Three season patio rooms have become fairly popular in Ontario and Quebec over the past decade, and the demand for this product continues to be on the upswing. Underlying their popularity is the basic realty that three season patio rooms, also known as “Shade” and “Florida” rooms, cost less than rooms designed and built to withstand the harsh Ontario and Quebec winters. These rooms are immensely popular in the US, especially in Florida and throughout the south where they are basically usable twelve months of the year. Typically they feature metal skin/foam core roofs and walls with as many single glaze screened sliding windows and patio doors as can be fit into the available wall space and within code.
Three season patio rooms work extremely well given their intended purpose. They are bug-free, provide protection from wind and rain, and serve as terrific shade rooms in the summer. They are great for summer entertaining and simply enjoying the outdoors. They are a popular addition for cottages. And while three season patio rooms do not work in the middle of winter, space heaters can be used to extend their use into the late fall and early spring shoulder seasons.
There are, however, two important points that buyers of patio rooms should not overlook. First, although solid roofs do provide great shade cover in summer, they will likely serve to significantly darken that part of the house to which these rooms are attached. This can be upsetting, especially if the adjoining room is the kitchen or family room where adequate natural lighting can be critical.
A second consideration relates to cost. Although three season patio rooms cost less than rooms built for all year comfort, the cost differential between the two may not always favour the three season room. Both rooms share similar basic expenses such as plans, engineering approvals, permits and foundation costs. Where cost upgrades can occur is with floor and wall insulation, window upgrades, and ensuring that the inside and outside of the room’s metal skins are thermally broken. Depending on the size of the addition, the cost differential between the two rooms may warrant going for the all-season version. One problem is that not all three season patio room companies manufacture and sell all-season rooms and simply focus on their 3 season product. Where this is the case, the sales person may be reluctant to introduce any discussion of the all-season option.