Does anyone know the Cost of Pre-fabricated Sunrooms?

janjan212August 4, 2005

I heard a portion of radio talk show today and the host mentioned that you can get a pre-fabricated sunroom for a about a third less than having one built. He also mentioned the figure of 15K. I'm not sure if this was an average, or a starting price.... This wasn't a commercial for any Vendor, or sunrooms in general, the focus of the program is ways to save money, and he thought this was the way to go if you are in the market for such a thing....

I have been toying with ways to enlarge & enhance my kitchen space and the design build firm I met with estimated a total remodel, including a bump out of 6ft by 18 ft...and most everything else except the appliances of over 90K. (87K before taxes) His estimate for the added space was almost 1/2 that cost.... So, Given that we still will need applicances and we also need to replace the flooring in the rest of the place we have decided that plan was more than we could spend.

I had previously considered putting a sunroom off the kitchen & dining nook, put the everyday table out there, expand the utilitarian part of the kitchen into the nook space... but my husband informed me that were just as expensive to build as the finished expansion. I'm confused and although I don't want to get my hopes up, I am thinking if this is true, maybe I CAN afford to re-do the kitchen AND have added space...

So, if you have one and wouldn't mind sharing your costs & experiences, it might help me decide if I should persue this avenue..... Any info you have is appreciated!


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Sophie Wheeler

I think it depends on what your expectations of "sunroom" might be. It won't be a temperature controlled space for that type of money, and you don't list your location. So, it might only be usable 3 months out of the year for you. Here, our sunroom on the south side of the house is unusable 6 months out of the year because it's too hot, and you have to have a heater in there in the coldest of winter days to make it pleasant enough to be there without a jacket. And, that's on the south side with all of the solar gain available in the winter. In a more northern climate, unless the place is significantly insulated (and that kinda defeats the purpose of a "sun" room) it will be way too cold in there for most of the winter. And, although we do get weeks and weeks of high 90's here, I don't think Northerners are immune to hot weather either.

So, yes, you can probably add a "sunroom" to your home for $15K. But, with that rudimentary a structure, how much use have you added to your home in reality? The upper end ones with the triple glazed insulating glass will cost more than your addition was budgeted at for a similarly large space. You could add a couple of $400 Harbor Freight 6x8 greenhouses for a lot less money and get a lot more usable "sun" space.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 7:58AM
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Thanks for the response. I live in the Pacific NW, we tend to have spurts of very hot weather in the summer and the occassional icy or snowy weather in the winters, but for the most part our climate is fairly mild. Lots of gloomy gray overcast skies and a sunroom would probably be able to be used most of the time. The sunroom would be on the southern side of the house so we had hoped to use the type of glass that cuts back on the heat, as my husband gets hot easily.

My hopes for this room would be a catherdral style, for a more open feel, with a roof and glass/windows on the 3 sides. I was hoping for enough space to put a dining table for 4 (expandable for larger groups) some additional cabinetry to match the kitchen for storage of small kitchen appliances, board games, and all those other things you are not quite sure what to do with (Maybe 5 feet?) that would also incorporate a kitchen style desk with a mail station and a laptop or small computer. And a small sitting area for when we just wanted to be out there.

I did hear the radio host mention he was talking about a 3 season room. Although I didn't hear for sure, I sort of assumed the price of 15K was a starting point but thought I still might be able to create a nice, beautiful, usable space for much less than the 40-45k it would cost to bump out. Also, I hoped that by not having to move plumbing as in the first plan, it would save more on the actual kitchen re-do. I would want it to feel like part of the house and not a greenhouse or an "enclosed patio". I wouldn't do it of I could not get that feel.

On either the Four Seasons or Temo website it mentions you can spend between 10 and 70K on the sunrooms depending on your land, size and choices. I am hoping someone can show me what theirs looks like, and what it costs... in the mean time I guess I just need to call someone out for an estimate.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 11:26AM
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I've heard that the biggest problem with "sunrooms" is that they get too much sun (!) especially if they have glass roofs. Do also consider that the winter sun is lower to the horizon; higher in the sky in summer. A glass WALLED room might be better.

I know there is a wide range of these products, from sort of pre-fab things to fancy English conservatory styles.
On the "Building" board a poster (jabbahop) was building a three-season room: a roof and walls made of storm doors; the glass panels could be switched out with screen ones.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 2:00PM
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Hi Jan,

Did you see my reply post on your thread in the porches and decks forum?


    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 3:38AM
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I'm in NJ and can relate my experience with a 3-season style sun porch. We had one designed and built for us by Patio Enclosures (PEI) and we could not have been more thrilled.

We no longer own the house with the porch, but lived there for about 3.5 years after the room was installed. A 16x16 (approx) room was built for us with two walls of 4 or 5 ft sliders (with knee walls below) one wall had a slider to a small deck (for grill and stair landing also built for us by PEI). We also had two skylights added in to allow more light into the family room off which the sun porch was built. Entry to the room was thru a standard exterior door in the kitchen. We had electrical and a fan/light installed as well. We were able to use the room in spring and fall with the windows open, and for summer dinners with the fan running. Due to the large glass area, the room absorbed enough heat in winter to be usable for lunch time through early afternoon (the sun hit that portion of the house in winter) without use of a space heater.

Construction of the room, including the supporting framework (room was about 4 feet of the ground), additional deck for the grill, electric and permits ran between 15-17k (in 2000). The only thing PEI did not do (at the time)was finish flooring. We were so happy with the space and its usablility we're planning one for our current house (down the road.

Fire away if you have other questions. Most of the sun porch places should come out and give you a free, no obligation estimate.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 2:30PM
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Thanks Dave for the additional information (I'd almost stopped checking the threads)

What furnishings did you use in your room? I think the size of your space is more what I would need.....and Your price is more in line with what I had hoped, however from your description, it sounds as if your sunroom was custom designed & built, true? I had been focused on pre-fabricated, since they were touted as much less expensive, but maybe I should call around for alternatives.

Did your sunroom feel a part of the house or more like an enclosed patio space? Doing a search on the web, the images range from very basic, almost greenhouse looking to very elaborate high end spaces. I would want something somewhere in-between, that flows and looks like part of the house.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 11:24AM
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Jan -

email me at if you have specific questions. In regards to above I would say...

Patio Enclosures sunrooms are 'custom made', but from prefabricated materials. The design the size of the room, windows, size of kneewalls, etc to what you want. The pieces are made in a factory and then cut and installed per the plans (which were quite detailed). The installations are done by company employees. I'm not sure where you are located, but try and see if they are in your area at all.

We had the room furnished with an expandable Ikea dining table and chairs, and on occasion an Ikea Poyang chair or two. We didn't want expensive fabric furniture due to sun fade issues. I think the furnishings helped it feel more like a 'room' then a greenhouse. Might have had a different feel if we'd used patio style furniture.

Ours had more of an enclosed patio space, but mainly because access was through as single 36" exterior door. (which had a divided light window in the top half). One advantage we did have, with the room being off the family room, we could open up the family room windows (which no longer required screens) when we had large gatherings. That helped the space feel more like part of the house. Since the entry door to the sun porch was off the kitchen, we tiled the porch with the same material as the kitchen.

The openness to the rest of the house, I think depends on where the room will be located. Since ours was a true 3-season room we need to be able to keep it closed off on hot summer days and during the winter. We did not use insulated glass or had heat and A/C to the space. That helps keep the costs down.

The best thing about these rooms, and working with a company that specializes in them, is they can design almost anything you want, or can afford.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 10:49AM
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We had a large room added (bumped) off our kitchen 9 years ago, for $10,500. It has 9 windows - three to each side and each window is 4 feet wide/4 feet long. (Room itself is 16 x 16) Though we call it our sunroom, it is not totally glass enclosed, but we LOVE it and wish we had done it 30 years ago. For that price, the local (Mid Atlantic) home remodeling contractor put it under roof, attached gutters and downspouts, installed vinyl siding, installed all the windows, ran electric and cable, and we had to paint the walls and add carpeting to the subfloors. Oh yeah...if it matters, we are in a raised rancher, so this room was elevated about 6 feet off the gound and we now have a outdoor crawl space below to store garden stuff. It faces south and We use it year-round. During the summer we need to boost our central air with a small window A/C in that room and during the winter it used to get nippy after dark on bitter nights until we bought a ceiling fan heater which is one of my best ever purchases. Think I've covered it all? LOL

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 2:12AM
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Thanks for the additional information. In case anyone is interested...I had an estimate last night..and although this was not an exact bid, I was told based on what I wanted (cathedral ceiling 17x12-14 solid roof...) would run in the 40's This would be for a Four Seasons Brand Room. The Salesman said if we really wanted the most bang for our buck we should extend it out to include most of the back side of the house to incorporate a little used covered patio area off our formal dining room. He said that would run about 50K or so. Bottom line, although I got excited at the prospect of the space, it did not serve my original need of creating a space off the kitchen that would provide room for a large table, desk/mail station and "sitting area" and cost substantially less than the "bump out portion" of the Kitchen remodel bid we recieved. Although either way would be nice, I think dollar for dollar I would rather have one larger, roomier spacious kitchen space than the same small one I have and another room behind it. Back to the drawing board!!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 11:26AM
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My parents had one added on - it was 20k.

We got a quote for a prefab one - 28.

Personally the 1/3 less thing sounds like a sales line to me.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 12:25PM
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Jan -

See if there is another company in your area. We tried Four Seasons and Patio Enclosures Inc when we bid out/did ours in our first home.

We did not get warm-fuzzes with Four Seasons (they wer going to build w/out permits) and we didn't like the ball-park estimiate. Patio Enclosures came back with a price that was for the complete project.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 1:54PM
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Hi All,

I've gotten some great insight reading this. I too was thinking of adding on a sunroom off of my Kitchen and Diningroom basically just to gain some space. I live in a split-entry type of home so my Familyroom is on the lower level.
Being one of those people who like to be around the kitchen I wanted to add something off the kitchen to eat in, view tv, etc. Like a familyroom in a sense. I was thinking it would be a great selling point come time to sell because people with children would have the luxury of either familyroom to use.
I am having second thoughts however. I truly do not have a great deal of money to spend right now and I have a kitchen remodel ahead of me as well as two bathrooms. I have considered just "bumping out" the one side of my diningroom to gain more space so that I may extend my kitchen in to the diningroom because both my kitchen and diningroom are small. This will not give me another familyroom of course as it would be just a bump out..not to mention it is on a totally different wall...but it will possibly allow me to at least make my kitchen larger. The back and sides of my house are not ground level and I am in the process of getting estimates for a deck off the back where I now have sliders from my diningroom to a very small deck that doesn't have steps to the yard .
Holly Spring mentioned in a post this:
" You could add a couple of $400 Harbor Freight 6x8 greenhouses for a lot less money and get a lot more usable "sun" space."

I'm not sure what this is but it sounds interesting. Is this a bump out of sorts? I am looking to just add bump-outs to my dining room and possibly a bathroom and was wondering if anyone knew the cost of such a project.
I was wondering if the Harbor Freight thing that was mentioned would do the trick and also not sure where you would purchase them.
thank you all

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 9:07AM
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