A three- or four-season room is a great way to bring a
little bit of the outside into your home. But which
option is best for you, and what are the most important
considerations when designing your dream sunroom?
Three Seasons vs.
The main difference between a three-season and four-season room is
temperature control, says Jude Tindall, owner of S.E. Wisconsin Sunrooms
“A three-season room is made to keep things out — water, wind, dust,
bugs, rain, things like that,” Tindall adds. “A four-season room allows
you to feel like you’re outside while also using heat and air
four-season room is more insulated, and a three-season room is ideal for
people who want the feel of being outside while still keeping the
elements at bay.
“You’ll get a lot of couples where the husband loves having the air
conditioning on all summer, but the wife might like being outside,”
Tindall says, noting that a three-season room is a good compromise for
four-season room is usable year-round. For many homeowners in frigid
that yearlong usability is attractive. Although a four-season room
usually costs a bit more to construct than a three-season room, it can
increase the value of your home by adding climate-controlled square
footage to the house.
Interior and Exterior
Designing the perfect sunroom requires attention to detail from the
inside out. Regardless of whether you choose a three- or four-season
room, windows and weatherproofing will be major considerations.
As you design the exterior of the sunroom, CertainTeed Siding Marketing
Director Matt Gibson suggests considering whether you want it to look
like a natural extension of your home or stand out as an accent. If the
goal is to match your home, you’ll want to choose a siding that closely
matches the wood grain and color on the rest of the house.
Homeowners looking to make a bolder statement often opt for wood or
cedar shake siding, Gibson adds. Wide trim also helps windows pop, and
an exterior stone façade can double as an attractive accent that helps
manage water flow away from the roof and walls.
“Sunrooms are often an extension of the home, but people want (the room)
to stand out a little bit,” Gibson says. “The trends are more toward
adding a little pop or a little flair of design.”
As sunrooms have become more customizable, the sky is the limit when it
comes to interior design, Tindall notes.
“As far as the interior touches, we’re seeing three-season rooms (that)
tend to feature the wicker style of outdoor furniture,” he explains. “In
four-season rooms, people tend to be decorating just like they would in
their house, with traditional sofas.”
Tindall has also noticed an uptick in homeowners requesting sunroom wet
bars, which creates a relaxing social space and utilizes the room as a
As design trends shift away from perfectly matching the rest of the
house, homeowners have more opportunity than ever to flex their design
skills and add personal touches to their sunrooms.
“Some people have a
house built in the early ’90s with a lot of oak, but then in the sunroom
they’ll make it more contemporary and modern,” Tindall says.