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Paradise lost? Not with the help of Southern Exposure Sunrooms

By Teresa McLamb
Advertorial Correspondent

When you live in paradise, you want to enjoy the view every day of the year. That’s exactly what’s available to the owners of glass rooms and enclosures crafted by Southern Exposure. The company has been custom constructing sunrooms to enhance the coastal lifestyle for more than ten years, and has been recognized by their industry with numerous national awards.

Brothers-in-law John Hickey and Ed Vogelsong purchased the company in 2005 and dedicated themselves to making a good business even better. With extensive backgrounds in differing multi-million dollar businesses, the two manage their business professionally, using all the tools they learned in their previous careers, Hickey said.

“Our crews are very experienced. We’ve had the same team since we started in business,” Hickey said. “They’re efficient, and they’re mindful of the customer.

From the initial inquiry conversation through the end of the project, the customer has a representative to walk them through each step of the process. Free estimates are given, and all design work is done in-house. “Ninety-five percent of the time, we can give a cost estimate in the first conversation,” Hickey said. Even after completion of the project, which usually takes 6-8 weeks, a company representative meets with the home owner to ensure they know how to care for the finished room.

The company is often called upon to provide a sunroom space for a house under construction, but more often they are called after the property owner determines that they aren’t satisfied with their patio or screen porch. “A large part of our business is to take existing screen porches and custom design a more usable room using the existing roof and foundation, even the existing posts, to blend with the architecture of the home,” Hickey said. Because they are general contractors, they handle every phase of the work including all permitting, electrical, concrete, HVAC extension, etc.

They’re also more than willing to work with other contractors if, for example, the home owner prefers to have the original HVAC contractor handle the additional area. All designs are structurally engineered, and work is done with materials and methods that meet or exceed the stringent coastal building codes and wind load requirements. Impact resistant hurricane windows and doors are available.

Southern Exposure’s primary products are the EZE-Breeze® Screen & Sliding Panel Systems and the NatureSpace® All Season Sunrooms.

EzeBreeze® features aluminum framed glass windows and full screens with stackable vinyl panels that slide up and down. They’re particularly popular with people who have existing screen porches, but find that they don’t use them because of pollen, rain and wind. The panels lift out for easy cleaning and have optional tinting to provide shade and privacy. The EZE-Breeze® system offers about 75% ventilation, he said. The room was selected to be in the first green, zero-energy, home built in Brunswick Forest last year.

For people who do not have a sunroom, but would like to add one, a popular choice is the NatureSpace® room which adds living space that’s comfortably heated and cooled, but with the look and feel of an outdoor living area. The aluminum framework makes these rooms virtually maintenance free. The argon gas-insulated glass windows with low E coatings can be up to 72” wide and high to provide unobstructed views of your lawn or garden. The NatureSpace® Sunroom offers 30% ventilation.

Each completed room is a learning experience for the partners. They ask for feedback from their customers in order to ensure that they continually improve their customer service and their custom construction. “We work very hard to make sure our customer is satisfied,” Hickey said. That has resulted in much of their work coming through customer referrals. They’ve even gained new customers by servicing sunrooms they did not build. Of course, their lifetime warranty also helps.

While the company has locations around the state, its Wilmington headquarters concentrates on serving customers in Duplin, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties. Complete rooms are constructed at their showroom, 6821 Market Street, and can be visited Monday through Saturday. Stop by to see why the National Sunroom Association has consistently awarded its highest honors Southern Exposure Sunrooms. For more information call 910-793-2762 or visit www.southernexposuresunrooms.com.

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