What to Watch for – and Watch Out for – When Buying a Sunroom
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 sunroom addition, now is a great time to add a sunroom. There are many different designs and decisions to make.
Not all sunroom dealers and manufacturers are the same! When buying a sunroom, Betterliving really does mean better living sunrooms!
Here are some things that you should know before buying a sunroom, along with how Betterliving sunrooms responds to these concerns.
1. Compare the cost and value of a sunroom
Make sure the dealer offers 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 sunroom addition. Watch out for contractors who offer sunroom costs over the phone. This can hide the true cost of a sunroom project. Scheduling an appointment will be the only true way to be sure you can compare the sunroom cost and value of each product before selecting a sunroom company.
Betterliving Patio & Sunrooms of New Hampshire offers free in-home design consultations and to-the-penny price with no hidden sunroom costs.
2. Ask about the electrical raceways
Would you live in a home where the electric system was not up to code? Be sure the sunroom has electrical raceways that meet national codes for approved wiring systems. Electrical raceways should not only be safe but they shouldn’t interfere with the sunroom décor. 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.
Betterliving sunrooms meet national standards for electric wiring with built in electrical raceways that keep a consistent look throughout your house and don’t distract from your sunroom decor – some others don't!
3. Check the roller wheels on windows and doors
When building a sunroom, the sunroom windows and doors are of critical importance. The quality of the windows and doors not only provides the outdoor feel but they’re a key a factor in a fully insulated sunroom that allows you to entertain for four seasons. To maintain durability, it's the rollers that keep the windows and doors operating smoothly for the long term. Steel wheels on stainless steel tracks are the best system for heavy windows and doors. Be sure the wheels are covered under the warranty.
The windows and doors in Betterliving sunrooms have dual rugged steel wheels that run on a stainless steel track and have a 50 year warranty.
4. What about Energy Star?
ENERGY STAR is a national program that rates the energy efficiency of consumer products. You’ll hear the term four seasons sunroom used frequently and it refers to sunrooms designed for year round heating and cooling. These sunroom designs are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR. If you are considering a four season sunroom, be sure the roof system is ENERGY STAR qualified in all 50 states.
All Betterliving roof panels with white exteriors are ENERGY STAR qualified in all 50 states. You can go to the ENERGY STAR Partner List web page and search for "Craft–Bilt" to confirm our status as an ENERGY STAR Product Manufacturers Partner.
5. Ask about 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 sunroom cost presented by the contractor becomes a huge loss.
All Betterliving sunroom dealers carry workers compensation insurance on all employees and do not use sub-contractors to install a sunroom.
6. Screens should be glare free
Many companies will show you pictures of sunrooms and screened porch photos that have fiberglass screens. Black aluminum screens minimize the obstruction of your outdoor view and are stronger than fiberglass screens.
Betterliving sunroom screens are long-lasting black aluminum and are glare-free.
7. Check out the handles
Your sunroom will get lots of use, so the door handles should be strong and easy to use. Screen handles should be full size and well fastened.
Betterliving uses wood or color matched handles with locks and full size handles on all the screens.
8. Ask if sub-contractors will be used on the construction
If so, find out how and what part of the work will they do. If sub-contractors are used for specialty work on your installation, be sure they are fully insured and that your sunroom company will stand behind their work. Using installers whose only job is building a sunroom helps ensure that the sunroom cost doesn’t begin to inflate.
All Betterliving sunroom dealers use only full time, factory-trained employees to install the sunroom.
9. Be sure you get the right permits and the necessary inspections
Identify what permits will be required and how they will be processed. Find out who will schedule the inspections required by your local building department.
Betterliving sunroom dealers handle all permitting from start to finish.
10. What type of warranty is included?
How long is the labor guarantee and what does it include? Ask about the manufacturer's warranty and who stands behind it.
Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company, a leader in home improvements since 1946, stands behind our 50 year warranty, and the authorized dealers stand behind the labor guarantee!
11. Does the sunroom meet national building standards?
Your sunroom is part of your home and must meet the building standards established by national code councils. Sunroom components should be tested in an independent engineering laboratory to assure that these standards are met.
Betterliving sunrooms are tested in a certified, independent engineering test lab, and the sunroom design is upgraded continually to assure that wind load, snow load, and water penetration standards are met.
Compare apples to apples when looking at prices. The sour taste of poor quality lasts longer that the sweetness of a low price.