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Sunroom Windows Questions

We would like to have our screen porch enclosed keep elements (rain, snow, dust, allergens) from coming in and increase the usability of our space, however, we also do not want to make this into a full addition. We have received 3 estimates (so far). 2 came back with sunroom recommendations and the 3rd came back with a recommendation of installation of Sunrise windows.

Our intent is to be able to extend the time frame of this space (earlier in spring, later into fall\winter) and create a space that our 3 year old can extend into when we can't physically be outside with him (we live on a busy corner). I understand that naturally any window will allow for some "greenhouse" effect to warm the space and we are even considering a baseboard space heater only to extend the time frame, not to make it usable in true winter temps. Based on the conversation with the contractor and the research I have been able to do (thanks largely to your website which was very informative!) I am thinking he is recommending the Sunrise Restoration Windows (he referenced low-e glass, argon gas and a smaller profile).

Several questions:

1. Are Sunrise windows a good option for our solution? Or is there another line of window you might recommend?

2. Is there a Sunrise line that is better for this solution in order to balance cost? (your website mentions increased energy efficiency for Restoration, but we are using it on and uninsulated room)

3. Insulated glass vs tempered glass? (what is really needed? want to make sure our 3 year old is safe)

4. Will our planned usage affect the life of the windows or warranty?

5. Anything else we should consider?

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Short the purchase of the home, this would be our first big expenditure.

Nick - Homeowner - from 2015

[Site Editor's Response]

Ryan, sorry for the delay in my response, I was spending the week with my kids so I have been a bit out of touch.

1. and 2. So, Sunrise vinyl windows are an excellent brand and the Restoration line is very good. The Verde and Vanguard models are also very good and should be a bit cheaper, but not always (some contractors get solid pricing on the Restoration line that is pretty close to these two other models, which are actually not THAT different from the Restoration model). The standard Sunrise frame, with their basic low-e glass would probably work fine, but it's not going to provide the same quality over time as the Restoration. From a long term value, I would say stretch to the Restoration and insist on a good quality install.

3. A standard low-e glass is fine. Laminated or tempered glass is not necessary, unless you require a hurricane or impact type window for the coast. The laminated option also provides some increase in soundproofing qualities, but nothing too substantial.

4. Using the space as a sunroom will not have any affect on the warranty or the life of the window.

5. The only other issue I can think of is whether you might want to consider a higher SHGC on the glass to allow in more heat during these cooler months in order to extend the time period that you can use the sunroom each year. Ask your contractor - I assume he knows the Sunrise rep - if this makes sense (perhaps not).

Good luck with the project and with your 3 year old. I have one myself - it's a great age, but man does it test you at times!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2015









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