Author Archives: Samantha Vincent

conservatory room

How To Secure Your Sunroom When A Winter Storm Comes

Sunrooms are great for many things. But, it is a pure luxury to sit in your cozy sunroom made of glass and watch the snow falling around you. What a relaxing and magical way to enjoy the winter days.

Create your own winter haven by adding an electric fireplace, some cozy throws on the furniture, and a thick furry rug for the floor. You can even use this room as your holiday room with lovely decorations.

Maintenance

Your quality built sunroom or conservatory room is made to withstand nature. Winter storms are not a problem for them. However, just like any other part of your home, they regular inspections and minor repairs are needed to maintain the integrity of the sunroom.

Contact your contractor at Simply The Best Conservatories to schedule your annual winter maintenance check before winter hits with full force.

Things to look for

conservatory room

Here are some common issues you can look for. Of course, your contractor will check the room for you, but if you notice any of these problems, it is a good idea to let them know of your concern so they can come prepared to make repairs.

  • Drafts
    • When you are enjoying the room, do you ever feel a draft or an occasional coolness pass over you? Have you ever noticed candles in the room burning as if they are being blown gently to one side? If so, there is a draft. It can be caused by a leaking window seal, worn weather stripping around the door, or maybe a crack or gap in the room that is not easily seen.
  • Gaps in the roof
    • Over time, roofs age and they are exposed to wind, rain, heat, and ice. So it is reasonable to expect there could be a gap in the roof. This is just a small place where the roof has pulled away from how it was installed. Even if it is small, rain and snow enter the gap. In the winter the moisture freezes and this can cause damage to the roof. You may notice a drip when the sun shines on the gap. Even if your gutters are working properly and kept clean, there should not be a drip coming from them without reason. This is a minor repair. Left unattended, it will not remain minor. Make sure the roof is checked for gaps annually.
  • Branches
    • One of the most common causes of winter damage of a sunroom comes from falling or blowing branches. Check the trees near your sunroom. Are there any branches that are dead? Are there branches that are near the room so that a hard wind could blow them into the glass? Check your property for branches that need to be pruned. Remove branches that are dead or dying so they will not break loose in a wind and hit your room.
  • Things in the yard
    • If there are patio sets, toys, playhouses, and other things in your yard, put them away for winter. If there is a swing set for the children, it is simple enough to leave the frame but remove the swings so they cannot be blown into the sunroom in a winter storm. Even something as minor as a patio table can be overturned if the weather turns ugly. Police the area and remove items that are near the sunroom.
  • Water source
    • If you have a water source near the sunroom, like an outdoor faucet, be sure to wrap it with a proper winterizing material. A frozen pipe could burst and that is a hard thing to fix. You do not want that kind of damage near your sunroom. It is easily prevented.

Simply the best conservatories are industry leaders. They can inspect your sunroom or conservatory and make any repairs before winter arrives. Click here for more information: http://simplythebestconservatories.com/conservatories/

sunroom repair

How To Decorate Your Sunroom For The Holidays

There is nothing more beautiful than a sunroom that is decorated for winter holidays. It is like looking into a life-size holiday card. However, before you begin this is the best time to take care of any sunroom repairs that are needed for the winter season.

Sunroom Repairs and Maintenance

Sunrooms are just like any other room in a home. Over time, life happens which causes minor issues. Taking care of minor problems ensures they stay minor. It is less costly to make a repair in the early stages. Before you begin your holiday decorations, consider calling your sunroom contractor to have your sunroom inspected. Here are a few common issues to look for:

  • Broken or cracked windows
  • Broken window latches
  • Leaking window seals
  • Aging or damaged flooring
  • Aging caulking allowing for air leaks
  • Storm damage
  • Bent or cracked frames

Once you know that your sunroom is in good repair, you can proceed with your holiday decorations.

Decorating

sunroom

When you decorate your sunroom for the holidays, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. You can do the traditional decor. This would include stringing twinkling lights around the room so that they twinkle around the top of the windows. The hanging clear lights give the entire room a magical look.

You can add a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments. A beautiful tree skirt is a good addition, and making the skirt large enough that it can easily accommodate under a toy train track gives you the option of the old-fashion favorite of the toy train that runs around the floor beneath the tree.

Theme Room

Another alternative that is beautiful is giving the entire room a holiday theme. Hang green wreaths with a ribbon around the main glass wall. Stagger the lengths of the ribbon so that every other wreath is slightly lower than the one next to it.

Place holiday throws around the furniture. Add some plush throw pillows. A big faux fur rug is a nice touch.

If you do not already have one, place an electric fireplace in the room. The glow of the illusion of open flame adds warmth and beauty. Decorate the mantel with garland, candles, or laces filled with glass ornaments.

Combine the two

sunroom repair

You can combine these two looks by decorating the theme room and them adding the decorated tree to the center of the window or in the corner near the fireplace. If you do this, hang one large wreath on the door and eliminate the others. Also, use twinkling lights that do not hang down but string along the top of the window. This keeps you from having too much. For more ideas, click here.

End of season

With a theme room, you can keep the look through the winter by simply using throws and pillows of color without holiday scenes. After the holidays remove the tree, lights, and wreath. Leave the fireplace, throws, pillows, and rug.

Place a set of skis in the corner or a set of ice skates near the door. This gives the room a winter scene that is appropriate until spring.

Enjoying your sunroom through the holiday season is a luxury. It is a beautiful way to stay warm and enjoy panoramic views of snow outside. So, grab a cup of hot chocolate and head for your holiday oasis. Happy Holidays!

8 Important Benefits Of Pool Enclosures

benefits of pool enclosures

There is no doubt that owning a pool is a wonderful thing. They are beautiful and add to your property value. They are a great source of exercise, a focal point for friendly gatherings, and way to reduce stress in your life. Below we will go deeper into enclosing your pool is a very wise decision.

What are Pool Enclosures?

pool enclosure is much like a conservatory for your pool area. It is a room made primarily of glass and that covers the entire pool area. This allows the sunshine in while protecting the swimmer. They are built in various designs and can be built to accommodate a diving board or lower to keep temperatures stable.

Benefits of building a pool enclosure

  • Access
    • You can enjoy your pool all year. The elements are kept away from the pool. You can have temperature control equipment installed with the enclosure.
  • Safety
    • Having a pool enclosure ensures that children cannot get in the pool without an adult. This is an incentive that everyone should consider. When a pool owner is away from home, children will sometimes try to sneak in for a swim. This is one headache you will not have. You are in control of who has access to the pool.
  • Value
    • Owning a pool in itself is not always a value to your home. If the pool is not enclosed, it cost a lot more to ensure the property. However, the addition of the pool enclosure removes that risk. Insurance is affordable and the property value rises.

pool enclosure benefits

  • Cleaning
    • The worse part of being a pool owner is the constant battle of keeping objects out of the pool. When the pool is enclosed, leaves, sticks, bugs, and debris cannot blow into the water. Your pool stays clean and ready to use.
    • Cost-effective
      • A pool enclosure lowers the amount of pool water that evaporates in the sun. The sun maintains your water temperature, but you do not lose it. This also lowers the growth rate of algae. All around you save on water costs, chemical costs, and maintenance costs.
  • Fewer chemicals
    • The cleanliness of the water has a direct effect on the number of chemicals you will need. This makes keeping your pool in order more efficient.
  • Protecting the pool
    • The pool enclosure protects the pool. Storms bring high winds, hail, blowing branches and trash everywhere. Your pool is safe inside the enclosure. Nothing can be blown into the pool which could go into the filtering system, causing damage.
  • Growth of the property
    • You can have a pool enclosure built to specifications. It can be any shape and size. You can have the room built large enough to include a hot tub or spa that you plan to get in the future. It is a beautiful addition to the property that grows with your need.
  • Protection from the sun
    • Direct sunshine is a dangerous risk to the skin. Sunscreen helps but it does not last forever. With a pool enclosure, the sun warms the room but does not shine directly on your skin. This is a major health benefit for sun lovers.

    Adding a pool enclosure adds value to your home, extends the life of the pool, and prevents accidents involving curious children. Owning a pool is a luxury many people never attain. Get the full benefit of your pool by adding a beautiful pool enclosure.

conservatory repair

5 Easy Ways To Update Your Conservatory

A conservatory is more than just added space. It is a place to express yourself and to create livable space that is inviting and comfortable.

Fall duties

As the weather changes, we are reminded that winter will soon be here. Just as you check your heating and plumbing systems every fall before they are needed, check your conservatory. Make sure there are no cracks, damage, or leaks. If you find anything, call your contractor for conservatory repair before the harsh winter is at hand. With that out of the way, you can begin the business of updating the look of your conservatory.

Themes

conservatory repair

  • Backyard

There are many looks and uses for a conservatory. You can make your conservatory feel like an extension of your backyard by adding a patio swing. The wooden swing will hang from chains and create a perfect patio appeal. Add thick cushions for comfort and a cozy throw will bring this all together.

  • French cafe

This look is especially cute if your conservatory has an inner brick wall. But it can be achieved without one. The first thing you must do is break out the white paint. Walls, trim, and wooden furniture is all painted white. The room can be furnished with a small round cafe style table and two wooden chairs. The only color comes from the burst of color of your plants and table centerpiece. Depending on your space you can add a small sofa and cocktail table as well. French street signs and lanterns add warmth.

  • Formal dining

As you head into the holiday months, make a fun and inviting conservatory by setting it up as a formal dining room. Rich cherry or oak furniture with beautiful table settings make your conservatory look post-card perfect.

  • Garden of Eden

conservatory repair

Turn your conservatory into a garden paradise with plants. Use free-standing garden boxes to grow fruits and vegetable or herbs and flowers. Decorate the room with rustic country-chic pieces.

  • Holiday conservatory

Not many of us have a place that we can decorate for the season or holiday without disrupting our lives. Imagine the fun you will have decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. Your friends and family will see your handy work as your conservatory comes to life. The best part is your decorations are protected from the elements.

Other tips for updating your conservatory

  • Change the doors on your conservatory for more modern designs
  • Install roll down shades with prints of your design for instant charm
  • Install, repair, or replace the gutters. These are often overlooked and the result is an untidy conservatory. Before it gets cold, get the gutters in good repair
  • Consider upgrading your roof. Over time roofs wear and sometimes they make the conservatory look old. An updated roof will look better and reduce noise.
  • Weatherproof your room and make sure heat is not escaping. If you are having issues with temperature control it may be time to invest in a new thermostat. Your HVAC contractor can take care of this easily.
hot tub enclosure

Things To Consider When Adding A Hot Tub

For centuries, man has recognized the therapeutic benefits of hot water. When you combine swirling, spurting jets with that hot water you get the ultimate in healing and relaxation. A hot tub or spa can be a healthy solution If you suffer from chronic pain brought on by conditions such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Strained muscles

Important considerations

Before you begin, you need to understand that while a hot tub is wonderful, it is a body of water and it can be dangerous. It is important to include a hot tub enclosure in your plans. Other considerations include:

  • Zoning considerations and permits
    • Your contractor will be able to help you with this
  • Are there any special residential or homeowners association requirements for adding a hot tub in your area?
  • Safety requirements and signage
  • Plumbing and drainage issues
  • Access to the area for the contractor
  • Humidity control
  • Ventilation
  • Cleaning systems
    • While the use of chemicals is necessary there are machines that will reduce the need for them
  • Electrical requirements
    • Check with an electrician to ensure you have proper voltage and wiring

Your hot tub will require a solid foundation which will support the weight of the tub and the water and will provide a safe entry and exit when the floor becomes wet.

Which hot tub do you want?

Buying a hot tub is like buying any other appliance. The price is based on the size of the unit, the quality of the unit, and the manufacturer. You will need to consider the shape and size of the unit in order to fit it into the designated space. You will also need to determine how many people you would like to fit in the hot tub at one time.

Do your homework. Inquire about the efficiency of the unit and the chemical costs and equipment available to keep the water clean.

Be sure to inquire about the warranty of the hot tub. Remember though, a warranty is only as good as the company that sells it to you. So, use a quality label.

Hot tub enclosures

As mentioned, a hot tub enclosure is the safest way to protect children and pets from life threatening accidents. But there is more to the use of an enclosure than that. The hot tub enclosure keeps leaves, dirt, and insects out of your hot tub.

An enclosed hot tub area allows you to use your hot tub all year. You do not have to let cold temperatures, rain, or even snow stop you from enjoying your spa.

Finally, hot tub enclosures are beautiful. They add to your property value and can be created in different shapes, heights, and sizes. These factors help with the operating cost of the unit and the comfort levels.

There are few things in life more relaxing and more beneficial to your body than a hot tub. We encourage you to shop wisely and use an enclosure for the life of the system and the safety of everyone around you.

The Costs of Adding a Sunroom – An Investment For Comfort

When they say necessity is the mother of invention they could have been talking about sunrooms or solariums. As early as the 16th century, people were using houses made of glass, to bring the outdoors inside.

Those houses have been called greenhouses, hot houses, orangeries (for conserving oranges), Pinery (for conserving pineapples), conservatories (for conserving plants). Sunroom costs are minor in comparison to the benefits they provide.

During this time, the health benefits of these open-area rooms were discovered and hospitals began installing solariums.

Throughout the years, the quality and efficiency has improved. This makes them much more available and practical for the individual home.

Building a sunroom onto your home is a wise investment

There are several reasons why adding a sunroom to your property is a financially sound choice. The reasons include:

  • Improves the aesthetics of the property
  • Increases property value and resale price
  • Adds quality living space
  • Improves lighting (by providing natural light)
  • Open area provides impression of extra space
  • Safe area for children and pets to get sunlight and still be in secured place

How much does adding a sunroom cost?

Note: every home and property layout is different. It is important to speak with a professional for an accurate quote based on your particular needs.

Permits:

Your contractor will pull all required permits. Choose a quality builder with experience who is licensed and insured.

Foundation:

When choosing a foundation, (concrete or wood), where you live is a big consideration. Pouring a concrete slab in the north has more requirements due to the freezing conditions than in the south. This could increase the cost for a concrete slab quite a lot in the northern states.

However, if you are using an existing porch or patio as your foundation, those expenses will be reduced significantly.

Choosing what type of sunroom

Gable – A Gable type sunroom is just what it says; it is a room surrounded by glass with a gable roof.

Studio – A Studio has more of a “Lean To” attached style to it, in that the roof attaches to the side of the house and come out like a porch with glass walls.

Conservatory (Solarium) – Solid glass walls and ceiling to get the full benefit of the natural light available.

Victorian – elaborate and ornamental with roof top details

Edwardian – simple, more squarish, higher pitch in the roof

Georgian – 18th-century style not as ornate as Victorian, usually doesn’t have gutters

How long does it take to build a sunroom

Once a typical sunroom is started, from the time the permits are pulled until the final inspection shouldn’t take more than three weeks to complete it. If the foundation is already there the time will be cut considerably.

With the cool months right in front of us, if you act now, you could be enjoying your fall season in the comfort of your very own Sunroom.

Contact a professional today to get an estimate today and find out what you would need to make your dream a reality. Your (quality) builder can provide references and answer any questions you may have.

pool enclosure

Glass Pool Enclosures Make Year Round Swimming a Reality

There is nothing more refreshing, fun, and healthy than swimming. Water lovers often invest in a home pool and sometimes an outdoor hot tub. These are luxuries that give us a greater quality of life. Thanks to glass pool enclosures, pool, and hot tub owners can enjoy these luxuries year round.

What are Glass Pool Enclosures?

glass pool enclosure is much like a conservatory for your pool area. It is a building made of glass that covers the entire pool area. This allows the sunshine in and harsh weather out. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, built to suit your needs.

If you like to use a diving board or want height above the pool, you can have it. There are enclosures that are specifically built to handle the height requirements of diving. If you are not a lover of heights, you can get a medium or low height enclosure, which has its own specific benefits. The lower ceilings trap heat in the water better, which reduces power consumption and they combat evaporation caused by the rate of the wind, which means you do not have to change the water in the pool or spa as often.

Are there other benefits?

Besides the fantastic and obvious benefit of year-round swimming, having a glass pool enclosure has many (and often) surprising benefits.

  • It adds value to the home

The glass pool enclosure is beautiful and functional and adds to the resale value of your property. It has tremendous curb appeal and takes your home pool to a whole new level.

  • Reduces the need for excess chemicals

An enclosed pool has a reduced exposure to phosphates, pollutants, and pathogens that can be hazardous. Because of this, you need fewer chemicals to keep the water clean. This means a healthier swimming experience and financial savings in operational costs.

  • Less cleaning and maintenance

Your pool is protected from objects that fall or land in the pool. No more will you have to spend an hour cleaning and vacuuming the pool before you can even get in. The pool is no longer subject to:

  • Dead leaves
  • Falling branches
  • Tree pollen
  • Bees and ants
  • Toys that are accidentally thrown in
  • Bugs and spiders
  • Safety and liability

The number one fear a pool owner has is someone being hurt or killed on their property. Pools are magnets for children. No matter how close we are watching, children will manage to get into an exposed pool, hot tub, or spa. Every year in the United States more than 3,500 children drown in pools and most of them are children under the age of 14. No alarm, gate, fence, or wall can ensure the safety of neighborhood children as well as a pool that is protected with a glass enclosure.

  • The integrity of the pool

You do not have to worry about storms, wind, rain, and other elements causing damage to the pool since the weather cannot blow things into the pool there is no chance of debris clogging the water or filter system.

If you are a pool, hot tub, or spa owner, a glass enclosure is the best investment you can make for your health, quality of life, and continual financial savings.

 

 

victorian conservatory

Why A Conservatory Or Sunroom Is The Best Type Of Home Addition

The addition of a conservatory or a sunroom to a home is not a new idea. In fact, in many parts of Europe and the United Kingdom, the custom dates back to the 16th century. In areas where there is a lot of rain and wind, a conservatory or sunroom allowed the homeowner to enjoy their gardens when the seasons would not have permitted it.

Recent generations have experienced a renewed love of these structures. Today, we live in a global society. Uses for the sunroom and conservatory reach far around the globe. While our lives are no longer dictated by the climate in which we live, we still must bow to mother nature when the rains and winds must come.

Does the Victorian conservatory fit your style?

A sunroom is a room made of glass that is attached to the home. When you enter the sunroom, you enjoy the entire view of the landscape, all the way around the home. Plants grow well and the additional space has many features to enhance family life.

The addition comes in many styles to complement the architecture of the home. The Victorian style conservatory is one of the most popular because it works well with many home designs. It is plain, yet elegant and detailed. A conservatory has a roof that is also primarily made of glass, while a sunroom will usually have an extension of the roof on of the existing home.

Why are they a good investment?

victorian conservatory

Financially, conservatories and sunrooms are a wise investment because they add to your property value. They give you more living space and a unique and classic structure. A professionally built Victorian conservatory is a beautiful addition that adds character and depth to the home and gives it a more desirable curb appeal.

Homeowners use the area as a study, entertainment area for guests (especially if there is a pool nearby). Children are allowed to be exposed to the sunshine and the beauty of playing outside but remain safe. They are safe from people who may be up to no good, animals that could hurt them, or wondering out of sight and becoming lost.

As they are, in some climates, the conservatories or sunrooms are usable space (usually) three seasons per year. But we live in a modern world and the installation of a heating and air conditioning system can make these 4-season structures.

Plants

Some people use their conservatories as a room to grow flowers, vegetables, and other plants. Commercial conservatories do this on a much larger scale. Companies sometimes build these areas for the enjoyment of their employees. Relaxing in the areas or working with the plants provides satisfaction and stress relief. Not to mention that the plants are nutritious and exposure to the plants is good for the body. It is proven that people who spend time near plant life concentrate better and have more focus.

There are no negatives about building these structures. They add value financially, personally, and professionally.

 

 

4 season room

Convert A 3-Season Room Into Year-ound Living Space

Many homeowners enjoy the luxury of having a sunroom or a conservatory built onto their homes. This adds living space for relaxing, entertaining, or even to be used as an office or playroom. However, to change a 3-season room into a 4-season room brings with it a set of challenges.

What makes a 3-season room different than a 4 season room?

The easy answer to this question is heating and cooling. Many sunrooms are made from porches that have been converted. The porches are enclosed and this allows you to have space which is used spring, fall, and summer (except for very hot days). However, without a heating system to keep you comfortable, the room becomes useless in the winter. If you live in an area that has long, cold winters, this can make a serious impact on your living arrangements.

Why not just add a heater?

The original intention of the room has an impact on the future use of the room. If the room was built with glass walls and a glass roof, it is a conservatory which is designed to grow plants. A sunroom is almost all windows but with a solid roof. It is brighter and takes in more light. It is a living area.

The position of the room and the amount of sunlight it is exposed to make a difference. Here are a few other considerations:

  • Is there open space under the room?
  • How much insulation is in the room and roof?
  • What kind of flooring does the room have?

All of these factors must be taken into account to determine the challenges of heating the room. If the heating (or heating and air conditioning) system is continually cycling on and off due to extreme glass, sunlight, lack of trees or shrubs nearby the cost of heating it will be expensive. The life of the HVAC system will be shortened, and it would be difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room.

To avoid these issues, you need a professional. They will check these factors and advise the best way to achieve your goal of having a 4-season room. This may mean some reconstruction of the structure, adding insulation, and planting greenery around the room. It could mean changing the roof. Or it could mean very little. Only an expert can tell you how to change the room and how to save money while increasing the property value of your home.

It is more affordable than you think

4 season room

This type of project can be very cost effective. One way you can save money is to tap into the existing HVAC system. Many of the building materials can be reused in the conversion of the room.

To know what expense you can expect, call a professional to come and give you a free estimate. Also, contact your HVAC contractor for an idea on what that will cost. You may be pleasantly surprised at how affordable this project can be.

sunrooms in NJ

Sunroom Serenity – The Hidden Health Benefits

The idea of a sunroom added to our homes brings images of enjoying life with our family in a protected and beautiful environment. If you live in a place that has harsh winters, you know the importance of owning four-seasons rooms for year round enjoyment. States like New Jersey have winters that keep the average person cooped up for several months per year.

What many people do not realize is that sunrooms have a lot of surprising health benefits that improve our lives. We will show you a few of the ways, having sunrooms in New Jersey can improve the quality of your lives.

Sunrooms New Jersey

While the temperatures begin to drop in the month of October and continue to drop until after the holidays, it is not the cold weather that causes the primary problems. Humans need exposure to natural light. Man can create artificial light for homes and offices, but they cannot imitate natural light. It is not the sunlight itself that causes the changes in your body. It is the reaction from your body to produce biological reactions to the sun that matters.

Ways a sunroom can help improve our health

sunrooms in NJ

  • Depression

It is a proven fact that sunlight has a direct effect on a person’s mood. When the brain is exposed to sunlight, it produces the “feel good” chemicals we are often deprived of when we are stuck in doors. Spending time in a sunroom tells your brain you are in a good place and rewards you with chemicals needed to keep you there.

  • Sleep deprivation

The human body has an internal clock that signals us to wake and too sleep. Because our lifestyles are often 24/7 machines, we need a signal that helps us keep our rest program. Using a sunroom is the easiest way to reset our biological clock and restore our natural sleeping habits.

  • Growing herbs and vegetables

A sunroom is the perfect environment to grow fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables. This is a fun hobby and a very calming project to work on. It is inexpensive and the plants are lovely to see in flower boxes or planters. But the best part is the foods you grow are healthy and delicious for consumption by you and your family.

Other benefits

sunrooms in NJ

  • A sunroom is a perfect place to entertain guests.
  • It adds beauty and additional living space to your home.
  • Increases property values
  • It can be used as a home office, exercise room, or guest room when needed
  • It makes a safe and healthy play room for children
  • Perfect pool room for

There are many styles of sunrooms. They can be built to accessorize existing property style. As you can see, there are no limits to the uses of a sunroom. Consult with a professional sunroom builder for a free quote and to determine the best options for your property.

You cannot stop winter, but you can harness the powers of nature that will create you home into a place of rest and healing.