Three Season vs Four Season Room Additions

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Being the practical Midwesterners that we are, many eastern Iowans choose homes that fit their budget based on a list of “must haves” rather than “wants” or “nice to haves.” As a result, maybe the house with the sunroom you’ve always dreamed of didn’t make the cut. Mentally bargaining with yourself (and/or your spouse), you promised to add it later when the time was right. If your “later” is now, we want to help you finish your dream home.

Just deciding what to call this new room can be a challenge. There are so many terms –
sunrooms – four season rooms – three season rooms – all season rooms – Michigan rooms – Florida rooms – patio rooms – patio enclosures – conservatories – solar rooms. What’s the difference? Well, generally the amount of time during the year you can comfortably use the space is the determining factor. For the sake of simplicity, let’s look at your options in terms of 3 season rooms or 4 season rooms.

Three Season Rooms 

Sturdier than your average screened in porch or enclosed deck, a 3 season room addition is a good option for homeowners who want to enjoy outdoor living in style but who don’t need the living space available all year long. 3 season rooms are:

  • used primarily spring, summer and fall
  • often added to an existing deck or patio with a few structural changes
  • separated from the rest of the house with an exterior door
  • heated and cooled separately from the home, if at all
  • not insulated
  • generally completed within a week

What is the cost of a 3 season room? Depending on the size and finishing options, a good quality 3 season room can run anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.

Four Season Rooms

A 4 season room, also referred to as all-season or year round room, is integrated into the construction of your home, existing roof line and exterior. This structure is:

  • constructed to use your existing HVAC for year round usage
  • open to the rest of the house
  • constructed with insulated, walls, floor and roof

The cost of a 4 season room is about the same as a new automobile but this asset won’t lose value years down the road like a car. Also like a car, your 4 season room addition can be as elaborate or simple as a new car. There are options available for every budget.

If it’s time to replace your current sunroom or look into adding a new one, you have many decisions to make. You can check out our sunroom gallery for ideas or download the Complete Guide to Sunroom Styles. Plus, you can stay organized and cover all your bases by downloading our FREE Sunroom Planning Checklist to get started. Happy Planning!

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