Check out this video of another happy PorchConversion customer!
Check out this video of another happy PorchConversion customer!
More than just a sunroom, a conservatory creates an elegant exterior flourish and a unique signature in your neighborhood.
Since the 17th century, conservatories have graced the lawns of European nobility and added space, style, and a genuine sense of luxury to many of the most enduring homes worldwide.
Their versatility and ethereal nature create a space unlike that found in any other room in your home.
The conservatory is truly the ultimate home addition.
While a Porch Conversion conservatory delivers the traditional European charm you expect, it’s engineered and constructed to meet the severe wind, heat, and snow conditions typical of North America. Your Porch Conversion conservatory will keep you safe and comfortable, all year round.
All Porch Conversion conservatories are custom designed and engineered for each particular installation. This gives the conservatory its strength and makes possible the wide expanses of open space which give the conservatory its ethereal character. The entiresystem is clad in PVCu to provide a wider range of colors and finishes and add thermal insulation. All members are
connected with a bolting system which eliminates unsightly external screw heads, fasteners and caulk.
Porch Conversion provides a breathtaking open space which will change the way you interact with your home.
If you are considering a sunroom, think about the advantages of making your sunroom solar powered. PorchConversion now has a solar division http://www.solarpowersunrooms.com. Below is an excerpt on renewable energy that appeared in the Star News on May 5, 2012:
“Renewable technologies have had their successes. Solar now generates six times more electricity in the U.S. than it did a decade ago, and wind produces 18 times more. Most major automakers offer some type of electric vehicle.”
And a good explanation of renewable energy also from the Star News:
“RENEWABLE ENERGY: Energy derived from renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal or plant matter. This type of energy is growing fast in the U.S., but it remains a small contributor to the nation’s energy mix. Ten percent of U.S. gasoline demand was met with biofuels and 4.8 percent of the nation’s electricity was generated by wind, solar, and geothermal last year.”
Once you decide to have a sunroom built, the number of different sunroom companies and contractors available in can easily overwhelm you. How do you choose the right one? Anytime you are making a large investment in your home, you want to thoroughly research the company you plan to use for sunroom construction. And it should be a company that specializes in sunrooms – sunroom construction is unique and you want a contractor/company that has ample experience with the best designs and quality products.
Many homeowners start their sunroom research online. On their website, do they list how much experience they have and if they are licensed? Do they have pictures of actual sunrooms they have built? Is their contact information readily available – do they have a local phone number and address? Have they posted testimonials from their customers?
Apart from their website – what are other websites saying about the company? A great place to research sunroom contractors is Angie’s List. Sunroom companies and contractors don’t pay to be on Angie’s List so there is less chance of skewed results. They have a certified data collection process that prevents sunroom companies from writing their own reviews or reviews on competitors. No reviews are anonymous and sunroom companies can respond to complaints. Read sunroom contractors’ reviews carefully to get an idea of the quality of construction and customer service provided.
Once you make the decision to call a Sunroom company, ask if they provide free estimates. The company should have a knowledgeable person come out to your home to get an idea of the full scope of your sunroom project. The contractor should be able to answer your questions clearly and give you different options and pricing. They should be able to provide drawings if the homeowner requests them or if they are needed to get home owner association approval – as many subdivisions require in NC. Make sure the sunroom company handles building permits since many sunroom additions will require one.
Your sunroom contractor should provide you with a list of local references. They should encourage you to call past customers and even go see the sunrooms in person. The more references provided, the better. Make sure some of the references are of recent installations. Talking with past customers is also an efficient way to get an idea of the sunroom company’s customer service and communication.
Another factor to consider is the warranty offered by the company or contractor. The sunroom company or contractor you choose should offer a warranty on the parts and workmanship. A lifetime warranty is the best and could help you if any of your windows or other parts got broken in the future. This is also why you want a sunroom company that has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation. If you chose a sunroom company that goes out of business shortly after construction of your sunroom, you would be out of luck if anything were to get broken. You want a sunroom company that will stand behind their work.
Perhaps most importantly, after meeting with your sunroom professionals, do you feel comfortable? A good sunroom contractor should be able to put you at ease about the construction process. They should be upfront about the cost to ensure that there are no hidden expenses for the homeowner.
A reputable sunroom company will strive to create lasting relationships with homeowners. Contractors realize how vital word of mouth is in the sunroom business. They depend on referrals based on quality workmanship and excellent customer service. Homeowners should be completely satisfied with their sunroom and a good company will make sure that is the case.
When most people think of a sunroom, they envision all the bright natural light that will pour through their expansive glass windows. But on days like today, when its rainy and dreary, sunlight is hard to come by. But personally, a stormy day is my favorite time to enjoy my sunroom. I grab a good book and curl up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee. I can watch the rain pouring down and enjoy the storm in total comfort. A spring thunderstorm can be just as beautiful as a sunny day!
Building a sunroom in Wilmington, NC will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. If our Porch Conversion Sunrooms crew is converting an existing screened in porch that already has a roof and foundation, construction can take as little as a day or two for a 3 season room – one made with vinyl EzeBreeze windows.
A four season room will take longer to build – it can take several weeks depending whether it is being built from scratch or it is a conversion. Of course, a larger space will take longer to construct.
The heating and cooling mechanisms the homeowner chooses can also impact the time frame. Interior finishings play a huge role in determining how long your sunroom will take to build. If the homeowner is opts to leave existing ceilings, walls, and floors it will take significantly less time to finish. For example, a customer who wants their walls to be sheet rocked and painted with crown molding will expect a longer construction time than one that chooses to keep an existing vinyl siding wall. Other factors that can add time to your Wilmington sunroom include skylights, decking off the sunroom, pet doors, and other custom features homeowners request.
Our experts at Porch Conversion Sunrooms will do their very best to be upfront about the time frame of the project. We analyze all the factors that go into the quality construction of your sunroom. We realize that construction can be an inconvenience and homeowners are anxious for their room to be completed as soon as possible. Keep in mind though, that unforeseen factors can sometimes delay the process. Building permits, inspections, and HOA requirements can add to the total time needed to complete your sunroom. Extreme weather like hurricanes and snow can interrupt construction, although this is rare. Porch Conversion Sunrooms will never sacrifice quality for speed. The job is not finished until the homeowner is 100 percent satisfied.
How you decorate your screened in porch will depend on what screened in porch ideas you have for its main use. Many Wilmington homeowners use their screened in porch as another family room, a family room where the outdoors and indoors can be combined. The most common screened porch ideas for a family space include comfortable furniture in a conversational seating style. Please keep in mind when you are shopping for your screened in porch, that the furniture needs to be weather resistant. Some owners have the idea that a screened porch will be protected from rain, but that is not always the case. In Wilmington, wind will blow in rain, dirt, dust, and pollen to some extent. The most popular screened in porch ideas for furniture include wicker, wood, and rattan. Your Wilmington screened in porch will also get lots of natural sunshine so fabrics and furniture have the possibility of fading over time. There are several stores here in Wilmington who sell wonderful indoor/outdoor furniture. Many manufacturers make sun and water resistant fabric designed for outdoor and indoor use, specifically for patios, porches, and screened porches. If you have any doubt as to your furniture’s durability, make sure you ask the manufacturer and see what screened in porch ideas they might have.
Another great Wilmington screened in porch idea is using it as an additional dining room. You get all the advantages of eating al fresco without the annoying mosquitos and flies that are prevalent in Wilmington. Again, keep the outdoor elements in mind when thinking of screened in porch ideas for a dining area. Your table and chairs in your screened in room need to be fairly weather resistant – made with materials like composite wood, wrought iron, tile, and water and UV resistant seat cushions. Make sure you have ample seating in your screened in porch if you entertain often and plan on dining in your screened porch.
The furniture you chose to make your screened porch ideas a reality will really depend on your personal taste. Some owners stick with a neutral color pallet, while others prefer cool or warm tones for their screened in porch. Many Wilmington screened in porch homeowners really enjoy a cohesive color scheme while others opt for more eclectic ideas and furnishings. Are you going for a coastal look for your screened in porch, as many Wilmington locals do? Great coastal screened in porch ideas include white wicker furniture or rustic white wood framed furniture with cooler toned cushions.
Since the majority of screened porch floors are concrete or tile, a popular screened in porch idea is using an outdoor/indoor area rug. These are made with weather resistant material and can be quite striking in a screened in porch. You can place the rug underneath furniture to add a splash of color or use an oversized rug over the majority of the screened in porch floor to add softness and warmth to the whole room.
Other screened porch ideas include lighting fixtures and ceiling fans to help create the right mood. Wood and wrought iron fixtures can evoke a rustic atmosphere in your screened in porch. A tropical ceiling fan with large leaf-like blades can enhance a coastal style screened in porch. Soft lamplight and candles can also help make a screened in room shine. Be sure that all of the lighting in your screened in porch is exterior grade to withstand the elements.
Screened porch ideas for finishing touches include using shade-loving plants. This will help give you that indoor/outdoor atmosphere in your screened in porch. Wooden pictures, signs, and other wall décor can really help make your screened in porch a space that reflects your unique personal style. Please feel free to look around our website for more
PorchConversion can install any type of flooring that you choose for your new sunroom. The most popular flooring is ceramic tile because it is durable and low maintenance. The glaze on ceramic tile makes it moisture and stain resistant. This is especially important because the sunroom is often the first room people and pets enter from their yards, often with dirty feet! Ceramic tile is very long-lasting and will have minimal fading/aging from the abundant North Carolina sunshine. Ceramic tile is also very attractive and comes in many different styles, sizes, and colors. Ceramic tile will help give your sunroom a coastal feel.
Another popular choice is wood flooring. Wood is beautiful and can definitely give your sunroom a very natural feel. There are countless different types of wood and plank styles. There are some factors you need to take into account. UV rays from the bright sun can fade wood over time. Woods can also be expensive and higher maintenance. You must be careful when cleaning them. You can have the look of wood without some of the added expense with a nice wood laminate floor. These floors are fairly easy to install and will give your sunroom a warm and inviting look. It is not recommended to install hardwood or wood laminate flooring unless your have a climate controlled four season room.
Some homeowners opt for carpeting. Carpeting feels soft on your feet and can give your sunroom a cozy appearance. You can choose a color and style to suit any décor. Carpeting is easy to install and fairly easy to change out in the future if you redecorate. Disadvantages are that certain types can fade over time and be subject to stains. If your sunroom is a high traffic area, the carpet can get worn down. Homeowners can have some of the advantages of carpet by adding an area rug to tile or hardwood floors for a splash of color and warmth.
Vinyl flooring is another great low maintenance and inexpensive option. It can replicate the look of tile, wood, and stone at a fraction of the cost. Vinyl is very easy to install and clean. Higher quality vinyl can be very durable.
The above options are just some of the most popular choices for sunroom flooring. Homeowners have also used concrete, stamped concrete, cork, stone, brick, and even granite or marble. PorchConversion can help you with your design choices and help you determine with products will work best for your home and family.
If you are having a sunroom built, you will have to consider if you want it heated and cooled. Some homeowners will opt not to install a heating/cooling system. Their room will be closed off from the elements with either glass or vinyl windows but it will not be considered part of the home’s heated and cooled square footage. This is known as a three season room. This type of room can still be quite comfortable, especially in Eastern North Carolina’s mild climate. Our contractors can easily install a ceiling fan to help keep the 3 season room cooler in the hot North Carolina summers. Space heaters can also be used to warm up the space in the winter.
If a homeowner decides on a 4 season sunroom, the space will need to have some kind of heating and cooling system in order for it to be counted as livable square footage. Plus a four season sunroom will be comfortable all year long, even in the coldest winter months and hottest summer months. The majority of homeowners already have central air conditioning in their home. If this is the case, our Porch Conversion Sunroom team can tap into the existing system. This is usually done by bringing ductwork into the sunroom and installing vents. The advantage of this method is that it is easy to keep the temperature of the room consistently the same as the rest of your house. A separate thermostat can also be installed and your sunroom’s temperature can be adjusted without affecting the rest of your home. Our PorchConversion crew will be able to inspect your air conditioning system to make sure that it is powerful enough to adequately heat and cool the additional square footage of your sunroom.
While using existing ductwork is a very effective way to heat/cool your 4 season room, sometimes it is not an option. This method can be more difficult (and more costly) if your home is built on a concrete slab, which is common in many Wilmington and Raleigh homes. If it is prohibitively expensive, another great option is a mini-split air conditioning unit. These are very slim and compact, wall-mounted systems. Mini-splits are usually installed high on a wall so that they are not at eye level, even though these units look quite stylish. The compressor is located outside of your sunroom with the tubing running behind the walls, completely out of site. Operated by a wireless remote, these units are extremely quiet and energy efficient.
Other options for heating and cooling is using a PTAC unit which is similar to what you see in hotel rooms, or a portable air conditioning units. Homeowners have also had radiant floor heating or base board heating installed, but this will only heat your sunroom and won’t provide a cooling mechanism.
Porch Conversion’s team will help you determine which air conditioning system is right for your sunroom. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.