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Sunrooms Bring Tax Breaks and Energy Savings

May 13, 2010 – Cleveland, Ohio - Homeowners can be eligible to receive up to $1,500 in tax credits by adding a sunroom with qualified components, according to the National Sunroom Association. The tax credits are available through the extension of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," in which homeowners can receive the tax credit with the purchase of qualifying roofs, windows, doors and skylight products. Qualifying roofs are "metal roofs with appropriate pigmented coatings" that also meet PA ENERGY STAR requirements. Qualifying windows, doors, and skylights have reflective coatings that further enhance their insulating performance that can reduce energy bills by up to 15 percent for years to come while at the same time helping protect the environment.

Tony Bouquot, president of the National Sunroom Association, says sunrooms also deliver several other benefits.

  • An all-year sunroom lets homeowners enjoy the beauty of their surroundings without exposure to the elements
  • An engineered sunroom can be installed with minimal disruption to your home in only a couple of days, compared to traditional construction which can take months.
  • In a tough economic climate, sunrooms can be surprising affordable. Available in many price options and designs, the typical cost is between $15,000 and $25,000.

"There's a big misconception on the price of a sunroom," says NSA's Bouquot. When surveyed, homeowners felt that the cost of a sunroom was between $50,000 and $70,000. "This simply is not the case. Plus, sunroom costs are fairly stable regardless of region."

Besides the cost benefits of tax credits and energy savings, Bouquot says that a high percentage of a sunroom's cost is recouped over time. "A sunroom retains excellent value because it uniquely enhances both the interior living space and the exterior appeal of the home."

The tax credits have been extended by the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" through December 31, 2010. Visit www.energystar.gov/taxcredits and talk with your tax professional to find out how you might be eligible for a federal tax credit under the program if your sunroom project includes qualifying components.

The National Sunrooms Association is dedicated to the responsible advancement of the sunroom industry. The association brings together the industry's manufacturers, design professionals, material suppliers, and installers.

Sunroom Company Brings Holiday Cheer

By: Bonnie Squires

Even in tough economic times like these, the award–winning Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company of Souderton, maker of Betterliving Sunrooms and Awnings, will carry on a holiday tradition at The Arc of Philadelphia which began in 1986.

On Wednesday, December 17, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., the Arc van will bring Andy and Inger Stone, Debbie Stone, and a number of Craft–Bilt employees to the Arc, including Richard Ball, sun room account manager, who will be dressed as Santa Claus.

Since Debbie Stone, the daughter of the founder and the sister of Andy Stone, company president, had been a special education teacher in the Philadelphia School District for years before joining the family business, she suggested a project involving the clients of the Arc of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation (Arc and PDDC).

The annual event involves Craft–Bilt's obtaining the names of about 70 clients of the Arc and PDDC on Westmoreland Street, finding out sizes and needs of clients who don't have close family ties or any families at all, and then purchasing and wrapping presents for them.

Laura Princiotta, COO of PDDC, said that the clients in the training center look forward each year to this special celebration. Gift–wrapped presents include practical and useful items, like hats, scarves, gloves, slippers, socks, fleece blankets, perfume or cologne, shaving cream, body wash, toothpaste, comb and brush sets, as well as jewelry, small stuffed animals, music boxes, mugs, small knick–knacks, picture frames, and umbrellas.

Inger and Andy Stone purchase the clothing items on the list, and sun room manufacturing employees contribute gifts from the list prepared by Princiotta and her staff.

Employees usually responsible for manufacturing sunrooms become elves for a day, gift wrapping every item.

According to Debbie Stone, sunroom employees look forward to this special visit to the Arc and PDDC each year, and they enjoy having contact with their special people.

Craft–Bilt also is a major sponsor of the annual Arc and PDDC Golf Outing, sponsoring several teams of Philadelphia School District students.

Flooring Choices for Your New Sunroom

You have a wide variety of options on flooring choices. Practically any flooring choice you use inside your home will also work well in your sunroom.

Transform your empty deck or patio into a cozy retreat where you can relax and entertain in total comfort. Sunrooms are a favorite place to relax and enjoy being outside without the hassle of wind, rain or pesky bugs. Sunrooms also make great exercise rooms, craft rooms, TV / Family Rooms or starlit dining areas. The flooring you choose will depend on how you plan to use the room.


Low pile Berber, Indoor / Outdoor or quality Broadloom wall to wall carpeting makes your sun room a comfortable warm place to sit back and relax in style.


Hardwood floors are a sleek stylish choice for an added touch of luxury.


Laminate flooring is available in the look of hardwood or tile without the added cost for materials and installation. Easy to clean and easy to install.


Ceramic Tile offers a more water–resistant flooring choice. Sunrooms opening to an outdoor pool or hot tub may benefit from the easy cleanup feature of tile floors.


Vinyl sheet goods is another good choice for easy cleanups and works well in sunrooms around pools and spas and can work well in craft rooms, exercise rooms or plant lovers.

Retractable Canopy Wows Show Goers

The new Retractable Canopy featured at the Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company display at the 2008 IFAI Expo held in Charlotte, NC this week created a lot of interest among companies who sell and install shade products commercially and for the home. The Retractable Canopy is new to the US market, and is an improvement over traditional pergolas, which provide only mottled shade and no rain protection.


The Retractable Canopy is designed to provide sturdy, flexible shade and shelter in any outdoor environment. As an application for sidewalk seating for restaurants and cafes, the canopy has the advantage of being both a rain and sun shelter, with minimum obstruction to the sidewalk space.

Pool and spa companies suggested that the canopy would function to provide on–demand privacy for hot tubs, as the structures can be manufactured with side retracting side curtains. The canopies also perform well to shade lounge chairs at poolside.

Because the structure is anchored to the foundation, unlike umbrellas, the canopies can remain open in windy conditions. A variety of fabric styles and colors are available to match any décor.

The Retractable Canopies are sold through authorized dealers of Aristocrat® Awnings and Betterliving® Sunrooms. Photos and video of the product are available. Visit CraftBilt.com, or contact Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company for more information.

Golf Outing ARC/PDDCC Monday, September 15, 2008

Article and Photo by: Bonnie Squires

Northeast High and Lincoln High participated in The Arc of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation (ARC/PDDC) annual Golf Outing on Monday, September 15, 2008, at the Bala Golf Club, courtesy of Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company, who sponsored the teams. More than 120 golfers participated in the golf outing and silent auction to raise funds for the PDDC art and music therapy programs.


Seen here are (left to right) Northeast High School's Louis Cutler, teacher and golf coach, and student Geoffrey George; Debbie Stone, of Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company; Lincoln High School student Roland Stucke, of Holmesburg, and Mike Turchi, teacher and golf coach.

The Arc of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corporation
2350 W. Westmoreland Street | Philadelphia, PA 19140
TEL 215.229.4550 | Fax 215.225.1330
info@arcpddc.org

ARC/PDDC Golf Outing, Monday, September 24, 2007


Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company, the manufacturer of Betterliving® Patio & Sunrooms sponsored The Arc/PDDC (Philadelphia Developmental Disabilities Corp) annual golf outing. The day of golf took place at the Bala Cynwyd Country Club in Philadelphia followed by a buffet dinner and silent auction. The proceeds from the event fund art and music therapy for Arc/PDDC clients.

This was the third year for this fundraiser and Craft–Bilt’s third year as a sponsor. Andy Stone, president, of Craft–Bilt didn’t want his employees to lose time from work for this event so he sponsored students and staff from the School District of Philadelphia to play golf on their behalf. This was a great opportunity for the students to play golf and support Arc/PDDC.

Robert Coleman, Director of Athletics / PIAA Dist. XII Chairman of the School District of Philadelphia had informed Andy that three of the students who participated in this fundraiser the previous two years had received full college scholarships to play golf.

SUNROOMS: SHINING A LIGHT ON AN AFFORDABLE PROJECT

National Sunroom Association, Cleveland OhioAdding a sunroom is a home remodeling project that lets homeowners embrace the beauty of their surroundings at an affordable cost and with minimal disruption to the home.

"The cost of adding a sunroom is typically less than the cost of conventional construction," says Tony Bouquot, president of the National Sunroom Association. Sunrooms typically require minimal plumbing and ductwork, expediting the completion of the project.

Sunroom specialists can complete a project in a few days, while conventional construction takes much longer, he adds. A sunroom project causes less disruption to a home’s living environment, and workers can generally complete the job in much less time.

Conventional construction costs can vary widely by region. But the cost of a sunroom is fairly stable regardless of region, Bouquot says.

He also says that a high percentage of a sunroom’s cost is recouped over time. "A sunroom retains excellent value because it uniquely enhances both the interior living space and the exterior appeal of the home," he adds.

Bouquot recommends the NSA Web site at www.nationalsunroom.org for consumer information, types of sunrooms and a list of major manufacturers. The site’s Find a Dealer function lets you find a professional sunroom dealer in your area.

The National Sunroom Association is a professional organization dedicated to the respon¬sible advancement of the sunroom industry. The association brings together the industry’s manufacturers, design professionals, material suppliers and installers.

2007 CONTEST WINNERS DELIGHTED WITH THEIR SUNROOM


It really was like a miracle," confessed Sandra Whitby, who with husband Phillip were the winners of the 2007 Betterliving Sunroom Sweepstakes. Sitting in their beautiful new year round sunroom, and looking out on Phil’s magnificent flowers, the Whitby’s recounted the series of events that led to the installation of a Betterliving Sunroom on their deck in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

The Whitby’s name was drawn from more than 12,000 entries from across the United States. The national prize was a ten foot by twelve foot sunroom installed at their home absolutely free. The sunroom was contributed by Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company, who sponsored the sweepstakes for its 50 Betterliving® sunroom dealers. The local dealer, Betterliving of Northeast Pennsylvania, contributed the labor.

I didn’t believe it when they called me," Mr. Whitby confessed. "I entered the contest at the Home and Garden Show. I didn’t believe it was a real contest – I thought nobody ever wins these things.

In fact, when Carl Isaacs, who owns and operates the dealership in the Lehigh Valley, called to tell the Whitby’s that they had won the sweepstakes, Mr. Whitby almost hung up. "I’m not interested," was all he would say. Isaacs then put Deborah Stone, marketing director for Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company, on the phone. When she added her congratulations, Mr. Whitby still wasn’t sure. He thought it was some kind of marketing tactic. Isaacs invited them to stop by his showroom in Tilghman Square Shopping Center – and the next day, a registered letter from Craft–Bilt confirmed that they were the winners. Slowly, they started to believe.

It took a few months to obtain a building permit and the necessary zoning variance. In May, the workers arrived with the components to build the room. In 3 days, the Betterliving Sunroom was ready to furnish with a soft carpet, an antique Victrola, a loveseat and chairs, and a coffee table. The evening after their furnishings were delivered, the Whitby’s watched a summer thunder storm in the comfort of their new sunroom. "We love it, and the cats love it too," they stated. "We won’t ever think of moving, now.

Crawford & Brinkman to Carry Betterliving Sunrooms

SOUDERTON, PA…Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company today named Crawford & Brinkman the exclusive representative for Betterliving products in the Central Illinois area. A fixture in the greater Peoria community, Crawford and Brinkman Door and Window Company of Peoria has been in service for over 50 years. Already specialists in windows, retractable awnings and all types of residential doors, they are known for their professional installation and service.

Betterliving products are sold throughout the US and Canada through an exclusive dealer network. Companies who apply for a Betterliving dealership must meet a number of qualifications including financial stability, professionally trained employees, and full insurance coverage. Backed by a 50 year manufacturer’s warranty, Betterliving sunrooms are fully engineered to meeting building codes and Energy Star requirements in all 50 states.

Crawford and Brinkman president Tom Hoffman stated that he was proud to be selected to represent Betterliving products in the Peoria market. "Betterliving focuses on the quality side of the business and so do we," Hoffman said. "Our customers are like family. We always go back to make sure that all of our customers are completely satisfied, and they are."

CRAFT–BILT MANUFACTURING CELEBRATES 60TH ANNIVERSARY

SOUDERTON, PA…In a proud statement issued from their company headquarters in Souderton, Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company announced that 2006 is the 60th Anniversary of the founding of their business. The company was started back in 1946, the same year that Winston Churchill coined the term "The Iron Curtain" in a speech at Westminster College in Missouri. Harry S. Truman was our President and World War II had just ended. The Chicago Bears won the Pro–Football Championship, St. Louis won the World Series, and Joe Louis knocked out Bill Conn and Tami Mauriello. IBM introduced the first electronic calculator, and AT&T introduced the first car phone.

Craft–Bilt moved into the Souderton area from Philadelphia, when they acquired the old French's Mustard Plant in 1994. The 214,000 square foot factory had stood empty for many years. When Craft–Bilt began to renovate the building, many former employees of French's who lived in the area stopped by to watch the progress. Craft–Bilt Manufacturing is the home of Betterliving Patio and Sunrooms, made famous throughout the United States through their television programs that feature sunroom owners from around the country.

Today, Craft–Bilt is owned and operated by Andy Stone, son of the original founder of the company. Continuing its tradition as a manufacturer of components for home improvement, the company distributes its products through professional remodelers throughout the US and Canada. In addition to Betterliving, Craft–Bilt holds trademarks for Aristocrat Retractable Awnings, PanelCraft building panels, Best Defense Rolling Security Shutters, among many others.

Approximately one hundred area residents are employed at the Souderton location, split evenly between factory and office workers. More than a third of the work force – and about half of Craft–Bilt's customers – have been with the company for more than 10 years.

Craft–Bilt's first orders and invoices were typed on manual typewriters, and computed on mechanical adding machines that didn't total until you pulled the handle. A lot has changed in 60 years time. But after all this time, there are some things which have remained the same. Craft–Bilt's mission – Enthusiastic Employees, Flawless Performance – Delighted Customers – is still operable today.

Craft–Bilt Manufacturing Company is still thriving after 60 years of hard work and dedication by every member of the Craft–Bilt family, caring about customers who helped us reach this milestone.

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