TOM KRAEUTLER: Welcome to this edition of the Money Pits Top Product Podcast. I’m Tom Kraeutler, at the 2013 International Builders Show. Four Seasons, that’s a name that is synonymous with sunrooms, but now they’re taking a step beyond sunrooms and actually creating room additions, prefabricated to fit your existing home. To learn all about this, we are joined right now by Peter Allen, the Chief Marketing Officer for Four Seasons. Welcome, Peter.
TOM KRAEUTLER: This is a big change for you guys. What was the idea behind it?
PETER ALLEN: The idea about it is looking at the way that consumers live today, and conventional construction is one way of adding spice to your home. We’re a sunroom company and we believed that we could come up with a concept for a hybrid version of these two different products. It gives a whole new meaning to room addition and a whole new meaning to the word sunroom. It’s a combination of the two and we believe it’s a product that consumers will embrace, because of its ability to bring natural light into your existing home. [0:01:12.2]
TOM KRAEUTLER: Now, creating an addition is a lot of work. You need foundation, you need a lot of lumber, a lot of insulation, a lot of time. I would imagine though, with a prefabricated addition, you cut the time way down. What happens to the expense?
PETER ALLEN: Well, the beauty of our product is that we gave our engineering team a task to really reduce the amount of time that we were going to spend on site, and so by prefabricating everything, we can manufacture the product completely in our factory. We can ship it already pre-manufactured, so typically, going from a foundation, we can build your room in a week.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Now so many times, when you think of prefabricated anything, you think of sort of the metallic, almost Erector Set-like construction. You guys have really gone the extra mile with this product and you are building it using structural insulated panels. So let’s talk about that compared to stick construction.
PETER ALLEN: Well of course the beauty about that is the SIP panels as they are known, are incredibly strong. They’re well insulated, so they provide excellent thermal performance, and they’re easy to work. So we can actually cut out where the windows go, cut out where the doors go. We can even cut out where the electric raceways are going to be and sockets, along with telephone cables, Internet cables and whatever you need, so that when it arrives on site, everything is done and it just goes together. [0:02:29.3]
TOM KRAEUTLER: Now sometimes when you think prefabricated, you think you’re somewhat limited to a room that might be a set dimension, like 14, 18, 22 feet. Can this Four Seasons room addition really be constructed to any size that a homeowner needs?
PETER ALLEN: Yes, absolutely it can. I mean obviously, when a product is coming out of a factory, it’s much easier to be able to make it in set sizes and we do that, we do them in a multitude of different sizes. But if a consumer wants it to have a custom size, we can of course do that, but it does cost a little bit more money to do so.
TOM KRAEUTLER: We’re talking to Peter Allen, he’s the Chief Marketing Officer for Four Seasons, launching a room addition product here at the 2013 International Builders Show. So what’s next for you guys?
PETER ALLEN: Next for us is to really go to market with this product and to let Americans see what the beauty of this product is and how it can enhance their home. We spent a lot of time researching what consumers were going to want and we’ve spent a lot of time making sure that the product we’ve developed is going to hit those marks. Now it’s my job to go out there and make sure that Americans can see this product, go on our website, research it, and see how this could really add value to their homes. [0:03:36.3]
TOM KRAEUTLER: Well, we’re happy to help in some small way. Peter Allen, Chief Marketing Officer for Four Seasons, thanks for being a part of the Money Pits Top Product Podcast. Before we go, can you leave us with your website for this product?
PETER ALLEN: Absolutely. Come and visit us at www.fourseasonssunrooms.com.