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Sunroom: Kits Vs. Custom Design


Adding a sunroom to your home is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Every house is different, and every homeowner has different needs and aesthetic preferences. A sunroom that comes in a box or an enclosure kit was not custom designed for your home. A sunroom you can purchase in a box or a kit was made to be tacked on to any home. It will definitely look “tacked on” no matter where you put it.

The primary reasons to avoid sunroom kits are style constraints, inflexible options and potential difficulties with installation. Let’s take a closer look.


Your home reflects your personal style, and your new sunroom should, too. A pre-fabricated, mass-produced sunroom kit won’t come close to reflecting the style of your home. We’re using the word style here to mean anything and everything about how you want your new sunroom to look.

Whatever the style of your home, your sunroom addition should match it. Matching requires customization. When we, as skilled, professional designers, design and build your sunroom addition, we match your home’s roof, eaves, siding, and trim. Our objective is to custom design and build a sunroom that looks like it was part of your house all along. You cannot get that from a kit.


As you begin to visualize your new sunroom addition, we recommend you consider these 3 keys to a super sunroom. The best sunrooms feature lots of light, lots of space, and those special details that make sunrooms unique. Have you considered a sunroom with a cathedral ceiling? You wouldn’t be the first to ask, What is a cathedral ceiling and why would my sunroom want one? A higher ceiling provides the opportunity for more windows and more light in your sunroom. A cathedral ceiling is definitely one of those details that would make your sunroom a very special place.

Who will install your sunroom kit and how much will installation cost?

When you purchase a sunroom kit, is installation included, or will there be an additional charge for that? The most important consideration is this: Who will install your sunroom kit? You? Do you feel qualified to install the footings and substructure supporting the sunroom kit? Unless you have experience in designing and building sunrooms and calculating the size and location of the footings you are not the right person for the job. Properly framing a platform for a sunroom is a tricky business, and kits do not usually do come with that type of support.

If the sunroom kit salesperson claims to be a qualified installer, I would caution you on this point as well. I urge you to question how they calculate the sizes of the supporting beams and footings. While the body of the sunroom may be well-engineered and designed, the installation is typically not within the expertise of the assemblers. Nor is the roof tie-in and flashing.

Tying the sunroom into your home’s roof correctly is crucial, especially in our part of the country where snow can pile up on a roof. A proper roof tie-in requires good construction technique, and if not done correctly you will likely see water leaks. This is why you need to work with a qualified, experienced, professional builder who can design a sunroom specifically for your home. That qualified professional should also be capable of handling roof tie-ins and flashing satisfactorily.

Homeowners hire us to replace their kit sunrooms with custom sunrooms!


Here you see a few examples of sunrooms gone bad. Three were constructed from sunroom kits. You can see for yourself these sunrooms did not complement the homes to which they were attached. They looked tacked on, not custom designed to look original to the home.

On this project in Boxford, MA, we replaced a sunroom kit addition with a custom sunroom. Take a look at how Archadeck of Suburban Boston finished this space with rustic-inspired materials befitting those found on the home. Notice the extended bay window area which makes the perfect spot for plants to thrive.


And, let’s not forget the interior — stunning!


Before you decide to move forward using a sunroom kit, consider the advantages of working with a reputable builder. We have extensive experience in designing and building sunrooms. We won’t give you a rough estimate of what the job will cost, we’ll give you an actual quote. An estimate leaves room for surprise cost increases at the end of the job. Our quote will not. Taking a little time now to understand the factors that determine the cost of a sunroom will pay off later.

Our custom sunroom designs are all completed by our team who are degreed in architecture. The details of our sunroom additions match those of the house – with that always been there appeal – not the appearance of an added-on metal box! With more than 25 years of experience, we engineer our sunrooms to enhance, not damage, our customer’s homes.

Contact us today to learn more about how a sunroom can enhance your home. See more of our outstanding outdoor space designs by visiting the “Our Projects” tab on our homepage.

Archadeck Of Suburban Boston Team