A custom-build sunroom or a prefab kit?

Sun Room Image Courtesy of Floorplanner.com

Although we have somewhat answered this question in some of our other tips, remember that we are not discouraging building your sunroom from a prefab kit, by any means. There are some wonderful options available to quickly, affordably, and safely construct a three-season room of your dreams. Most of us really just want a quiet, sunny place to relax with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, perhaps read a book or hang out with family and friends during the nice seasons. For that type of usage, you may very well find that going with a sun room specialist (who uses kits) is the way to go. Also, since there are many of these types of outfitters around, it is obviously a popular choice and you can certainly use the competitive nature of the business to your advantage. Get two or three quotes from different suppliers and negotiate the best price. Remember to check reviews and ask your neighbors for recommendations (you can do this easily via a neighborhood app called NextDoor). Also read the contract carefully to make sure you have some recourse if things don’t go as you planned. It is unfortunate we have to discuss this component but it is also a reality.

Of course, if you build your Florida room (Carolina room in our territory…) using a custom builder, you will still want to follow these steps:

  • Scope out your sunroom using a tool like Floorplanner.com
  • Research builders online and ask neighbors and friends for recommendations.
  • Invite at least two over for a quote and make sure you ask about permitting.
  • Also check with your HOA! This can lead to some surprises if you don’t keep them informed.
  • Make your choice and review the contract. If anything in writing makes you uncomfortable, move on to the next contractor.
  • Work out the terms of payment and the committed completion date. You have lots of leverage here, but also be sensitive to local conditions.

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