So, the short answer is – not really. Patio rooms, solariums, patio enclosures, sunrooms, and even screen porches all usually fall under the same category.
But sunroom addition vs. patio enclosure– is there really a difference?
In the end, they fulfill the same purpose – to provide an enclosed room allowing access to the outdoors without exposure to the elements. They have gained so much popularity over the years because they can bring convenience and comfort to enjoying the outdoors year round. No more getting bitten by bugs and bees or fighting the flies when you sit down for the family meals.
The difference is mainly in their humble beginnings – the foundation:
Sunroom Addition – typically built either over an existing deck, an existing patio with no existing roofing system, or is a completely new structure.
Patio Enclosure – typically refers to a room built over an existing patio with an existing roofing system already in place – so there is usually no need to build or reinforce foundations as long as the patio is determined to be sufficient for the room.
Cost can vary slightly between these two versions depending on how much foundation work needs to be completed in order to support the new room structure.
There are two options for structure – pre-fab kits shipped in flat or a stick-built structure built on site. At Shakespeare, we do not offer any “pre-fab kits”, so both types of rooms would have conventionally framed floors, walls, and roofing systems. Many times these pre-fab rooms do not meet township codes like snow load, efficiency ratings, etc.
We believe there is no comparison between the pre-fab kit type structures and a custom stick-built (site-built) structure. Stick-built sunrooms and patio enclosures are constructed just as you would a regular addition or even a house. A foundation is laid (if needed), walls are framed, roof trusses built on-site or brought in, and the entire structure is wired for power and may even be plumbed, if included in the design. They are custom designed to match your existing home and typically add very good return on investment ratios.
Both may be full glass or partial glass enclosures, as well as 3 or 4 season rooms.
Full glass room – the walls will be virtually all glass from floor to ceiling allowing for the most unobstructed view of the outdoors.
Partial glass room – will have a solid knee wall usually constructed of brick or stone – extending upward from the floor typically two to three feet to the base of the windows.
This is definitely a point of personal taste as both of these designs allow ample sunlight into the room. The window systems for sunrooms and patio enclosures have come a long way over the years. Shakespeare offers WeatherMaster Vertical 4-Track window/doors systems as an option for a window system for these rooms. These windows close to reduce wind, rain, pollen & sound. The screen systems cover 100% of the window leaving no gaps for bugs to enter. They move effortlessly, stacking up or down to allow a generous 75% ventilation opening. And, best of all, they are virtually maintenance free.
Transforming that otherwise ignored outdoor patio or deck or even adding a new structure that you’ll be able to enjoy all year round, it’s easy to see why these rooms are investments with huge returns. If you are dreaming of bringing the outdoors in by adding a sunroom or patio enclosure, contact us to set up an appointment for a free estimate today.