Choosing a Professional for Your Screened Porch Installation

screened porches college station general contractorUnless you yourself are a construction professional, a screened porch installation is not an ideal DIY project. It’s extensive, messy, often involving electrical work, and it’s more complicated than the finished project might appear. Whether you have construction experience or not, hiring a professional will save you plenty of time and stress. The question is how to find the right professional for the job. Once you know all the companies in your area who handle porch enclosure installations, how do you choose? There are a few things to consider here, and it could mean the difference between a quality sunspace and a money pit. Here’s how to spot quality service at a reasonable rate from the competition.

Read the Reviews

It goes without saying that before you hire a construction company, you should do thorough research on their experience and reputation. Start with their website. If they have any reviews or testimonials, great. But remember their website will be biased in their favor. No one’s going to post a negative testimonial to their own site, so it’s best to do a google search and see what customers are saying away from their website. One great resource for finding unbiased reviews on home improvement professionals is Houzz.  Houzz not only shows you what previous customers thought of the work, it tells you the date the project was completed and the cost that the customers paid for the work. Seeing a price range will help prepare you for the next step.

Get an Estimate

If a company tries to charge for an estimate, that’s a red flag because so few do. Most home improvement professionals will be more than happy to offer you a free, no-obligation estimate for the work you need. After all, they don’t want to go into business with someone who isn’t prepared to pay their rates, and they understand that you probably don’t have unlimited funds at your disposal. Before you call, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want so that you can get an estimate that’s as close to reality as possible. Compare prices to the quality of service that you found when searching for reviews. Sometimes it might be worth it to go with someone that charges a little more, but provides better service. Definitely ask if they offer financing. If so, you might be able to expand your budget.

Ask Questions

If you’re hiring a company that has years of experience in the area and their reviews are overwhelmingly positive, you can probably assume that they are, in fact, a professional. However, it still helps to ask questions--both for your own information and to make sure that the professional knows what they’re doing. During the consultation, the first question on your mind besides cost will probably be time, so go ahead and ask how long the work will take. You should make sure that they’re licensed before hiring them, and if they offer a guarantee. You should always ask if their team has an electrician on staff, since often installing outlets or working with electricity comes with the job of an enclosed porch. It might also be a good idea to ask about the materials they use, and their energy efficient resources. If they offer financing, ask for details about financing.

Sunspace Texas is committed to serving Texas with quality sunspaces at affordable prices. Contact them today for a free estimate and learn how they could be the right team for your screened porch installation.



3 Unique Ideas for Your Porch Enclosure

3 Affordable Ways To Light Your Sunroom In StyleInstalling a porch enclosure is a great solution for those who want to relax on the porch and enjoy the outdoors but don’t want to be inconvenienced by the heat or storms. With vertical, floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the space, you can recline on your porch and watch the sunset or listen to the rain from the comfort and conveniences of the indoors. It’s also a good investment for anyone who wants to add space to their home. We’ve talked about using your sunspace for dining or for an indoor garden, but it’s not the only thing you can do with the space. Here are some of our favorite uses for a porch enclosure.

A Home Office

Studies show that exposure to natural sunlight helps people to be more energized during the day and sleep better at night. If your workspace feels stale and dim, consider moving it to your sunny porch enclosure. You can work against the beautiful outdoor views and enjoy the sunlight that fills the room. Add a few plants by the windows for extra color and pleasant smells. If you need a change of venue, you can even step outside for a bit and work in the fresh air. A porch enclosure provides a unique, refreshing workspace so that you can stay motivated to be productive throughout the day, and even enjoy your work.

A Guest Room

Expecting company? If you need space for guests in your home, you can always wow them with your sunspace. Whether you set it up as a bedroom with a dresser and closet included or you create a seating area with a futon and a pull-out couch, your porch enclosure can easily be converted into a guest room. Your guest can enjoy the best views in the house, and if they need privacy, just install some shades or blinds. There’s no need to worry about an overheated room, either. Sunspace Texas creates porch enclosures fit for ventilation and uses energy efficient vinyl windows, so the room will stay cool, even when the weather outside is hot.

A Pet Room

If you have a beloved furry friend, treat them to a relaxing sunspace. Your cat or dog will love lying by the window and soaking up the sun. Bring their food and water, toys, scratch posts, and beds into the sunroom and they may never want to leave. This is a particularly nice treat for indoor pets. If you don’t have an enclosed fence around your yard for your pets to play, they can still enjoy the warmth and light of the outdoors from their sunroom. They’ll probably enjoy watching the squirrels and birds pass by from the windows, as well.

Need some more ideas? What about a game room? Or an exercise room? A relaxing home spa? If you can think of a space that your home lacks, your porch enclosure can almost certainly accomodate you. Contact Sunspace Texas--your local experts in porch enclosure installation--for a free estimate.

   

Is Your Sunroom Ready for All Four Seasons?

A Valuable Addition to Your HomeThere are a number of reasons why a sunroom could make an excellent addition to your home. It gives the kids a space to play and enjoy the outdoor scenery even in harsh weather. It gives you a space to entertain when your friends come over. It helps your home to become more energy efficient. You can even create an indoor garden in your sunspace. A sunspace is a great way to beat the heat of Texas summers, but with summer drawing to a close, is your sunroom ready for fall, or even winter? Seasons may change, but your sunroom will be a part of your house for years. It’s important that the room stays comfortable, no matter how high or low the temperature may be outside.

Insulation is Key

In the summer, it helps to invest in a fan or energy efficient windows to keep the sunroom from overheating. In winter, however, you want the opposite effect: you want to keep the heat in. Make sure that your sunroom is properly insulated by searching for and sealing any cracks. If you’ve had issues with the insulation in your walls before now, this might be the time to check and update that. And if your home already has an HVAC system, see if you can extend that into your sunroom so that the heating that protects the rest of your house can also protect your sunroom.

Invest in Heavy Curtains

I know, this sounds a little counterproductive for a sunroom, but it will help to keep the room warm. You can always draw the curtains during the day so that natural light still floods the room and cover the windows at night so the room isn’t too cold in the morning, or you can partially cover the windows. If you’re set against curtains, consider buying a comfortable rug to lay out on the floor for the colder months. When the warm weather returns, you can tuck the rug away in storage until it’s needed again.

Install Vinyl Windows

What are your windows made of? Are they energy efficient? Do they block the sun’s most harmful UV rays? Sunspace Texas actually recommends vinyl windows for an energy efficient sunroom that will serve you well through all four seasons. Vinyl windows are as low maintenance as they come, and they’re extremely durable so even the most extreme weather won’t cause them to shatter. Just watch these videos to see how strong and flexible vinyl windows can be. Vinyl windows are the best sunspace windows out there when it comes to sealing out pests, harmful UV rays, heat, and cold.

If you find you have some updating to do with your sunroom, call a skilled professional for a free estimate. Sunspace Texas is committed to quality and dependability in your sunroom or porch enclosure. They will make sure that your sunroom can continue to be a room for your family to enjoy no matter what the colder months bring.



Add Value to Your Home with a Sunroom

Save Energy with the Natural Light of a SunroomMost houses aren’t meant to be your forever-and-ever home, and that’s okay. Your housing needs change as your life change and as your family changes. Just because you know you’ll only live in a house for a few years is no reason not to make improvements on it--in fact, it should be added incentive. Adding value to your home means that you’ll increase the rate at which you can sell it. You may even be able to make a profit when the time comes to move.

Add Value to your Home

One way to add value to your home, even while you still live there, is by adding a sunroom. A sunroom with energy efficient vinyl windows, floods the room with natural sunlight while lowering the cost of your energy bill. It provides a room for your kids to play or a room for you to entertain or even use as a home office that saves energy costs and helps you to enjoy the outdoors even in extreme heat. Imagine a living space that didn’t need any electrical lighting source for most of the day. How much money could you save with something like that?   Sunrooms also add value to your home when you finally decide to move. The beautiful, open space, energy efficiency, and versatility of sunrooms adds to the appeal of the home, and many home buyers are willing to pay more for a sunroom.  A well-insulated sunroom could retain about 51% of its value when selling your home.   Ultimately, it comes down to the insulation and function of your sunroom. Make sure when you install a sunroom that the room is properly insulated with energy efficient windows, so that it isn’t drafty in cold months or stuffy in hotter months. The function and potential functions of the room can also add appeal to future buyers. Many people use sunrooms as home gardens, play areas, or living spaces. You could also use a sunroom for a fitness room or a place to do yoga. Another idea for a sunroom is to add it onto the master suite of the home. Not only will this add to the square footage of your master suite (and a large master suite is always popular), but it offers a relaxing view for anyone who might buy the home in the future.   You may not stay in your house forever, but your sunroom could be there for generations to come. It’s a peaceful area that you can enjoy either with your family, your friends, your work, or just your morning coffee. When you move, others will appreciate the appeal to do the same thing or the opportunity to make their own memories there. Because a sunroom can be so instrumental in increasing the value of your home, when it comes time to have yours installed, you want to hire a professional you know you can trust. Sunspace Texas provides beautiful, comfortable sunrooms at affordable prices. With their sunrooms, you can increase the value of your home and know that you’ve left a mark on it that may last as long as the house does.

Cultivating an Indoor Garden with Your Sunroom

Cultivating an Indoor Garden with Your Sunroom

An indoor garden could be just the thing to brighten up the interior of your home. Imagine sipping your coffee on the couch of your sunroom, surrounded by fragrant, vibrant plant life. Imagine taking cuts of your own fresh herbs or vegetables for your cooking. You can even bring friends over to enjoy your garden. A sunroom garden provides your plants with all the light they need to thrive without the scorching, suffocating Texas heat. Here’s what you need to know about starting your own indoor garden:

Know what kind of plants you need

The great thing about an indoor garden is that plants that might not typically do well in your regional climate can still thrive because they’re protected from the harshness of the weather. Sunroom gardens require much less maintenance than outdoor gardens, and plants can continue to grow, even in winter. However, some plants will require more care than others. Do your research before deciding what plants to bring into your sunroom. Here’s a list of plants that typically flourish in sunrooms. All-season herbs, like mint and rosemary, are also recommended for sunroom gardens.

Find the Right Kind of Containers

The container you use to hold your plants can be absolutely vital when it comes to the survival of your plants. Without drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, the plants won’t receive the air they need and may be susceptible to root rot. It’s important to find pots for your containers that have drainage holes to allow the water to work through the roots naturally and fresh air to reach the plant. If you plant vegetables, a container with a water tray is preferable. You can even find self-watering containers with a built-in store of water.

Keep an Eye Out for Pests

Just because your garden isn’t outside doesn’t mean that pests can’t get inside. With an indoor garden, you’re able to control the environment and protect your plants more than you could outside, but small, harmful pests like aphids and spider mites can still find their way into the room. Watch your plants closely. Check the leaves--are there little holes? Is there downy or powdery mildew? Is the plant starting to wilt? Check this list of indoor garden pests and common diseases that can affect indoor garden plants. Make sure you always have clean clothes when you tend to your plants, and if you have pets, try to keep them out of the sunroom garden.

An indoor garden can add a sense of tranquility to your home and help your sunroom to give off an outdoor feel even when the weather is too hot or too cold to enjoy the outdoors. When having a sunroom installed in your home, make sure to tell a skilled professional your plans to use the space for a garden. They can help you create the perfect set-up and environment to start your new indoor garden. Take a look at our before-and-after gallery to see what Sunspace Texas can do for your sunroom.

Save Energy with the Natural Light of a Sunroom

Save Energy with the Natural Light of a Sunroom

Everyone is trying to find ways to save energy: energy saving lightbulbs, hybrid cars, biking or taking public transportation instead of driving. It’s important to be conscientious of the impact each of us make on the planet, not to mention on our energy bill. And the most replenishable form of energy that’s completely free is natural sunlight. Here are tips for a sunroom that can help you conserve energy while enjoying those bright natural light of summer days in comfort.

Energy Efficient Glass Windows

By their very nature, sunrooms are mostly glass windows. It’s important to note, however, that not all windows retain the same amount of heat. Familiarize yourself with the U-factor of the glass (solar heat loss coefficient). The lower the U-factor, the more energy efficient the window will be. Single-paned windows have too high of a U-factor to be efficient glass windows and will cause the room to be too hot and stuffy.  Find windows that reduce heat while protecting you from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. This way, you’ll save energy and your sunroom will be comfortable in summer and winter alike.

A Ceiling Fan 

Sunrooms provide a lovely view, but even with energy efficient windows, on the hottest days of summer, a sunroom can be uncomfortably hot. To keep the room cool and livable, consider installing a ceiling fan. This will help you save on your utilities and create a breeze that will keep you cool on those hot, hot Texas days. In winter, try reversing the direction of the fan’s blades to draw warm air up through the room.

Insulation

More important to keeping your sunroom comfortable both in the extreme Texas heat and in the chill of winter is proper insulation. Make sure any cracks and leaks in the room are thoroughly sealed and weatherstrip around all the frames in the room. You’ll be grateful you did when the extreme temperatures come.

Acrylic Roof System

There are a number of reasons for covering your enclosed porch with an acrylic roof. It offers shade and blocks damaging UV rays, but the translucent surface also lets the natural light shine through. It’s strong enough to protect against hail and heavy storms and the rigid panels won’t shatter if they do take any damage. It’s easy to install and requires almost no maintenance. An acrylic roof system will keep the sunroom cool, sunny, energy efficient, and it looks pretty good, too.

Making an enclosed sunroom out of your porch is an excellent way to save energy on an office, a reading room, or just a living space. But the renovations can be a disruptive hassle for a homeowner to take on. That’s why it helps to hire a skilled professional. Take a look at our before-and-after gallery of some of our previous work. Once you’re sure, reach out and let us know what energy efficient elements you’d like to be installed in your sunroom. We’ll give you a free estimate.

Make Your Screened Porch Perfect for Texas

Make Your Screened Porch Perfect for Texas

If you’re installing a screened porch or if you have a screened porch that needs an upgrade, there are some products that can make your screened porch or sunroom perfect for Texas weather. Let’s look at some options you have when you’re converting your porch into a real living area.

Sunroom

Adding a sunroom to your home doesn’t have to be complicated. While you may wonder what windows to install and whether there will be enough shade, there are easy answers to both of those questions.

A WeatherMaster Plus stacking door system is a wall that can be opened. It can work with new construction or an existing roof. The important part is that this system isn’t one size fits all. You can get one that fits your home.

Weather Master Windows are also a good option. They’re strong, safe, and flexible. You won’t have to worry if these windows will shatter in a hail storm. They open and close easily to protect you from the summer heat or the cold of winter.

If you need some shade in your existing sunroom or in your new one, there’s something that will work well for you. Sun-Shades are good for blocking the Texas sun when it gets a bit too hot outside.

Screening in Your Porch with Style

When you think of screens for a porch, what do you think of?  Do you think of a rectangle with a screen inside?  Do you imagine it old and damaged?  Not to worry, there is a modern pleated screen system called SlideClear. This system isn’t just a series of framed rectangles that you can slide. These pleated screens can go across an entire entry way on their own without having to hide behind a window. The pleats let them fold up so that they’re practically invisible when they’re opened. Their material is stronger than traditional windows as well.

Acrylic Roof System: If You Just Want a Little Shade

If your porch isn’t already covered, you have a lot of options. One of the most simple options is an acrylic roof system. It can be placed in a pergola or any structure you would like. It blocks the more damaging UV rays and heat while allowing some light through.

The Acrylic Roof System will protect from hail damage and will not shatter.

If you’re not sure what products will work for your home, look at a gallery of before and after pictures.   Then you can get a good idea of what products you might like to try. Then when you have an idea of what you would like, get a free estimate.

Enclosing a porch sound like a time-consuming job. Don’t let the idea of the hassle get the better of you. You can hire experienced professionals to do the work for you. We can custom build the perfect screened porch for you. That’s a lot better than trying to make the products you find at a local hardware store fit in your home. When something is built custom, you know it will fit with your home.

A Space to Enjoy the Sun

A Space to Enjoy the Sun

It’s July now and we’re really starting to feel the heat. Texas has a lot of sunshine in the summer and a lot of heat.  There are ways to maximize your time in the sunshine without any of the harmful effects of the blazing hot summer sun.   While the sunshine is good, it can sometimes be too harsh. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with that.

Benefits of Spending Time in the Sunshine

Studies have shown that spending more time in the sun can elevate your mood and prevent problems like Seasonal Affective Disorder which is strongly correlated with a lack of sunshine. We need some sunshine to be happy.

Sunshine also helps your body produce vitamin D. This is good for children because vitamin D and calcium work together to make strong bones. Of course, strong bones are good for everyone so make sure you get your vitamin D is important no matter how old or young you are. Sunshine helps us all stay healthy and strong.

Enclosed Porches

Screened porches and sunrooms are a lovely way to take advantage of our wonderful weather here in Texas. A screened porch not only keeps you in the shade, it also protects you from insects like mosquito's that aren’t just annoying, they carry diseases. You can sit back and enjoy the great outdoors in the comfort and safety of your screened porch.

Sunrooms have an added advantage. You can choose whether or not to let the outside air inside. This is particularly advantageous during the winter. During a cool Texas winter, you can take advantage of the warm sunshine without all of the cold air. If you have pets that like to lay in the sun, this is a real bonus.

UV Protection

You can get UV protection from windows or even a roof. With an Acrylic Roof System, you can have filtered sunlight on your patio or porch. The specially designed acrylic allows some sunlight, but not the more dangerous wavelengths. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the sun without getting overheated or burned.

If the sun is a little too bright for you, you can get sun shades for your sunroom. Sunshades can be pulled down to block a little sunlight or all of the sunlight. You can make your sunroom as bright or dark as you would like.  This makes it easy to customize your outdoor experience.

Have a Wonderful Summer!

The sunshine is good for us. It helps our bodies produce vitamin D which helps our bones. Sunshine is also good for keeping us happy. There are times when the sunshine can get too intense. Thankfully, there’s something we can do about that.

We can take advantage of enclosed porches and sunrooms. Enclosed porches protect you from the sun and from pests like mosquito's. The also let you have a little time outside without worry about wasps or bees. As great as they are in the environment, they aren’t fun when they buzz around your head. Sunrooms add the added benefit of being able to choose when you want outside air. So, enjoy your summer and remember to get some shade as well.

How to Entertain Dinner Guests – Without a formal dining room

How to Entertain Dinner Guests – Without a formal dining room

Because many houses have eat-in kitchens, a lot of families don’t often need or use a formal dining area. So, we may convert our dining rooms to something more functional or we buy houses with no dining room.

Still, there are times when a dining room would be useful. It’s a lot easier for dinner guests to eat at a table than in a living area. Imagine you want to make your favorite soup or stew recipe for guests. Having them sit on living room furniture carefully holding their bowls while also trying to sip their drinks is a little too precarious.

Thankfully, there are options. Here are a few ways to have a dinner party without a formal dining area.

Take it outside

Weather permitting, setting up a table outside can create a relaxed casual eating experience.  If the weather is less than perfect you’ll need some cover. This is where a screened porch or sunroom can come in handy.

If you have a covered porch, sunroom, or screened porch it’s easier to plan an outdoor dinner party without worrying so much about the weather. A sunroom or screened porch can be turned into a dining area in a snap and a covered porch will protect your guests from sprinkles if the weather goes south on you.

Convert your living room

If the weather is too cold for an outdoor dinner, consider making your living room into a dining room for the evening.  If your living room is large enough you can move your living room furniture into a tight conversation friendly formation where guests can sit before dinner.

If you don’t have a large dining table, set up folding tables side by side. Add a lovely table cloth and you have a dining table. If possible, center the table under a light. That will give the room more of a dining room feel. If that’s not possible, hang twinkle lights above the table.

Serve couch-friendly food

If you can’t get all of your guests around a table, you can set up your furniture to make a conversation-friendly environment. Instead of all chair facing the TV, turn them to face each other. Make sure there are plenty of places for guests to place their drinks and serve food that is unlikely to spill. No spaghetti, no soups.

If you want to have a dinner party in a home with no dining room, there is a way. You just have to use creative use of the space you have. If you’re lucky enough to have a screened porch so you can enjoy a warm Texas evening with your friends, take advantage of it.  With fireflies providing a little of their own lighting all around, it’s a great way to spend an evening with friends. If you would like to add a sunroom or screened porch to your home, contact Sunspace Texas. We can help you have a lovely outdoor dining experience.

Having Fun in the Sun – Ideas to keep your kids cool and protected this summer

Having Fun in the Sun – Ideas to keep your kids cool and protected this summer

Kids need to play outside. There’s no doubt about it. Not only for their health but for your sanity. In Texas, we have a lot of sunshine. How can you protect your kids from the sun while they play outside?

Create a shady play area

A lot of new homes have trees, but they aren’t often big enough to provide shade. If that’s the case in your backyard, you can create a shady area. One lovely way to do that is with an arbor. If you don’t have plants that will fill in and cover the arbor anytime soon, an acrylic roof system may be perfect for you. It can be placed on an existing structure and while it lets a little light through, it will protect your child from the harshest rays.

Sunscreen and hats

If your child is going to be playing in direct sunlight for a while, sunscreen should be used to protect their skin. Hats can also be used to shade their faces. Don’t forget their eyes, though. Sunglasses are helpful if your child will be playing near bright or reflective surfaces.

Heat protection

Your child’s favorite shirt may be long sleeved, but during a Texas summer, they’ll have to dress appropriately for the heat or stay inside. Make sure you children stay well hydrated and don’t spend time in the sun without protection. Light clothing that breaths is the way to go. Instead of the usual cotton, lighter sportswear may keep your child cooler.

Another consideration when it comes to heat is footwear. Make sure your child has foot protection when they go to play at the pool. Concrete around pools can get dangerously hot during the summer so slip on shoes are good for use around the pool.

If your child will be playing sports over the summer, get shoes that breathe well. Keeping your child’s feet cool will make them more comfortable and help them perform better when they play.

Insect repellant

Summer is prime time for mosquitos. Keep your kids safe with insect repellant.  There are insect repellant/sunscreen combinations that can work on sunny days when the mosquitos are out in full force.

Chemical-free protection – Screened Porches

If you don’t want to have to layer your child with chemicals every time they want to go out, you can have your porch screened in. Your child will be protected from the sun and the bugs at the same time and without needing any chemicals on their skin.  This is especially good for kids with sensitive skin.

Texas is a wonderful place for families. The heat and sunshine make for a great place to swim and have fun in the sun. Keeping in mind a few sun safety basics will help your kids have a fun and safe summer. When you create a space for your kids to play outside in the shade, you’re protecting them from the harsh sun while still letting them have some creative outdoor play time.

Tips to Reduce Clutter in Your Home

Tips to Reduce Clutter in Your Home

If you’ve been in the same home for a while, you may notice that you’ve started running out of space for all of your things. Your house may be getting cluttered. Here are some tips that can help you get out from under the clutter. We’ll even cover what to do if you want to declutter without getting rid of anything.

Saying goodbye to clutter

If you have things you need to get rid of there are a couple of effective ways to do it without throwing anything away. No one likes being wasteful.

Have a garage sale.

Garage sales can help you get rid of extra things that still have some value. Advertise your sale on a local site like Craigslist to bring people in. Make sure you follow local regulations about signage. In Austin, for example, you’re only allowed to have signs for your sale on your property.

Donate to charity.

Even easier than a garage sale is donating to charity. There are charities, like the Texas Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, that may pick up items from your doorstep. If you’ve got more clothes than your closet can hold, you might want to consider this option. They’ll often take electronics and kitchenware, too.

Sell some items online.

There are multiple websites that allow you to sell things online. Some of them are nationwide and others are local. Just remember to be safe if you agree to meet someone to sell something. Meeting in a public place is best.

Want to keep your stuff but don’t have room?

Reorganize. 

Have you ever played Tetris?  If you have your items organized correctly, they won’t take up as much space. Rearrange your closet and even your furniture to make more space.

Expand your living space.

If you have extra furniture that you don’t want to part with, you may need more living space. This is also the case if you have workout equipment in your bedroom that always seems to be in the way. To get more space you don’t have to move to another home. You can expand your living space by converting your porch into a sunroom or by having it screened in. If the items you want to put in your expanded living space are sensitive to moisture, you will be better off with a sunroom with WeatherMaster windows.

Not only will you have more space, but you’ll add value to your home. The more square footage of living space you have, the more homebuyers will be interested.

Decluttering your home will make it feel more spacious. If you expand your living space, it won’t just feel more spacious. If you feel like you have too much stuff for your house, you don’t have to find a new house, you just have to find a way to take advantage of the space in the house you have. Whether you sell your extra clutter, give it to charity, reorganize it, or expand your living space, you’ll be happy with the results.

A Valuable Addition to Your Home

A Valuable Addition to Your Home

If you’re looking to add square footage to the living space in your home you have a few options.  You could convert your garage, convert your attic, or convert your covered porch into a sunroom. The easiest of these three is the last one: convert your porch into a three-season sunroom. Not only is it affordable, it also adds beauty and value to your home.

A sunroom adds value to your home while also adding functionality and living space. Not only are they affordable, but they add to the value of your home. One benefit of a sunroom over a converted garage is a naturally lit living space. Garages can’t offer as much natural light as a sunroom.

Three-Season Functionality

Sunrooms are functional additions to your living space. For example, you can use a sunroom as a casual dining space lit with twinkle lights in the evening. Enjoy the relaxed setting of your sunroom while enjoying dinner with friends.

A sunroom can also make a nice peaceful office. With natural light and the calm tranquility of the outdoors all around you, you can focus on your work.  Everyone wants an office with a view, right?  Why not make one for yourself?

A sunroom can also be a workout room.  Instead of putting your exercise equipment in your living room or bedroom, you can move it all out to the sunroom.  Then you can have a real workout space. You can enjoy the Texas sunshine while you exercise without having to endure the Texas summer heat.

It’s good for kids to play outside, but mosquitos and high summer temperatures can take the fun out of playing outside. If you make your sunroom into an activity room for your kids, they can play in the sunshine with protection from disease-carrying mosquitos.

Sunrooms can also be a three-season guest room. With the added privacy provided by Sun-Shades, your guests can spend a comfortable night in their own space instead of an uncomfortable night on the living room couch.

If you live in central or south Texas, you might get more than three seasons of use out of your sunroom. With mild winters, you can use your sunroom all year. In fact, winter can have some of the nicest weather with temperatures often getting into the 60’s or low 70’s.

Sunrooms are a worthwhile investment for Texans. Enjoy the Texas sunshine without all of the Texas heat. It doesn’t have to be a DIY sunroom that you throw together with whatever you can find at the local hardware store. Trying to put one together yourself can take a lot of effort. There’s another option, though. You can get a professionally built custom sunroom at a reasonable price.

You can get hardworking professionals to arrive at your home on time and finish the job on schedule. Let’s face it, with DIY projects, sometimes even the person doing the DIY project doesn’t want to show up on time. That’s not a problem when you hire professionals.

Creating a Workspace in Your Screened Porch

Creating a Workspace in Your Screened PorchIf you work from home, occasionally working outdoors may sound like a pleasant change. However, it can be difficult with insects bothering you. If you have a screened porch and a laptop, you can move your work to an outdoor space as often as you like.

One advantage to working on your screened porch is that it gives you a place to work without interruptions from family or the lure of TV entertainment. If you have a porch that is not already screened in, this might be the best reason to consider converting it if you work from home.

Computers and Laptops

It is not hard to get a computer working with full internet access in a screened porch. Even without electrical outlets, a laptop can function without external power, but you will benefit from using a laptop with longer battery life. However, most porches on modern homes have outlets, so you can just plug in a power strip if you need to use more than two devices.

Many laptops have ports that allow you to connect them to larger monitor screens, which are easier on the eyes, and even allow you to add an external keyboard and mouse.

Keep in mind that a laptop or tablet is probably the better solution for a screened porch because you can take it back into your home after each use. That way your devices are easy to move and stay protected from the elements.

To get full internet access going for your screened porch, you will need a wireless router and – if your computer doesn’t already have one – a wireless adapter. Nearly all laptops come with wireless adapters built in, but if yours does not, you can get an adapter that plugs right into it.

Most wireless signals can travel through walls just fine, but if your router is too far away (it could be several rooms away from your porch for example) you have a few options. The simplest solution is to move the router closer to your porch. But if that is not an option you can purchase a wireless booster, repeater or extender, all of which can extend the signal range of your router. Some routers have stronger signals than others, so if you are using an older router, it might be time to try out a newer one.

Desk

Many people prefer to use outdoor furniture in a screened porch because that room will be exposed to the elements. What’s the best option?

You can use comfortable outdoor furniture like a table with chairs. On a screened porch, you can get comfortable outdoor furniture that will last a long time because it won’t be exposed to the harshest of outdoor weather. The furniture also stays cleaner. This is a great solution for people who want to use their screened porches for multiple purposes. You can use the table as a workspace and then as a dining table.

 Sunspace Texas

Sunspace Texas can help you convert your porch into a professionally done screened porch, or even upgrade it into a sunroom.

A Peaceful Place to Study

A Peaceful Place to Study

Do you need a place to unwind and read or do your kids need a quiet place to study? The great thing about using a sunroom as a study is the use of natural lighting.  Natural lighting will brighten up your study and is better for your eyes than artificial lighting. And a sunroom will protect you from the elements so you can use it all year long without wind or rain causing any problems.

Furniture

One advantage of a sunroom over a screened porch is that you have more furniture and decorating options. A bench in the corner of your sunroom can become a perfect reading nook if you add some comfortable pillows.

A dining table is a good option for kids to do their homework. It’s attractive and you don’t have to have multiple desks in the room if you have more than one child working in the room at a time. That’s also a good idea if you want to use your sunroom as more than just a study. It could go from reading room to dining room in a flash.

Smaller children can use a coffee table as a creative workspace. Make sure to provide good seating so your child can focus on their work and not have to constantly shift around to get comfortable. Small children are easily distracted so a quiet comfortable room is a great way to help them focus when they need to do a little drawing or homework.

Electronics

In today’s world, kids in need of a sunlit space to read or do their homework will often need internet access and a computer device of some kind. Tablets and laptops are probably the best options for a computer device. If you want to keep it simple, a larger tablet or laptop might actually be a plus since they have larger screens and, in the case of laptops, larger keyboards that are easier on the hands.

What about internet access?  If your wireless connection turns out to be unreliable in your sunroom, you can improve its performance with an easy to install wireless extender device.

Reduce distractions

You may find that all this technology is a distraction for your kids since they can use their computer to watch television shows and listen to music. But browser plugins exist that block these services, which will reduce the temptation to be distracted. This is especially helpful to kids that need to finish their homework.

You can also use custom made Sun-Shades if the Texas sunshine is a little too bright.

Your children and do their homework in peace in your sunroom without the distraction of the TV and with lots of natural light.

Sunrooms aren’t just a place to sit and look at the birds. They are versatile spaces that extend your home. You can use a sunroom as a study, office, dining room, living room, home gym, playroom, and more. If you need to extend your living space, consider turning your existing porch into a sunroom.

Make Your Outdoor Space Rise to the Challenge

Make Your Outdoor Space Rise to the Challenge

42 AT HOME MAGAZINE - 2017 ISSUE
{Lawn & Garden}

Make Your Outdoor Space Rise to the Challenge

by Sunspace of Texas

What is your New Year's resolution? Work out more, read more, kick a bad habit? We all attempt to re-vamp and revitalize ourselves in the New Year. Sometimes changing your environment and ritualistic behavior can help.

Consider your outdoor space. Do you use it? Or, does it remain just a backyard that needs to be mowed and minimally maintained. The reality is, most of us are too busy to be master gardeners, pool maintainers, or porch cleaners. With work, kids, or life changes, time is of the essence and there is not the priority to tend to the outdoor spaces.

While these arguments are valid, let's consider what a lot of us do when vacationing or relaxing. What is the draw to go to the beach, ski resort, golf course? Being outdoors of course! Playing or relaxing in the great outdoors allows us to unwind, increase endorphins and feel better. Most of us are less stressed and renewed when it's time to return home after we've been revitalized by the outdoors.

I challenge you to bring some of the elements you enjoy when you travel to your own backyard. Whether you create a beautiful landscape, pool, outdoor kitchen or porch renovation, you can gain appreciation of your space and find happiness in your own backyard!

Some of us only go outside during the week when we go to and from work. If you had a great outdoor space, you might be inclined to catch an hour at the end of the day to unwind. Maybe go for a swim, putt balls, or even set up a treadmill on your porch and run on inclement days. Grilling dinner and eating with your family or reading a great book outside can do wonders.

Take into consideration what kind of investment you would like to make. You can go big and revamp your whole space, or start small and add different elements as you go. Sticker shock can be a deterrent. Some believe that spending money on their outdoor space isn't justified. But, a well-designed, functional out door space can increase value to the home and help sell it. Enclosing your porch increases the functional square footage as well. Plus, you can potentially save some money by enjoying your space over traveling to find something palatable.

One of the great things about our community is there are some excellent landscape architects, pool companies and outdoor construction companies that will help you achieve what you want. Equally as important there are companies that will come and service your space so you don't have to stress about it. The goal is to create a refuge, not an additional stressor of one more thing to manage.

So let the outdoor challenge begin this year. Transform your outdoor space into something you've always dreamed of. Enclose your porch, build a pool, outdoor kitchen, or whatever works for you!

Keeping Yourself and Your Pet Cool This Summer

Keeping Yourself and Your Pet Cool This SummerTexas has amazing weather. However, it can be rough on some pets to stay outdoors all the time. Sometimes, they need to be inside to keep cool on scorching hot days. There are also ways to create spaces where your pet can stay in the shade while they play outside. Here are some ideas that can get you started.

Dog Houses

While having a covered pin or dog house could work, they don’t really allow for you to be outside with your pet with both of you in the shade. What fun is it for your pet to play outside without you?  So, dog houses can provide some shelter, but a shady place for both of you would be better

An Acrylic Roof System

Acrylic patio covers are a great way to create a little relief from the sun for you and your pet in your backyard. They can go one many types of structures.  They also protect from UV light. They keep the heat out but let a little light shine through. They’re a good option if you want your pet to get a chance to be out in the open air without having to worry about too much sunlight. Some pets can get sunburn on sunny summer days here in Texas.

Sunrooms

You could go a step further and have a screened in porch or a sunroom for you can your pet to enjoy. That way there’s still fresh air, but not so much heat or sunlight. One advantage to a screened porch or sunroom is that they also keep out disease-carrying insects that can cause problems for your pet. Also, it’s a space that is indoors but has pleasant outdoor characteristics. If you have company over that is allergic to your pet, you can keep your pet safely in the cool sunroom.

Then you have an area where you and your pet can enjoy the sunshine without all of the UV rays and heat.

Having Sun-Shades installed in your sunroom can also be a big help. They go a step farther in protecting you and your pet from harsh sunlight. You can have them custom made to fit your sunroom. With help from Sun-Shades, your sunroom can stay a little cooler all summer.

By installing an acrylic patio cover, screen porch, or sunroom we can create outdoor spaces that we can enjoy with our pets on even the harshest of days. Sunrooms have the advantage of being sunny and warm even on cold winter days. Your pet can lay in the sun and get warm or get cooled off in the shade. Sunrooms are very versatile and pet-friendly.

They aren’t just for pets

Sunrooms are also people friendly.  You can sit on comfortable furniture protected from the elements and enjoy time with your pet. Sunrooms allow for you to use indoor furniture while screened patios and patios covered by acrylic roofs will also protect outdoor furniture from UV and damaging weather. This allows you to put more comfortable furniture in your outdoor space to make it even more pleasant for you and your pet.

Expand Your Home-Creating a home gym

Expand Your Home-Creating a home gym There’s a lot of lovely weather in Texas, but sometimes the weather is just too extreme for outdoor activities. What can you do if you want to exercise, but it’s too hot for a jog?  You could go to the local gym or you could build your own. It’s not as difficult or expensive as it might sound. Then, you can have your own gym without membership fees.

Finding or creating space

If you have a spare room, you can easily turn that into a gym by installing a fan and some workout equipment. What if you don’t have a spare room?

Another option is to add more space to your home. Consider turning your porch or patio into a sunroom.

While that may seem like an expensive option, it’ doesn’t have to be. It’s not like installing full addition to your house. You can use some of the existing structure. If you already have a covered porch or patio, you’re halfway there. If you already have a screened porch, a few upgrades could give your fitness equipment complete protection from the elements.

Sunrooms are a wonderful place to exercise. You have sunlight and outdoor beauty without blazing summer heat. If the weather is nice, you can open up the doors and windows for a real outdoor experience.

Once you have your upgrades installed you’re ready to put equipment into your new home fitness room.  What equipment do you need?

Buying equipment

For a home gym, you’ll likely need cardio and strength equipment. One often over looked piece of equipment is a good bench to help you when you’re using free weights. Also, a rack for your free weights will help keep them organized and out of your way when you aren’t using them.

Multi-purpose room

Your new sunroom can be used for more than just fitness equipment. If it’s large enough you can put the fitness equipment to one side and add a small dining or living room to the other side. Console tables make excellent room dividers without blocking light. Dining in a sunroom adds elegance you your dining experience. A sitting area in your sunroom will help you enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while resting comfortably inside.

Adding on a new sunroom doesn’t have to be expensive. With the right professionals doing the work you can get it done in a cost-effective manner.  Enjoying the outdoors has never been more convenient. In good weather, you can open the windows and enjoy the outdoor air while in inclement weather you can see the outdoors without the negative effects.

Is a sunroom right for you?

If you own your own home and have an existing porch, you can look into adding a sunroom. Just ask some experts for a little advice about the cost and the best plan for your home. You’ll be surprised how easy it can be.  However, if you just need a shaded area where you can work out, you may prefer an acrylic roof system.

Sunroom Décor – Keeping it light and breezy

Sunrooms not only add to your living space, they are a great place to enjoy some natural light. Here are some ideas to help you decorate your sunroom or screened in porch.

Sunroom Décor – Keeping it light and breezy

Keep it light

You can make the most of natural light by using light colored furniture. That doesn’t mean it has to be entirely white, but lighter colors will take advantage of the sunlight. If you have a sunroom that is completely protected from the elements with products like WeatherMaster porch doors and windows, you can use indoor furniture.

If you have a screened porch with SlideClear Pleated Screens, you can use outdoor furniture with an indoor feel.  The trick is to keep the colors a little lighter regardless of the type of furniture.

Lighting after dark

With a sunroom, you can use ordinary lamps, but with a screened porch you can use a variety of outdoor lighting techniques. Since you’ll be behind screens or windows, you don’t have to worry about attracting mosquitos or other insects. Along with your porch light, you can also add clear string lights to add a romantic feel.

Stay with your overall decorating theme

While you want to make the space lighter, you still want the room to flow with the rest of your house. That will make it feel more like an extension of your living space rather than a separate entity. You can use similar styles of furniture and similar decorative items.

Sunrooms don’t have to be casual. You can use formal decorating techniques. However, a slightly more casual version of the rest of your house is also appropriate.

Mirrors

While mirrors are often used to make a small space feel bigger, they can also give the illusion of being surrounded by nature when you place them on a windowless wall. This prevents you from having one dark wall in the sunroom or on your porch. And helps the room feel even lighter.

Houseplants

Well-placed potted plants can make the inside flow seamlessly to the outside. They take advantage of the natural light and bridge the gap between inside and outside.

Window seats

While sofas and other large furniture can be used, consider placing some seating that takes advantage of the windows. You can put bench seating in corners with a couple of pillows to make good use of the natural light.

Ceiling fan

Here in Texas, we have a lot of great weather. It can get a little warm, though. A beautiful ceiling fan can be elegant and functional. It will let you enjoy your space even on hot Texas afternoons. This is especially true of screened porches that can’t hold in your interior air conditioning. A ceiling fan will help keep the airflow going through your enclosed porch or patio area.

The decorating options are almost endless. Your sunroom or screened porch can be treated like an extension of your home. You can use it as an extra dining room or an extra living space. However, you use it, make sure to take advantage of the natural light.

SUNSPACE TEXAS of Bryan / College Station Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

SUNSPACE TEXAS of Bryan / College Station Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

 

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,

Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

College Station, Texas, January 6, 2017 - Sunspace Texas of Bryan / College Station has won "Best Of Design" on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The porch enclosure and sunroom company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners' work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A "Best Of Houzz 2017" badge will appear on winners' profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Sunspace Texas, Discover Fine Porch Living "We're so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Sunspace Texas," said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz. "Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality."

Follow Sunspace Texas on Houzz

About Sunspace Texas

Sunspace Texas has been providing customers with comfortable, attractive, well-constructed "Texas Rooms" porch enclosures and sunrooms - all at affordable prices. We pride ourselves on our customer service which is evident in the fact that over 75% of our new business comes from referrals. To satisfy our customers' needs we provide service after the sale and maintain a fully stocked warehouse including spare parts, panels, and hardware so you can get back to enjoying your "Texas Room" as soon as possible.

About Houzz

SUNSPACE TEXAS of Bryan / College Station Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017 Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish - online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

Creating an Outdoor Dining Space

In Texas, we like grilling and we like using our outdoor spaces. How can you create an ideal outdoor dining space for your home?

Put it under cover

If you’re wanting to grill and stay out of the sun, having a roof over your head can help. It can also be good for grilling on rainy days. An Acrylic Roof System can make your outdoor space more usable by keeping out the sun and the rain. With an Acrylic Roof System in place, you have extra protection for your outdoor furniture so it can last longer and you can dine outdoors with protection from the sun and rain.

Screen it in 

For protection from insects, you could screen in your outdoor space. With SlideClear Pleated Screens you can easily open up your outdoor space or close it to keep out insects while you eat.Creating an Outdoor Dining Space

Make a sunroom

For ultimate protection from the elements, you can create a sunroom. Open it up in nice weather or leave the WeatherMaster windows and doors closed for added protection from the elements. This provides ultimate comfort for an outdoor space. It can feel like an extension of your indoor living space with all of the beauty of the outdoors. In a sunroom, your furniture is more protected from the elements so you have the option to use indoor dining furniture.

Decorating an outdoor dining space

Think of your sunroom, covered patio, or enclosed porch as an extension of your home. Carry the theme of the rest of your house outdoors. If you have a lot of art on the walls in the rest of your house, then make sure to place sculptures and objects of interest in your outdoor space. In a sunroom, instead of a typical chandelier over the dining room table, you may want to consider a ceiling fan. That way you can get good airflow. Use comfortable furniture. All too often our patios and sunrooms are filled with less than inviting furniture. Under an acrylic roof or in an enclosed space your outdoor furniture will last longer and stay clean. That means spending a little more on comfort may be worth it. You’ll make more use of your space if it is comfortable and inviting. Good lighting is key to any design. An enclosed porch can be well lit without the fear of attracting insects. In a sunroom, you can use regular lamps and in an enclosed porch with screens, you can use outdoor lighting. Make your outdoor dining experience more pleasant by creating a space that feels comfortable enough to linger in. Your outdoor dining experience will be much better if you do. Here in Texas, we have Sunspace Texas to provide everything we need to create a great outdoor living area. All you need to do is figure out how to decorate it after the professionals do the installation. With a professional installation and with some great decorating you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from your comfortable dining area.