law, be engineered and built to code with the proper permits in place, a process most construction companies will handle for you.
“Almost all condos are sound enough to handle an enclosure ...”
Visually, a new sunroom should blend seamlessly with the architecture of the house. Roof pitch, siding, and exterior trim all need to flow together. Sunrooms and patio enclosures must be physically attached correctly, too, or they’ll leak, causing extensive damage to your home or, in the case of condos, to the entire building envelope. Tim Agar, project manager for Horizon Pacific Contracting and Sunrooms, sees this all too often. His company repairs existing structures of all shapes and sizes and also creates design protocols for new strata buildings, so that the plans are already in place if future condo owners decide to convert their balconies. Troy Nelson, owner of Northern Tropic Solariums, warns against the leakage problem, too. “Almost all condos are sound enough to handle an enclosure, but you need a fastening engineer and a structural engineer to make sure the sunroom is attached properly to the building. For single-family homes, we use our own aluminum flashing system to ensure the rooms don’t leak.” The foundation is also crucial to a sunroom’s success. Slapdash, DIY varieties constructed atop a pre-existing patio ultimately fail. “Concrete is very porous,” says Nelson. “When you build a sunroom on a patio, all the ground moisture comes through into the room, essentially creating a giant steam room on a hot summer day. You have to replace the existing concrete and install an insulated concrete pad with proper drainage, just as you would with any addition.” Energy efficiency is another key consideration. Older sunrooms are notoriously hot in the summer and freezing in winter. New glass technology fixes that problem. “Sunrooms can be as efficient as normal household rooms,” says Tristan Maxey of Allied Glass and Aluminum Products. “There are numerous types of glass that can be
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