Hosting guests for the holidays is part of what makes the season so special, but it can also put a lot on your plate during what is already a busy time of year. One of the best ways to fight holiday stress is to prepare as much as you can in advance. There are certain last-minute holiday tasks that are unavoidable–recipes you have to make in the moment or flower arrangements that you want to keep fresh. That is unavoidable. Fortunately, you can set up and furnish the rooms of your house to be comfortable for guests well before you arrive.
A sunroom is also called a sun parlor, sun porch or sun lounge and it’s a structure usually built onto the side of a house. It allows you to admire and to enjoy the surroundings and the views while being sheltered and protected from rain, wind and other weather conditions. The name is very suggestive actually. Since this room has large windows in order to allow panoramic views, the sun gets through and the room is filled with light and warmth.
There are numerous different types of designs for the sunroom. It can be constructed out of a variety of materials. For example, you can have a brick sunroom if you prefer a more rustic décor. You can also build it out of wood to make it feel warm and cozy or, if you want to emphasize the views, you can build it out of glass. The roof can also be made of glass so you can admire the sky and enjoy the weather to its fullest.
Use blinds for the windows in case the sunlight becomes disturbing
You could also use the sunroom as a second dining area
A fireplace will make the sunroom warm and cozy when the weather is unfriendly
Use skylights for extra light and beautiful views of the sky
Decorate this space with plants and flowers for a more natural look
Turn the sunroom into an entertainment and relaxation area
Use comfortable furniture and pleasant textures
A glass roof would definitely be a wonderful feature for a sunroom
#1: There Is No Such Thing as a Maintenance-Free Deck
Because they are under constant attack from the elements, all decks, regardless of the native climate or type of material they’re made of, require some degree of maintenance in order to retain their look and structural integrity over the years. While rain and moisture present a clear threat to a deck’s longevity, it’s the relentless UV rays of the sun that exact a particularly harsh toll. And while a deck in an arid, sunbaked backyard won’t last as long as one beneath the canopy of lush foliage. With proper attention, even the shortest-lived deck should last for at least 15 years (and possibly up to the lifetime of the home).
Homeowners are faced with a number of choices when it comes to choosing the type of building material for their deck. As the longtime industry standard, pressure-treated wood remains the most popular choice by far, and there’s good reason for this: it’s a reliable, cost-effective, and attractive option.
#2: Cleaning Before Sealing Is Absolutely Necessary
An incredibly useful tip for any homeowner reaching out to a deck contractor is to ask them what they’re going to do first, what steps they’re going to take and if they say anything about sealing it before cleaning it, they’re not who you want.
There was a homeowner whose beautiful deck lasted all of a year before mold took a hold and left it in a state beyond repair. Because the homeowner was given the impression by a negligent contractor that a new deck didn’t require cleaning prior to sealing, the microscopic mold spores that naturally inhabit the wood were trapped beneath the seal, left to multiply exponentially and wreak irrevocable havoc on the lumber. Needless to say, the homeowner was devastated to learn how easily this could have been prevented.
The real focus of the cleaning isn’t so much the removal of visible dirt and grime as it is the elimination of invisible microbes and mold spores. Homeowners should have the cleaning performed at a time when very little sunlight is hitting the wood so that the wood can remain as damp as possible. A simple blend of one part bleach to three parts water constitutes a cheap and effective cleaning solution.
#3: Sealing/Staining Is the Key to Your Deck’s Longevity
After the deck has been thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry (which could take anywhere from 48 hours to a week, depending on the climate), it’s time to choose a sealant or stain. Ranging from transparent finishes to opaque stains, there are hundreds of different options from which to choose, and it can be downright overwhelming. While nearly all will afford protection from rain and moisture when properly applied, you should use oil-based solutions, as they actually seep into the pores of the wood and create a greater defense from the sun’s UV rays.
How often does the deck need to be resealed? There’s no simple answer to this, as factors such as climate, location (especially with regard to how much sunlight is received), and construction materials come into play. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional deck contractor, such as Steadfast Construction, since we are familiar with the area and therefore, be able to provide advice.
Schedule A Conversation About Building A Deck or Repairing Your Current Deck
Three Season Porch
Sturdier than your average screened in porch or enclosed deck, a 3-season room addition is a good option for homeowners who want to enjoy outdoor living in style but who don’t need the living space available all year long. 3 season rooms are:
- Used primarily spring, summer and fall
- Often added to an existing deck or patio with a few structural changes
- Separated from the rest of the house with an exterior door
- Heated and cooled separately from the home, if at all
- Not insulated
- Generally completed within a week
A 3-season porch has windows with integrated screen systems and can be used for long periods throughout the year. They can shield you from outdoor elements such as rain, wind, sun and insects, but 3-season porches are not heated. Therefore, it is not a part of finished square footage, but is considered an enclosed space.
One of the biggest benefits to a three-season porch is the fact that it is very economical. Since it is not heated or cooled, it costs much less to build than a four-season porch or room addition would. It also does not require any additional money to heat or cool this space. Maintenance costs are very minimal as well.
Four Season Porch
A 4-season porch (also known as an all season room or sun room) is a room that functions as an interior room, but allows you to take in the views of the outdoors year-round. It has permanent heat and is included in the finished square footage of the home.
A 4 season room, also referred to as all-season or year round room, is integrated into the construction of your home, existing roofline and exterior. This structure is:
- Constructed to use your existing HVAC for year round usage
- Open to the rest of the house
- Constructed with insulated, walls, floor and roof
Fairfax County Award Program Honors the Achievement
FAIRFAX COUNTY July 6, 2018 — Steadfast Construction has been selected for the 2018 Best of Fairfax County Award in the Deck and Porch Construction category by the Fairfax County Award Program.
Each year, the Fairfax County Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Fairfax County area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Fairfax County Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Fairfax County Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Fairfax County Award Program
The Fairfax County Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Fairfax County area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Fairfax County Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Fairfax County Award Program
Fairfax County Award Program
1. Don’t Skimp on Design Help
Given the busy lives most of us lead, we don’t have the time to research every type of technology and material that might be used on a construction project. Let Steadfast Construction save some of the time that would otherwise be spent learning and perfecting the process. Your budget might be tight, but we’ve seen time and time again that trying to save money on design actually can cost homeowners far more in the end, in dollars and frustration.
Homeowners often underestimate the cost and complexity of a home addition project. The cost of the design work on a project is something that homeowners may consider skimping on to save money, but we find that the best way to avoid problems in construction is to invest time with us up front to think about the construction process during design. This takes far less time than fixing mistakes that happen when the walls are going up.
We at Steadfast take the time to review your project in great detail by focusing on the layout of the project, how people will enter and exit the space, how furniture will be placed and other details on how to create an enjoyable atmosphere for the homeowner and those accessing the space.
Once we talk about our initial findings and your thoughts, you can opt to have us create custom CAD and 3D design deck drawings based on those ideas. These 3 dimensional images allow you the homeowner to get a clearer idea of their new space’s potential. If you already have a 3D deck design in hand, we are ready to bring your project to life. If you need help with planning, you can use our experience in creating master plans for projects.
Click here to learn more about our design process.
2. Become Part of the Team
Most people spend more time planning their next vacation than they do planning their house project. Not that planning a home addition project has to be a full-time job. Steadfast Construction can help you understand your role in the project as well as the contributions of other team members. That means participating in the process from the start so that you stay fully up to speed with what is happening throughout the project.
We’ve seen clients assume that we know what’s going on in their head and are surprised when something comes out different than what they were expecting. That’s why communication is important.
Steadfast Construction will assist you so you understand what is being communicated at each stage of the project. The best opportunity for this is during the design meetings. Remember, if you don’t understand something, ask. It’s better to get everyone on the same page early before a structure gets built that sticks out like a sore thumb.
3. Establish Your Goals and Refer Back to Them Frequently
Be ready to suggest ways to get what you want while avoiding potential problems down the road. If you can create a list of priorities, then when you are faced with challenging decisions during construction, you will be able to look back at your prioritized list to really focus on what will get you closer to your goal instead of what may be a costly distraction.
4. Establish Your Budget and Add at Least 10 Percent
Be sure to set aside a construction contingency for critical items. Due to the complexity of the construction process, unforeseen issues might come up. Without a contingency, you might find yourself short of cash when you really need it.
5. Don’t Get Attached to an Optimistic Timeline
Steadfast Construction will take the time to carefully plan and build your addition most efficiently. It takes time to work out the details of a project, so if you need to get the project designed and built very quickly, there might be situations that won’t be fully resolved in the design phase. There will always be elements that will need resolving onsite, but taking the time to do as much as possible on paper can reduce costs.
If you need a brand-new deck design in Northern, VA it’s very important that you understand some of the types of designs that could fit into your backyard. Homeowners often feel like they don’t have space for a deck or like a deck could restrict some of the flow of their backyard. Decks can easily increase the usable space that you can enjoy for entertainment, relaxation and for enjoying time outside. Rather than thinking of a traditional layout for your deck here are some of the top options that you can use for deck designs:
A Corner Style Deck
If your home has an empty corner of space on your land one of the best decks that you could consider for this area might be adding in a corner style deck that will complement the existing architecture. With sliding doors out onto the deck, it will feel more like an extension of your living room space or indoor space than any other deck design.
Party Ready Deck Designs
Adding in elements for an outdoor party can be an excellent way that you can get a deck that’s designed for entertaining. By adding in features like a hammock, a spot for an outdoor fire pit, and outdoor pizza oven and more, you can enjoy a wonderful space for entertaining that was purpose built for a party.
Using different types of materials: if you are worried about a deck design in Northern, VA breaking up your backyard with one plain design you could consider using multi-materials for your deck . Adding in concrete planters, a different style of wood for bench seats or a different style of wood for the stairs, you can break up your deck design and get many different looks.
Incorporating nature: if you have a tree in your backyard that you are worried about cutting down for your deck, you could consider leaving it as part of the deck design. Custom fit the deck around a tree or garden to minimize the impact of your deck on nature.
If you have limited space available you could consider building just a small platform that’s perfect for a patio set. This could give you the optimum outdoor dining experience as well as a usable space in your backyard for entertaining.
If the idea of straight angles is a big turnoff for your deck you could consider a modern deck design with the help of a curved deck. Introducing various curves and landings do deck could be a wonderful way to set your outdoor decking apart from neighbors.
Space Off The Master Bedroom
In one floor home, most people build decks directly off their kitchen, living room or dining area. A new and contemporary way to introduce the deck into your home is by building a very small deck off of your master bedroom. This is an excellent way that you could introduce lounge chairs or a nice outdoor space for relaxing with a coffee in the morning.
Mini Deck For Your Shed
If you already have one small outdoor patio you could consider adding a secondary deck for your shed or garage area. A small outdoor shed area could be perfect as a workshop, kids playroom or just a spot to enjoy with a few lawn chairs away from the home.
A Garden Path
If your backyard is mostly gardens you could consider adding a pathway as an extension of your deck design. A deck pathway encourages people to explore through your gardens and get a closer look at the hard work you have done.
Sunroom: This room — also called a solarium or conservatory — is a glassed-in living space typically attached to the house and accessible from indoors. It is designed to function as additional living area during mild weather but may be too hot or cold in the heart of summer or winter.
Four-season room: Closely related to the sunroom, this option is designed to be heated and cooled. As a result, it can be enjoyed year-round.
Screen room or porch: This option has walls constructed of mesh rather than glass, which offers the advantage of fresh air without insects. Like the sunroom, it is habitable only when the weather is agreeable. It makes a terrific budgetary choice.
Sunrooms and four-season rooms are walled with glass and roofed with glass or polycarbonate (a tough, transparent thermoplastic). A glass roof is quite a bit more expensive but provides the most clarity.
Need assistance on what type of addition to get? Contact us and we will go over your options.
Vienna, Virginia (7/01/2017) – Qualified Remodeler, the premier publication serving remodelers and home improvement companies in the United States, has selected STEADFAST CONSTRUCTION as one of the Top 500 remodelers of 2017. Since 1978 the QR Top 500 has tracked the industry’s largest and most successful companies.
STEADFAST CONSTRUCTION was chosen as a 2017 Top 500 (#296) remodeler by the Qualified Remodeler editorial staff for meeting a set of criteria including installed remodeling dollar volume, total years in business, industry association membership, industry certification, industry awards and community service.
“Based on Qualified Remodeler’s analysis, the Top 500 firms tend to share several common attributes, including excellent strong revenues, a commitment to customer service, insightful sales techniques and strong customer loyalty,” says Qualified Remodeler owner and editorial director, Patrick O’Toole. “We’re positive these attributes helped put the firms on this list and contribute to their success.”
Additional information on the Top 500 can be found in the August issue of Qualified Remodeler and at www.qualifiedremodeler.com.