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11 Things to Know About Sunrooms

Sun Rooms - What to Watch for - and Watch Out for - in Buying a Sun Room

Do higher gas prices and clogged highways have you spending more time at home? Do you wish you had a great space for your kids and their friends to hang out? If you've had the idea to turn your deck or patio into that wonderful sun room addition, now is a great time to add a sun room. There are many different designs and decisions to make so here is a list of some of things you may want to consider before you buy. Not all sun room dealers and manufacturers are the same! When buying a sun room, Betterliving really does mean better living sun rooms!

Here are 11 things that you should know before buying a sunroom, along with how Betterliving sun rooms answers these concerns.

1. See the Sunroom

Ask if the contractor has a showroom where you can see full size models, or to take you to visit one of their installations in your area. As soon as you walk through the door you should get a sense as to how comfortable you would feel having the contractor work on your home. Seeing a full size sunroom can give you a sense of the sunroom design as well as decorating ideas. Request to see some pictures of sunrooms of previous customers.

We are happy to show you fully furnished sun rooms either in our showroom or at a neighbor's home!

2. Compare the Cost and Value of the Sunroom

Make sure they offer a free, no obligation consultation and measure at your home to provide you with an exact cost for your project. Consultants can offer great ideas on how to utilize your current deck or patio as a foundation for your sun room addition. Watch out for contractors who offer sun room cost over the phone. This can hide the true cost of a sun room project. Scheduling an appointment will be the only true way to be sure you can compare the sun room cost and value of each product before selecting a sun room company.
Unless it is a complex project, the consultant should be able to provide you with an exact price during the visit.

We offer free in-home design consultations and to-the-penny price with no hidden sun room costs.

3. Ask about UL Approval

Would you live in a home where the electric system was not UL approved? Be sure the sunroom has UL approved wiring systems. Electrical raceways should not only be safe but they should not interfere with the sun room decor. Watch for contractors who only offer electric as an afterthought by using awkward surface mount electrical boxes and conduit to run wiring and mount outlets, or running electrical wires through non-UL approved channels.

Betterliving sun rooms have UL certification for electric wiring with built in electrical raceways that keep a consistent look throughout your house and do not distract from your sun room decor - most other do not!

4. Check the Roller Wheels on the Windows and Doors

When building a sunroom, the sunroom windows and doors are an important centerpiece to the room decor. The quality of the windows and doors not only provides the outdoor feel but they are also a key a factor in a fully insulated sun room that allows you to entertain year round. To maintain durability, it's the rollers that keep the windows and doors operation smooth for the long term. Steel rollers on stainless steel tracks are the best system for heavy windows and doors. Rollers made of vinyl become brittle over time, causing windows and doors to jam. Also, be sure the rollers are covered under the warranty.

The windows and doors in Betterliving sun rooms have rugged steel rollers, on a stainless steel track, and have a 50 year warranty.

5. Energy Star Rating

ENERGY STAR is a national program that rates the energy efficiency of consumer products. You'll hear the term four seasons sun room used frequently and it refers to sun rooms designed for year round heating and cooling. These sunroom designs are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR. If you are considering a four season sun room, ask if the roof panels, windows and doors are ENERGY STAR qualified.

All Betterliving white roof panels are ENERGY STAR qualified. You can go to the ENERGY STAR Partner List web page and search for "Craft-Bilt" to confirm our status as a ENERGY STAR Product Manufacturers Partner.

6. Ask About, and See Insurance

Workers compensation insurance is a big expense that many contractors don't want to absorb, so they cut corners by hiring sub-contractors to do the installation. If an uninsured worker is injured on your property, you could bear the liability and the original sun room cost presented by the contractor becomes a huge loss.

All Betterliving sun room dealers carry workers compensation insurance on all employees and use no sub-contractors.

7. Screens Should be Glare-Free

Many companies will show you pictures of sun rooms and screened porch photos that have fiberglass screens. Black aluminum screens minimize the obstruction of your outdoor view, and are stronger than fiberglass screens. Fiberglass costs less than aluminum, and so is used others.

Betterliving sun room screens are long-lasting black aluminum and are glare-free.

8. Door and Window Handles

Your sun room will get lots of use, so the door handles should be strong and easy to use. Color matched handles with mortise locks look better - and last longer. Screen handles should be full size and well fastened.

Betterliving uses color matched handles with mortise locks and full size handles on all the screens.

9. Water Drainage & Control System

Water drainage and control is a major component of all sunrooms and ensures your room remains water tight.

The Floor Channel is an important part of your water control system. In most sunrooms channels are attached to the deck or foundation. Water can collect in a flat channel. Look for a floor channel that has a slope to the outside of the room. If water gets in, it will go to the front of the room and will not sit in the channel or backup into the room. Floor channels should be sealed to keep water from seeping under the channel so the sunroom stays warm and dry on the inside. The same type of channel should be used under the window main frames to move water away from the room.

Weepholes are another important part of the water control system. Weepholes are elongated holes that are pre-punched at the factory to prevent clogging and allow water to flow freely. Factory drilled weepholes are better than drainage holes that are drilled on site. Drilling can be controlled at the factory, but not on site. Drilling through aluminum can cause burrs which will trap dirt and clog the holes. Weepholes are located at the lowest point in the floor channel, so water doesn't sit in the channel causing mold or mildew.

Ask what type of house gutters are used. Look for an extruded aluminum gutter that integrates into the finished roof. An extruded gutter is stronger and more durable than a standard house gutter. The gutter should match the sunroom roof in color and design.

Betterliving sun rooms feature sloped floor channels and have factory prepunched weep (drainage) holes.

10. Permits and Inspections

Legally, all sunrooms require a building permit. Ask about which permit(s) will be required and how they will be processed. Find out who will schedule the inspections required by your building department.

We can handle all permitting from start to finish.

11. Warranties

How long is the labor guarantee, and what does it include? Ask about the Manufacturer's Warranty, and who stands behind it, and whether or not it comes with any limitations.

Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company, a leader in home improvements since 1946, stands behind our true 50 year manufacturers warranty!

"Betterliving" is a registered trademark of Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company. All rights reserved.

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