A sunroom can be a great addition to your home. It can provide extra living space and allow you to enjoy the sun and fresh air year-round. But, one question that many people have is whether or not a sunroom is considered a living space. In this blog post, we will answer that question and help you determine whether or not adding a sunroom to your home is the right decision for you!
What Defines a Living Space?
According to lawinsider.com, a living space refers to a part of the home that is enclosed, covered, and heated. There are certain parts of the home that are excluded in this definition, like a garage or basement area.
While that is a more legal or official definition of living space, you or any homeowner may consider a living space to simply be any room in the house where you spend a majority of your time. This could be the kitchen, living room, and yes, a sunroom.
So, what does this mean for sunrooms? Let’s take a look at what factors would need to be present for a sunroom to be considered a living space.
What Does a Sunroom Need to Be Considered a Living Space?
In order for a sunroom to be considered living space, it needs to meet certain criteria. First, it needs to be enclosed and covered. This means that the sunroom cannot be open to the elements or have any openings that would let in the rain, snow, or wind. I’d check this requirement off the list since sunrooms are typically enclosed with windows and doors.
The sunroom also needs to be heated. This is an important factor, especially if you live in an area with cold winters. If your sunroom is not heated, it will likely only be usable for a few months out of the year, thus making it ineligible to be considered a living space.
So, those are the two main factors that a sunroom needs in order to be considered a living space. But there’s one more important factor to consider, especially if you are intending on selling your home…
When Can a Sunroom Be Included in Square Footage?
This is an important question to consider because, depending on the answer, it could impact your decision to add a sunroom to your home. So, can a sunroom be included in the total square footage of your home?
The answer is yes… but only if the sunroom meets certain criteria. The sunroom must be permanently heated and cooled, have finished floors, walls, and ceilings, and meet all egress requirements.
I should mention that cooling is not technically required but if you’re going to heat it, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have it cooled in the summer as well.
Another very important criteria requirement is that the sunroom flow with the rest of the house. What this means is that the sunroom should be accessible from the main living area of your home for starters and not its own separate entrance. The building quality should mimic that of your home. For instance, if you have a home with an all brick exterior, it’s best to make sure the sunroom isn’t made of wood.
In addition, just throwing a portable heater in your sunroom doesn’t necessarily mean it would qualify to be included in your total square footage. The surest way to count a sunroom as a living space and include square footage is to make it heated and cooled by means of your existing HVAC system.
Is a Screened-In Patio Considered a Living Space?
If you’re thinking that it would more cost-effective to just build on a screened-in patio or deck and still increase the value of your home, you’re not wrong. This type of addition may increase your resale value and draw in more buyers, but is it considered a living space?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even if you enclose a patio or deck with screens and include some type of heating, unless it meets all of the other criteria we’ve discussed, it cannot be included in your home’s overall square footage.
Well, there you have it! I hope this post helped to answer your question and give you some things to consider if you’re thinking about adding a sunroom to your home. Just remember, in order for a sunroom to be considered a living space, it needs to meet certain criteria. It must be enclosed and covered, heated, and flow with the rest of your home.
Are you looking into adding a sunroom to your home? We’d love to help you plan and show you what options are available to you. Reach out today for your free estimate!
As always, thanks for reading!