I am considering adding a sunroom to my house. What is the difference between a 3 season and 4 season sunroom and Ontario?
Is there a different building permit for Heated space?
Is there code regarding building the skirting to grade or do I need an air gap?
I have talked to a couple of different companies about sunrooms and they have both mentioned techno posts rather than footings. What are the pros and cons of techno posts?
What is the best way to ensure that they are reasonable companies?
The difference between a 3 season and four season is that a 3 season is mostly constructed from prefabricated material and glazings (windows) that do not provide full inuslative value (R value). Therefore the building permit for a 3 season does not stipulate any heating, insulation and vapour barrier requirements, whereas a 4 season does
As regards skirting, different areas have different requirements and skirting becomes an issue when a proper foundation is not used in order to minimize costs by not having a proper foundation.
Techno posts are a specialized solution originally designed for use in unstable soils where the existing foundation continues sink and heave, or where the distance to stable undesturbed soil is long enough to make concrete foundation and proper conventional footings too difficult or expensive to install. Installing them will cost you a premium but will save the builder a lot of labour because no proper footing is required under you wall or concrete post.
Reasonable, reliable companies boil down the the expertise and experience of the contractor. Most sunroom companies are franchises that have perfected the consumer sales experience to increase sales, and some of the prefabriaction techniuqes used to save them on material,installation and labour costs. They often subcontract installation. These prefabricated units have specailized issues when they do not preform, meaning they are not easily repaired with conventional building techniques, resulting in greater repair cost. As a result of this, you will find many reports an complaints on the internet regarding prefabricated sunrooms.
We offer 4 season sunrooms with proper window glazing and foundation for the price the competition is charging for 3 season units. The term 3 (three) season is a misnomer in this region because as you know a large part of spring and summer quiet cool, making a three season sun room as comfortable to occupy as an open porch.
techno post is one of several different companies offering helical piles. I myself am a dealer of Postech helical piles.
There are no cons to helical piles, they are faster, cleaner, and greener. There is no digging, no property damage and they are easier for the builder to work with. Postech piles are pre-engineered and can offer a guaranteed bearing capacity at installation and are guaranteed not to heave with frost. A regular 10" sonotube can be installed for less than a pile but they are subject to potential frost heave. If you are in an area that requires bigfoot footings as protection against heaving, helical piles are considerably less expensive.
Building a four season addition on peers is an excellent way to save some money. We have built many additions like that.
My only suggestion is when you do hire a contractor tell them to double the amount of peers that the building department requires, it does add a bit to the coast but the end result is great.
As for air space you need a min. of 2 around the perimeter, we usually screen that part in and you do not really see it. And if you are high enough up you can put bin a trap door for storage.
What you will need to decide is whether you would like to use the space 12 months of the year or only from early spring to late fall.
My advice would be to have the sun room available for use 12 months of the year. Yes I know there is a cost consideration but it is nice to be able to sit in the sun room enjoying the morning paper and coffee either in the summer, fall, spring and winter.
The building permit procedure is the same for either one but you may need more structural and heating information for a heated sun room. There would also be consideration for insulation in the walls, ceiling and floors. I would also suggest a frost wall foundation for the heated sun room.
Yes there is a code for the skirting as it will need to be treated wood or metal/aluminum to prevent any water damage or more importantly termite infestation.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
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