Home Remodeling? Build a Sunroom

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In late April 2013, more than 30 billion red-eyed cicadas emerged from the soil of Connecticut, of Maryland, of North Carolina, and the whole of the East Coast. They spent the next 30 days shrieking, singing, and screaming for a, well, companion. It may be time for a home remodeling project. Perhaps a new sunroom?

Cicadas, clumsy winged insects, are recognized for their crunchy brown shells littering the sides of trees. They do not bite like mosquitoes or no-see-ums. Instead, they sing. Male cicadas can emit mating calls in excess of 90 decibels. They’re louder than lawnmowers.

So maybe it was the cicadas. Maybe it was the mosquitoes, or the June bugs, or the gnats or wasps or fire ants or deer ticks. Whatever the reason, whatever the insect, you decided that you needed a sunroom rather than a backyard deck.

So here are the four things you need to know.

1. Sunrooms should be designed for passive cooling and heating

Sunroom, solariums, conservatories, screened rooms, and four-season rooms are all branches off one home remodeling tree. They bring in the sun and leave out what the sun powers: insects, wind, plants, and so forth.

Glass sunrooms, however, can quickly turn into Dante’s Inferno. Glass and its close cousin polycarbonate allow radiant energy but trap hot air. So all walls should be silicone sealed and safety tempered. Look for double-glazed, double-pane glass windows with a low-e coating, or four-season 20-millimeter twin-wall polycarbonate windows.

Invest in a strong ceiling fan to promote air circulation. Use white blinds to reflect radiant energy and thick drapes to resist the sabotage of Jack Frost. You can also coat your roof with elastomeric white paint to enhance its reflectivity.

 white sunroom after home remodelingFloors and furniture must be water- and fade-resistant

Persistent solar light will fade and crack nigh anything: wallpaper, furniture, framed pictures, carpet,hardwood flooring, and more. Use these three tricks for success: window tinting, western room orientation, and fade-resistant furniture. You can also use fade-resistant interior paints like Benjamin Moore Color Lock and Valspar Duramax.

Your choice of contractor is all-important

Where will the electrical raceways be constructed? Are the components Energy Star-certified and UL-approved? How about municipal building permits? Any warranties? Worker’s compensation? General liability insurance?

Sometimes, doing it yourself is doing yourself in. Unless you can define “shear diagram,” hire a respected contractor to build your sunroom. Check ratings through the Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Angie’s List.

Grab-n-go thieves like cheap glass

A brick and a ski mask can work wonders in the hands of your neighborhood criminal. Don’t become a victim. Dark window tints prevent burglars from playing Peeping Tom (bonus: tinted windows lessen that annoying glare on the television). All entry and exit doors should have deadbolts. Most importantly, all-glass or all-polycarbonate windows should have roll-on window security films or anti-graffiti coatings.

And lastly, of course, every sunroom should have a flyswatter. — By Tim Smith from Modernize

Interested in home remodeling? Contact Medina Exteriors today, (330)591-4040


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