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Woodland Exteriors Blog

This is where we will post relevant articles, information, and how-to's related to all things home exteriors, specifically sunrooms, roofing, and siding. Check back often for updates and new information!

Replacement Siding Transforms House

ElkGrove Before After 1

Time takes it's toll on homes. Homes need constant repair and upkeep. As important is to maintanence is keeping them updated. When it's time to make a serious repair to your home take a page from these homeowners who didn't just replace their worn out siding and old windows with new versions of the same thing. These homeowners completely transformed their home. It looks like it was just built.

ElkGrove After Before 1

This beautifully transformed Elk Grove Village home choose replacement Craneboard Honey Oak, Dutch Lap siding, white porch and ceiling soffits, white gutters with oversize downspouts and Marvin Infinity casement bow windows.

Replacement Marvin Infinity, Stone White windows were installed before the siding was replaced in order to achieve the cleanest and most water tight installation.

Today building materials come in every imaginable style, color and design. Create your own  custom look. The choices rival the fashion industry! Be bold and transform your exterior - you'll love coming home.

 

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Skylight Installation Lightens Up Winter

Flat roof window 1280x700

Velux Flat Roof Skylights

Skylights are an antidote to our long, dark cold Chicago winters when we tend to use more artificial light in our homes. Consider adding Velux skylights with high visible light transmittance (VT) for natural light while reducing the energy costs of keeping interior lights on throughout the day. VT doesn’t directly affect heating and cooling of your rooms, but it is a measure of how much light gets through the skylight into your home. A skylight with a high VT can be visually beneficial in winter for us humans, trapped inside our homes and starved for natural light.

Select glazing’s for maximum visible light

The amount of transmitted light into your home is influenced by glazing you select, the type, number of layers and coatings. Choose a home professional who can guide you through the tradeoffs of using different glazing’s to moderate temperature versus the visual light that will be increased or reduced. It’s a trade off, but depending on the conditions of the room the perfect solution will depend on the desired effect.

VT of glazing’s ranges from above 90 percent for water-white clear glass to less than 10 percent for highly reflective coatings on tinted glass. In the past, skylights that reduced solar heat gain also reduced visible transmittance. However new high-performance tinted glass with low-E (low-solar-gain) coatings make it possible to control for both factors. Thoughtfully designed skylight installations can result in reductions in electric lighting energy consumption.

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Velux Fixed Skylight with Blinds

Improve your well being

There is growing evidence that daylighting, exposure to natural light, is linked to a greater well-being and productivity. Daylight is essential for our mood and is an important factor to consider when designing your home. Daylight helps to balance our 24-hour Circadian, our bodily rhythm, and is vital to our health. If you are considering adding skylights to your home, this is your opportunity to make optimal use of daylight.

A skylight can let in more light- of a consistent quality and brightness, even on cloudy days – than window alone can. Skylights can brighten the middle of the house and skylights can transform a staircase, entrance hall or landing. North facing rooms are the darkest as they get the weakest light intensity so that natural light from above will make a welcome difference.

Use thermal shades at night

To keep the heat inside your home, consider factory installed blinds with a built-in solar panel power source that provide some heat insulation and may qualify for a 30% Federal tax credit.

During the day you’ll get some solar heating from the skylight, especially if you make sure you get one with as high a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) as you can, while balancing the VT trade-off. SHGC is the amount of heat that’s absorbed through the skylight. The best solution we recommend is to use solar powered shades to help to keep your home warmer after dark. The shades can be closed at dark to keep the room’s warmth overnight.

Velux Skylights

Velux skylights, sun tunnels, and roof windows can take the darkest room and brighten it with natural light and reduce your winter electric bills because you don’t have to ‘keep the lights on’. Available in multiple designs, Velux products and qualified installers can accommodate multiple rooflines with a flat design that provides a sleek look. Depending on your needs, skylights also come as fixed with a pre-finished white wood frame or vented models with either a manual rod for opening and closing or a solar powered remote option.

Focus on designing the right skylight for winter, focus on the Visual Transmittance value in combination with the location in your home to optimize natural light all winter long.

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Sunrooms in Winter – How to heat your sunroom

 

Imagine if you could have a place to retreat to during those long gray, cold winter months that would instantly bring cheer to your day. Not everyone can afford a Florida retreat, but you can create such a place right in your own home. Design a sunroom to accommodate all types of weather, including winter. If your sunroom wasn’t designed with winter in mind, with some simple heating options, you may be able to do a few things to make it more appealing in the winter.

 

winter sunroom

Grandview Sunroom

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Styles of Sunrooms - Depend on Functionality

Woodland GrandView Sunroom

Adding a sunroom is not unlike deciding to build an addition to your home. In both cases, it’s a financial commitment, which promises a significant return by adding additional space that improves the quality of yours and your family’s life. With so much at stake, how do you choose the right style, the right products and the right installation company?

Style and function

Start by deciding what will be the function of your sunroom. Do you need more space? Are you trying to connect your indoor living to outdoor living? Or do you want access to more natural light in your home? Maybe you want the sunroom to match your home so closely that it looks like the original construction? Your goal begins the discussion about the type of sunroom you’ll need in both style and function. Woodland Exterior sunrooms integrate every product component to create the exact room that delivers the function you specified.

In other words, if you need more space, the design can optimize the footprint. If you are connecting your interior space to the outdoors, select the right energy efficient products to minimize temperature impacts to the rest of your home. If you are wanting more natural light in your home environment, the design should identify the best orientation and windows to maximize light. And matching your home’s appearance is accomplished by selecting an installation company with custom design experience and a team of installers who are craftsmen.
Woodland GrandView Sunroom

 

Woodland Exteriors sunrooms come in all different styles either an all season sunroom or a three season sunroom. Chose from a custom built or component built. Component built, whether all season or three season use the same basic product components and the all season sunroom specifications call for additional energy performance components. Learn more about custom built traditional sunrooms.
 
Component Products
v The InsulGlaze 450 window is 7/8” dual pane argon filled window. Low E glass reduces both heating and cooling costs and a non-metallic foam spacer reduces condensation.
v Glass performance measures include; a center of the glass R Value of 4, a whole product NFRC U Factor score of .28, and a SHGC of .29.
v Window insulation uses EnviroTherm injection foam filled polyurethane insulation in the multi-chamber uPVC frame and triple weather stripping.
v Wall panels are made of high strength aluminum extrusions, foam filled, thermally enhanced and dent resistant knee walls.
v Insulated composite roof with batten system construction add additional energy efficiency and strength. Even the weight of six feet of snow wouldn’t damage the roof panels.
v Almost limitless choice of custom colors to match the siding and trim of your home.
Installation
v Custom design and custom built to exacting tolerances, and engineered from top to bottom.
v Built on a concrete slab or existing deck as the base of your sunroom – little to no excavation or disruption of your landscaping or home is necessary.
v Woodland sunrooms are built to last with a lifetime limited warranty.
 
There are a lot of choices in the marketplace for sunrooms, making the decision to buy one confusing and time consuming. Several years ago, when Woodland Exteriors decided to add sunrooms to our product offerings our decision was based on two things. First, there was Woodland Exterior's installation core competency and second, our product supplier’s top quality sunrooms. The combination allowed Woodland Exteriors to source the best quality products and to guarantee top flight installation. The result has been a steady stream of customers visiting Woodland Exteriors sunroom showroom and an ever growing list of very happy sunroom owners.
 
There are a lot of choices of sunrooms in the market, so be sure to choose the one with unmatched functionality. Woodland Exteriors designs and builds sunrooms for functionality.
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5-Key Elements of a Great Sunroom

We all remember the first time we heard the idea, ‘form and function’ in an art class or maybe an introduction to landscaping. We learned that form and function together create something appealing and useful. One without the other and eventually the product lands in the trash heap. There are 5-key elements to design and build the form and function of a great sunroom.
 
Great sunroom design derives from the principle of form and function.
Source:sunboss.com
The previous blog, Sunrooms that Connect the Indoors to the Outdoors explained that the type of sunroom you choose derives from having clear goals about how you want to use it. This blog explains how the design, products and installation decisions come from an understanding of the elements that make a great sunroom.
If you create the right form by focusing on energy efficiency you will achieve the optimal sunroom function of comfort and savings.
Contrary to the ads and flyers, sunrooms are not just glass walls surrounding happy people. Use the methods below to create a well-designed sunroom that provides daylight and comfort all year. Homeowners and building professionals need to pay attention to five elements of the sunroom construction to avoid mistakes that you’ll realize when it’s too late.
Source: solarenergyfactsblog.com
Five elements of a great sunroom
 1. Orientation
 2. Glazing
 3. Thermal Mass
 4. Insulation
 5. Ventilation

Orientation. The ideal location for your sunroom is to face due south (30º E or W) which gives you the maximum potential for solar collection. The goal is at least four hours of sunlight at midday in midwinter. Sit in the spot at different times of the day to be sure the sun shines on the location with minimum obstruction from trees or structures. If you were building a new home with a sunroom, be build close to the north property line leaving more open space and sunlight behind the sunroom.
Source: Elliottwood.co.uk
Glazing.  Always use glass, rather than plastic alternatives because it’s more durable and traps more heat. We recommend vertical dual clear glass panes, rather than sloped glazing because it’s more practical and efficient. Slopped glazing collects more heat during the day and looses more heat at night making the temperature too hard to control. Low E or reflective glazing can prevent solar heat from entering the sunroom through the glass. Solid insulated walls are recommended on the east and west sides, however if an access glass door is needed, install it on the east side if there is an option. Solid walls reduce unwanted solar gain and nighttime heat loss.
Thermal Mass. Attention to the types of building materials further adds to your ability to control the sunroom temperature. For example, using concrete, stone or tile floors, which absorb and hold heat, rather than carpet or wood will improve the natural heating and cooling efficiency. Basically, these materials are natures time release capsules that allow buildings to store and release heat in step with daily heating and cooling needs. That’s why we wear dark clothes in the winter and light clothes in the summer for instance.
Source: Pinterest
Insulation. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) provide the best moisture barrier than any other choice in the market today. Add a fully fiberglass insulted roof with an R value of 20-50 and you’ve covered the primary sources of heat loss and temperature control. The wall between the sunroom and the house can be insulated with conductive materials to encourage heat transfer between the rooms if desirable.
Ventilation. Here’s the final element, which along with thermal mass can control the temperature swings in your sunroom. It’s said that depending on your climate, and we know that ours always swings to the extremes in both directions, sunroom temperatures can swing between 40º-100º. Installing operable vents at the top and bottom of the sunroom will facilitate airflow and eliminate extreme temperature swings. Other measures include cross breezes from windows and doors, skylights or sidewall vents.
Source: Andersenwindows.com
Understanding how a sunroom works before you add one to your home will allow you to avoid the mistakes most people make that cause the room to be either too hot or too cold, too bright for reading or too much humidity producing moisture stained windows.

Hear from customer’s who’ve bought sunrooms from Woodland Exteriors at www.woodlandexteriors.com or visit our showroom to see the products yourself. A Woodland Exteriors sunroom meets the National Sunroom Association codes.  Woodland Exteriors sunrooms are designed and installed to maximize daylight and comfort – form and function matter.
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