Sunroom vs. Traditional Room Addition: Which Is Right for You?


Oftentimes, homeowners who are looking to add more living space to their homes face the dilemma of choosing between a sunroom and a traditional room addition. The decision will ultimately depend on the homeowner’s preferences, needs, and budget. 

This article makes the distinction between a sunroom and a traditional room addition and helps you decide which one is more suitable for your home.

What Is a Sunroom?

A sunroom, also known as a conservatory or solarium, is a room primarily made of glass and designed to let in natural light. Sunrooms are typically added to the side or back of a house, and they can be used for different purposes, like a dining room, a playroom, a home office, or a relaxation space. Sunrooms are also popular for their ability to provide a year-round outdoor experience without having to deal with the elements.

What Is a Traditional Room Addition?

A traditional room addition, on the other hand, is a type of room constructed as an extension of the existing structure of a house. This addition is usually built using the same materials and designed to match the style and architecture of the house. It is commonly used to add extra living space to a home, such as a bedroom, bathroom, family room, or home gym.

Factors to Consider

1. Cost

Sunrooms are generally less expensive than traditional room additions, primarily because they require less labour and materials. A sunroom can range from $13,800 to $69,000, depending on the size, style, and features.

Alternatively, traditional room additions can cost anywhere from $70,000 to $138,000, or more, depending on the project’s complexity and the materials used. 

2. Functionality

Sunrooms are ideal for homeowners who want to enjoy the outdoors without dealing with bugs, rain, or harsh sunlight. They are also perfect for homeowners who wish to add extra living space without the hassle of a full-scale renovation. However, not all sunrooms are insulated, which means they may not be suitable for year-round use.

Meanwhile, traditional room additions are more versatile and can be designed to meet a variety of needs. They provide extra living space that can be used for numerous purposes, such as a bedroom, a home office, or a family room. Traditional room additions are also usually insulated and can be used all year long, regardless of the climate.

3. Aesthetics

Sunrooms are known for their unique design and ability to let in natural light. They are often designed to blend seamlessly with the existing architecture of the house, and they can add a beautiful, airy feel to the home.

Traditional room additions can be tailored to match the style and architecture of the house, but they may not have the same aesthetic appeal as a sunroom.

4. Permits and Building Codes

Sunrooms are often considered impermanent constructions, so they might not need a building license in certain regions. However, conventional room extensions are usually classified as permanent constructions, and they will require a building license and evaluations to guarantee that they comply with all building codes.


Ultimately, deciding between a sunroom and a traditional room addition comes down to your needs and preferences. By determining the advantages and disadvantages of each option, you can make an informed decision that will enhance the value and functionality of your home. Working with a professional contractor can help you determine the best option for your home and ensure that the project is completed to your satisfaction.

When it comes to home additions and renovations in Ottawa, we at Sierra Gate Homes can provide homeowners with the highest quality workmanship and exceptional customer service. Our home builders will guide you through the decision-making process to ensure that your home renovation project meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. Call us today at 613-789-1377 to request a quote!

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