Choosing the Best Type of Sunroom

Sunroom Addition- Prefabricated or “Stick Built? – When thinking about adding a sunroom to your house, there are many things to consider.

The cost of a sunroom is one thing that most people consider, but there are other things that should be considered as well. The value of the addition should be considered when deciding between a prefabricated sunroom or a stick built sunroom addition that looks like the existing house. Something else that should be considered is the manner in which the sunroom is constructed and whether or not the addition restricts any future plans, such as adding a room addition above the sunroom.

The choice should be clear; a “stick built” sunroom addition that looks like the house makes the most sense.

Let’s first consider cost. Prefabricated sunrooms typically cost as much or more than a normal “stick built” home addition. The companies that sell prefabricated sunrooms have higher operating costs that must be absorbed, and since that is all they build all of these costs are passed onto the customer. The person selling this type of sunroom is typically a highly trained aggressive salesman working for commission, not a licensed contractor. Prefabricated sunrooms can easily cost $40,000 to $70,000.

Value is another important consideration. A prefabricated sunroom depreciates like a car; it does not hold value like the rest of your home. One reason for this is because it isn’t built like the rest of your house. Most of the time, the back wall of the house gets cleaned up, but still remains covered in the exterior vinyl siding or brick veneer. If you want to have the connecting wall to the sunroom opened up, this is oftentimes far beyond the abilities of a prefabricated sunroom company. The prefabricated sunroom looks like an appendage on the back of the house no matter how you look at it. Prefabricated sunrooms typically have the minimum amount of electric receptacles as building code will allow, and good luck trying to add outlets, lights or ceiling fans after the room is assembled. When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll find out just how little that prefabricated sunroom is worth.

The manner in which a prefabricated sunroom is constructed is also a detractor. At best, they are built on pier footings, and often are placed right on top of an existing deck. This is allowed in some municipalities, because the components of the rooms are very light in weight. If you ever decide you want to add a bedroom upstairs in the area above the sunroom, forget it. You can not put an addition on top of the prefabricated sunroom. The foundation and the structure of the room will not support an addition above it. Another thing you can’t do is put an addition alongside the prefab sunroom. You can not attach to a prefabricated sunroom in anyway and be in compliance with building code.

To read about the history of sunrooms, click here.

As you can see, a sunroom addition that is “stick built” as we call it, is a much wiser choice. In the end it is far more valuable and has much greater potential to meet any future plans you may have for your home as your family matures. Most stick built sunrooms cost in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $55,000. When it comes time to sell your home, it will look just like the rest of your house. To see some examples of some of the sunrooms Affordable Custom Decks & More has built in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, visit our website at

Affordable Custom Decks & More is a Class “A” contractor and builds additions in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia.