The History of LivingSpace Sunrooms

The vision for LivingSpace Sunrooms took shape in 1998 when our founder, Kraig Mackett, ventured into the unknown by starting a sunroom business. Frustrated by the poor quality and lack of customer care he found working in the sunroom industry, Kraig built a small, experienced team to change the status quo. Along with Mike Francis, our Director of Sales, and Jake Huskins, our VP of Engineering, Kraig patented and refined a new way to build sunrooms. Using far superior materials, a revolutionary framing system, and clever engineering, the early team at LivingSpace created the first sunroom that was a true home addition, designed to integrate seamlessly with our customers' homes and stand up to decades of harsh weather. After twenty years, that team has expanded to hundreds of employees and we are still growing! The following is his perspective on the sunroom industry and his experience in the home improvement industry that led him to working with an incredible team at LivingSpace today. Starting out My first real job out of college was working in the home improvement industry in sales. I ended up working for a company selling windows, siding, and other home improvement items. As I worked there, the company started to grow, and we got in the sunroom business. This would have been around ’92-’93. Our company was pretty innovative. We would look for solutions to try and create more value added to the homeowner because the building products industry really seemed to be fairly stalemated. Everybody had similar products at the time and no one would do anything to make improvements until one person made an improvement, and then everyone would race to catch up. This made it so there wasn’t very much genuine innovation in the industry. We took steps towards innovation by owning our own windows manufacturing business. This gave us…

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6 Tips For Choosing the Right Contractor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znovx_D3xDEA remodeling project can give your friends and family a space to enjoy throughout the year. For example, LivingSpace’s customers often remark that their sunrooms are the most popular rooms in the home. So a new remodel is an exciting prospect! And working with a skilled, responsible contractor on your project can be a truly satisfying experience. That being said, working with a difficult contractor can be a serious headache, with cost overruns, delays, and unreturned phone calls causing you unneeded aggravation. Thankfully, today there are more tools than ever to find a skilled, highly reviewed contractor with the right skills and credentials for your project. To help you take some of the guesswork out of picking the right company for the job, we’ve compiled six different tips to help you choose a contractor who’ll build your project just the way you imagined it. Tips to Choosing the Right Contractor Seek referralsFocus on quality and trust instead of budget and timelineMake sure the contractor is licensed and insured with a reputable firmAsk questions, expect answersLearn who will be installing the roomPay attention to the warranty 1. Seek referrals Talk to friends and family who have already been through the processCheck out online reviews for the companyAsk contractors for referencesVisit showroomsIf a friend or family member had a recent remodeling project that sparked your interest, reach out to them to learn about the buying process. Their experience can be invaluable. Hopefully they had a positive experience with a local remodeling company, and can point you in the right direction. Most local contractors deeply appreciate customer referrals and by letting a prospective remodeler know they came recommended, you can skip some of the awkwardness of an introduction and quickly establish greater mutual trust. Similarly, if someone you know had a bad experience,…

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The rundown: Tackling building codes and permits

The purpose of building codes One obstacle homeowners face when planning for home additions is the area’s strict building codes. Building codes regulate the procedures and details of construction. The International Code Council (ICC) maintains these codes for states or provincial governments to use. When contractors, like LivingSpace dealers, build onto your home, it is important they do so while obeying the area’s building codes.Building codes aren’t enforced to be annoying. In reality, they are there to protect your home. Building codes were adopted to combat large fires in densely populated urban areas. Since then, they have evolved to also address structure, electrical, ventilation, and construction materials. Now, these restrictions make sure the sunroom is well insulated and protective against natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes. By obeying building codes, you can protect yourself and your home. Selling your home However, life happens, and very few homes fully meet building codes. Some have said that failing to meet building codes means you’re unable to resell your home when the time comes. This is a myth. If it were the case, very few houses would be on the market today. Home inspectors only prevent resell if the code violation poses an immediate threat to the home or those living in it. In an extreme example, a code inspector would not allow a home to be sold if mild winds could rip its sunroom to pieces. Also, low R-values would be cause for concern. These types of violations are determined during construction, which is why it is critical to choose a contractor that cares about building codes and the materials they use. The LivingSpace difference Luckily, the LivingSpace sunroom creates a room that meets building codes in each of our dealer's areas. This is because LivingSpace uses the best materials available…

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LivingSpace’s Sunroom Collections Offer Variety of Selections

LivingSpace Sunrooms offers three remarkable sunroom collections, each designed to help different homeowners complete their dream home. The three collections offer different customization options while maintaining LivingSpace's commitment to quality. The Elements collection offers the greatest versatility in both design and materials, for homeowners with specific plans and a unique vision. The Transitions collection provides a wide range of customizations and attractive styling at an exceptional value. Finally, the Optimized collection brings together our patented technologies and industry-leading insulating materials in an affordable sunroom. Elements Sunroom Collection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIu0-xouef4The Elements style is LivingSpace’s premier collection. It uses state-of-the-art building materials to ensure your sunroom is the best room in the home.  A vinyl-fiberglass composite structure combines with foam-insulated window moulds to provide unmatched insulating power. The EcoGreen roofing and flooring system more sustainably add R-value. Low E3 Neat glass keeps harmful UV rays out of your home, and the Neat exterior coating helps keep windows clean by causing rain to run off in sheets. Additionally, the robust brick mold gives the sunroom an unmatched efficiency rating.The Elements Collection offers complete customization control to the customer. Elements sunrooms come in a wide array of factory colors made specifically to chemically bond with vinyl. Beyond colors, the elements sunroom collection offers 18 different window and door combinations to best match the style of your home. The knee wall can be made from either insulating glass or EcoGreen paneling. You can shingle the EcoGreen roofing system to match your home, and you can finish the room off with skylights. You can discuss all these options during your dealer consultation. Transitions Sunroom Collections https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQzluSobPdMIf you don’t need 100% customization control, the transitions collection may be a better choice. It has a lot of similarities to the elements sunroom, and the room is still made with…

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LivingSpace’s Sunroom Collections Offer Variety of Selections
sunroom collections

What are our sunroom’s made of? The LivingSpace Demo Kit

At LivingSpace, we create premium, energy-efficient sunrooms that you can use year-round. We do this by using the most innovative materials in the industry. In this demo kit walk-through video, our Director of Marketing, Trevor Calero, showcases our pioneering technologies in the same way our Premier Partner dealers will during your design consultation. LivingSpace's Demo Kit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YR24BdIAn4&t=111s Floor At the beginning of construction, a floor starter secures the sunroom to your home. We designed a patented floor starter made from sturdy vinyl-fiberglass composite. By using this building material, our starters create vastly stronger structures when compared to the thin U-shaped floor starters commonly used in the sunroom industry. Walls Once the floor starter is assembled, our certified installers start constructing the framework of the sunroom. They use our robust main post which is also reinforced with fiberglass. By using fiberglass in the main post, we create an energy efficient sunroom without needing the ineffective thermal break that aluminum posts require. Our main post also includes an electrical raceway making it fast and easy to install electrical wiring. Main Key Our patented Main Key, made from AmilanⓇ, fastens the main posts to the floor starters. The Main Key is one of the greatest advantages to a LivingSpace sunroom, as it attaches the main post and floor starters together internally. This creates a refined sunroom void of visible screws. Additionally, attaching the screws from the inside makes them immune to the elements. In contrast, visible screws need constant maintenance, as they expand, contract, and back out of their holes as the weather changes. Half Key We have designed a Half Key to function similarly to the Main Key and attach the corner pieces to the floor starter. Because of this technology, we are able to seamlessly design around corner walls to offer…

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A Ridge Beam Provides Support to your Sunroom

By code, ridge beams are typically necessary in LivingSpace’s Cathedral style sunrooms. The ridge beam is used for structural support on roofs with a pitch of 3:12 or below. For reference, pitches become steeper as they rise in value, meaning a 6:12 pitch is steeper than a 3:12 pitch. Ridge beams can be built for structures with a higher pitch, but they will provide decoration rather than support. LivingSpace relies on ridge boards and SIPS paneling to support these structures. Ridge Beams Functionally, the ridge beam supports the roof by holding up the ends of the roof joist at the ridge. This distributes the weight of the sunroom’s roof across the sunroom, with half of it supported at the ridge beam while the other half is supported at the header. The wall post supports the headers by transferring the weight to the sunroom’s foundation. Ridge beams are created by laminating wood veneer onto reinforced lumber. They are manufactured in different thicknesses and depths. Because of this, LivingSpace can better accommodate all sizes and amounts of snowfall. Likewise, connections between the ridge beam and the roof joists help stabilize the sunroom to prevent wind damage.Different decorating options are available to make the ridge beam aesthetically fit within the sunroom. One decorating option gives the ridge beam an aluminum skin. It is prepackaged with aluminum attached to each side, while the top and bottom are delivered unfinished. The roof panel is screwed together with the top of the ridge beam, making the unfinished area unseen. An aluminum sleeve is placed on the bottom once the ridge beam is attached to the sunroom. Another option allows a wood veneer finish to cover the aluminum sleeves. This finish is paintable and stainable to match the mood of the room. With this option, a mounting…

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A Ridge Beam Provides Support to your Sunroom
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Building A Sunroom for Year-Round Use

Quick tips for all-seasons sunroom constructionA sunroom helps you expand your home’s interior further into the Great Outdoors. But what happens when scorching summer heat or frigid winters make the outdoors seem a lot less great? When building a sunroom, it’s important to think about what happens to your room when conditions outside become downright hostile - and what measures you can take to make your room comfortable during all the time you want to use it.But first, let’s start with some good news. A true four-season sunroom is designed to be used during every season, pure and simple. Unless you call the Arctic Circle home or live happily in the borders of Death Valley, it should stay every bit as comfortable as the rest of your home, even during seasonal extremes.Because of advances in technologies used for energy efficient glass coatings, multi-pane insulated windows, and insulated vinyl structures, a sunroom can look and function just like the rest of your home. It should act like an expansion of your home and not a seasonal add-on that’s only comfortable half the time. That being said, there are some important considerations to make when building a sunroom, as seasonal climates vary wildly across North America, as do sunroom designs and building ordinances.With all that said, the greatest factors that determine a sunroom’s year-round usability are:Solar Heat GainGlass and Structural InsulationHeating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)So let’s dive right in.Solar Heat Gain: Managing How the Sun Heats Your New AdditionA common misconception is that in order to stop sunlight from heating your interior space, the windows need to reflect it outright, dimming your sunroom. Actually sunlight is a combination of ultraviolet light, visible light, and infrared light - each of which can be reflected independently of one another. For example, invisible silver-based…

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Why OSB is the best wood product for your sunroom

We use a lot of 3-letter acronyms in the sunroom industry, but one you might hear bandied about the most is OSB, which stands for Oriented Strand Board. Since we use this material so often, we figured we’d give you the 101 on OSB and break it down to the basics: what it is, how we use it, and why it’s useful. So strap in for your OSB orientation.At LivingSpace, OSB is one of the main components we use to make our Eco Green panels. These panels are incredibly versatile - we use them to build roofing, decking, knee wall panels, and more. Eco Green panels are a compound building element, with a thick layer of dense foam sandwiched between two pieces of OSB, for a rigid structural piece with excellent thermal properties that helps insulate the LivingSpace sunroom. OSB is one of the most popular wood products in construction, and it’s used by a range of craftsmen working on anything from do-it-yourself jobs to professional projects. Similarities: OSB and plywood The best way to explain OSB is by comparing it to another commonly used wood product: plywood. OSB and plywood are fairly similar in terms of functionality and structure, and they’re both installed onto roofs, walls, and floors. Both products have similar structural performance measurements and standards. Additionally, OSB and plywood are both durable under a variety of different exposure settings, including Exposure 1, Exposure 2, and Exterior. The Exposure 1 classification is the most important, as it accounts for 95% of all structural panels. An Exposure 1 classification says that the wood used to build sub-floors and sheathing panels can be open to the elements during construction without compromising the structural properties of the panel. Differences: OSB and plywood The two woods are both strong choices, but there…

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Using Vinyl-Fiberglass Composite vs. Aluminum for Sunroom Installation

LivingSpace is the only manufacturer on the market building composite sunrooms made with vinyl and fiberglass reinforcement. Vinyl is an excellent insulator, making it highly energy efficient. Fiberglass gives the sunroom strength and durability. Most other sunroom manufacturers use exposed aluminum as the main building component of their sunroom. Aluminum easily conducts thermal energy, making it an exceptionally poor insulator. Nonetheless, it does provide some benefits like adding structural support. When planning for your sunroom addition, it’s important to understand each material to best judge the sunroom options available. This post goes through the cases for and against a composite sunroom and an aluminum sunroom. The case for the vinyl-fiberglass composite sunroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=u64YJ0W4zG8 Durability: Fiberglass is an extremely strong, stable, and thermally non-transmitting building material, and vinyl is made of an exceptionally strong PVC plastic resin. Both withstand inclement elements, including heavy winds and rain. The composite sunroom resists excessive moisture, and it is resistant to corrosion over time. It also resists pests and does not rot, allowing it to keep its original qualities for many years. Because of its resistance to wear and tear, vinyl maintains its color and finish - even vibrant custom colors - and the structure only requires once a year cleaning. Energy Efficient: A vinyl-fiberglass composite sunroom is an economical choice, as it is is a phenomenal insulator against both electrical and thermal energy. This gives the material a greater R-value, and makes it a great choice for sunrooms in regions that experience extreme heat or cold. Consequently, lower energy costs reduce the carbon footprint your sunroom creates. Furthermore, it can lower your HVAC repairs and maintenance because the HVAC system is under reduced stress. Environmentally Friendly: This graph shows the environmental impacts of different building materials. As shown, vinyl siding is shown as the…

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Using Vinyl-Fiberglass Composite vs. Aluminum for Sunroom Installation
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LED Recess Lights

How They Work Nothing beats the rich natural light that sunrooms allow in. Once the sun sets, however, you’ll need adequate indoor lighting to protect you from stubbed toes and perilously misplaced legos. The challenge with lighting a sunroom is that recessed lights need to be placed inside the insulated panels of the roof, where they can build up a dangerous amount of heat, especially with incandescent bulbs. Even average LED lights, which are far more energy efficient, generate too much heat to be considered safe. The issue is that the converter in a typical LED bulb creates heat when lowering the 110 volt electrical current in your home down to a usable level. Fortunately, LivingSpace Sunrooms offers a simple solution: integrated LED lights with separated transformers. Energy Efficient LivingSpace is committed to bringing you an efficient, long-lasting sunroom product. Our LED Recess Lights are one of the most energy-efficient lighting technologies on the market today. They have a lifespan of 50,000 hours, meaning they can shine for more than five-and-a-half years before burning out. That’s 25 times longer than a comparable incandescent bulb. LEDs are able to do this while using 75% less energy, on average. Furthering this comparison, incandescent light bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat. Competing light bulbs, such as Compact Fluorescent Light, lose 80% of their energy as heat. Meanwhile, LED Recess Lights only lose 20% of their energy to heat. This video helps visually demonstrate the heat loss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAcc1WBbE1MThe Department of Energy suggests that the use of LED lights offers the best opportunity for energy savings in the United States. Widespread use of LEDs could save approximately 348 TWh of electricity by 2027. This is equivalent to 44 large electric power plants or $30 billion of electricity costs. Individually, those utilizing LEDs can save…

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