8:00AM - 5:00PM
10:00AM - 3:00PM
12:00PM - 3:00PM
3990 Commerce Drive
St. Charles, IL 60174
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Things to consider beforebuying a
Sunroom, Screen Room or Room Addition.
• How do you plan to use the room?
This is one of the most important questions you will need to answer before purchasing a room. By knowing how you plan to use the room, it will be easier to determine if you are looking for a room addition, an all season room, a three season room, or a screen room. Some people look for more living space, so a room addition or all season sunroom may be the best solution. Others are looking for a relaxation room or a place to feel like they are outdoors but without all the pesky bugs, perhaps a three-season room or screen room would be best solution for them.
• How is the room going to look on your house?
Everyone would like a room that looks good on their house. But not everyone builds rooms this way. If the room is manufactured or has prefab components, expect it to look less like the rest of the house. If the room is conventionally built, is attention to details such as roof lines, siding/trim color, shingle type, and the general architecture of your house part of the design? Considering these things before purchasing is better than learning to live with a room that looks like an afterthought. Details make a huge difference in the way your room blends with your house.
• Is the company licensed, bonded, insured?
This seems like a no-brainer, but it is often not understood that you can be liable if someone gets hurt on your on your property. Some contractors might be able to offer low prices because they carry no insurance, are not bonded or licensed, but what will the cost be to you if something goes wrong? It is always best to make sure the company or people building your room are reputable and can provide proof of insurance for all individuals that will be working on your property. By doing this, you have assurance that the work will get done with no risk to you.
• Who is building the room?
Know what you are getting into. If subcontractors are going to be working on your property, make sure those individuals have insurance, not just the general contractor. Be aware that the schedule will be more difficult to maintain and the quality will be less consistent because the general doesn't have as tight control over the subcontractors. Are you sure the general paid all the subs for their work? You don't want to be surprised six months after the room is built with a lien on your home because one of the contractors didn't get paid by the general. Ask for waver of liens from the subcontractors or the general. Ask how you will get service work done from a subcontractor that was hired by the general. When the company employs their own people, control is in the hands of one organization and many of these problems go away.
• Who is getting the permits and setting up village inspections?
Make sure that the company you hire to build your project is going to work with your village to obtain the building permit, and schedule all necessary inspections. Most village building departments charge for the building permit, plan review and inspections, make sure the cost of these items are included in your project cost.
• What is the warranty, and who do you call if there is a problem?
Always ask what the warranty is on your project, but even more important than the warranty is the company backing it up. If the builder isn't responsible for the warranty, then the "lifetime" warranty they offer is pretty much worthless. If the builder is using subcontractors, ask the builder if they will take care of any issues or are they going to refer you to whoever worked on that part of the project.
• See what you are buying.
Look at what you are buying. Make sure the room is actually built by the company you are considering. There are many sunroom pictures out there, make sure the pictures that you see are actually built by the company showing them. Ask about it. Visiting a company's showroom is a great way to see the real deal. It shows a serious commitment by the company about their business and it helps people to see what can actually be done. For those who have difficulty visualizing the room, there is no substitute for a showroom with full size models.
• Get an accurate and complete price.
An accurate price can only be given by actually visiting the home. There are many things to consider when pricing a room. Where exactly is the room located, what are the obstructions, what is the elevation of the room floor compared to the house floor, what are the foundation requirements, is there access to the work area; these and many other questions will be answered by visiting the work site. Take the time to schedule an appointment, and allow time for serious discussion. By doing this you will get an accurate price and gain better understanding of the total project costs. If the company is reputable a site visit will be done free of charge to you.
• See through the sales pitch.
Beware of the sales pitch that claims you can have this room in two weeks, and "we can use your existing deck". Although you may want to hear this, the reality is that seldom can this ever be done. Acquiring a permit often takes two weeks alone. We hear, "I built my deck myself and it is solid as a rock". An unscrupulous sales person may get you to sign a contract with this in mind, only later you find the foundation or deck cannot be used this way. Check with a building engineer. They can explain the effect of ground frost, wind and snow loads applied to the structure. Unless the foundation and/or deck are designed to carry these loads, you can expect structural problems throughout the life of the room.