Hello again and welcome to Enclosing A Deck Part 4 – Building and Materials. As discussed in my previous posts we decided to go with American Patio Rooms as our builder for our enclosed deck. I thought I would write few words about what they had available and why we selected them. We mentioned the BBB and the feel of a family run business as being something very important to us. However, even with that we still needed to feel good about the product they are selling and the team of people who will be at our house working. In the next few paragraphs I will highlight some of the key things you should look for with your patio or deck enclosure.
What To Look For From Your Builder All too many of us have experienced the starting of a project only to have the builders vanish for days or weeks while they go to another site and begin work there. This leads to a lot of disappointment and your spouse saying “you should have listened to me”. My dad had a sun-room added to his house and when the contractors showed up they were subs and totally incompetent. It lead to a few weeks of delay with ultimately a backhoe arriving to rip out everything done by the previous team. American Patio Rooms doesn’t work with sub-contractors, they use their own team with years of experience. When someone is cutting into your roof you want them to have been there and done that before! Another plus is that they work on your enclosure until it is done, no jumping to another job before they are done with yours. These are probably the two biggest headaches you can have when working with builders.
The Style There are lots of styles to choose from, and as mentioned in my previous posts you need to have an idea of what you are looking to get out of the room, and of course what your budget is. The room is adding square feet to your house and you don’t want something poorly built or of low quality that could reduce the value of your home. Your budget will really help make some decisions for you along with how you want to use your deck. You could have just a roof covering your deck (open roof), a screened in porch, a 3 season room, hybrid, or a 4 season room. For us the best price point was a hybrid enclosure that is between a 3 season and a 4 season room, with a flat sloping roof instead of a gable roof. We wanted the weather protection and the chance to use our deck up to eight months (and hopefully a little more than that).
The Materials The materials used for enclosures can vary quite a bit. We expect our enclosed deck to be water tight and standup to the strong winds from the west. The deck is on the second floor, and we will have wind blowing above and below the deck. Our house has a very steep slope and water can rush down and sometimes overrun the gutters. We really need a 6” gutter which the builder took note of immediately. We need windows that won’t shake and rattle in the wind or if pushed on can leave a gap or space for something to come through them. For our Hybrid enclosure the windows and door have ¾” insulated glass and Low E with Argon, and heavy duty locks and hardware. To finish off the enclosure we have heavy duty weather-stripping, insulated roof, and wall panels. Since this isn’t a 4 season room, the roof and wall panels do not have a thermal break.
Electrical Electric wires can be run through the walls, and outlets placed into the walls just like you find in your home, giving you a neat and finished look. For our enclosure we have a double spot light to light up the backyard for security.
Extras We decided that we wanted to add about 4.5 feet to the length of the deck to make it 18 feet long. It will give us a nice little area to put a table and chairs to enjoy our meals without cluttering the main area of the deck. This is an important thing to consider, you don't want to regret not expanding your deck if it is on the small side.
That about sums it up. We are still looking at patio furniture and trying to decide on exactly what we want for our finished room. The next post will be when the builders show up to start the job.
Photo document your life. Get out there and takes some pictures of the memories that are created every day.