March 4, 2015
Don’t Get Sunk With Blind Sunroom Estimates
We often get requests for a blind quote or even just a “ball park” over-the-phone estimate for sunrooms or enclosed porches. Customers have maybe done some research already and just want do some quick price comparisons. Sounds simple enough but, in truth, we’ve found that even just starting this conversation over the phone is a recipe for disaster.
Why? Whether you are trying to get a quote over the phone or from a retailer who is selling you a one size fits all, pre-fab sunroom kit from their store or website, you are begging for add-on charges when it comes time to actually install the project. It takes a professional to assess how your current situation will affect the installation process and that can’t be done over the phone, in a store or via email or chat messages.
There are so many different factors that go into pricing a sunroom project: structural integrity, snow and wind load factors, rooflines, electrical, just to name a few. If the crew who will actually install your project doesn’t have the full picture of the job before they get to your house and start working, the risk of costly add-ons is huge.
Dangers of Add-Ons After The Sale
For instance, many homeowners think they’ll be able to save money by re-using their existing deck but you need to keep in mind that a complete sunroom is very heavy. Your existing deck may not be able to support it. How can you be sure? Suddenly you’re halfway through the project with a hole in your wall where the entrance to the new sunroom will go and your installer is saying, “Geez, Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, looks like we’ve got a problem…” What are you going to do? Send them away? Not likely. There’s a hole in your living room!
Here’s another situation. Some businesses sell pre-fab, one size fits all sunrooms you can purchase as a kit. On the surface, this looks like an inexpensive, easy solution. But sunrooms are the last place you should use a “one-size-fits-all” kind of philosophy. The siding, the roofline, the terrain and the mechanicals of your home were all built with your specific property in mind. Every property is unique so to get good results, every sunroom should be pre-ordered to your home’s custom specifications. To assume a kit or pre-fab creation can just somehow be “attached” to every home without regard to their unique features is not very realistic.
Depending on what your wall height is on the inside of your home, what your overhang is or what the pitch of your roof is, the one-size-fits-all kit may not “fit” at all. In fact, one of the most common problems we see on old sunroom and porches is water leakage where the sunroom meets the house.
Miscellaneous Construction Costs
And it’s not just the installation costs that could add up. Does an off-the-cuff number include making sure your new structure meets code? Every city is different. How do you know what you need? And who pays for and obtains permits and inspections? The average “off-the-cuff” estimates will use broad assumptions or not account for these kinds of charges at all.
Home Town Restyling is a full service home improvement contractor with licensed and insured crews on staff for professional installation. If you choose to work with Hometown on projects ranging from sunroom replacement to whole house remodels, you can rest assured that you’ll be working with an experienced team that has served the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area for nearly 30 years.
Stop by or contact us today for a free estimate. You can also download our Sunroom Planning Checklist to help you ask all the right questions when you’re pricing out and planning your new sunroom.