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Repair vs. Rebuild a Patio Enclosure

Posted by Joelle Elhelou February 13, 2024 Categories: Home Enclosures Sunroom Additions Sunrooms

A tan house with a matching glass three-season porch with a gable roof, surrounded by neat landscaping.

In this post, you will learn…

  • The signs that your sunroom needs to be repaired
  • When it's time to rebuild your sunroom
  • Whether it is better to repair or rebuild a sunroom
  • How to know when to hire a professional for repairs or rebuilds

Knowing whether to repair or rebuild your sunroom depends on the extent and severity of the issues. This blog post provides some guidelines to help you make that decision.

Sunroom Leak Repair: When is it Time to Repair or Rebuild Sunroom?

Sometimes, deciding to repair or rebuild a sunroom depends on personal preferences. If you've been dissatisfied with your current sunroom's design, functionality, or layout, a rebuild might allow you to create the space you've always envisioned. Other times, a few quick fixes and updates can help transform your space into something you and your family loves.

Signs Your Sunroom Needs Repaired

  • Minor Issues
  • Moderate Damage
  • Sunroom Age
  • Maintenance History

If your sunroom is experiencing minor problems such as small interior leaks, ripped screens, or fogged glass, these can usually be addressed with repairs. These issues may not require a complete rebuild and can often be fixed relatively quickly and at a lower cost.

If you have moderate damage, like ceiling damage, rotting floorboards, or drafty windows, the decision may depend on the extent of the damage. Repairs might be sufficient if these problems are isolated to specific areas and can be fixed without impacting the overall structural integrity of the sunroom.

The age of your sunroom and maintenance history will play a role in your decision on the room. If it is an older structure and has not been well-maintained over the years, it might be more sensible to opt for a rebuild, especially if multiple issues are present.


An old screen room in disrepair with torn screens, ivy growing into the room and a broken railing.

Signs Your Sunroom Needs to be Rebuilt

  • Structural Problems
  • Widespread Decay

Suppose you notice significant structural problems, such as cracks, separation, or issues with the foundation of the sunroom. It may indicate that the structure has undergone considerable stress or damage.

Or, if your sunroom has rotted, cracked siding, and widespread decay, it may be more practical and cost-effective in the long run to consider a rebuild. Extensive decay can indicate deeper structural issues and repairs alone might not provide a lasting solution.

In such cases, a professional must assess the sunroom to determine if repairs can adequately address the issues or if a rebuild is necessary to ensure safety and stability.

Repair vs. Rebuilding a Sunroom: Which Should You Choose? OR When Is it Best to Replace Your Sunroom Instead of Repairing?

Repair costs can be ongoing

Sunroom repair costs can be ongoing, especially if the sunroom is not adequately maintained or experiences wear and tear over time. It's essential to prioritize regular maintenance and inspections. Addressing simple tasks like cleaning windows, inspecting for leaks, checking seals, and caulking right away can help prevent costly repairs and significant problems in the future. While sunroom repairs can be ongoing, proactive maintenance and addressing issues early can help manage and minimize these costs.


Before and after photos of corner patio screen room with sided knee wall transformed into a lovely glass sunroom..

Reenvision Your Sunroom by Rebuilding & Upgrading Your Space

Rebuilding your sunroom allows you to upgrade and transform the space into something that better suits your needs and preferences. During the rebuilding process, you can also enhance the design and features of your sunroom. Consider adding skylights for more natural light, incorporating built-in storage spaces, installing energy-efficient windows and doors, or adding custom lighting fixtures to create the desired ambiance.

During the design process, think about the primary purpose of your sunroom. Do you want it to be a cozy reading nook, an entertainment area, or a home office? Depending on your needs, you can add furniture, shelving, or other elements to make the sunroom a functional and comfortable space for your chosen activities.

Rebuilding allows you to address any insulation issues and improve energy efficiency. Proper insulation ensures the room stays comfortable year-round and significantly reduces heating and cooling costs.

Considering these upgrades and transformations, you can create a sunroom that better aligns with your lifestyle and preferences, making it a more enjoyable and valuable addition to your home.

Here are some potential upgrades and transformations you can consider during the rebuilding process:


 Side-by-side before and after photos of and old screen room on the left and a beautiful, new glass sunroom on the right.

Transforming Your Screen Room to Three-Season Room

If your current sunroom is just a simple screen room, you can upgrade it to a three-season room. A three-season room typically involves adding windows and screens, allowing you to use the space comfortably during spring, summer, and fall. This upgrade provides better protection against the elements, including wind, rain, and insects, and makes the room usable for extended periods throughout the year.

Upgrading Your Three-Season Room to Four-Season Room

Taking the upgrade one step further, you can turn your three-season room into a four-season room. This involves better insulation and adding heating and cooling options to make the sunroom usable throughout the year, including the colder winter months. A four-season room offers better comfort and versatility, allowing you to enjoy the space no matter the weather outside.


 Top photo: a dilapidated covered patio labeled before. Bottom photo: a new sunroom with large windows labeled after.

Should You DIY Your Sunroom Leak Repair or Hire a Professional?

The decision to DIY your sunroom damage repair or hire a professional based on your overall skill set, time and the amount of damage. Here are a few key considerations to help you make an informed decision regarding repairing your sunroom leak/damage.

DIY Sunroom Leak Repair:

  • Experience and Skill Level: If you have experience in home repairs and construction or have successfully fixed similar issues, you may feel confident handling the repair yourself.
  • Simple and Minor Leaks: For small, straightforward leaks, such as minor interior leaks, ripped screens, or fogged glass, a DIY approach may be sufficient.
  • Budget Constraints: DIY repairs can save you money on labor costs for hiring a professional.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Fixing the issue yourself can provide a sense of accomplishment and ownership of the repair process.

Hiring a Professional:

  • Complex Leaks: If the leak is hard to locate or involves multiple areas of damage, it's best to hire a professional. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to identify the root cause of the leak accurately.
  • Structural Issues: If the leak is due to structural problems like cracks, separation, or rotting floorboards, a professional is needed to assess the extent of the damage and provide appropriate repairs to ensure the sunroom's stability.
  • Time and Convenience: Hiring a professional saves you time and effort; they can diagnose problems and perform the necessary repairs.
  • Warranty and Insurance: Reputable professionals often offer warranties on their work, providing added protection in case any issues arise after the repair.
  • Quality Workmanship: Professionals have the necessary training and experience to ensure the repair is done correctly and to a high standard, reducing the risk of recurring leaks or further damage.

Combining DIY and Professional Expertise:

Sometimes, you may consider a combination of DIY and professional help. For instance, if you have identified a simple leak, you can attempt the repair yourself. However, if the issue persists or seems more complicated than initially thought, it's best to consult a professional to avoid exacerbating it.

When in doubt or facing significant leaks or structural concerns, it is generally wiser to hire a professional. A qualified sunroom contractor will have the necessary knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix the issue correctly, ensuring your sunroom's long-term integrity and functionality.

Before deciding, it's best to consult a professional contractor or a specialist experienced in sunroom construction and repair. They can thoroughly assess your sunroom's condition and provide expert advice on whether repairs are sufficient or if a rebuild is the better option. Safety should be a priority, and any structural concerns should be addressed promptly to avoid further complications.

Learn more about our Patio Enclosures by requesting a free, in-home estimate using our online form or by calling 800-230-8301.

Learn More About Our Sunroom Construction Guide