The decision to purchase a sunny addition to your home is big. We know that you have many questions. This is a list of some of our more common questions and answers. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.
I want a wide-open view of the horizon but I am worried about overheating in the summer. How do I control heat gain?
Heat gain refers to the heat from the sun when it comes through the windows. If you understand heat gain and heat loss (in the winter) you’ll have a better idea of how to keep your sunny room comfortable.
There are ways to help control heat gain and heat loss. Here is what we recommend:
Shades or insulated shades. These help you control the amount of heat and light coming into the room. With insulated shades you’ll be able to help keep the room warm / cool as the insulation in the shades works with the insulated windows to keep the air from leaving the room.
Low-E glass. With the proper coatings for your area the amount of heat coming through the glass can be lessened.
Proper ventilation. Using windows to help with airflow also keeps the room from getting too warm.
NOTE: These methods are very successful in keeping our rooms from overheating. However, if you desire the room to be cool, like your house when it´s 100 degrees outside, you will have to cool the sunroom just like you have to cool your house. Our sunrooms with insulated glass (standard) and shades can be cooled efficiently with a small window A/C unit or the extension of air ducts from your current house. A small separate system is more advantageous than duct extensions. Remember, even a traditional style room must be air conditioned in the summer if you expect it to be cool.
What about weather like rain, snow or hail?
Our rooms are built to the same standards as your area building codes. We know that different parts of the country have more snow or wind than others and our room specifications are adjusted for the “live loads” in your area.
More severe weather, like hail, most of the times will not break the glass in your room. The tempered glass is very strong and with the slope of the roof the hail will most likely bounce off. Just like your car after a hail storm, you might see some dings but the glass is usually okay.
Golf ball size (and larger) may break some glass. If that is the case, your home has most likely suffered damage as well and the room would be covered in your insurance claim.
How will I keep the room warm in the winter?
The great thing about sunrooms and solariums is that they generally heat themselves during sunny days. In the winter, you’ll be able to bask in the warmth of the sunlight and enjoy the snow while staying cozy and warm.
At night, the room will lose heat (see heat gain / heat loss). If you have concrete, tile or brick floor that will help retain the heat. In addition, the use of insulated shades drawn at night helps keep the heat in.
If you’ve got a hot tub or spa in the room, the heat loss from the water will help keep the room warm as well.
In some areas, the temperature really dips and the sun might refuse to show itself. In that case a small portable heater, like you might see in hotels, is effective for heating your sunroom. You may also consider extending your furnace ductwork into the sunroom.
What kind of maintenance is necessary for the glass room?
Glass can be cleaned with any household glass cleaner. The structure may need a periodic cleaning with a mild detergent (Dawn) and water to remove pollutants or build up on the outside.
Where can you build a sunroom or solarium?
We can build the sunroom or solarium on new or existing slab, deck, patio, porch or just about any other location next to or under a pre-existing structure. In cold climates we recommend strong foundations.
How long does it take to install a glass enclosure?
Although the structure itself can be installed in a few days, the time frame for manufacturing is a bit longer.
Our rooms are crafted by professional glazers (glass installation professionals) that have over 30 years of experience in sunroom / solarium fabrication. We generally allow 6-10 weeks from the time the manufacturing specifications are approved to the time that the enclosure is delivered and ready to install.
What building codes will the room meet?
Our glass rooms meet or exceed:
- Uniform Building Codes (UBC),
- National Glass Code,
- A-Rated Dual Glass,
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL),
- AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) approval on windows and doors
What if I want to install the room myself?
You are certainly welcome to handle the installation on your own. Our sales staff is available to assist by providing additional information or point you in the right direction.
What types of accessories can you provide?
We have a wide range of accessories from doors and windows to ventilation, shades and more. Visit our options and accessories list for more information. Contact us for prices.