.00 a square foot for this flooring. Laminate is another cost-effective option that can mimic the look of stone or wood.
The sunroom’s foundation is very important, and this is where you’ll build it. The foundation keeps your sunroom sturdy and secure, and it can be anything from a brand new concrete slab or an existing deck or patio. If you have a foundation already, this can save you on your overall sunroom costs. To install a foundation for your new space, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $6,000 to complete the project.
Deck or Patio Placement
On average, you’ll spend between $9,000 and $25,000 for a patio enclosure. You can build your new sunroom onto an existing patio or deck, and this means that you can usually reduce your sunroom costs because you won’t pay out additional money to stabilize everything.
Maybe you want to add a deck or patio onto your home before building your sunroom. If so, do these areas need repairs to make them structurally sound? Your foundation may need reinforcements to support the new construction and anyone who enjoys your new space. If you have to create a concrete slab to set it on, this is another cost to consider.
HVAC or Heating Systems
You can add heating and cooling into certain types of sunrooms, and it can play a significant role in your overall sunroom cost. An HVAC and heating system can cost between $500 to $7,500. Using a space heater with a window air conditioner is also popular, but it can drive your energy costs up. If you want to add central heating and air to your sunroom, you’ll have to install ductwork or expand on your current setup. This can add to your sunroom cost by $2,000 to $5,00.
Insulating your sunroom or leaving it uninsulated will depend on the type of sunroom you want. If you want a solarium or a four-season model, you’ll want to have insulation installed to block out the cooler weather. For a three-season or screen room, you don’t need insulation for them to serve their purpose. Depending on the size and products used, the cost to insulate one room ranges from $1,200 to $1,800.
Once the contractors complete your sunroom’s exterior, you’ll want to add the interior finish. This includes flooring and painting or wallpaper. The cost to paint this room will range between $400 to $4,000. This price depends on the type of paint your pick out, the room’s size, and how much the paint costs. Flooring will cost between $1,500 to $5,000. You may also want to add furniture or shelving to support your plants, and this will drive your sunroom costs up.
To install a roof on your sunroom, expect this to increase your sunroom cost by $2,500 to $8,000. The biggest factor that will drive the cost is what type of roof it needs. A glass-enclosed roof supported by steel beams like you’d need on a solarium-style room will be more expensive, and asphalt roofs will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum.
If you’re not able to build your sunroom onto an existing space, you’ll have to clear out space in your yard and prepare it. This cost can range from $500 to $6,000. Landscaping costs come in at $1,400 to $5,500, and this will add your cosmetic touches at the end of the project. Your sunroom cost will jump significantly if you have major landscaping obstacles in your space. Do you have to remove a tree or bush? Tree removal is right around $700 per tree, and land excavation prices range between $1,300 to $4,600 to level the ground for your sunroom’s foundation.
Windows and Doors
There are dozens of types of windows available, but you want energy-efficient ones for your sunroom. Sliding and casement windows are the most popular styles for sunrooms. You’ll pay between $2,500 and $20,000 to install your windows, and the cost will heavily rely on the brand, type, number of windows you need, and size.
For doors, they can make the transition in and out of your sunroom much quicker and easier. French-style doors, sliding doors, and folding doors are all very popular picks for sunrooms. Your door type, style, and brand will influence your sunroom cost, and it ranges between $1,500 and $3,500 per door for the door itself and installation.
All of the accessories and options you add to your space can quickly drive your sunroom cost up. Knowing what you want at the start of the project will help you stay inside your budget while setting a realistic budget. Sunroom by jjmusgrove / CC BY 2.0
Glass Types and Price Points
Glass can dominate your new sunroom, and it’s not usual to see designs that are 90% glass. There are several choices available for your glass, and each one will influence your sunroom cost. The one you pick will depend on the local environment, safety, and the climate.
You’ll get dual panes of glass with this choice. It’s nice because it’s able to trap heat from the sun streaming through it in the colder months to keep the room warm enough to support your indoor plants, and it’ll provide protection from the harsh sunlight during summer. Depending on the style and size of the glass panes, you can spend between $350 and $850 for this pick.
Low Emission Glass
If you want an eco-friendly option, low emission glass is a great pick. It has a transparent coating that is thinner than human hair, and this coating works to reflect infrared energy. In turn, this means that it’ll reflect the exterior temperature outward while reflecting the interior temperature inside your sunroom. This is an expensive option that will drive your overall sunroom cost up by $220 to $1,300. If you need custom sizes, the price jumps even more.
Anyone who is on a really tight budget and worried about their sunroom costs can consider single pane glass. This type ranges between $5.00 and $8.00 a square foot, but its only one pane of glass that doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation. It’s also not as safe as other options, and it’s more prone to breaking and cracking if anything hits it.
This type of glass gives you excellent UV protection. It’s also a heat-resistant model, and this is useful in desert landscapes that have extreme heat. There is a light green tint to this glass, but it comes at a high price. You’ll pay between $30.00 to $50.00 per square foot with this glass, and it’s only available in a single pane model. This makes it less safe.
You’ve most likely heard of tempered glass because it’s popular in sliding glass doors and windows. This is a safety-style glass that is much more dense than other types, and this helps to prevent it from shattering under pressure or during bad weather. So, this is a safer type of glass that will enhance your sunroom’s strength. It costs around $25.00 per square foot.
This is the best type of glass to have if you live in a colder climate and plan to create a four-season sunroom. You get three layers of glass with inert gas inserted between each layer. This gives the windows much more insulation against the colder weather. Stock products will range between $500 and $1,000 each, and special orders will drive your sunroom cost up more.
It’s important that you enlist the help of a professional to complete this project because it’s complicated and intricate. Doing so will ensure you get a high-quality finished product that is well worth the initial sunroom cost. Ta-da!!! By Dan Fendler / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
DIY Costs Versus Professional Contractor Costs
You can get prefabricated sunroom kits that can save you on labor costs. It’ll cost between $500 and $1,500 to put together a prefabricated kit on your own. For professional labor, you’ll pay between $5,000 and $25,000. The price depends on the size and complexity of your sunroom project. However, you should look into hiring a professional because:
- It can void the warranty if you don’t use a professional company
- Any mistakes you make can threaten your sunroom’s structural integrity
- Having lower quality construction can mean that you have to spend more in the future to repair or maintain it
- The build can take much longer due to lack of experience and tools
Cleanup Costs and Bids
You don’t want to go with the first company you contact when it comes to figuring out your sunroom costs. Instead, call a few and get detailed bids from all of them. Everything should be in writing, and you want to understand the conditions and terms involved in the work. Talk to any contractor you get in touch with about warranties and what happens if you’re not 100% satisfied with the finished product.
Also, ask if the initial bid includes any cleanup costs you have. Most will include site cleanup and debris removal in your original sunroom cost estimate. If not, you’ll be responsible for this step, and renting a dumpster to hold your debris can cost between $300 and $525. Cleaning up your site can cost between $250 and $700, and this usually doesn’t include adding sod or landscaping.
Where to Find Sunroom Builders Near You
If you’re looking at local companies but you’re not sure if you found them all, you can use the following sources to find sunroom builders near you. This way, you can ensure you get the best prices for your project, and they include:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the sunroom costs outweigh the benefits?
If you plan to spend a lot of time in your sunroom, it can be well worth the initial costs. It can also add value to your home because it’s a very desirable feature. If you plan to sell your home in the future, a well-designed sunroom can increase your home’s resale value.
2. Do you need permits to build a sunroom?
Yes. Your municipality will require you to submit an application and get a building permit before you start working. This also usually requires an inspection of the area, and it can add between $400 to $1,800 to your total sunroom cost. If you don’t get one, you’re in danger of having to pay fines.
3. What is a sunroom’s purpose?
Also called a conservatory or solarium, this is a glassed-in space that attaches to your home. You can access it from inside the house. It serves as an additional living area during more mild weather in the spring, summer, and fall months.
4. Will your flooring fade in the sunroom?
Since the sun beats down through the roof and walls onto the floor, yes. It’s very possible for your flooring to fade in your sunroom. Vinyl floor works well, as does ceramic tile. If you choose to have hardwood flooring you’ll have to refinish them every few years to fight the fade factor.
5. What direction should you have your sunroom facing?
Proper sun orientation is vital for rooms with a lot of glass. In the North, you want to have most of your vertical glass face south or close to south as possible. In the South, the vertical glass should have a north orientation to help it stay cooler. If you live in a hot climate, your big glass expanses should face west or east.
Your sunroom cost depends on a large variety of factors. Knowing which factors relate to your project will help you nail down a closer estimate, and you can use this to come up with a budget for this project. This way, you know how much to set aside, which type of sunroom you can afford, and how large it can be.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.