4 Season Sunroom (Buying Guide)

4 Season Sunroom buying guide including cost & popular additions.

different 4 season sunroom designs

If you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, a great way to enjoy the changes that these seasons bring – without necessarily going outdoors – is by building a 4 season sunroom.

A sunroom is basically a building feature that is designed to allow occupants to allow an abundant amount of natural light and even air while still keeping harsher natural elements – rain, snow, cold winds – out.

It is usually a roofed room addition, accessible from inside the house, where three of the walls on the exterior are made of glass, screens, or both. Sunrooms can be built in almost any area, but if you live where there are varying seasons, using your additional living space as a four-season room is a particularly wise choice to ensure year-round enjoyment.

What is a 4 Season Sunroom?

Sunroom with sectional couch

A four season sunroom is an enclosed addition that is designed to allow you to access and enjoy the outdoors, no matter what the weather might be.

If you live in an area that experiences all four seasons, you should consider having a four season room attached to your home. This garden addition is designed to be a comfortable place to relax or entertain all year round – no matter time of year.

What is the Difference Between a Sunroom and a Four Season Room?

4 season room with multiple fans

One common feature that all of these additions share is that they are built to maximize natural light and allow you to enjoy views of the outdoors without necessarily leaving your home.

While a regular type is accessible from the inside of your home, connected to the body of your home, it is not necessarily connected to your home’s systems.

Cottage style sunroom with swinging chair

While a regular sunroom design might be connected to your electricity grid, it is typically not hooked up to the cooling or heating systems of your home. This means that the room might not be usable during very hot summers or harsh winters.

A four season variant, on the other hand, is designed so that you can comfortably use the space no matter what the weather outside might be.

So, it is either hooked up to the heating and cooling system of the main house, or has its own means to control the temperature year-round. Designing this addition to be a four season room allows you to maximize the use of the area.

Comparison of a Sunroom Vs. a 4 Season Room

Feature Four-Season Room Pros Four-Season Room Cons Sunroom Pros Sunroom Cons
Usage Usable all year due to insulation and HVAC systems. Higher initial costs due to additional features. Ideal for use in warm months. Limited use during cold or very hot weather.
Construction Requires permitting and experienced
Longer construction time. Easier & faster construction. May not add much value to the property.
Cost Expensive to build and operate. Higher energy costs to heat and cool. Cheaper cost. Additional costs for seasonal use changes.
Temperature Temperature can be regulated in all seasons.   Depends on the outside temperature. Could require portable heaters or fans.
Natural Light Allows for natural light all year.   Allows for natural light all year. Glass may not be insulated.
Versatility Usable as a living space, bedroom,
office, gym, etc.
  Good for warm weather lounging
or as a garden room for plants.
Not versatile for all-season use.
Energy Efficiency Well-insulated for energy savings.     Less insulation can lead to energy loss.

4 Season Sunroom Cost

Four season sunroom with wood laminate flooring

The cost will mostly depend on the materials you use and the size of the layout you are building. Building a sunroom will cost approximately $150 to $300 per square foot. The average cost is about $35,000 to $55,000.

Due to the additional requirements of an all-season sunroom – insulation, air conditioning, and heating system – a four-season remodel construction project will cost a little more than an average design. It’s thus estimated that a four season type will cost about $25,000 to $90,000 to build.

Does a Four Season Room Add Value?

Sunroom attached to house next to putting green 4 season garden room attached to house overlooking a backyard putting green.

As a home design feature, a four season room will add value to your home as it can be an attractive addition that can serve as a “come on” to buyers.

You can add “sun room” to your home listing as an additional feature. It will increase the resale value of your home.

4 Season Sunroom Additions

Sunroom with french doors, shiplap and cathedral ceiling

If you have decided that you want to have a four season sunroom build here are some additions and extra features you should consider incorporating in your room design.

  • French Doors

A standard design is to have ceiling to floor glass panels for walls. Why not have one portion made of French doors instead?

French doors will allow you and your guests to access the garden from your home. During particularly nice days, you can keep the doors open to let more air in.

  • Screens

A few portions of the wall are made of screens instead of full glass can allow more air into your interior while keeping bugs out.

Don’t forget, however, when the weather turns cold, you need to be able to shut the room tight. Having a sliding screen door covered by sliding glass doors is your best bet.

  • Skylights

A few strategically placed skylights on your roof will allow even more natural light into your room.

Skylights are an especially attractive option for stargazers as it will allow glimpse of the night sky from your sunroom.

  • Ceiling Fans

Craftsman style 4 season room with ceiling fan and window sitting bench

Ceiling fans don’t just make for an exciting room design feature; they can help improve the airflow and circulation in your room. They can save you in cooling costs.

  • Fireplace

Adding a fireplace is an interesting and cozy way to keep this space warm during the milder days and nights of the winter months.

  • Plants

Turn your sunroom into a little greenhouse. Indoor plants will thrive in a room with many windows as they can get the sun they need even through the colder months of winter.

  • Tinted Glass

Instead of totally clear glass windows, you might want to have slightly tinted glass for your sunroom walls – especially on the side that gets the most amount of sun. This will cut down the glare and provide some UV and heat protection.

  • Insulated Windows

Insulated double-pane or triple-pane windows can help keep the room warmer during the cold winter months and cooler during the warm summer months. These can be especially useful for helping regulate the temperature in the space and cut down on electricity bills.

4 Season Sunroom Kits

Sunroom kit

If you want to save on costs, you should look into four season sunroom kits. There are prefabricated kits with the framework for the room and the panels for the wall. You can assemble these pieces on site.

Large 4 season sunroom with wood flooring

The cost of these kits depends on the size and any additional features you choose to incorporate. Again, because of the need to incorporate features to heat and cool the room, a 4 season room kit will cost a little more than other prefabricated models.

On average, however, you should be able to find a prefabricated sunroom kit for about $6,000 to $30,000.

For more related designs visit our gallery of sunroom ideas.

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