What is a sunroom?

A sunroom addition is made with mostly glass and has sections that can be opened or closed. They’re sometimes referred to as patio rooms, glass patio enclosures, solariums, or outdoor enclosures.

After the house has been built, many homeowners will add sunrooms in order to add affordable interior living space that can be extended into nature.

Sunrooms are great for letting in natural light since they are mostly made of glass. A sunroom is where you can bring in the outdoors while enjoying the comforts of your home. They will definitely keep out those pesky bugs, as well as heat, rain, wind, and even snow that is rarely seen in the Dallas metroplex.

Sunrooms offer two big benefits; openness and visibility. They’re affordable, and most of them are less expensive than conventional construction. Sunrooms often use existing bases like concrete, wooden decks, and usually have opaque roofs instead of solid shingles.

The modern-day porch is what most people think a sunroom would look like. For many years, the front or back porches of American homes were used to host families and older people who would sit and enjoy the outdoors. People were sent inside to watch nature from the kitchen window if any type of weather would roll in like rain or wind.

What sunrooms are used for?

A sunroom addition is used in a variety of different ways. Sunrooms add indoor space and function for all kinds of activities, in addition to the main spirit of naturally bringing the outdoors in and incorporating natural light.

A sunroom addition can be used in many different ways, below are a few examples.

  • Enjoying views while being protected
  • A spa-like retreat where you can relax
  • Quiet place for reflection and contemplation
  • Enjoying a good book
  • A perfect place to work at home
  • Music room or Television room
  • Area for Children to play
  • Perfect space for family gatherings
  • The flexibility for games, crafts, and multi-activities
  • Workout/Fitness Area
  • Create a green space for plants, flowers, and even birds

What materials are used to build a sunroom addition?

Sunrooms were once conversions of porches and patios. Technology advanced so much that the materials were used to capture outdoor spaces and contained them for multi-weather living.

High-tech and lightweight products are used in the building of patios or sunrooms.

  • Aluminum
  • Structural vinyl
  • Panels on the roof are engineered
  • Glass that is insulated and thermally broken
  • Solar-treated glass that has low emissivity
  • Various heating and air conditioning devices.

Does a sunroom addition count as square footage?

That depends, the simple answer to this question. Two criteria are needed for a sunroom to qualify as additional living space.

First, it needs to be cooled and heated the same way as the rest of the house. A home’s total square footage is not likely to include a room addition with a separate climate control method like a space heater or window-mounted air conditioner.

The integration of the sunroom addition with the rest of the house is the second criterion. The majority of sunrooms are on the side of the house.

It’s a good indication that the construction quality of the new addition is not as high as it should be if you can enter through an old back door or an exterior wall that separates it from the rest of the house.

Also, a roof that doesn’t reflect the style of the main roof, and a floor that is less finished than others, are other indicators.

A rule of thumb when it comes to determining the quality of a sunroom is how well it meshes with the rest of the house. Any addition that flows naturally from the house is accessed through French doors, or an open threshold has a tiled or shingled roof, and heating and cooling are provided by a centralized system, which can be included in a home’s total square footage.

How much does it cost on average to add a sunroom?

Sunrooms can be a simple add-on, or a fully insulated four-season room addition. Three-season and four-season are the main types of sunroom additions built in the Dallas metroplex.

A three-season sunroom addition is a fully attached structure, but not insulated, and can be accessed from your existing home. The cost of a three-season room can range from $6,500 to $90,000.

An addition to your home that’s fully insulated and often includes plumbing, heating, and cooling along with electricity is a four-season sunroom.

Home Guide states the average cost of a sunroom.

National Average Cost$45,000
Minimum Cost$1,500
Maximum Cost$150,000
Average Range$15,000 to $80,000

Sunroom Cost Per Square Foot

If you want to install a new sunroom, most contractors will quote you an actual price that’s based on the square footage.

It is a good idea to clarify what is included before you start the project. Most contractors in the Dallas area include both labor and materials in the price but it’s better to ask than assume.

The cost per square foot for a three-season room is between $80 and $230, and the cost for a four-Season room is between $200 and $400.

Sunroom Cost Per Square Foot

TypeCost Per Square Foot
Prefab Kit$20 – $60
3-Season$80 – $230
4-Season$200 – $400

Types of Sunrooms

You want to find a sunroom option that meshes in with your home. Choose from a collection of styles that allow you to enjoy the scenery of the outdoors without interacting with the weather, insects, or other elements.

Three-season and four-season or year-round types are just some of the different designs and applications that sunrooms have evolved into.

Other variations, like four-track vinyl porch enclosures and conservatories, are not true sunrooms.

Below, you will find more information and a closer look at the cost of a few types of sunrooms.

1. Four-Season Sunroom Addition

These are custom-built sunrooms enjoyed all year round, just as the name suggests. Imagine opening gifts in your custom-built sunroom during the Christmas season.

Four-Season Sunrooms are constructed to take nature’s full force all year long, so there are no monthly barriers.

What makes a sunroom a 4-season?

The thermal resistance or insulation capacity is the main difference between three and four-season sunrooms. These are stronger, heavier-duty additions like double pane glass that can be treated with a low-emissivity coating or argon filling.

The roofs, walls, and doors of four-season sunrooms are sufficiently insulated and protected against the climate they’re built-in. The main year-round custom sunroom needs to appear to be an extension of the existing home. They use the same products and have the same roof overhangs.

Four-season custom-built sunrooms use knee or low-height walls, which is different from the main structure. The knee walls are typically two feet high and can accommodate electrical plugs and baseboard heaters. They use as much wrap-around glass as possible. Multiple skylights are often a strategic place to capture light on roofs that are solid and not glass panels.

Artificial heat for cold times is one of the main differences between four-season sunrooms and other types. When sitting in a regular sunroom is unbearable, these are capable of having air conditioning for those hot Dallas days.

The heat and cooling sources in your home can be hooked into your existing HVAC systems or can be an independent system altogether. A good general contractor can help you figure out the best heating and cooling system for your location and application.

There are many uses for a four-season sunroom, but they are not greenhouses. Sunrooms have been designed to control the sun’s rays, not to be trapped for solar gain like greenhouses.

There are different structures for different reasons in a greenhouse. House plants and herb planters do well, as do seasonal flower boxes in a sunroom.

How much does a 4-season sunroom addition cost?

The four-season room is the closest version of a home addition compared to all the different types of sunrooms.

A common feature in four-season rooms is that they are usually open to the rest of the home, rather than having to gain access through a single door.

This type of room can also be built with its own thermostat and electrical wiring. A luxurious addition such as a four-season sunroom can cost between $25,000 and $80,000.

4-Season Sunroom Cost per Square Foot

Square Footage4-Season Sunroom
8 x 8$12,800 – $25,600
10 x 10$20,000 – $40,000
14 x 14$39,200 – $78,400
20 x 20$80,000 – $160,000

2. Three-Season Sunrooms

During the spring, summer, and fall seasons is what three-season sunrooms are designed and built for. Lighter and less expensive materials are used to let light in and keep out the wind and rain.

Three-season sunrooms are designed to give shade from the sun and offer cooling during hot summer days.

What makes a sunroom a 3-season?

Sunrooms built for three-season use aren’t usually insulated or have an auxiliary heat source. Fans might be able to circulate air and provide some relief from the heat. They can use an outdoor space heating device to take the chill out of spring mornings or the edge from fall nights.

Three-season sunroom additions are cheaper alternatives to more robust additions for year-round enjoyment. Many of the three-season rooms can be stretched into a four-season design later on if you find it doesn’t fit your needs in a warmer climate like Dallas.

How much does a three-season sunroom cost?

A three-season sunroom is usually a nice place to hang out. The only seasonal exception might be during the winter months.

The rooms lack insulation, electricity, and the controls for the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The average three-season room is between $10,000 and $40,000, with no heating and cooling you will save money by opting for a three-season room instead of a four-season room.

3-Season Sunroom Cost per Square Foot

Square Footage3-Season Sunroom
8 x 8$5,120 – $14,720
10 x 10$8,000 – $23,000
14 x 14$15,680 – $45,080
20 x 20$32,000 – $92,000

3. Conservatories

A conservatory is an elegant way to add to the beauty of a sunroom to your home. Conservatories give you a bright usable space in your home.

They use a lot of glass and other transparent materials to let in more light and have more dramatic, eye-catching architecture. A beautiful addition to any home style is a skillfully designed conservatory.

A sunny space in which you can relax or host guests with wonderful views of the outdoors is a new conservatory. Even when the weather is not great, you can still enjoy this type of space all year long. Conservatories require little upkeep other than an occasional clean.

How much does a conservatory cost?

The all-glass enclosure of conservatories is the same as the one of a solarium. These rooms are more similar to nature’s four-season rooms in that they have electricity and are temperature-controlled.

The average price of a conservatory is between $50,000 and $150,000.

TypeCost Per Square Foot
Average$200 – $600
High-end$600 – $1,200

4. Prefabricated Sunroom Kit Addition

Most people have to work within their budget. This is the main reason why prefab sunroom kits have become popular in recent decades.

A stick-built addition can cost a lot, but most prefabricated models are a fraction of that cost. In some cases, an existing structure, such as a deck or patio, can be used as the foundation for this type of sunroom, which will lower costs.

The speed at which they can be assembled is a big advantage of the prefab sunroom kit. These additions can be installed by a good general contractor in just one or two weeks, which provides savings in labor costs, compared to stick-built additions that take months to complete.

It helps minimize the effects of bad weather on construction. Most of the construction is done away from the site, which means less debris, less mess, and less impact on your landscaping.

How much does a prefab sunroom addition cost?

Most of the time, prefab sunrooms are made of aluminum or vinyl. The majority of the time, these are less expensive than traditional ones and are ready to assemble as soon as they get to your home.

Installation costs and the kit itself can be between $5,000 and $50,000 if you choose a prefab sunroom.

What is the return on investment for a sunroom addition?

The average return on your investment is between 50 and 60 percent. Depending on the features and materials you use, some real estate experts say your return could be around 80 percent.

Stick-built room additions are the styles that increase the square footage of your living space to make it more valuable. Adding a Three or Four Season Sunroom addition also increases the curb appeal of your home.


Is a sunroom addition worth it?

A sunroom addition can be a better alternative to a full-sized home addition when it comes to cost.

Light-bathed spaces are cheaper than stick-built additions, and since less specialized work needs to be done, construction tends to be quicker.

A sunroom is a perfect choice, even though it is defined as supplemental space, not the essential living space offered by room addition for many homeowners.

If you are interested in any other type of addition check out our list of 12 Room Additions That Can Increase Value & Space in Dallas Metroplex.

What is the first thing you would do in your new sunroom addition?

Share This Information With Others!


  1. Thank you so much for discussing different ways to achieve artificial heat and cooling in a sunroom to make it usable throughout the year. I could definitely see a merit to that considering how often we have guests visit us, and that this could really bring in more guests in the process. I’ll ask a room addition expert to assist us with this for sure.

  2. Your tips and pointers for what materials to use when making a sunroom addition were really helpful for sure. Something like steel or aluminum is definitely a lot more stable and durable, and that could stand up to the harsh weather of the area and allow us to use that room for a much longer period. I’ll go and ask a remodeling contractor to help me use this kind of material when constructing a sunroom like that.

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