What's the Difference Between a Sunroom and a Patio Enclosure?What Is the Difference Between a Sunroom and a Patio Enclosure?

It’s easy to become confused when it comes to understanding the differences between sunrooms and patio enclosures. That’s because in some cases the two can be one and the same, while in other cases they may refer to very different structures. To help sort things out, it’s best to review the basics. Let’s start by explaining what a patio is. A patio is a paved area adjacent to or near a home. It can be made of poured concrete, pavers, bricks, or some other material intended to provide a flat, stable foundation.  Much of the ambiguity surrounding this term comes from the fact that many homeowners use it interchangeably with the word “porch.” A porch, however, is always located at the entranceway of a residence and is usually covered.

A patio can be thought of as an outdoor platform, and there are many ways it can be enclosed, including screen rooms, fabric drop curtains, and sunrooms. The defining characteristics of most sunrooms are their rigid frames, their many windows, and their construction as an extension of the house rather than a freestanding structure. Within these basic parameters, however, there’s a lot of room for variation. Take the roof, for instance. If a sunroom has a solid roof that mimics or extends from the main roof, it may be called a gable, studio, or traditional sunroom. If it has a glass roof, it may be referred to as a conservatory or solarium, depending on its architectural style.

Another distinction between sunrooms is whether or not they are fully climate controlled. Additions that are heated and cooled by the same HVAC system as the rest of the house are considered four-season sunrooms and boast insulated frames and energy-efficient windows. Three-season sunrooms, on the other hand, have either an independent heating and cooling system, or are not temperature regulated. All of the above examples could also be described as patio enclosures if the sunroom is sheltering what was originally a paved outdoor space.

If you would like to enclose a patio at your home in San Diego, CA, the company to turn to is Pacific Patio. We are the sunroom experts in Southern California, having installed thousands of custom-made additions for residents throughout the area. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our representatives, who will be happy to visit your home and review all of the many sunroom styles we can build for you.

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