When you’re looking at extending your home to create some extra entertaining space on a budget, installing a screenroom or a sunroom are your two best options. Both can be installed on top of an existing deck, but can also be quickly put up on bare earth in a matter of weeks. They both provide big windows to allow all that glorious Calgary sunshine in, as well as protection against the bugs and heat of summer. They both provide a generous amount of extra living and storage space for a relatively little capital investment. With all of these positives, it makes sense to seriously consider these indoor outdoor living opportunities.
However, there are some pretty significant differences between screenrooms and sunrooms which you need to consider when choosing between the two options:
- Seasonal usage – the biggest difference between screenrooms and sunrooms is how frequently you can use it. A screenroom is fantastic during spring, summer and often times into fall, but it can be limited on days when it’s swelteringly hot, raining hard or the wind is howling around. A four season sunroom allows you to use your space year round regardless of the weather outside.
- Heating and cooling – another factor to consider when choosing between a screenroom and a sunroom is how much control you like to have over the temperature in your room. A screenroom is very much at the mercy of the outdoor temperature, and the permanent open windows means that it’s impossible to use your HVAC system to heat or cool the room. A three season sunroom doesn’t usually make use of the HVAC system either, but relies on the sun and airflow to keep the room at a more steady temperature. A four season sunroom is the best option here as it allows you to connect to your home’s HVAC system giving you complete control over the temperature year round.
- Cost – given the cons of the lack of heat and weather protection, the biggest reason people choose to install screenrooms instead of sunrooms is the cost. A sunroom requires wall construction, complete with window installation and cavity insulation, all of which drive up the cost. The simple mesh coverings of a screenroom are much cheaper to install and replace in case of damage. You also would not need to worry about installing a new floor if you have an existing deck or patio with a screenroom – the wood or stone underfoot will look more authentic.
- Ease of construction – the other major benefit of screenrooms vs sunrooms is how easy they are to construct. A typical installation can take just a couple of weeks, with a simple three season sunroom requiring a month or more to be fully completed. However, the speed of both projects means that they can be installed year round.
It’s clear that there are pros and cons of both screenrooms and sunrooms, and the final choice you make will depend on your current setup, your budget and what your bigger goals are for the home extension project.