The Pros and Cons of Sunrooms

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Do you live in the north and want to enjoy a bit more sunshine without having to go outdoors? Or do you live in the south and would prefer your summer sun with a bit less sweat? Either way, sunroom additions can be very appealing. For many people, sunrooms provide the best of being outdoors without the worst of the downsides. However, there are those who get a sunroom and later regret it. Here’s a look at the biggest pros and cons to consider when exploring the idea of adding a sunroom to your home.

Pros

One of the most attractive aspects of a sunroom addition is that it increases your livable space. How large or small you want that space to be is up to you. If your budget or aesthetics favor a small, intimate room, a sunroom can be yours for a small investment. If you prefer a size more like a large living room-or even larger-you have plenty of options. Those options make sunrooms flexible additions to almost any home. Plus, sunrooms are often less expensive than other room additions.

In addition to the added space, sunrooms bring the wild outdoors within the confines of a climate-controllable room. Fans of sunrooms enjoy the views and weather-watching that the nearly all-windowed rooms provide. If you enjoy watching wildlife, sunrooms make it easier to observe the local fauna.

Those and related benefits ultimately roll-up into one huge benefit: immense pleasure and satisfaction. Sunrooms can quickly become one of the most-used and enjoyed rooms in the house. It is estimated that sunrooms are used an average of four hours per day.

Cons

One of the biggest downsides to adding a sunroom can come when you decide to sell your home: they are not good investments. According a 2010 story by U.S. News & World Report that examined the best and worst home improvement projects from an investment perspective, sunroom additions are the second-worst home improvement for your money. Homeowners recover an average of 51% of their investment.

If you are adding a sunroom so that you can enjoy the pros listed above for at least a few years, return on investment may be less important. But as an investment-only, there are far better choices.

Another downside also deals with money: energy efficiency. While you may be able to have a sunroom built inexpensively, an inexpensive sunroom can be very inefficient to heat or cool. In more extreme climates, that can significantly increase your energy costs. Sunroom builders offer energy-efficient options, but they can become expensive.

One of the pros of sunrooms can also be a con. All of those windows provide great views for you-and for anyone looking in. From a privacy standpoint, there is not much difference between a sunroom and an open patio deck.

Sunrooms can be great additions to a home. However, the wise buyer approaches sunroom additions with their eyes open and aware of the pros and cons. Doing so goes a long way to avoiding buyer’s remorse.