Are you ready to build an addition for your mobile home but don’t know where to start? Wondering if and how you could possibly pull it off this summer? We’re here to let you know that it isn’t impossible. In fact, it can be fun and incredibly rewarding!
Today we’re going to focus on sunrooms. Warm days are coming, and what could be better than relaxing in a sunroom with a book and a glass of lemonade on a hot afternoon?
But what is a sunroom, and how can I design one, you ask? We’ll answer those questions and more in just a bit. As a bonus, we’ll also talk about alternatives to sunrooms and tips on building other mobile home additions. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
What you need to know about sunrooms
Sunrooms, on a basic level, are exactly what they sound like: a room that lets in copious amounts of sun. The walls, and sometimes the ceiling, are glass in some sunrooms. In others, there are simply a lot of windows.
Those sunroom hallmarks – glass or windows – are where the simplicity ends. Beyond those elements, there are hundreds of variations on the basic sunroom. This gives you a lot of options to choose from, but it can also get overwhelming fast.
Many sunrooms are not heated and lack air conditioning, making them true “sun” rooms. They can be blistering in the summer and freezing in the winter. Sunrooms often don’t have traditional foundations, which makes it hard to regulate the temperature. A four season room, on the other hand, is still a sunroom yet is heated and cooled.
Another sunroom variation occurs when a homeowner converts their porch or deck into a sunroom. Sometimes these converted rooms are more like screened-in porches and can only be used during warm days.
Yet another option is the attached greenhouse: a room that doubles as a recreation room for you and a thriving environment for your plants. An attached greenhouse must be kept at a warm (and often humid) temperature, depending on what type of plants you are trying to grow.
Before you build a sunroom…
If you’re planning to add a sunroom to your mobile home, you may need a building permit. Check local regulations for specifics on mobile home additions. You may also want to check with your landlord if you live on a rented lot. Chances are, mobile home parks won’t let you build on their property. However, in this case, you may want to consider purchasing a pre-fabricated sunroom. It gets delivered right to your door, and all you have to do is set it up!
Sunrooms can get expensive, especially if you add on extras that traditional sunrooms do not have, such as electricity and HVAC systems. Still, they can actually be a little more budget-friendly than adding on something like a bedroom or bathroom. The average cost of a sunroom is around $15,000. Depending on whether you decide to build a bump out room, add a full addition, enclose an existing porch, or select a prefabricated sunroom kit, your budget can vary widely. Just remember to have a decor and furniture budget so you can implement some of the stunning design ideas we’ll be talking about later.
Another thing you want to take into consideration is material. The cheapest option is vinyl, with aluminum and wood following as more expensive options. Again, expense does depend on what variation you’re building. A full-room addition, complete with heating and electricity, is considered an actual living space and should be built of wood, just like the rest of the mobile home. But if you’re building a small room for summer use only, you can save a lot of money by building it with aluminum or vinyl or by simply buying an easy prefabricated room.
Stunning sunroom designs and ideas
But let’s put the practical aside for a moment and take a jaunt in our imaginations. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite sunroom designs from around the internet. Keep an open mind while looking through these ideas. They might look fancy, but with a little imagination, a can of paint, and a small collection of furniture and accent pieces, you can easily pull these looks off.
#1 Midcentury modern
We love all the custom windows in this sunroom. Do you have to spend large amounts of money on custom windows so you can recreate this exact look? Of course not. Instead, take note of all the window options you have.
Traditional sunrooms have a few large windows lining the walls. That can be classy, but to get a more modern look, you can also add a glass roof or even a simple skylight. Putting glass above doors also lets in some bonus light. Take a second look at your design. Is there a place, no matter how small, where you could add an extra window?
Also, notice how the dark wood contrasts beautifully with the white walls. Remember that contrast and clean, straight lines are your best friends when it comes to a midcentury look.
#2 Simple and traditional
This gorgeously simple room doesn’t have the same eclectic vibes as the midcentury modern room, but it’s still stunning. That’s because the designer chose to add small windows above the bigger ones for some interest. The effect is still beautiful, but at the same time, more traditional. Also, if you’re going for a more traditional design, keep things low contrast. The subtle shades of blue in this design blend nicely with the cream walls and sofa, creating a relaxing atmosphere. And a few bold plants for a pop of color are a design element that brightens up any sunroom.
#3 Glass galore
This room is our favorite so far. Look how that sun is streaming in! This is everything a sunroom should be. Those French doors probably open out onto a deck or a patio. Which, by the way, is a great idea. Adding French doors is a great way to let in more light while creating easy access to the backyard or patio area.
Another great element of the space pictured above is the interior windows. If you’re adding a sunroom onto your mobile home and are frustrated that there is an exterior (soon to be interior) window in the way, don’t despair. Take the opportunity to expand it and create an eye-catching design that is unique to you.
And if you don’t have an existing window that you can convert, don’t give up on the idea. Cutting interior windows into your mobile home on purpose may seem like overkill, but stop and think of all the natural light that would let into your living area. On top of that, if you need to keep an eye on the kids while they’re out in the sunroom, you now have a clear view!
#4 Vault it!
Vaulting a ceiling may be impossible in a traditional mobile home, but since you’re adding an addition, you can do whatever you want. Plus, think of all the window space it could add! We love the outdoorsy, mountain lodge look of this room (and the vintage twist). The turquoise ceiling and string lights add dimension and charm. But of course, you could decorate a similar space according to your personal style, and it would still look awesome.
#5 Small, but cozy
Unless you’re independently wealthy, budget is always a concern. That’s why when it comes to adding onto our homes, sometimes we have to keep the footprint small and the design frugal. This lean-to room is a perfect example. It shows that even a tiny space can be stylish. And the minimalist farmhouse design creates a dreamy aesthetic.
#6 A greenhouse/sunroom mashup
If you like to get your hands in the dirt and have always wanted an indoor garden, why not combine your new sunroom and your dream greenhouse into one space? In this design, the windows let in enough light for plants and also give you that sunroom effect that you so desire. The brick floor is practical. If you spill some dirt, water, or fertilizer it can be easily cleaned. Simply line the walls with plants and set some outdoor furniture around for a space that is worthy of all the “oohs” and “ahs” your friends are sure to give when they see it.
Other budget-friendly mobile home additions include outdoor spaces like decks, porches, and patios. Let’s take a quick look at how these cheaper, easier additions can substitute for a dream sunroom. After all, not everyone has the time, money, or desire to design and build a sunroom onto their mobile home! However, these options can be economical alternatives that will provide function and plenty of hours of fun for your family.
Decks are for people who love to host dinners, parties, and yearly family reunions. They’re also for busy moms of toddlers (just put up a gate so the little ones can’t escape, and they’ll be content for hours!). A deck can be big or small, but it’s typically situated at the back of the house with access to the backyard.
After you build your deck, decide if you want to create shade or to leave it as-is (which, you have to admit, would be perfect for stargazing). If you want a shady, breezy retreat for those hot summer days, a covered deck is the way to go. You could always build an actual roof and turn it into a sunroom-inspired space. Or, for a more affordable alternative, you could cover your deck with an awning or pavilion.
For a final touch, add an outdoor rug and a furniture set. Or set up a grill and a table for gathering.
Porches are small structures and give access to either a front or side door. It’s up to you to decide how big you want your porch to be. It could be a sprawling space with a porch swing (or two), a few small tables, plants, and lots of cushions. Or it could be just big enough to fit two chairs for you and your spouse. A porch provides a great canvas for your interior design skills and can be decorated to your heart’s content.
Patios can be beautiful and inexpensive, with some simple brick and a few Adirondack chairs. In fact, of all of these mobile home additions, this is probably the most accessible option. And if you want to invest in some beautiful stone, this is the place to do it. Patios can be simple or extravagant, covered or uncovered. It all depends on how you want to use the space.
Combine to create a functional space
Sunrooms, decks, porches, and patios are perfect spaces to enjoy day and night during the summer. They make the outdoors much more accessible for you and your family. Plus, hosting cookouts and dinner parties with friends and family become so much easier once you expand.
So why not combine a couple of these ideas to make an even more functional space? Add a sunroom and a deck! Or put French doors in your sunroom that open up onto a wide patio complete with an outdoor kitchen. Build a pergola outside your sunroom to block the sun’s harshest rays. Then create a patio space under the pergola, complete with a farmhouse table for outdoor meals and gatherings. The options are endless.
Enjoy the outdoors this summer
With so many options for amazing mobile home additions to help you enjoy the balmy summer weather, we know it’s going to be hard for you to choose a favorite. Nevertheless, we hope this exploration of sunrooms and their alternatives has given you the inspiration boost you need.
Whether you’re planning to hire a contractor or grab a few friends and build the space yourself, adding on to your mobile home is the perfect project to kick off the warm months. Not to mention it will make more space for you and your family to enjoy. And for even more great mobile home addition ideas, including mud rooms and outdoor kitchens, check out our 11 simple mobile home addition ideas.