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Deciding Between a Patio Sunroom and a Screen Enclosure

Deciding Between a Patio Sunroom and a Screen Enclosure

Do you long for a space that embraces the natural beauty found in your backyard without losing touch with all the comforts of home? You have several options. Here in Florida, two popular possibilities are a patio sunroom and a screen enclosure. How do you choose between them? Here are a few areas to consider:

Differences between a Patio Sunroom and a Screen Enclosure

There are many similarities between a patio sunroom and a screen enclosure. After all, both structures offer extra living space to your home.  Additionally, they both allow access to the world outside while also providing some protection from the elements and other annoyances lurking in the great outdoors like insects, pollen and windblown debris.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you interested in transforming an existing porch or patio into a more comfortable living space?
  • Is the existing patio under your roofline or would you need to start from the ground up?

You can use either approach for both sunrooms and screen enclosures.

What sets a sunroom apart from a screen enclosure?

The most significant difference is the walls. Sunrooms generally use windows to enclose the space. When left closed, they provide additional insulation and protection. However, they can also be opened to let fresh air in when desired. With screen enclosures, screens form the walls. On the flip side, the walls of a patio enclosure are made of screen.  Living in central Florida, the weather allows us to enjoy the outdoors year-round. However, there are those few months in the summer that are unbearable as well as those few possible days when it gets downright chilly.  Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

The Benefits of Building a Patio Sunroom

Sometimes called Florida rooms, sunrooms are an easy and affordable way to add usable living space to your home. They can also increase its value and its curb appeal. Thanks to the liberal use of windows, you’ll enjoy lots of light and a clear view of the attractive green spaces outside your home.

With a sunroom, you’ll also have considerable control over your environment. Your enjoyment of a screened porch is often at the mercy of the weather. Sunrooms have walls and windows, so they become an extension of your home. If it’s a beautiful, temperate day, then you can open the windows to let in the breeze. What if rain or allergens are making it miserable to be outside? Keeping your sunroom closed up will prevent these unpleasantries from creeping inside. When temperatures outside are outside of your comfort zone, you can opt to heat or cool the space. These factors make it possible for you to get more use, and more enjoyment, out of your sunroom.

The Advantages of Adding a Screen Enclosure

Why do some people decide to add a screen enclosure?  While these structures don’t offer the same level of protection and control as a sunroom, they still provide a space where you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without worrying about sunburn, biting insects or other common annoyances.

Screen enclosures are also generally less expensive to build than sunrooms.

We hope you’ve picked up a few tips on deciding between a patio sunroom and a screen enclosure.  When it’s all said and done, the decision is up to you.

If you’re looking for a patio contractor, turn to the professionals at Dulando Screen & Awning. Serving our fellow Floridians since 1968, we bring 50 years of experience to the table, and we’re happy to guide you through the process of adding a patio sunroom or screen enclosure to your home. Contact us today at 407-862-6060 to request a free in-home design consultation.

Top 5 Questions When Deciding Between Building a Sunroom Kit or a Hiring a Sunroom Contractor

Top 5 Questions When Deciding Between Building a Sunroom Kit or a Hiring a Sunroom Contractor

Adding a Florida sunroom to your house invites the beauty of the outdoors into your home without welcoming the downsides, including pesky bugs and the noise of your neighbor’s lawnmower. You can add a sunroom in one of two ways: building it from a sunroom kit or having your sunroom custom-built by a contractor. Deciding on the right option for your situation will require you to answer a few important questions.

What is Your DIY Experience?
Previous experience working on DIY projects can help with putting together a prefab sunroom kit. However, it’s easy to be overconfident in your own abilities. If you frequently design and build furniture from scratch, for example, you may already have the skills for this project. If your DIY experience is limited to smaller projects, such as refinishing an old chair, hiring a sunroom contractor may be the ideal option for your situation. You won’t need to worry about whether your skills are sufficient for the task, and you can avoid any concerns you have about your own safety during the project.

What Features Do You Want?
Working with a contractor for a custom sunroom allows you to choose every part of the project. The sky is the limit. If you want your sunroom to have special features, such as electrical work, a contractor can work those features into the design. A sunroom kit does not allow much room for customization or added features. Although there are a lot of sunroom kits on the market, it is possible that you may not be able to find one that fits your style or requirements.

What Tools Do You Have?
DIY sunroom projects often require access to a wide range of tools beyond a hammer and a measuring tape. Power tools, including circular saws, are usually needed for projects of this scope. If your idea of a weekend project is hanging up picture frames, you probably don’t already have the tools needed for building a sunroom kit.

What is Your Familiarity with Local Building Laws?
The zoning laws in your area can impact adding a sunroom to your home. To avoid the risk of fines and extra expenses if you choose to sell your home, you’ll need to get permits before you can start building. Navigating the tangled web of building codes and local laws can seem daunting if you have little experience with the permitting process. Hiring a sunroom contractor takes the burden of dealing with zoning and permitting off your plate. Dulando will also help you with your HOA.

What is Your Budget? 
Your budget for your sunroom project will probably play a large role in deciding how to build your sunroom. Most sunroom kit prices are lower because they only have to account for the prices of raw materials, such as sunroom windows or screen framing; you won’t have to pay for a contractor’s labor. However, don’t make the mistake of discounting the value of your own time; constructing a sunroom is a time-intensive project for even an experienced DIY homeowner, and you’ll need to budget for tool rentals and purchases when evaluating the final cost of your kit. Hiring a Florida sunroom builder does require you to pay for labor, but your money will also pay for years of experience and custom design work.

Additional Reading:

Dulando Screen & Awning, Inc. offers extensive patio and pool enclosure building services to enhance your Florida home. If you’d like to learn more about the Florida sunrooms we’ve been building for decades, contact us today at 407-862-6060.

Why We Use Structall Aluminum Roof Panels for Patio Covers

Why We Use Structall Aluminum Roof Panels for Patio Covers

At Dulando Screen & Awning, we’re firmly committed to excellence. That’s why we combine expert design services and meticulous craftsmanship with top-quality materials like Structall’s Snap-N-Lock Insulated Panels. What makes these aluminum roof panels a fantastic choice when you want to cover a patio, screened enclosure or sunroom?  Here are the top reasons why we use Structall for our aluminum roof panels.

Benefits of Aluminum Roof Panels

Durability
Aluminum patio roof panels won’t wilt when the going gets tough. This hardy material doesn’t rust or rot. Unlike wood, it’s not vulnerable to termites or other similar pests. What about the wind? When things get gusty, Structall patio covers stay strong. When building a patio screen enclosure, these roof panels can withstand high wind loads when properly installed. Snap-N-Lock panels also feature a clever design that includes a patented joint design. When the roof panels snap together, an internal sealant creates a sturdy, waterproof seal. Tucking the sealant inside protects it from damaging ultraviolet rays, reducing deterioration. The result is a long-lasting roof that you can rely on for years to come.

aluminum roof panels

Easy to Maintain  
Free time is a valuable commodity in today’s busy world. Would you rather spend yours tackling a to-do list of maintenance chores or enjoying fun activities? It takes a lot of work to keep wood in good shape. Aluminum is different. Patio and screen room roof panels made from aluminum need almost no special care. Year after year, they’ll continue to look amazing without making any extra work for you.

Energy Efficient 
Florida is famous for its steamy sunshine. Although warm, luminous days are great in theory, the reality can sometimes be harsh. Mixing unrelenting sun with high humidity can make unprotected outdoor spaces brutally hot and sticky. Fortunately, Structall’s insulated aluminum roof panels excel at creating a sheltered space. The panels’ rolled aluminum exteriors surround energy-efficient foam cores to repel heat energy. A roof crafted from these panels shields the area beneath it, so your patio, screen room or sunroom stays cooler with less effort and expense.

Environmentally Friendly 
What makes an aluminum roof an environmentally-friendly choice? For starters, aluminum is recyclable, so it’s an eco-friendly material. It’s also a low-maintenance one. That means you won’t need to repeatedly apply toxic chemicals to protect it from pests or to seal it against the elements. As mentioned above, there is already an internal sealant.  Once the aluminum roof panels snap and lock in place, you are protected.

Customizable 
When you want an outdoor living space that reflects your sense of style and melds with your existing structures, Structall’s aluminum roof panels are a perfect choice.

  • Do you have a unique floor plan?
  • Are you hoping to incorporate special features like sunroofs, ceiling fans or lighting fixtures?
  • Structall’s panels can get the job done.

These versatile Snap-N-Lock panels can be used to achieve a variety of roof pitches. They’re available in a wide range of weather-resistant finishes, or you can cover them with shingles or siding. With so many possibilities, it’s easy to achieve the look that you want.

Aluminum roof panels from Structall are an excellent choice for building a roof on many types of screen enclosures and covered patios or aluminum carports.

In addition to their many aesthetic and practical advantages, they’re also surprisingly affordable. To learn more about these aluminum roofing panels or to schedule a free in-home design consultation, contact Dulando Screen & Awning at 407-862-6060 today.

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.