Designing a Sunroom
Adding a sunroom to your home is a project in itself, but finding the right design can be even more overwhelming.
There are a plethora of factors that come into play, so it’s important to have the best organizational skills handy for this type of job. However, designing a sunroom can be extremely enjoyable if you know how to find the right contractor.
Here are some other helpful tips to think about when designing a sunroom:
How will you use the Sunroom?
This is one of the first things you should focus on before any building takes place. Knowing what you’re going to do with the sunroom have a major impact on its overall design. If you don’t have an idea yet, here are a few examples to help you find the perfect idea:Ability to use your deck without weather interference.
- Adds extra space to the home
- Area for your pets
- Brings the outdoors, inside.
- Becomes a breakfast room
- Can be a dining room
- Definitely a place to relax
- Entertainment area for anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
- Family room
- Game/Spa room
- Hobby/Crafting/Exercise room
- Keeps bugs out
- Nap area
- Playroom for children
- Television Room
- Work area
Size and Location
Once you have a better feel for how the sunroom will be utilized, it’s time to think about the size and location of it. The size of your sunroom will give you an idea of the cost for materials. Choosing the location gives you a better sense of the type of work needed to be done, which means it affects the labor costs. When homeowners know where the sunroom will be placed and how big it will be, a budget can be created.
Another thing to consider is the sunlight that shines in the room throughout the day. Directional orientations will be important as well, so take the time to consider all the possibilities.
Most homeowners will use a sunroom to eat, relax, read a book, or just spend leisure time. The majority of sunrooms built usually come off the kitchen or family room. Others might be an addition to your patio. This decision usually comes down to the overall traffic flow.
The Right Materials
There are two types of materials used to build a sunroom; aluminum or vinyl. If you choose aluminum, it’s a strong material that offers plenty of structural support. When compared to vinyl, aluminum is an inexpensive choice. However, it does offer plenty of durability, even though it’s lighweight. In most cases, aluminum sunrooms use single or double pane glass.
Vinyl has become increasing popular, because its white accent can benefit any room. Plus, it’s also a low-maintenance material and is considered thermally efficient. If you’re going to heat and cool your sunroom throughout the year, vinyl is the best choice. Keep in mind; it’s also the most expensive between these two choices, but it is also stronger than aluminum.
How to choose the right Sunroom Company
In order to choose the right company to build your sunroom, it always has to start with referrals. Take the time to ask them if you can get in contact with satisfied customers. The good companies have no problem providing references, and you should focus on the most recent ones. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with the contractor. The right company will come to your home and discuss the plans and ideas.
When hiring a company, you must trust them. They have to be willing to stand behind their word, which means giving you an exact quote and a deadline for completion. Don’t go for the cheapest price either, unless all the price quotes are somewhat similar. Some companies like to lowball everyone else so they can get the job. Unfortunately, most of them don’t offer quality work.
All contractors that work on your home should be licensed and insured. Hopefully you hire a company that utilizes its own crews. If you end up with a company that uses sub-contractors, they also have to be licensed and insured. After all, if something happens a few years down the road, you want to know who is going to take care of the problem.
Eventually you will have a list of contractors you’re interested in using. Before you speak with them, write down everything you want to ask. The professional companies will never have a problem answering your questions. We also recommend doing some background research on each company. One way of doing this is by checking the Better Business Bureau to see if they have complaints. Most companies have at least one complaint, but the goal here is to see if they have resolved their complaints.
When interviewing contractors, be sure to ask if they have a showroom. Instead of looking at pictures, go visit their showroom and see what type of workmanship is being performed. If you see something you like, ask them to come out to home and provide a quote. Don’t work with a company that leaves the total amount open-ended. This only invites higher prices when project is complete.
Earlier we discussed sub-contractors. It’s okay that companies use sub-contractors from time to time. However, you never want to hire a company that won’t be on the job-site. Instead they keep in contact with the sub-contractors by phone, which is not good for you. What happens if a delay takes place? A contractor might not know about it before you’re already angered by the sub-contractors. You don’t want to go through this headache, so find a contractor that has their own crews on the job.
Another area of concern is the paperwork. When a sunroom is being built, there will need to be inspections and permits. Find a company that is willing to take care of this for you. It makes the entire process a lot easier, and you will feel more comfortable with the contractor you hired. Without the proper permits and inspections, you could end up struggling to sell your home with this new addition.
When the job is finished, the contractor should do a walkthrough. This is something you want to ask them upfront, as well as if there is a warranty on all materials and labor. If the answer is yes to both areas, you should hire that company.
Sunroom Creation – Making it Affordable
Labor costs make up most of the price you’re paying for a new sunroom. When you’re not at home, you want to know that the individuals doing the job are working hard. If they’re standing around, smoking cigarettes, or always on the cell phone, it’s almost guaranteed you will run into problems. You don’t want to be paying someone who isn’t working for their money. Instead, opt for a company that wants to complete the job, but offers financing to work within your budget.
When the project is complete, a sunroom will add additional value to your home. Plus, if you’re trying to sell the house, a beautiful sunroom will entice buyers.
Installation and Service Nightmares
Most of us don’t know how to build a sunroom, which is why we hire a company. While you might not be an expert in the home improvement or sunroom industry, the company you hire should have a substantial amount of knowledge. Good companies will have their technical staff come out and measure the location of the sunroom. They will also be looking for any type of concerns they will need to consider before starting. If you hire a company that doesn’t care, you’re going to end up losing money.
Ask them to prepare the engineering and permit applications. If they won’t do this then go elsewhere. You will need to submit this paperwork to your local building department, but a reputable company will do it all for you.
During the service process, all their employees should treat you with respect, be courteous, well-mannered, and give 110% to complete the job. Also, each crew has a foreman or supervisor. You should see this person around the home, at least once per day.
Manufacturer and Service Warranties
Sometimes you just can’t find the right company to build a sunroom. A bad sign is if they don’t offer manufacturer or service warranties. The materials used to build your sunroom should be covered for decades. Even the service warranty should be good for at least a year. This won’t be a problem if you choose a reputable company. They feel as if their name is on the line every time they work for a new customer.
These are the types of companies that will stand behind their products and installation services. You will want to have a company like this in your corner when the sunroom is built. This way you can get better service and installation, even if a problem occurs.