Four Season Sunroom Comparison With Three Season Sunroom

by Ben Kripps
Ben Kripps
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on Aug 25 in Clearview Construction

A four season sunroom perfectly illustrates the immense change occurring in sunroom design since theComparing 4 - 3 Season Sunroom - ClearView Sunroom - Madison WI days when add-on aluminum sunrooms were introduced in the 1970’s. And, when homeowners see the new technology designed into the present day four season sunroom, they are usually pleasantly surprised, often impressed and generally very excited.

They days of the single paned glass, aluminum, metallic looking, non-insulated glass-roofed structures is just a bad memory.

A New Era For The Four Season Sunroom

The contemporary four season sunroom can literally be a room you will use year round. It allows a homeowner to control the climate so it can be used any day through the year no matter how high or low the temperature is. New technology in insulation, windows, and the structure itself allows a full functioning year round room for just a little larger investment than a more familiar three season sunroom would require.

While the three season sunroom is still chosen by a minority of homeowners (5%), the investment is so near that needed for a four season sunroom, the vast majority of homeowners (95%), build the four season sunroom.

The New Technology Of Today’s Four Season Sunroom

Below are a few of the features todays four season sunroom has that can make it a comfortable room homeowners can enjoy year round.

  1. Insulated Floors
  2. Foundations are more stable (including platform floors, footed slabs, crawl spaces, basements)
  3. Walls with Energy Star ™ Windows, thermal separations and insulated extrusions
  4. Fit and finish are exceptional because rooms are built on-site by trim carpenters
  5. Sliding pop-out windows that are easy to clean and can be quickly removed for maximum ventilation due to a full screen
  6. Windows have a picture framed look (brick molded like traditional building) that can match replacement windows in the rest of the home
  7. Shingled roof to match existing roof whether it is an A-frame, gable or a slanted - studio roof
  8. Roofs are insulated (R-13, R-26, R-40) as compared to glass roofs rated at R-4
  9. The amount of glass, much more than used in traditional building methods, eliminates the “closed in feel”
  10. Heating for All-Season sunrooms can be done many ways including a PTAC unit (heat/cool/heat pump), heated fans, a direct or zone heated furnace, a fireplace or stove wood, electric, pellet or gas
  11. Passive solar gain can be significant if your All-Season room faces south or west.
  12. All windows use tempered glass for safety

Four Season Sunroom Compared To Three Season Sunroom (Printable table)

Months Used

Four Season Sunroom  -  Year Round

Three Season Sunroom  -  March through November


Percent Built

Four Season Sunroom  -  95%

Three Season Sunroom  -  5%


            Four Season Sunroom  -  R-25 plastic wrapped insulated    

Three Season Sunroom  -  Insulated (optional R-19, R-25)



            Four Season Sunroom  -  Thermally improved aluminum structure and insulated vinyl sashes and Frames  

Three Season Sunroom  -  Aluminum structure and aluminum sashes and frames 


Four Season Sunroom  -  Non-directional sliding in either direction, full screens which pop out for maximum airflow and easy cleaning, 7/8” double-pane glass that are Argon gas filled, Low-E coating to reduce 75% of UV light, protects fixtures and fabric from sun damage, tempered safety glass, intercept warm edge spacer, Energy StarTM rated windows, EnviroTherm injected foam filled frames and Added strength and insulation.

Three Season Sunroom  -  Directional slides - left or right only, only  half screen that slides,  Single-pane glass with no gas, no low-E coating foe UV light resulting in sun damage to fixtures and fabrics and tempered safety glass. Other Options in 3-Season sunrooms include four track or sliding plastic windows and double-pane glass (aluminum sash/frame)



Four Season Sunroom  -  R-26 or R-40 (optional R-13), styles include Gable, A-Frame or Studio-Slanted with up to an 8/12 pitch (3/12 min for shingles)

Three Season Sunroom  -  R-13 (optional R-26, R-40), styles include Gable, A-Frame or Studio-Slanted with up to an 8/12 pitch (3/12 min for shingles)


Climate Control

Four Season Sunroom  -  Heating/Cooling/Heat Pump Unit or Any Option         

Three Season Sunroom  -  Portable Space Heaters


Cost Difference

Four Season Sunroom  -  Labor is approximately equal to a 3-Season sunroom with materials about 15% more plus the differential heating & cooling Cost

Three Season Sunroom  -  Labor is approximately equal to an All-Season sunroom, materials about 15% less and the only option for heating is a portable space heater.


For more sunroom home improvement information contact Ben Kripps – ClearView Sunrooms & Windows – 608 226-9800

Cost Vs. Value – 2013 Report 

About the author

Ben Kripps

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