Home improvement spending has been rising nationwide at a rate of nearly six percent annually. What’s behind this upward trend?
One factor is that homeowners now have more equity and are using that to make improvements that can increase their home value in the long run while they can enjoy the benefits now.
Home additions are an especially popular renovation for increasing home value. And while conventional add-ons like bedrooms or dens are still common, sunrooms and solariums are growing in popularity, too.
Both a sunroom and a solarium can give you the additional square footage you want, but each one offers other unique benefits. If you’re considering one of these additions, the decision of sunroom vs solarium may be confusing. We’ll discuss the differences between the two, so you can make the right choice for your needs.
Read on for answers to common sunroom vs. solarium questions.
Sunroom vs. Solarium – What’s the Purpose of Each?
You may be more familiar with the idea of a home sunroom than a home solarium. Builders and architects tend to use the term “sunroom” to refer to any room with large windows. Sunrooms have traditional roofs like the homes they’re attached to, and the windows stretch side-by-side across the walls but do not stretch floor to ceiling.
As implied in its name, a sunroom’s purpose is to provide a space for people to enjoy the sun while not being outdoors physically. Some newer sunroom models include features like HVAC packages or vinyl wall systems for additional efficiency. These upgraded sunrooms are often referred to as Four Season Rooms, as they can be used year-round.
Compared to a traditional sunroom, a solarium’s architecture is more modern. These structures feature a glass roof and glass walls. Solariums can be freestanding, meaning they don’t have to be attached to the rest of your home.
The intent of a solarium is to capture as much sunlight as possible. Some have window openings or tracks that allow you to install shades to help insulate and regulate temperature. Still, you may prefer this option if you’d like to use your space to grow plants and flowers, or to start your own herb or vegetable garden.
What Advantages and Disadvantages Set Sunrooms and Solariums Apart?
Sunrooms and solariums each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Consider these features as you explore the options, so you can choose the right structure for your home and lifestyle.
A sunroom offers true year-round use, while a solarium may not be comfortable for use during the hottest or coldest months of the year. Sunrooms also feature thermo-insulated solid roofs for better energy efficiency. Attaching a sunroom to your home will be relatively easy, and the structure will require little maintenance.
One of the disadvantages of a sunroom is that it doesn’t offer a full glass view of the sky. If this is something you’d like, you may consider a solarium instead.
Solariums offer unobstructed views of your entire outdoor surroundings, which can be especially desirable if your backyard is private and your property offers an attractive view. The structure itself is quite impressive as well. As mentioned earlier, a solarium is also a wonderful space to grow plants as the glass lets in plenty of natural light.
You’ll need to keep all that glass clean to enjoy your stunning views, and this may require a professional cleaning service. The glass roof will require routine maintenance for the sealing connecting it to the walls, as well as for the painted finish that will wear over time. A solarium doesn’t offer any insulation and is not as energy efficient as a sunroom.
Will a Sunroom or a Solarium Offer Better Resale Value for My Home?
Whether you choose a sunroom or a solarium, you can expect to increase the value of your home. These structures add livable square footage to your home, as well as attractive architectural elements. The return on investment may vary, though, depending on which option you choose.
Sunrooms do typically have a better return on investment. They aren’t as expensive as traditional home additions, but still add space that you will likely be able to enjoy year-round. You may even hear other homeowners with sunrooms say that that space is the most popular room in their home.
A sunroom will also come with long-term, valuable warranty. You may even find a lifetime transferable warranty for your sunroom, which means the next owner can benefit, too.
Solariums do add more of a “wow” factor when it comes to the aesthetics of your home. But you must pay for that, and solariums can sometimes cost double the price of a sunroom.
The warranties available for solariums are also less valuable and are usually limited and non-transferrable. You may want to research cost for things like glass replacement and roofing maintenance before making this investment.
Would a Sunroom or Solarium Better Suit My Needs and Lifestyle?
Everything we’ve touched on thus far – from the intended use of each structure to the unique benefits and drawbacks – should factor into your decision. But you’ll want to consider your unique needs and lifestyle as well.
First, consider the practical aspects of the project. For example, removing a section of exterior wall to create an entrance to your sunroom will require additional work from your contractor. If you’re considering building an unattached solarium, you may need to do research on building codes in your area.
Also, consider how you use the space in your home now and how you’d like to use this additional space. Do you want to be able to host guests in comfort year-round? A sunroom may be best for you, while a solarium would be better if you were looking to add a unique architectural element to your home.
The Best Way to Enjoy a Sunroom or Solarium Addition? Partner with a Reputable Company
Ready to make the decision on a sunroom vs. solarium? Still not sure which is best for you? Either way, finding a reputable company to help you with this project can help ensure it produces the results you want.
We can help you choose the ideal structure for your home. Contact us today for more information. You can also browse our blog to learn more about how a sunroom or solarium can enhance your home.