Adding Value to Sunrooms and Porches with Design-Build
“Our porch was structurally unsound and out-of-date. We wanted a space that was an extension of the house, another living room. Our goal was to make the porch a place we felt comfortable in, but I needed help”
When she purchased her house, our client intended to renovate her front porch as a gathering space for her growing family. She imagined that she would have fresh new floors and windows but couldn't decide how much of the old materials to remove or if she should just tear it down completely and start construction from the ground up.
Design-Build Benefits: Planning Ahead and Buying-In
The porch could have used a total replacement but our client liked some of the features and she wanted to keep a budget. New construction projects generally don't demand less of the design-build, thoughtful approach as compared to our typical remodels and additions. Renovations like this porch project are less expensive than starting from scratch but do benefit from slightly longer pre-construction planning and design input. Remodeling using a design-build method allows the design team to work with the client to explore more realistic options with the production team and to check in with the estimator to confirm cost assumptions.
On this project, getting buy-in from the builders (on staff) meant that the porch we designed is closer to the porch that we built, which made for a happier client. We were also able to have our production team make exploratory holes to determine existing conditions before work began. This helped to identify decisions needed for scope and design options instead of starting and stopping work while discoveries are contemplated and solved under pressure. It goes without saying that design-build helps to control costs by reducing mid-project change orders and setting more realistic budget expectations.
A Trade-Off Between Sunny Windows and Insulated Walls
Porches and Sunrooms bring in lots of essential healthy sunlight - especially in the winter when your vitamin D is waning! Most people know that greater window area leads to more heat loss. The same is true for cooling. Even with window shades and specialty reflective glazings and gas between panes, you will have to spend more money to heat or cool your home in weather extremes. In this project, we discussed our client's options for various window ratings and wall insulation. The final decision was to isolate the porch from the rest of the house and to install a separate heat system so that the temperature swings would not affect the main house. Our client had what we would describe as a "nearly 4-season solution" with plenty of vitamin D for her family.
Bellweather Design Build has a BPI-certified Building Analyst on staff to help you make intelligent energy-efficient design decisions and product selections that increase your home’s comfort and decrease your utility bills.