Sunday, October 9, 2016

Considering a Sunroom? Check This Out..

With recently buying a house, my wife and I have made some BIG plans. Who knew dreams sometimes cost bookoo bucks!

Researching the average cost to build a sunroom, I found estimates all over from $1,000 to upwards of $70,000! Here's a good example of one such site: HomeAdvisor - Sunroom Costs.

Knowing my dad recently undertook a project like this, he pointed me to a favored company: Better Living Sunrooms. They did such a good job with his project, I called them up for a quote. They couldn't give me an estimate over the phone, but one of their design consultants, Dan, came out to my house yesterday and it was fantastic!

Yesterday morning, Dan came and walked me through the entire process start to finish. At the end, he added up the costs, and the project totaled about $50,000 for a 14' by 12' sunroom. Wowza! You may be thinking, "That's insane!, I could do this myself for way cheaper." Well, before you move on, check out where the costs came from and decide for yourself:

1) $4,000 for Concrete Foundation (Labor and Materials) - I have an 8' by 14' concreate slab already sitting outside, but to be flush with the door on the house, 5 inches more of concrete will need to be put on top. That leaves 4' by 14' of remaining concrete to pour at 10" thick. There's calculators online to estimate how much concrete that would be, but the price quoted was way cheaper than anything I could do. Now, if you have a similar situation as I (Already have the concrete placed), do note that it needs to be footered (See Concrete Network - Footing Fundamentals for more info).  If it's not footered, the contractors may have to break up the existing concrete slab and redo that area. I used the Concrete Calculator to estimate how much concrete I would need.

2) $2,500 for Demolition to House and Sliding Door Installation. Sledgehammers Up! Where the entrance to the sunroom will be sits an outer brick wall, door and a window. The entire section spans 6' wide, 7.5' tall and 9" thick. Dan gave me an estimate of $2,500 to remove the wall, window and door completely, and then install a 5' 8" sliding door. According to Angie's List (Angie's Sliding Door Estimate), the average cost of a sliding door can be between $1,200 to $2,500, so to add in removing the wall, this seems very reasonable.

3) $2,000 for Roof with Shingles. According to Dan, the default roof is made of aluminum and vinyl. For better aesthetics and an additional cost, you can get a shingled roof instead of the white vinyl. Our house roof is shingled, so it would be in our best interest to add this to our sunroom's roof. The reason for the extra cost, is that Dan and his team would need to install wood supports onto the vinyl roof, and then install the shingles. I asked if I could just have someone do this later, but to keep the 50-year warranty on the sunroom, they'd have to at least install the framing. Any roofer would be able to install the shingles afterward.

4) $16,800 for Labor. Dan told me this would take about 3 weeks. According to - Building a Sunroom, the average cost per hour is $70 for a carpenter. Since Dan and his crew are doing the electrical, masonry, carpentry, roofing and demolition, I estimated two workers on site for 120 hours (40 hours * 3 weeks), which gave me $16,800 total. When my dad's project was being worked on, at most I saw two people working.

5) $1,800 Heating and Cooling System. Dan looked at my central heat pump / air condition system. He could try to connect it to the sunroom, but that could cause all kinds of issues. One great example is that adding the sunroom could cause the air conditioning condenser's maximum capacity to be exceeded, thus causing me to have to replace it at a greater cost than this heater. I agree that for the price of their heat pump / air conditioning system, it was a much cheaper to install a separate unit. Plus, this typically appeases the building inspectors more.

6) $22,900 Building Materials and Permits (Windows, Electrical, Structure/Framing). I had to ballpark this due to not knowing the exact costs nor how much my city would charge in permits. My estimate came from: Total Cost - (#1 + #2 + #3 + #4 + #5). I know this might seem high, but the windows they use have a u-value of at least 0.15, and the aluminum and custom made structure was built to last, not leak and definitely not bring mold/mildew into your house. Also, the glass is tempered and has a 15-year warranty.

So there you have it! Of course, cost may vary per state, but hopefully this give you an idea. Now, that I know the cost, perhaps a few years down the road this dream will be reality.

What about 5 years from now you ask?! Well, I'm glad you asked! Looking at this study (CPExecutive - Inflation), I'm guessing with 3% inflation each year, $57,963.70 is the estimate! Haha, I love numbers. Well, until next time, enjoy your week!