Hot Topics: Sunrooms

sunroom with natural design elements including couch, coffee table and large plant

Over 250,000 DIYers chat on the DoItYourself forums about topics in 120+ categories, so we highlight popular posts to help with related projects. This transcript has been lightly edited.

Original Post: Sunrooms

Rhetta - Visiting Guest

Good morning everyone,

I wanted to add a sunroom onto my kitchen; that was until I got one quote I have seen web sites that will send you the kits to do for yourself for a lot less money. Has anyone ever done one? Thanks!

lefty - Member

Rhetta, depending on what brand of room you were getting the quote for, I'm sure it was 'sticker shock'. I have never done one of the DIY kits. The rooms I install are NOT DIY kits.

Rhetta - Visiting Guest

Our first quote was for 20,000.00. We want a 4 season room. It would have been added to our kitchen. The company was Better Living Sunrooms. They are more into patios though.

We still have 4 Season Sunrooms coming. I can only imagine what their quote will be. If we do not have the sunroom added on right now we will opt to putting in a bow window in the living room for the cats and dogs to lounge about on a window seat and a huge deck outside the back of the house. I could always put a large greenhouse type thing on the deck.

Thanks for your reply though.

lefty - Member

If the $20K from Better Living Sunrooms caused sticker shock, be sitting down when you see 4 Seasons quote. I would be willing to bet it will be more.

Bay or bow window, a deck, ... you haven't mentioned any sizes yet, but you can get a rather nice window and a good sized deck for under $20K.

Rhetta - Visiting Guest

The sunroom I wanted would have been 13' long x 10' wide. Where it comes to windows I choose a bow. Got to have a window seat also. As far as a deck I would like perhaps an 8 foot deep deck with a railing all around it. Now those I know I can do. Not so sure about the window. Will have to see about having it put in by a contractor. I may know a little but I sure don't know a lot!

I chuckled when I saw your reply. I may just skip the 4 Season's quote. Just because I have some money doesn't mean I want to spend it all

Thanks for your reply. You really do have very lovely sunrooms.

collins316 - Visiting Guest

I just got a quote from Better living for about 20K.

This was for a 3 season room to be built over my existing deck of 12 X 20. It would have a gabled roof instead of a flat roof. We went to their showroom, and everything looked very nice. If you do get a 4 seasons quote, I would be curious as to how much higher it is, and what they say they give you for the additional $$.

I am looking forward to enclosing my deck because we never use it. It is always to hot, wet, buggy, windy,,,etc.

diart - Visiting Guest

I have had about 8-9 sunroom companies/remodelers out this month to give me a quote on a 13 x 14 room. I want something fairly basic (slab foundation, knee walls, cathedral ceiling, Wonder glass, and 2 sliding doors.) My husband was planning to build it himself but he works 50+ hours per week and goes to school full time. The quote from Four Seasons is $15,900. We will be installing our own flooring but that's no big deal. In fact, I thought it might be fine to leave the cement floor and get big rugs. We'll be laying ceramic tile but we have already tiled some other rooms so we are "Pros" (thanks to HGTV and DIY).

The other companies wanted at least what 4 Seasons quoted &/or the product seemed pretty flimsy. Statewide wanted $26k and I thought their product looked like crap. They have displays up at Sam's & Garden Ridge. My husband disagreed with my opinion on that but he did not see that it was $10k better than the others.

I got a quote from an actual remodeler for $21k and am waiting for a 2nd quote. That guy thought it would come in around $13k. Four Seasons does not have an office here in Austin but I spoke with a Rep from Dallas & he came by the next day (3.5 hour drive) on his way to San Antonio. My husband & I are driving up to Dallas Sunday to see their showroom & to check the references. (Conveniently we have another reason to make the drive -- a new baby nephew!) Anyway, we have been impressed so far & like the other posts here I expected some outrageous quote but I kept the appointment because I thought at least I might get some good ideas or learn something useful.

I am so glad I went through with it because unless we find out something that will drastically change our minds, we're going with 4 Seasons. It should take 2 days for the cement and about 3-5 days on actually putting the room together. (It is built then shipped to us in about 3 weeks & the foundation can be layed in the interim.) Some companies said it was going to take 3-4 weeks to build theri room and that was not just the remodelers!

BTW, prior to speaking with the Dallas rep I had called Four Seasons main office (?) and they would sell us the kit but they would not guaratee anything because it has to be put together precisely. We considered it but if we could get it at a decent price then it was worth it to us to not have to mess with it. Hope this helps. (Sorry for the length)

Rhetta - Visiting Guest

I'm at a standstill right now, not knowing what I should do. I don't want to take up 2 hours of someones time just to get another sticker shock. Yet.....! Right now I've got so much going on.

The kits I have seen are cheaper but I want full panels of glass, not the bits and pieces the kits offer. With the 4 season, which I would need up here in Maine, I think I would be happier with then a kit.

Again, I would have to decide whether to go with the sunroom or the bow window. With the bow I would lose privacy seeing where I live in the city and have people walking by and of course the neighbors. With the sunroom, I would still have the privacy problem but in a larger way because of the neighbors (6 in all) being able to see what I am doing.

If anyone else out there has had any quotes from 4 season let me know. For right now I think I will wait to see if I hear anything else from you all.

Thanks for all replies.

diart - Visiting Guest

Just got back from the 4 Seasons Sunroom showroom in Dallas & I am even more convinced that they are superior. I did not see anything that I did not like. We decided to go with a larger room, 13x18 instead of 13x14. The price is $18,200 & that includes large concrete foundation, all Wonderglass, cathedral ceiling, opening windows, screens all around, locks, ceiling fan, and 2 sliding doors one of them being a double sliding door meaning you slide both sides out at the same time so it opens up to be a very large opening. (Great if you have extra large objects to go in the room). The windows are huge 6 feet wide.

I know I must sound like a company rep but with all of the research that I did I think the $18k is a very good price for what we are getting. The warranty is very good and it is transferable. I suggest going to and order a catalog. It took a long time, at least a month to receive it, but it had a certificate for a glass upgrade so we are actually paying for the lesser glass but getting the best.

(BTW, I did a search on HGTV for "sunrooms" & the only thing that came up was a Four Seasons sunroom from a previous episode and they even listed their website.) Hope this info is useful.

SalG - Visiting Guest

I just read through this post and I am wondering if either Rhetta or diart have actually gotten their sunrooms built? And if so, what do you think? Diart, are you still happy with Four Seasons?

We are considering all of this ourselves is why I'm curious about "the rest of the story".


diart - Visiting Guest

Yes, so far we are pleased with our Four Seasons sunroom. We laid the tile ourselves, grouted, and now I just need to put the sealant on (simple). We will be able to add the furniture tomorrow. THAT's going to be when we can fully experience it.

We had 9 people over Saturday night & we all just pulled dining & lawn chairs out there. It was pretty nice. EVERYone wants one that has seen it. It turned out to be 19 x 12.5. The price stayed the same. We would have actually gone bigger but we already had to sacrifice one tree. We made it as big as the other trees would allow. :-D

It took about 1.5 days to lay the slab. We let it cure for a week then it took 4 or 5 days to actually build the room. Not bad considering we had a LOT of rain around this time. We are going to take out the former back door, seal up what was a back-facing window, and install french doors.

We went to a Home & Garden show a couple of weeks ago & the main competitor had a display. My husband couldn't believe how crappy it was. That's what I thought the first time I saw it. I am so glad we did not go with that company. We almost did because out of all the companies I considered that was the best. The day that we were going to commit to that company is the very day that the brochure/discount certificate from Four Seasons came in the mail. The process probably took a little longer because the Four Seasons dealer was 3.5 hours away.

I know I give a lot of details but I hope this helps. Let me know what you decide.

paris401 - Visiting Guest

We got a 4 seasons rooms 2 years ago- it was built on our existing deck. it was 16x24, 3 sides glass, a regular roof, with 1 skylight, 1 heat pump. cost was $35k. also added radiant heat in the floor ($2500), floor tile ($5000), electric ($2500), furniture ($8000). tv,stereo, pictures,painting the wall, outside stone path/etc/etc...

The initial prices sounds ok, but when u start adding in the 'extra's'... ouch...

diart - Visiting Guest

Wait a second. You were charged EXTRA for electricity?! Huh? Maybe you are talking about something different than what I am thinking.

We had a 2 foot tall slab built, the 19' x 12.5' room with all Wonderglass, cathedral ceiling (salesman said that skylights would have been overkill), electricity with a ceiling fan/light, 5 inside electricity outlets, 1 outside outlet, two outdoor lights (we had to purchase the ceiling fan & lights ourselves -- no biggie), and gutters all for the original price of $18,200. We entertained the idea of getting a glass ceiling but the salesman said that he would recommend that we get a solid roof because we have a lot of trees. He said that it would be $7,000 or so more and it would always look dirty because of the leaves from the trees, bird poop, twigs, dirt, etc. (Can you believe a salesman giving up that much extra commission?)

BTW, my husband spent a lot of time with the subcontractors and one thing he learned was that when bidding on a job they determine their price by this formula: 1/3 materials, 1/3 labor costs, and 1/3 profit. If you do the work yourself you can save 66%. We bought the more expensive tile that we REALLY liked and installed it ourselves. It was 14 hours of backbreaking work but it turned out great. Now we can justify using the money that we would have paid someone else to get the flat t.v. that my husband wants to put out there.

paris401 - Visiting Guest

diart... u certainly got a better deal then we got..

A couple of factors i guess go into the price, one being location (we are in ny), and ours was done by 4 seasons, who are known for being somewhat higher then other companies.

The electric, fans/lights/etc/etc, were all extra's... the gutters were included in our price. we also have a solid roof (with 1 skylight) , for the same reason u opt'd for it.

Is yours a 4 Seasons room??

diart - Visiting Guest

Yes, ours is a Four Seasons Sunroom. I interviewed 8 or 9 companies including remodelers/builders and other sunroom companies. Four Seasons was by far superior. The closest competition was Statewide Remodeling which is not a remodeling company but a company similar to FS. They are awfully proud of their rooms which I thought were flimsy and cheap looking. They wanted $34k for a 12' x 26' . (We considered enclosing the hottub as well.) Like I said, this company was the closest competition! Scarey.

We are in Austin & because there is not a Four Seasons dealer in the area I contacted the Dallas office. (It was either Dallas or Houston. We are about 3 hours from either.) The cost of hotels also went into the price but of course we don't know how much that was. Avoiding paying retail whenever possible, I wondered if the price was set or if we could have haggled.

Are you happy with the sunroom you have? The rep is coming by today to make sure we are satisfied and pick up the last 2 checks & give us the release of liens. We just need him to make a minor adjustment on one of the gutters. All in all it was a pretty positive experience. The salesman was upfront, never trying to BS us or sell us more than we need. I would highly recommend them. You can buy the kit yourself but if you don't do it properly it could be a mess! We opted to let them do it.

paris401 - Visiting Guest

Diart.. we are very happy with the sunroom now once it is up (we have had it 2 years this jan 04).

We contracted for it in sept 01, and they said 8/10weeks which would have meant we would have it prior to thanksgiving. well thanksgiving turned into early dec, to end dec. finally on jan 2nd, i called them to cancel the order. needless to say ours was already fabricated, so they moved their a$$ and we had it installed by jan 10th.

Other then a couple of small leaks, door that did not shut properly, all has been good.

I am still amazed at the difference in your/our price.

diart - Visiting Guest

You know, Ron, I recently did a comparison Manhattan v. Austin to see what the difference in cost of living is. (I LOVE NYC!) For every $1000 that I make here I would have to make $2700 to sustain my standard of living!! You probably didn't get a bad deal afterall. (feel better? )

I don't know where in NY you live but for the size of your room & figuring in the cost of living difference you probably came out quite well.

Too bad that they dragged their feet on getting your room made. I think we got ours about a month later than we first planned on but we also got a lot of rain during that time. It was supposed to take 3 weeks to get the parts manufactured. The slab would be poured in the meantime, then another 3-4 days to put the room together & wired for electricity -- about a month total. Since the parts were coming from NY the blackout also impacted us. Still, it took only 2 weeks to build the slab, let it cure, have the materials delivered, put it together, wire the electricity, and finish. I don't think that was too bad.

I am going to go out there right now & join my husband in the sunroom.