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Top 7 Tips When Building a Sunroom Addition

Top 7 Tips When Building a Sunroom Addition

If you’re interested in a sunroom addition, then you probably realize that these popular features are an excellent way to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, gain more living space and add value to your home. What do you need to think about before building one? These seven tips can help you stay on track when building a sunroom addition.

1. Choose Your Contractor Carefully
Sunrooms might seem like simplistic structures, but they aren’t all created equal. A top-notch sunroom will be a good fit for your needs that is built to last. To get that, you’ll want to hire a reputable contractor. Choose a sunroom contractor with the expertise and resources to handle everything from design and permitting to construction and inspections.

2. Make the Consultation Count
It’s quick and convenient to get a quote over the phone. It’s also a bad idea. When you’re building a sunroom, there are many factors to consider. When building an addition to your home that truly meets your needs and an accurate estimate of its cost, a sunroom contractor needs to see and measure your space. They also need a clear understanding of your goals and preferences.

3. Think About the Space
Can you enclose an existing porch or patio? This will significantly reduce the cost. On the other hand, starting fresh offers more flexibility in size and location. As you think about your new space, consider how adding a sunroom will impact the traffic flow through your home and your yard. How many people do you need to accommodate?  Will there be multiple seating areas?  Don’t worry, your design consultant will help you navigate through these questions.

4. Customize the Design
With a custom sunroom addition, you can think outside of the box. What floorplan will make the best use of the space? What look will enhance the appearance of your home? When it comes to the roof style, do you prefer a simple slope, a graceful gable or something more distinctive? What colors, textures and lines will suit your tastes and your existing architecture?

5. Select the Right Building Blocks
What building blocks should be used to construct your new sunroom? For the structure’s frame, would you prefer the natural beauty and familiarity of wood? Do the wide range of design options, inherent sturdiness and low-maintenance nature of aluminum make it a better choice? What about windows? After all, they’re a defining feature of any sunroom. Which screen will let in fresh air while keeping out bugs and debris? Should you opt for glass windows in vinyl frames? Would Florida glass offer the perfect mix of privacy, durability and affordability? What about the hardware for the windows and doors? Which options will offer smooth operation and reliability?

6. Plan for Special Features
Little touches can make a big difference, so it’s best to incorporate them in the design from the beginning. Would a ceiling fan or lights make the space more comfortable? What needs to happen to safely and effectively incorporate electrical outlets into your sunroom? What other special features would make the space more energy efficient or appealing?

7. Know Your Budget
What about the cost of a sunroom? How you can get the most bang for your budget? After all, price and value aren’t the same things. Spending a little more upfront to secure quality materials and craftsmanship can deliver substantial savings over the long term. It’s fun to create a wish list of all the features you’d love in your new sunroom addition, but sometimes the budget gets in the way.  Let our experienced team of design consultants help you determine what is necessary and what can wait.

A family-owned and operated firm, Dulando Screen & Awning is fully licensed and insured. We’re committed to delivering excellent customer service and high-quality screen enclosures. In fact, we’ve been doing exactly that for nearly half a century. Contact us today at 407-862-6060 to request your free in-home design consultation.

Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Sunroom Contractor

Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Sunroom Contractor

A sunroom is a truly radiant addition to your home. In Florida, you can enjoy a sunroom year-round. But how do you determine which sunroom contractor to hire?  Hiring a sunroom contractor is crucial for getting the most value from your investment. A professional sunroom builder will have the experience and know-how to construct a sunroom that’s ideally suited to your property and lifestyle. Knowing what questions to ask when hiring a sunroom contractor will help you choose the right one you can count on.

1. How much experience do you have building sunrooms?
A sunroom contractor who has been in operation for many years will have a proven track record. They’ll also be able to provide you with lots of references from past clients in addition to supplying you with pictures of their completed work. When you hire a professional, experienced sunroom builder, you can count on a smooth, stress-free installation and high-quality results. Also, if you have a specific sunroom design in mind, check that the contractor has experience building a custom sunroom with enhanced features.

2. Who will obtain the required permits and inspections?
If your job needs permits and inspections, you should be able to depend on the sunroom contractor to know which permits will be required and how to obtain them. They should also be the ones responsible for getting them. Consider choosing a local sunroom builder instead of a national contractor.  When you choose a contractor with experience in building sunrooms in Florida, they’ll be knowledgeable about local codes and requirements.

3. How long should the project take?
In addition to providing a detailed estimate and cost of a sunroom, your contractor will be able to give you a realistic timeline for the project. When hiring a sunroom contractor, it’s important to look for experience. The more experience your contractor has, the better they’ll be at providing accurate timeline estimates since they’ve done the work frequently enough to anticipate problems in advance. It’s also helpful to ask the contractor and their references how often they finish their projects on time.

4. What will the daily work schedule be like?
When hiring a sunroom contractor, make sure to ask about their daily work schedule. They should be able to tell you approximately what times they’ll arrive and leave at your home for the day. If they can’t tell you what kind of schedule to expect, it could be because they aren’t organized enough to plan one out. Find out who the project manager is for the job. Ideally, you should have a progress report every day from your sunroom builders. Keep in mind, progress might not occur each day.  While parts of your sunroom will be fabricated onsite, others will be ordered.  But your project manager should be keeping you apprised of any and all updates.

5. How will you protect my property?
You already know when hiring a sunroom contractor to make sure they are licensed and insured.  It’s a good idea to also check with the contractor to be sure that they’ll take steps to protect your property from any inadvertent damage that may occur when a building team is on-site. For example, they should protect your lawn from getting damaged when they bring in heavy materials. They should also specify who will be responsible for cleaning up and removing any remaining debris after the job is done.

A quality sunroom contractor will be happy to talk to you about what you can expect when building a sunroom. The more you can learn about a contractor’s experience, checking their references and viewing examples of past work, the more confidence you’ll have in your choice.

If you haven’t made the first step in hiring a sunroom contractor, give Dulando Screen & Awning a call at 407-862-6060.  Talk with one of our design consultants and share with us your vision for your new sunroom.  We love creating happiness for our clients.

Having Trouble Deciding Between a Patio Enclosure and Sunroom?

Having Trouble Deciding Between a Patio Enclosure and Sunroom?

If you enjoy nature, you may want to add a screened enclosure or sunroom to your home to experience the outdoors from a protected spot. Both screened enclosures and sunrooms expand your living area into the backyard, yet provide protection from mosquitoes, other critters and rain. Which one appeals most to you depends on your lifestyle, budget and how you plan to use the space.  Hopefully, by outlining the benefits of each, you’ll be able to make a decision between a backyard patio enclosure and sunroom.

Benefits of a Screen Patio Enclosure

In climates like Florida’s with pleasant weather most of the year, screened patios can serve as a multi-purpose activity area. Building a patio will help you relax, entertain and enjoy nature. Children can use it as a playroom when it’s raining or too hot to play in the sun. Whatever the use, a screened in porch serves as a transition zone between the inside and outside.

A screened in patio typically has a roof, a door from the main house to the porch and a door from the porch to the outside. If you already have a patio, you can use that as a foundation. Screen is installed around the three sides of the porch to create a patio enclosure.

Screened patios are relatively inexpensive to build. Primary building materials may include an aluminum frame with screen, concrete or brick pavers for the floor and aluminum panels or shingles for the roof.  Floors of a patio screen enclosure can be any of a variety of materials, such as concrete, brick, tile or stone. Screened in porches are not air-conditioned or heated. They may include a ceiling fan and lights, which require some electrical work. You may also want to install additional electrical outlets to run other equipment, but this depends on how you plan to use the space.

Screened enclosures cannot be used year-round. Seasonal cold weather or blowing rain makes them uncomfortable. Furniture needs to be protected during the humidity of the summer months and the sun if you have them near the screen. However, using solar screen cuts radiation and protects furniture and belongings. Adding roll-up curtains also protects from rain and sun.

Benefits of a Sunroom

Sunrooms are also called four-season rooms because they are protected from the elements and can be used year-round. Rather than screens forming the walls, the sides have windows made of acrylic, vinyl or glass. Sunrooms provide additional protection from heat and cold all year long. The large windows optimize the amount of light entering the room. Windows can be opened to enjoy the breezes when the weather isn’t too hot or cold. Sunrooms are usually heated and air-conditioned.

Although sunrooms can be used throughout the year, they take you further away from the natural environment. The sunroom feels more like being indoors. In addition, the intense light adds heat to the space. This can make it uncomfortable to use during the hottest times of day and expensive to cool.

Building a sunroom can be double the cost of a screened enclosure. However, creating a sunroom from an existing screened-in porch lowers costs because the sunroom is already underneath the home’s roof structure. To reduce air conditioning and heating costs, double-pane windows are usually installed, which also increases the price.

Ultimately, the decision about whether to build a screen patio enclosure or sunroom is yours. If you want to be more intimately connected with nature and keep costs down, enclosing a patio will do just fine. If you want an all-season room that expands your living space, then building a sunroom makes sense. Whichever option you choose, make sure to also choose a patio contractor.

Dulando Screen & Awning can work with you to come up with design ideas for your patio enclosure or sunroom that complement the architecture and landscaping of your property. Call us today at 407-862-6060 or fill out our online form for a free estimate.  One of our design consultants will be happy to meet with you and discuss the many options available to you.  Our goal is to create an additional living space for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

Top 3 Tips When Hiring a Reputable Sunroom Contractor

Top 3 Tips When Hiring a Reputable Sunroom Contractor

Even if you aren’t quite sure about the features that you want in your new sunroom addition, you do know exactly what you want in a sunroom builder. You are looking for a trustworthy professional who will build a quality sunroom. How do you find a reputable sunroom contractor?  There are three main areas to consider when hiring a sunroom contractor.

Trust
To locate a sunroom contractor you can trust, look back. Past performance is a good indicator of future behavior. This means that a little research can be very revealing.

  • When was the company established?
  • How long has it been serving your area?
  • Does the business have a good reputation in the community?
  • Ask for recommendations from people who have recently built sunrooms
  • Read online reviews can provide useful insight.
  • The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource.

If a contractor has built their reputation through years of providing quality craftsmanship and products, then it’s a good bet that you can trust them to deliver a sunroom that you’ll be happy to spend time in.

Professionalism
Professionals bring competence, skill, knowledge and commitment to your project. When weighing a sunroom contractor’s professionalism, there are a few starting points:

  • Verify they are properly licensed and insured.
  • Are they happy to answer questions?
  • Do they provide you with the information you need to make an educated choice?
  • Are they familiar with local building codes?
  • Do they have their own team of installers?
  • Will they arrive on time and ready to work?
  • Will they work with you to resolve any problems that arise?

Ultimately, you want a sunroom contractor who is dedicated to delivering both top-notch products and excellent customer service.

Quality
A quality sunroom will extend your living space, bring the natural beauty of your backyard closer and provide years of pleasure. A shoddily built sunroom will result in headaches, frustration, frequent repairs and nagging regret. Obviously, you want a quality sunroom. To discover if a sunroom contractor can deliver it:

  • Ask to see pictures of their previous projects.
  • Request references and use them to contact prior customers.
  • Read any customer reviews carefully.
  • Consider the suppliers and the products the company uses.
  • Ask about the quality of the materials used.  Read the manufacturer’s website.
  • Explore the warranties offered with the sunroom and its components.

Dulando Screening & Awning has over 50 years of experience in building screen enclosures, sunrooms and other structures for our neighbors in the tri-county Orlando area.  We are a second-generation family-own company and have a vested interest in the central Florida area.

We thrive on combining custom designs, superior craftsmanship and quality materials to create products that delight our customers and serve them well. If you are interested in building a sunroom, we will be happy to guide you through the process from the beginning to the end. You can also download our Free Guide to Building a Sunroom.

To make an appointment for a free in-home design consultation, contact us today at 407-862-6060.  One of our talented design consultants will explain the available options for your space and help you create a sunroom that is perfect and within budget.

Sunroom Kits vs Hiring a Professional Installation Company

Sunroom Kits vs Hiring a Professional Installation Company

The welcome addition of a sunroom to your Florida residence allows you to enjoy the natural light of a beautiful summer day without the heat, noise and pests. Although it’s possible to use sunroom kits to build your own sunroom, it’s important to understand the differences between a DIY sunroom kit approach and a professional sunroom installation. Making a choice should be easier once you take into account your own abilities and the complexity of the project.

Some sunroom kits are very basic and others might have a few more features, but at the end ot the day, they are a kit based on someone else’s vision of a sunroom.  Anything more complex than a kit will require more expertise than most homeowners possess. Here are a few items you’ll want to consider before making your decision.

Sunroom Customization Options
If you choose to install your own sunroom using a kit, you’ll have to stay with the design parameters of the kit. Hiring a professional sunroom contractor, however, will let you choose any design you want. The contractor can offer sunroom plans that will complement the design aesthetics of your house and have the features your family needs in a sunroom. You’ll also have more freedom to choose materials for the project, allowing you to use materials usually not included sunroom kits, such as insect-proof screens.

The Permitting Process
The requirements for a permit for building a sunroom vary depending on your city, but many areas do require a permit to build a sunroom. If you choose to build your own sunroom, you’ll need to deal with the permit on your own. This process can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to it. If you opt to hire a professional team to build your sunroom, they will take care of the permitting for you.

Safety Concerns
Building a sunroom from a kit may eliminate some work for you, but you’ll still be responsible for all of the heavy lifting. If you’ve never tackled a DIY project beyond painting walls and replacing a bit of drywall, some of the sunroom kits might be more challenging than you anticipate. You’ll probably need some extra hands to help. If you must rely on inexperienced family members for assistance, it might be wise to rethink the idea to prevent anyone from getting injured. There will be lifting and installing of the walls, electrical work and installing windows.  The goal is always to keep everyone safe.

Managing a Timeline
Unless you have unlimited free time, building your own sunroom addition will require you to sacrifice time spent on other aspects of your life. If you work full-time, it may take several weekends to complete the project. Hiring a reliable sunroom contractor, however, will ensure that your project is done on schedule and won’t eat up any of your own free time.

Sunroom Prices
If you have a limited budget for a sunroom and have some experience with DIY projects, opting for a sunroom kit may be right for you. Using a kit and doing your own work means you won’t have to pay for labor. However, it’s important to remember that you get more than just labor when you hire a contractor. Saving up to have a professional team create your project will give you more return by allowing you to have a custom design that complements your home.

Dulando Screen & Awning specializes in patio enclosures, which, of course, includes sunroom installations. For over 50 years, Dulando has been building sunrooms to the specifications of their customers.  To learn more about our work and what we can do to make your summers more pleasant, please contact us today at 407-862-6060 or fill out our online form and one of our design consultants will schedule a meeting with you at your home.

Three Popular Roof Styles for Your New Sunroom

Three Popular Roof Styles for Your New Sunroom

When building a sunroom, you can either build the new structure under your roof line or behind the home. If you build a sunroom as an extension of your home, it will need a roof. Here are a few options to draw out what type of roof you might like for your new sunroom.

1. Your Existing Porch Roof
If you build a sunroom under the current roofline, then you won’t have to start from scratch. Make the most of what’s already there by enclosing a covered porch or breezeway. Keep it easy on the budget with a simple, screened-in effect, or upgrade the area to full sunroom status with glass and vinyl enclosures. Most clients explore the difference between screen and vinyl windows.

Enclosing an existing patio area into a new sunroom also opens up surprising design opportunities. Extend shaded comfort with awnings from exterior eaves or let in more light with gable transoms. Half-wall and window combinations work very well with existing porch and roof structures too.

new sunroom2. A Simple, Single Slope
If your patio is not under the existing roofline, then a new patio must be built. One of the most popular roof styles for a sunroom is a simple, single slope roof. A single slope roof offers maximum strength and stability.

But these aren’t the only reasons to love this roof style. The single slope stands out as an economical choice too. Its single pitch slopes away from the house with clean, contemporary lines at an angle height that is up to you and your contractor. While two-story homes can accommodate a steep slant, the most popular pitch is still the studio roof with its modest slope.

2. The Traditionally Elegant Gable
new sunroomLike its single slope cousin, this roof style works with screened-in and glass-paned sunrooms. Its double-paneled design with center-beam support typically runs perpendicular to your home’s exterior.

If the goal is to create a new sunroom in an A-frame form that blends beautifully with traditional architectural lines, then you definitely want the gable-style roof.  You can modify the exterior gabled area with transom windows, decorative trim work or extensions of the sunroom’s framing. If you want to relax under a cathedral ceiling, make this your roof style of choice.

Usually, the next step is to determine the price of a sunroom. Here are some price factors of building a sunroom.

When you picture the perfect roofing style crowning your new sunroom, things really start to look up. We enjoy transforming your ideas into real plans and solid construction. If you’d like more information about our process and free in-home consultations, just give us a call today at 407-862-6060.