A shining example of how a ray of sunshine penetrated an otherwise gloomy economic outlook is Wilmington’s own Southern Exposure Sunrooms, now the largest builder of sunrooms in the Carolinas.
The clouds rolled in shortly after John Hickey bought the sunroom business five years ago, when its sole supplier of windows and frames went belly up. With no other alternative in sight, he set up facilities to fabricate whatever seemed necessary. “We in essence became a manufacturer,” he said. “We actually build everything. It’s not a kit business; it’s all custom built.”
This has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since he fits windows and frames into existing porches that have roof supports, columns, or some type of framework, not to mention roof and ceiling heights of varying dimensions. It became not only possible but much more logical to produce each piece of each project according to individual specifications.
“We can maintain the architectural integrity of the house or we can actually enhance the architectural integrity of the house,” he said. “We can build any size; we can make arches; we’re totally flexible.”
The company offers the popular Eze-Breeze screen room that can be closed up or opened all the way, and it also offers an all-glass option using Energy Star glass, which also has a great deal of flexibility for closing and opening windows.