Expanding living space to a home has both short- and long-term benefits. A sunroom is a pleasant space for current owners and can be a beneficial selling feature if the owners decide to move.
There are many options for adding a sunroom-like space to a house. Deciding on the size and design of a sunroom or garden structure, as well as the building materials used, can be overwhelming. Working with a knowledgeable company or contractor can ensure homeowners get the most benefit from their new room.
Top 7 Best Rated Sunrooms
Four Seasons Sunrooms makes and installs patio rooms, sunrooms and more. The company is headquartered in New York and all of its products are manufactured in the United States. It has been in business for over 40 years.
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Fifthroom.com was launched in 2011, but the company behind it has been in the outdoor furnishings business since the early 1990s. The website sells kits for stand-alone sunrooms, cabanas and other outdoor structures.
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Patio Enclosures manufactures and installs multiple kinds of sunrooms and patio rooms. The company was established in 1966 and is headquartered in Ohio. All products are made in the United States.
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Champion Windows manufactures and installs seasonal, year-round and patio rooms. All their products are made in the United States. The company’s headquarters are in Ohio, and it has been in business since 1953.
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Florian Greenhouses, a part of Florian Solar LLC, makes stand-alone greenhouses and sunrooms that can be added to existing homes. They cater to individuals interested in greenhouses for year-round growing and/or in solar energy.
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Screenmobile was founded in the early 1980s and is headquartered in Southern California. Franchise owners sell and install screens for windows and doors as well as patio rooms and sunrooms from mobile stores.
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Established in 1980 in Virginia, Archadeck Outdoor Living designs and builds sunrooms, decks and other garden structures. They have over 40 franchise locations in the United States and Canada.
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What features should consumers consider before installing a sunroom?
Before selecting a sunroom builder, consider how you would like to use your sunroom. Some companies specialize in a particular type of room, so knowing the room’s purpose will help you select the best contractor.
- Multipurpose room: If you’d like to use your sunroom throughout the year just like any other room in your home, find a company that offers energy efficient building materials and has experience building year-round rooms.
- Gardening space: If you are primarily interested in a sunroom or conservatory to give you the ability to have a year-round container garden, look for companies with a history in the greenhouse business. You may be able to save money by purchasing a kit for a standalone structure and assembling it yourself.
- Multi-season patio: If you would like to extend the use and enjoyment of your porch or patio, you can select a company that specializes in patio rooms or seasonal sunrooms. These rooms won’t be heated or cooled throughout the year, so you don’t need to invest in materials that are energy efficient.
Decide how much construction work you’re willing to do yourself and then select a company who is capable of handling the rest.
- Manufacturer installation: Some companies manufacture and install sunrooms. Choose one of these companies if you want to work with the same business from start to finish.
- Third-party installation: Third-party installers and contractors are good choices if the sunroom manufacturer does not offer installation or if you want additional customization. Contractors can build sunrooms without using a single company’s product line, so they may be able to give you more choices.
- Owner installation: If you want to save money or enjoy doing things yourself, look for a company that sells ready-to-assemble kits.
Adding a room made mostly of windows to your home could negatively impact your energy bills. Make sure you understand the energy efficiency of the products you select so your room will be comfortable when you want to use it, so your heating or cooling bill won’t skyrocket.
- Proprietary glazes: Some companies have proprietary glass coating, called glazes, that block UV light, make windows easier to clean and help prevent heat or cold from transferring through the window. Make sure these glass products are Energy Star certified.
- Energy Star certified: The EPA inspects products and grants them Energy Star certification if they meet certain efficiency requirements. You will save the most money on energy bills by selecting Energy Star certified products.
- Seals: If the windows and doors are not joined and sealed properly, you will lose energy through the cracks around them. Ask companies about their installation process and sealing products to make sure they meet your standards.
To ensure your new sunrooms is built to last, look for a company that offers a warranty.
- Materials: All materials used in the construction of your room should be covered by the manufacturer. If you choose a company that manufactures and installs its own sunrooms, you’ll only have to deal with one business if you have a problem.
- Installation: All installers should guarantee the quality and soundness of their work. If you use a contractor or third party installer, you will need to handle material problems separately than installation problems.
- Transferrable: Some manufacturers and contractors provide warranties that can be transferred to new owners if you ever sell your home. These warranties can add value to your home when selling.
Where you live will impact the type of materials you should invest in and will likely shape how you plan to use the room.
- Mild: In more mild climates, you might be able to save some money by using fewer energy efficient products in year-round sunrooms. If you’re only installing screens, you may want to consider ones that have a smaller weave pattern since bugs might be more of a problem.
- Extreme: If you want to use your sunroom throughout the year and live in an area with long periods of extremely hot or cold weather, you will need to purchase highly energy efficient building materials.
- Solar power: Some climates may be well suited to solar energy, and some companies sell glass that is specifically designed to work as a passive solar energy system.
Consider how much you want to customize your sunroom. The more customizations you add, the more you likely have to spend. Look for a company that offers the level of customization that you’re looking for.
- Total custom design: For a completely customized room, consider using a contractor that won’t be limited by a single company’s products. If you do use a company that both manufactures and installs sunrooms, choose one that offers free in-home consultations to talk you through your choices.
- Size options: Kits and preassembled stand-alone structures will be most limited in size. If you’re looking for a large or uniquely shaped room, look with a company that offers a high degree of customization.
- Materials: Companies that manufacture their own sunrooms will limit your choice of materials to their own products. If you choose such a company, see how many options are available for materials like doors, siding and roofing.
What are the different types of sunrooms?
Patio rooms are porches, decks and patios that have been converted to screened-in “rooms.” These allow homeowners to enjoy their porch without worrying about insects or other pests. Companies might also call them porch rooms or screen rooms.
Porch enclosures add screen or glass walls to a porch’s existing roof and foundation. These are ideal choices for homes that have large covered porches because they can save consumers a significant amount of money.
Seasonal rooms are built to be heated or cooled only during certain seasons. Builders recommend the most affordable and efficient materials for the climate where the home is located.
Depending on the energy efficiency of the building materials, sunrooms can be comfortable for year round use. These sunrooms are more expensive to build, but they serve the purpose of a traditional home addition.
Standalone sunrooms and other garden structures are not attached to an existing home. Sunrooms can be built as stand-alone structures, but this category also includes arbors, open air kitchens, pergolas, sheds, pavilions and more. Sunroom companies often sell and install these structures.
Conservatories, or solariums, are rooms constructed almost entirely from glass. These rooms provide an outdoor-like feeling and can be used to grow sun-loving plants. These can be seasonal or year-round rooms, depending on the building materials.
Stand-alone structures can sometimes be shipped pre-assembled, so homeowners do not need to deal with any construction. Preassembled structures must be small enough to be legally transported on public roads.
Kits are available for homeowners who enjoy DIY projects. These options are usually more basic, seasonal sunrooms. They can allow budget-conscious buyers to add a sunroom to their home for a fraction of the cost of custom built and installed rooms.
Who should consider installing a sunroom?
Anyone who owns their house or a condo with roof access can install sunrooms to add additional space to their home and increase its value.
Homeowners who like to do their own home projects can use a sunroom kit to add space and value to their home.
Avid gardeners and outdoor lovers will enjoy the views of their yards from inside their sunroom, and they can use the space to grow potted plants year round.
Retirees may enjoy having extra space in their home or being able to enjoy outdoor views without sitting in extreme weather.
Homeowners looking for additional space but who don’t want to pay for a traditional home addition can save money with a year-round sunroom or a DIY kit.
Families with younger children can use sunrooms as play spaces for children or patio rooms to enjoy fresh air without worrying about insects.
Four Seasons Sunrooms was established in 1975 as a greenhouse supplier, and Latium USA bought the company in 2006. Four Seasons’ headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Holbrook, N.Y. The company manufactures and installs sunrooms, patio rooms, patios, retractable awnings and more.
- Best for Four Seasons Sunrooms are best for homeowners looking for choices in sunroom additions and local service.
Fifthroom.com was established as The Cedar Store in Pennsylvania in 1992, selling cedar outdoor furniture. Over the next two decades, the company launched several specialty websites, and in 2011 it developed Fifthroom.com to house all of those websites. Fifthroom sells a huge selection of home and garden products and accessories, including kits for detached sunrooms and other garden structures.
- Best for Fifthroom.com’s sunrooms are best for individuals who do not want to add a room on to their home or invest in major construction.
Patio Enclosures has been in business since 1966. The company sells several types of sunrooms, including patio rooms, year-round sunrooms, conservatories and sunroom kits. Its headquarters are in Cleveland, where all of its products are manufactured.
- Best for Patio Enclosures is best for homeowners who want help selecting the best add-on structure for their home and live in one of the company’s service areas.
Champion Window manufactures and installs sunrooms, windows, doors, siding and roofing materials. All their products are manufactured in the United States. The company was founded in 1953 and is headquartered in Cincinnati with 52 locations across the country.
- Best for Champion Windows is best for customers who live within 60 miles of one of their providers and want a year round or seasonal sunroom.
Florian Greenhouse and its parent company Florian Solar LLC manufacture sunrooms as well as conservatories and greenhouses that can be attached to an existing structure or stand alone. The company is headquartered in South Carolina and has 200 locations across North America. It frequently has booths and displays at regional home and garden shows.
- Best for Florian Greenhouse sunrooms and enclosures are best for those interested in solar technology in their sunroom, observatory or greenhouse.
Screenmobile sells and installs window and door screens, sun control products, patio rooms, sunrooms and more. The company was established in 1982 and is now headquartered near Palm Springs, Calif. It has almost 100 franchise locations across the United States.
- Best for Screenmobile is best for those who want information about several types of porch enclosures, including sunrooms.
Archadeck was founded in Richmond, Va. in 1980 as a deck builder. The company has since expanded to construct custom outdoor living spaces of all types as well as sunrooms. There are more than 40 franchise locations in the United States and Canada.
- Best for Archadeck sunrooms are best for consumers who want a totally customized design.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.