What's the Best Material for Sunrooms?What’s the Best Material for a Sunroom?

The decision to add a sunroom to your home is a big step. You’ve probably given quite a bit of thought to how you plan to use your sunroom, what size is right for your needs, and its overall design. You may even know exactly how you want to decorate your new addition. But have you given any thought to what your sunroom should be made of? Sunroom construction has changed quite a bit over the last several decades. Before the 1960s, these extensions were usually made from the same materials as the rest of the house. Wood, brick, and even cinderblock sunrooms were not uncommon. Things began to change in the 1970s as advances in technology made alternative materials not only more affordable, but also more durable, practical, and energy efficient. Today, the most popular materials for sunroom construction are wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Which one is the best choice for your sunroom will depend on your budget, your location, and your aesthetic preferences.

Wood has long been and continues to be a popular material choice for sunrooms. It’s hard to beat the elegance of wood-framed structures. They work particularly well with traditional designs such as Georgian or Edwardian conservatories that have a more ornate design than other types of sunrooms. Wood also withstands temperature extremes well. The drawbacks to wooden sunrooms are their cost and their susceptibility to rot and termite damage. Wooden sunrooms tend to be on the high end of the price scale and require regular maintenance such as repainting or refinishing to prevent degradation. If you live in damp climate that gets a lot of rain and you’d rather not deal with the required upkeep, wood may not be the best option.

In recent decades, vinyl and aluminum has become very popular materials for sunrooms. Vinyl is affordable, lightweight, and impervious to insects and moisture damage, making it virtually maintenance-free. It’s also a good insulator and comes in a variety of colors. Aluminum is also lightweight and exceptionally strong, allowing for slighter frames that provide more room for larger windows. And like vinyl, it will never warp, swell, rot, or succumb to termites. Aluminum’s main drawback used to be that it was a poor insulator, which made it harder to regulate temperatures inside the sunroom. Over the years, however, manufacturers have greatly improved their products, incorporating composite materials to improve thermal performance. Many modern sunrooms are now made from a combination of aluminum and vinyl to take advantage of the best qualities of each.

At Pacific Patio, we’ve been installing top-of-the-line sunrooms since 1989. If you live in the San Diego, CA, area and are thinking about adding a solarium, garden room, or patio room to your home, contact us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation.