Is a Sunroom Counted in a Home’s Total Square Footage?
A sunroom is a great addition for any home, creating a space that combines outdoor ambiance with indoor comfort. With their high percentage of windows, sunrooms provide a bright and relaxing area that boasts immersive views while still offering protection from insects, inclement weather, gusty winds, and excessive heat and glare. But, while there’s no question sunrooms add variety and visual interest to homes, do they also add to their square footage? Can a sunroom be counted as livable space?
The simple answer is: that depends. For a sunroom to qualify as gross livable space it must meet two basic criteria. First, it has to be heated and cooled by the same system that services the rest of the house. If a sunroom has a separate method of climate control such as a space heater or window-mounted air conditioner, it most likely will not be included in a home’s total square footage.
The other criterium is how well integrated the sunroom is with the rest of the house. Most sunrooms extend out from the side of a residence. If it is entered through a former back door and an exterior wall separates the addition from the rest of the house, it is usually a good indication that the construction quality of the sunroom is not as high as the structure it was added on to. Other indicators include a floor that is less finished than the flooring elsewhere, and a roof that does not reflect the style of the main roof.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to assessing the quality of a sunroom’s construction is how well it blends in with the rest of the house. An addition that flows naturally from the residence, shares its floorplan, is accessed through French doors or an open threshold, and has a tiled or shingled roof can likely be included in a home’s total square footage, provided it’s heated and cooled by a centralized system.
At Pacific Patio, we have been designing and constructing quality sunrooms for homeowners in the San Diego, CA, area for more than 30 years. If you would like to explore the possibility of having a custom-made sunroom built for you, contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our designers.