FAQ’s – A screen porch or 3 season room project is a large addition and something you want to make informed decisions about. We are all about helping you make informed decisions and guiding our customers through the process of a structural changes to their home. Below are some guidelines and information to consider.
Do I need a permit?
On our additions, yes. We take care of all the permitting. We handle all of the designs / plan submissions, inspections scheduling and guarantee passing of all inspections.
Does my contractor need to be licensed?
Yes. Licensed contractors have been vetted and tested in their industry. A city business license doesn’t count. Those are easily attainable and are not the same as a General Contractor’s License. It’s North Carolina law that any project that exceeds $30,000 requires an N.C. general contractor’s license. Even if the project is less than 30K, unlicensed contractors, by law, are not allowed to hire subcontractors (i,e., electricians, HVAC, plumbers). You can check any contractor’s information out here at the NC licensing website. You’d be surprised just how much of our competition is not actually licensed. Protect yourself and your investment by checking.
My license number will be on your quote and you can verify this and any other contractor’s information at the N.C. contractor’s website.
Can you enclose an existing deck?
It’s possible, but many criteria must be met to do so:
- The first is that the desired addition is exactly the same size as the existing deck. This is not common as house builders usually cheap out on the decks and they end up fairly small. You do not want to be limited in size to a brand new porch or 3 season room. Most of our jobs end up being much larger than the existing decks.
- The second is that open decks usually aren’t built to withstand the load of a new roof. New roofs add a lot of weight and must be supported by a properly engineered deck for the load they intend to support.
- The third is the actual condition of the existing deck. Most times when I come out to do an estimate on for a porch, the decks I see are old and weathered. Building a porch on top of an existing deck makes it very difficult to replace old boards later, so now is the time to do so. Once the railing is gone and the decking is removed, most times you are left with an old sagging frame.
- The fourth is a question of existing deck quality. It is easy to determine if the deck builder actually knew what he was doing or even cared about the build. Improper methods could result in inadequate footings (structure support) and uneven deck settling. A lot of decks aren’t even built with a permit.
So considering all of the factors, 99% of the time, we totally remove the existing deck and build a brand new floor system. Starting new also allows us to build the addition exactly true, straight, level and square.
What's the difference between a Screen Porch, a 3 Season Room and a Sunroom?
A Screen Porch is a porch roof built above a wood-framed deck and screened in.
Adding Sunspace panels in place of screen panels makes the porch a 3 season room. These panels keep out rain, sound, pollen and will actually hold heat in! Add tile to make it sealed in and it becomes almost just like a sunroom.
An actual Sunroom has framed walls, insulated floor ceiling and walls, windows, some sort of heating unit (small unit or otherwise) and normally sheetrocked. These costs add up quick. Installing windows around the perimeter of the room are expensive as well as the heating unit. We have the capability to build sunrooms but compared to the cost of a 3 season room, it is much more cost effective to build a 3 season room and heat it.
3 season rooms, on average, cost about 20K to 30K less than sunrooms making it a smart buy when you want the room to be sealed in.
What are Sunspace panels?
Sunspace panels are very similar to Eze Breeze panels but much better! They are the easiest, high quality solution to sealing in porches. Eze-Breeze units fill the gap between porch openings. Each Sunspace unit has four sliding, clear vinyl panels that slide up or down behind a screened outer panel. When completely open you have 75% screen. When they are closed, you have 100% protection from wind, pollen, and weather.? They also hold in heat! It only takes about 3 minutes to completely open or close the entire porch. Adding Sunspace panels to your porch makes it a “3 season room”.
Will I lose light by adding a roof to the back of my house?
I get this question all of the time. The short answer is: Yes, some.
The long answer is: Not usually as much as you might think… There two types of light: Direct light and Ambient (reflected) light. Most of the light that comes into the house is ambient light. Roofs will definitely cut down on some of the direct light but the ambient light is still allowed in around the perimeter of the porch and into the house. Actual sun position and movement will vary for property to property. Tall trees might also effect your light situation. If you’re worried about losing too much light, skylights will help get more light in the new room and ultimately, into the house.
What is your service area?
We service Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, Wendell, Zebulon, Rolesville and Wake Forest. We do not service Fuquay Varina, Morrisville, Chapel Hill, Durham or Pittsboro.
Do you rescreen existing porches?
The following are services we do not provide:
-Re-screening of existing porches
-Re-furbishing of existing porches
-Eze Breeze / Sunspace “install only” projects
-Stand-alone deck projects
-Front porch projects
What is your project minumum?
Our project minimum is a 16′ x 16′ screen porch. Recommended size is 16′ x 18′ and above.