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29 Dec 2020
Difference Between a Covered Patio and a Sunroom

What’s the Difference Between a Covered Patio and a Sunroom?

A Top-Quality Custom Patio Cover or Sunroom For Inside Out Living

In our rainy climate in Nanaimo, BC, it makes a lot of sense to have an enclosed outdoor space. This room will more than likely become everyone’s new favourite spot in the house, becoming the preferred place for your art studio, game nights, parties, family dinners or simply a quiet space to take in the views.

Extending your living space and providing the ability to enjoy the outdoors even during bad weather, patio covers and sunrooms are a very worthwhile investment in your home.  At Budget Glass, we’re a proud Four Seasons Sunroom and Patio Cover distributor.

Whether you choose a sunroom or an enclosed patio cover, there’s an option that’s perfect for your family.

Types of Sunrooms

Particularly in a wet climate like ours, indoor/outdoor areas are invaluable for spending time enjoying nature, while still in a warm, enclosed space.

Imagine being able to leave your patio furniture out year-round without worrying about it getting ruined by the sun and rain. Imagine letting the kids out to play knowing that they’re in a secure enclosed space and of course, adding even more usable living space to your home. This is an especially attractive option for ranch or bungalow style homes and homes with a deck space that is so open to the elements that it sits unused for much of the year.

Three-Season Sunrooms – Ideal for use during warm spring and fall days. The solid frame and full-length glass also provide excellent weather protection year-round, which is a step up from an enclosed patio. A three-season sunroom does not have its own independent heating and cooling system and is constructed of non-insulated single-pane glass, so it would be the hottest or coldest room in your home during the summer and winter.

Four-Season Sunrooms – Comfortable all year round. A four-season sunroom with independent heating and cooling, insulation and ventilation is essentially an upgrade from a three-season sunroom. The four-season sunroom is created from advanced insulated glass and framing materials. Together they work to keep the temperature the same as the rest of your home.

Types of Patio Covers

Open Patio Cover- Acting as a roof, this won’t fully protect you from the elements, but it is a cost-effective way to offer overhead coverage on rainy days and offer shade on hot days. Like enclosed covers, open patio covers have skylight panels to allow plenty of light in clear or bronze.

Patio Covers – A covered patio can be used comfortably during the warmer months. Because it doesn’t have climate control or the level of insulation that a sunroom would, it would be more useful during spring, summer and warmer fall days. A huge benefit of patio covers is that it protects your patio and its contents from rain, wind and snow.

Screen Rooms – A screen room offers a bit more structure to your patio while not being enclosed by glass. It will keep pesky insects at bay during summer BBQ’s and add the feeling of an enclosed space without any actual windows. It’s a slightly higher investment than a simple open patio cover, but a great choice for warmer weather.

Styles and Designs

With a large selection of gorgeous silhouettes and materials, our sunrooms and patios transition seamlessly between your indoor and outdoor spaces. We offer a wide range of glazing options to maximize energy savings, doorway, window, and skylight options as well, for a truly one-of-a-kind indoor/outdoor space.


Today’s sunrooms and patio covers are carefully designed to enhance the architecture of your home. If a sunroom has a glass roof, it is referred to as a conservatory or solarium and if it has a roof that extends from the roof of the house, it might be called a studio, gable or traditional sunroom. At Budget Glass, we also offer the choice between fine structural materials including aluminum, vinyl and engineered wood in warm oak or pine tones. We also offer Conservaglass Select, which blocks up to 90% of harmful UV rays. View our extensive sunroom gallery.

Patio Covers

We offer a wide range of patio cover options designed to match and enhance your home. Choose from framing in white, black, or custom colours, a full glass, partial glass, or aluminum roof, glass styles in clear, opaque, or even bronzed, as well as wood or aluminum framing. View our gallery of custom patio covers.

The Construction

The steps will vary for each custom build, but there are a few basic things to keep in mind when weighing your options between a sunroom or patio cover.


Because a sunroom is usually built over a brand new or pre-existing patio with no roof, a foundation is almost always required. This will ensure that it’s level, strong and will last for many decades. Generally, a building permit is required since this build will be treated like any permanent addition to your home. For more FAQ’s on sunrooms, check out our blog post here.

Patio Covers

A patio cover is a freestanding structure rather than an extension of your home and it typically won’t need its own foundation. A covered patio is built over a pre-existing patio or deck with a roof already in place. A well-constructed custom patio cover will feel like a natural extension of your home.


If you’re considering adding a sunroom or patio cover to your home this year, talk to our experts at Budget Glass first. We offer free, no-obligation quotes to help you easily narrow down your choices right down to colour selection. Serving the Nanaimo, BC area since 1983, we are experts in all things glass and carry and install only top-quality products. Contact us today to get started.

15 Oct 2019
extend patio season with a sunroom

Extending Your Patio Season Using Glass

Enjoy your Patio Year-Round with these Upgrades

The fact that days are getting shorter, nights are getting cooler, and kids are back to school doesn’t have to spell the end of your outdoor patio season!

In our previous post on Creative Ways to Incorporate Glass into Your Outdoor Spaces, we included a variety of ways to not only make your patio more beautiful – we also included ways to extend your patio season using glass.

In this post we share even more ways you can use glass outdoors to enjoy your outdoor spaces well after the sunshine of summer starts to fade. Here are our top 6 ways that custom glass features can help you enjoy your patio year-round.

1. Sunrooms

Sunrooms are without a doubt the grandest way to extend your patio season. Adding a sunroom to your home essentially means adding an entirely enclosed space made of glass to the exterior of your property. Sunrooms provide additional square footage to your home, add more natural light, and allow you to enjoy the scenery of the outdoors year-round. As a Four Seasons Sunroom Distributor, our staff can answer all of your questions about adding a sunroom to your home.

See Sunrooms: What You Need to Know to learn more.

2. Enclosed Patios

If a sunroom isn’t feasible due to your budget or you just don’t have the space, consider an enclosed patio instead, where you simply add a glass roof (patio cover) and glass walls, and voila!  You can also create enclosed outdoor spaces that are independent from your property using this method, resulting in a glass gazebo. Glass walls surrounding your outdoor seating area will protect everyone from both wind and noise, while frosted glass has the bonus of adding privacy.

3. Patio Covers

Glass patio covers are probably the No. 1 thing homeowners can do to extend their patio season here on the “Wet Coast”.  Affixed to the side of your home, a glass patio cover acts as a large awning to shield the area underneath against rain and snow. They are perfect for BBQ areas or outdoor kitchens. Patio covers are as beautiful as they are functional, and with so many custom glass patio cover options available, you are sure to find something that complements your current space and house exterior.

4. Glass Pergolas

A glass pergola acts much like a patio cover does – in fact, the terms are often used interchangeably. However, a glass pergola is a freestanding structure (not attached to your home). Glass pergolas are not as structurally sound as a patio cover, but they are helpful for outdoor areas that are more than a few steps away from the back door, and useful when you’re unable to affix something to your home’s exterior. They are also portable in some cases. For example, in the event you move, you can dismantle and take your pergola with you.

5. Sliding Glass Walls

If your home’s architecture supports it, go for a sliding glass wall that connects your interior to your exterior living space. With this option, the wall that leads to your patio is replaced with not just a sliding glass door, but an entire wall! When combined with a patio cover and a few outdoor patio heaters, you can successfully blend the beauty of your backyard with your home’s interior. Perfect for dinner parties and just life in general!

6. Glass Firepit Surround

Firepits are becoming increasingly popular in fall and winter when open fire bans are lifted, especially on cool nights. Don’t allow wind to disturb your fire! A wind guard for your firepit made of glass can help you enjoy the warmth and beauty of the fire while protecting the fire from gusts of wind.

A glass fireplace surround added to your traditional firepit won’t keep the rain out, but it will help reduce the wind from putting out your flames. At Budget Glass, we can provide you with a custom-made glass fireplace surround using the measurements you provide us. Our experts can also help you pick out what type of thickness and edges will be suitable for your glass project.

More Ways to Extend Your Patio Season

In addition to the above mentioned glass features, you can also extend your patio season by doing things that will encourage your family to want to be outdoors in the first place, such as:

  • Plant fall veggies
  • Enjoy your favourite hot beverages outdoors
  • Buy patio heaters
  • Create a cozy space with furniture, pillows and blankets
  • Keep the area clean and inviting
  • Add a covered outdoor kitchen
  • Install a hot tub
  • Keep up nice lighting year-round

Just because the weather gets rainy and windy here on Vancouver Island in the fall, you don’t have to pack up the patio furniture just yet! Consider adding glass to your patio to protect your outdoor living space from the elements. Doing so might just make your patio your favourite place to be year-round.

The above suggestions are just a few of the ways you can extend the potential of your patio into the fall and winter seasons using glass. Contact the glass and window specialists at Budget Glass Nanaimo to receive free quotes of any or all of the above project ideas. Call us (250) 758-3374 or schedule an appointment online.

11 Jun 2018

How Do I Clean My Glass?

We’re surrounded by glass. It’s present in many different aspects of our lives, from windows to showers, mirrors to deck railings, sunrooms to windshields. No doubt about it, glass is a big part of our spaces! The question, though, is how to keep it clean. With the wide variety of glass available, it’s no surprise that there are different ways to keep different glass types clean. Regular cleaning can prevent a host of difficult scrubbing, and what you’re using makes just as much of a difference as when you’re cleaning.


Shower Doors

How often do I clean glass shower doors? With how often showers get used, the easiest way to keep them clean is by cleaning them daily or weekly to prevent soap scum and water stains from building up.

What do I use? Using a squeegee on your glass every time you’re done showering is the most efficient and doesn’t require any additional cleaning products. If you do choose to use a product for daily or weekly maintenance, use a soft cloth that won’t scratch the glass while you’re cleaning. Some cleaners, whether commercial or homemade, can damage stone or tile surrounds, so make sure that the product you’re using is safe for your shower.



How often do I clean mirrors? Mirrors see a lot of daily use and they can get dirty quickly. Cleaning them daily or weekly will keep them sparkling and prevent any spots or splatters from building up.

What do I use? A diluted vinegar solution or glass cleaner along with a soft cloth will make the job easier. Pre-treating any large droplets or spots before you completely clean the surface will prevent them from adding streaks.


Exterior Glass

How often do I clean exterior glass? Exterior glass, like windows, patio doors, glass railings, and sunrooms, will have different cleaning requirements depending on where you live and what season it is. Homes in dry dusty areas will have different cleaning needs than homes near the sea, and a rainy fall season will have different cleaning needs than a sunny, pollen-filled spring. Generally, monthly cleaning can go a long way to reduce the amount of scrubbing required, but depending on your home, you may need to clean them more often or less frequently.

What do I use? For exterior glass surfaces, a squeegee and a bucket of warm water and soap will do the best job, though it may take a little bit of practice to be efficient at it. Protect windowsills with a towel and keep the bubbles to a minimum for best results. Protect door jambs and windowsills with a towel and save cleaning for when the glass isn’t hot. Hot glass will dry cleaning solution quickly, leaving you with streaks and a lot more work to do. If you decide to use a spray cleaner instead, make sure the one you choose is safe for nearby surfaces, and use a soft cloth or sponge that won’t scratch the glass. Paper products can leave lint and they often move dirt around rather than removing it, so use them sparingly.


With the right equipment and regular cleaning, you can keep the glass around your home sparkling clean for a long time to come! In addition to maintenance, some glass surfaces can also be installed with coatings that can increase the time between cleanings, such as Clearshield for shower doors, or CONSERVAGLASS SELECT™ for sunrooms. Happy scrubbing!

05 May 2018

Make The Most Of Outdoor Living

West Coast, best coast as they say. It’s true. One of the many perks to living here is the mild temperatures that we experience for most of the year. Of course, that’s also accompanied by sudden weather changes. If you’d like to get more of the outdoors without getting wet or sizzling in sunshine, we’ve got you covered. Literally! Sunrooms and patio covers are a great way to take advantage of west coast outdoor living. We install Four Seasons sunrooms and patio covers for superior quality and style. While both sunrooms and patio covers keep you sheltered from sun and rain, they are each unique in their own way.


Sunrooms are a complete addition to your home and they are useable all year round. They can be easily adjusted to seasonal changes, sealing in the winter, and ventilating in the summer. As all the windows have screens, they’re also perfect for keeping the bugs out. Sunrooms are quite customizable. Multiple options for roofing allow you to decide how much light to let in, and once it’s built you can furnish it the way you would an interior space. The structure itself can also be made from multiple types of materials. However, since sunrooms are a permanent attachment to your home, location can be a limiting factor and they can be quite expensive to build.


If you don’t fancy a full addition, a patio cover might be just the thing instead. Patio covers are extremely versatile. They can be installed on any kind of house, and configuration possibilities are endless. Roofing materials come in several options, so you can choose the right one for your needs. They can even handle lights and ceiling fans in many cases! Patio covers are easier on the wallet, but since they aren’t enclosed they won’t be useable year round.


If you’re worried that choosing a patio cover excludes sunroom possibilities down the road, take heart. Patio covers can be turned into sunrooms, as long as the cover’s assembly is strong enough to handle the additional sunroom structure. An insulated roof will also be required so the new sunroom doesn’t “sweat”. Regardless of which one you ultimately decide on, patios and sunrooms alike will have you enjoying the West Coast outdoors in comfort.