How to Hire a Sunroom Contractor That’ll Literally Brighten Your Day

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated May 12, 2022
Woman in her sunroom working on the computer
Photo: xavierarnau / E+ / Getty Images

Here comes the sun(room)

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Is your fiddle-leaf fig starting to reach towards the only small window in your office? Are you longing for a bright room to sit in and enjoy breakfast on Sunday mornings? A sunroom could be the answer. To ensure you have the perfect, sunny space, however, it’s best to hire a local sunroom contractor with lots of experience. 

How to Find a Sunroom Contractor

Contractor holding a tablet discussing with client in the backyard
Photo: The Good Brigade / DigitalVision / Getty Images

To find a sunroom contractor to complete your project, ask some trusted sources. You should create a shortlist of contractors and get estimates from at least three professionals before deciding who to hire. 

Talk to Family and Friends

If the main reason you desire a sunroom is because your friend had one built and you fell in love with it, start there. Ask them which contractor they hired and whom they got quotes from, so you can begin with a small pool of already-vetted contractors.

Use Angi to find local sunroom contractors and read honest reviews written by other homeowners.

Ask Your Other Contractors

If you have hired other local general contractors, you should talk to them and see if they can point you toward a sunroom contractor they know and trust. 

Before Hiring a Sunroom Contractor

Take these steps to ensure you hire a qualified contractor who will build your dream sunroom.

Get Accurate Quotes to Plan Your Sunroom Project

Before you call your shortlist of contractors, make sure you’re ready with the following information.

  • Square footage of proposed sunroom

  • Whether the sunroom will be a conversion or brand-new addition to your home’s footprint

  • Whether your contractor will build from scratch or a prefabricated kit

  • If you need a foundation and subflooring built

  • If electrical wiring or any HVAC hookups are needed

Your quotes should be relatively similar; if one contractor comes in way below the others (or way above), that’s a red flag. In addition, the estimates should have a comprehensive, detailed pricing breakdown, so you know where your money is going.

Check Your Sunroom Contractor’s Qualifications and References

As with most hired professionals, your sunroom contractor should have references and specific qualifications tailored to their craft. Check for:

  • References: Ask to speak to three references before hiring any contractor. Make sure to ask the references how they found out about the company, if they stuck to the proposed schedule, and if there were any negative interactions to note.

  • Licensing: Every state has different licensing requirements, so research yours before you ask. Without a license, your state might define your contractor as your employee, and you could be responsible for worker’s compensation. 

  • Bonding: Bonded companies protect you from financial liability in case the project isn’t completed or isn’t up to your liking. Ask to see proof of a funded surety bond before hiring your sunroom contractor. 

  • Insurance: Insurance covers the workers completing the job if they’re injured during the project. It should cover both you and the sunroom company.

Tips When Hiring Your Sunroom Contractor

Cross all your t’s and dot your i’s before signing on the dotted line.

Interview Your Contractor

Your employer likely wouldn’t hire the first person who interviewed for the job, and neither should you. Be sure to talk to at least three (but ideally five) pros before committing to work with one. You want to be sure you align on aesthetics, timeline, and communication styles. If the vibes are off, don’t commit. 

Ask for a Background Check 

Beyond licensing and insurance, your sunroom contractor should be able to pass a background check, indicating no involvement in criminal acts such as arson, homicide, or robbery. (Angi’s pool of professionals must all pass a background check.)

Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Sunroom Contractor

Once you have chosen your sunroom contractor, you should ask for a contract and review it carefully. It should include:

  • A detailed description of the project, including the cost of all materials

  • Payment terms, including how much you'll pay the contractor upfront (hint: it should never be 100%)

  • What’s expected of you (the homeowner)

  • What’s expected of the contractor

  • Project timeline

  • Any penalties for late completion

  • Events that would allow you to withhold payment

  • Warranty information for materials

  • Damages and liability information

  • Breach of contract stipulations

Keep Records of Your Sunroom Project

Record the progress of the sunroom’s completion as it moves along, so you have a detailed account in case something goes wrong and you need to talk it out with your contractor. Keep logs of:

  • Hours worked

  • Progress made/major milestones (like framing is complete or electrical wiring installed)

  • If your contractor habitually begins work late or leaves early

  • Any damage or mess created by the contractor (take photos as soon as you can)

  • Other problems to note (lack of communication, for instance)

Look for Red Flags

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Here are red flags to look out for before and during the project.

  • Asking for the full payment upfront

  • Asking for payment in cash

  • Doing additional work without adding to the project scope, as written in the estimate or contract

  • Offering a discount in lieu of proof of insurance, permit, or licensing

  • Trying to rush you into signing the contract

Questions to Ask Your Sunroom Contractor

In addition to looking for state-mandated qualifications, ask your sunroom contractor these important questions.

  • Do you have a portfolio? Your sunroom contractor’s portfolio should have lots of examples of past work, and be in line with the style you’re looking for. 

  • Will you use your own crew to install the sunroom? Your contractor should use their own crew, and a project leader should be on-site to check in and supervise the work regularly.

  • Will you handle the permits? Your sunroom contractor should be able to get all the necessary permits, and also schedule the final inspection after the project is complete. 

  • What is the payment schedule? Align with your contractor about payment; they might require 50% upfront, with the balance due upon completion of the project.

  • Are you a member of any professional organizations? See if your contractor is accredited with any other national organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau.

  • What are the warranty terms for the materials? Check to see the length of the warranty for all materials used, and how it fits into where you live; for instance, if you live somewhere with frequent high winds, your sunroom should be able to withstand that.

  • What is the best way to contact you during the duration of the project? Some contractors prefer texting, some prefer email check-ins. Get on the same page, so you know how to get updates throughout the project without annoying your contractor.

After Your Sunroom Contractor Has Finished

Create a checklist of tasks to complete once the contractor has finished the project. Your checklist should be detailed—this is a home addition or renovation that you’re paying a lot for—and you should speak up if something doesn’t feel right.

  • Is the project completed to a high standard, and are you satisfied with the outcome?

  • Do all components work (for example, do the lights turn on and off)?

  • Is the site area clean?

  • Are there any signs of damage?

  • Do you have copies of all warranties?

  • Have all the third-party workers been paid, and can your contractor submit proof?

Once you have determined your sunroom is complete and you’re happy with it, be sure to make any final payments to your contractor and leave them a review on Angi and other sites.

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