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Question DetailsAsked on 2/1/2013

Need a specialized Sunroom contractor for a 2-story addition or do better with a GC? 2nd story is a walk-in closet for MBR.Replaces 2S deck

Want to replace our 2-story wood deck with a sunroom, larger than existing deck, topped with a walk-in closet for MBR on 2nd floor. Will need concrete work to replace cracked patio under new room (for outdoor storage), brick (pillars) to tie in with house architecture, and trex(like) decking to expand area beyond new sunroom on first floor. Have architect's plans with sunroom as screened in porch (changed mind). Live in Historic District in city of St. Louis. Sunroom contractors insist that the specifics of sunroom windows are beyond the knowledge of General Contractors. What kind of contractor would be better?

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You definitely need a General Contractor for your job. If you are using a prefab sunroom kit or windows in aluminum frame with no other structure, like the curved bumpout atrium-like fronts you see in restaurants like Wendy's and Arby's and others, then those are a special breed of animal and should be installed by a factory approved installer - who could be a sub to the GC. For sunroom windows in a normal framed structure, then a normal GC can handle it fine.


Your architect's plans will need to be updated for the changes and to get permitting and in that district probably will need planning and zoning public hearing and review, because unless the sunroom is old- brick and glass along the lines of the brick and glass main building at the Botanical Gardens, might not be approved.


Adding a second story sunroom is a whole lot different than what you had originally planned weight wise, so the deck framing and support columns will have to be recalculated and most likely upsized. This is particularly important with the all-glass and glass-in-aluminum-frame units (as opposed to stick-built) because they are not as tolerant of movement, so the "deck" they are mounted on has to be really well framed. Generally, such contractors will NOT do that type of installation on top of a wood deck - they want concrete footings or they will not warranty it, which could put a real kink in your plans.


However, depending on what you intend to use it for, and whether you intend it to be tornado proof since that is a rare but not unheard of event in your specific location, particularly if you are out near U City, an alternative would be an acrylic shell greenhouse structure. Definitely not something you would want to keep heated all winter and not energy efficient to air condition in STL summers, but could use area heater and air conditioners to just condsition when in use, and keep controlled but welll out of normal house temp range whenn not in use.


I would say time to go back to architect for concept and plan revision discussions.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD




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