Sunrooms By Brady Sunrooms By Brady

May 12, 2014

The Quality of the Brady-Built Sunroom Product Is Clear As Glass

Filed under: Business News,Solarium,Sunrooms — marco @ 3:40 pm

Article shared from Softwood Forest Products Buyers Guide, May/June 2014

By Clare Adrian

Ever so casually, a passenger gazing out the window of a vehicle traveling along one of the three highways circling Auburn, MA, turns to her partner and blurts out, “Honey, we should add a sunroom to the house.” The inspiration for such an idea might arise any of up to six days a week during peak season from April through October, when flat bed trailers haul Brady-Built Sunrooms to their destined mooring for installation snug against a house prepared to receive it. It’s a sight to behold, the glass structure, delivered in one piece, held together by curving eaves and framing in solid Southern Yellow Pine wood that’s been laminated to create just the shape and style desired. kitchen_1

Besides observing the craftsmanship and production process, visitors of Brady-Built Sunrooms discover an efficient and environmentally-conscious operation. First off, the more than 100,000 board feet of lumber ordered annually comes from sawmills that work with tree farms in the Midwest and Southern States, known to replant and not take trees from the wild, to be eco-friendly in every way. The company recycles all sawdust so that none gets thrown out, selling it to companies who use it to manufacture other products or to paper mills. Brady-Built also changed over to using an eco-friendly glue formula, switched to energy efficient light bulbs throughout the factory to save energy, and on the road, combines trips, schedules projects in close proximity, and maintains vehicles in top running condition to limit gas consumption as much as possible.

The majority of customers that do succumb to the potential to enjoy an open view of nature from the comfort of their chosen locale in the New England area and beyond, are the empty nesters, followedby many double income childless couples, and thirdly, the commercial market. Conveniently juxtaposed at the nexus of highways 20, 90 and 290, Brady-Built is located two to three miles from several major cities and on the way to the far reaches of the market spread in the north from Portland, MN, south to Pennsylvania and New Jersey and west to New York State.

 “Usually we have 12 to 15 completed built-to-order rooms on site awaiting shipment,” said President and General Manager Marco Gabrielli. Larger rooms are shipped in two or more pieces and assembled on-site. Occasionally rooms are shipped in kit form for final assembly at the job site.


It’s not hard to be sold on the product. It wasn’t for company board member Kevin Kieler. Enthralled with the product after building a room for a Brady-Built board member and adding one on to his own house, he sold hisDSC00009 custom home construction business to join the company in 1998. He is one of the five board members that currently run the company. The succession originated with Peter Brady, who founded the company in 1977. Mario Gabrielli, who was running the manufacturing operations, bought the business and assets from Brady in 1999. When Gabrielli passed away in 2010, his son, Marco, succeeded him as president.

Brady-Built Sunrooms absorbed a steady stream of customers until the decline in the building market after 2006 and as of 2012 is seeing its growth pattern turnaround. “The company has experienced the disadvantages and advantages of going through the economic downturns in a time when others haven’t survived and have gone out of business,” Kieler remarked. “That we made it through is testimony to the quality of the product we build and to the determination of fantastic employees to make it work.”

That several employees continue on with the company, some up to 26 years, added Kieler, demonstrates their satisfaction with working conditions and their pride in being associated with the company. “We recognize each person’s talent, reward people for the good job well done, remember birthdays and anniversaries, have cookouts and parties and socialize as a company, take the entire company on fishing trips, have lots of perks other companies have done away with to increase the bottom line. Whereas, we think the best assets are the employees and want to keep them.” The number of employees fluctuates between 25 to 35 workers, depending on the time of year. Part of the team includes the sunroom designers who work directly with and liaison between the in-house engineers and architectural department.

Though the product is fully customized, they have several starting point sunroom style designs to offer clients. The original style that Peter Brady developed was the curved eaveSpring Postcard Photo style room, followed by the straight eave style, easily adaptable to the many New England Victorian homes, a more hip style and two story model of it, as well as the newest garden style and a branch into conservatories. Concurrently, the team works with the customer to blend the chosen design with the look of the house and individual tastes which can veer into unchartered territories, remarked Kieler. “Because of our reputation for unlimited customization capabilities we get wild and crazy jobs no one wants to do. Someone brings a picture and says, “Make it look like that,” or they have a look in mind that other companies they talked to can’t achieve—and we can.” Recent wood-framed glass enclosures include a record size one—32′ x 66’— built around a pool that other companies wouldn’t attempt, a three-story high enclosed staircase for exposure to sunlight when walking on the stairs, and a building off of a customer’s parent’s living room that became a mammoth exotic bird cage.

If a little partner persuading is needed or customers simply want a firsthand look at the manufacturing process, a company representative arranges a tour for them of the 25,000 square-foot facility where lumber is loaded in at one end of the long production room and finished product is stored at the other end, inside and out, in a 15,000-square-foot area dedicated to storage of completed rooms separate from the 5,000-square-feet of office space. Only No. 1 Select or Better Yellow Pine 2X4’s are used to build frames, which is, affirmed Kieler, “a very durable, terrific wood to laminate with. It’s also a strong wood, and when we laminate it into a beam it can take a tremendous amount of wind, snow load and abuse.” The Yellow Pine that arrives, pre-dried to 16 percent moisture content ideal for lamination, is moved within the facility using a 10-ton gantry crane that traverses the entire length of the building. A 5-ton fork truck with extended forks is used to move rooms and room parts inside and outside the factory. Once lumber is cut to the prescribed sizes, it’s processed through to lamination and beam construction, to assembly and finishing, unique to each job, said Kieler. “The sunroom is customized using impeccable carpentry skills unrivaled in the industry and we are the undisputed king of sunrooms in New England. Putting the components together becomes very specialized and customized with the all glass roof and each room is an individual creation. No two are alike, built with a beautiful signature woodwork finish, joinery, moulding and attention to detail.”



May 5, 2014

Sunroom Semantics

Filed under: Business News,Solarium,Sunrooms,Tips — marco @ 4:33 pm

Creating an elegant design may become much simpler, once you know how to ask

Among those who prefer to have a more precise understanding of the terminology, and do not mind a bit to split hairs on the shades of meaning among synonyms, sunrooms can present a few variants that may leave you wanting to clarify your vision, or at least be able to refer most appropriately to those installations that you see as you are cruising through the neighborhoods.  The semantics of sunrooms are not as set in stone as many of the terms you will find in the architectural landscape, but if you take this opportunity to explore, new ideas may present that you had never really considered.   


In discussing “sunrooms” specifically, one is generally referring to any of a variety of styles of rooms or porches or decks that are attached to the home or business, and enclosed with glass and windows designed to admit and retain the sun’s heat during colder times and reflect more away in hotter times.  Without the latter abilities, the enclosure is not much better than a standard greenhouse or a cold frame at controlling the internal climate and would not be suitable as a living space for much more than the shoulder seasons of the year.  “Greenhouses” are more typically freestanding and are often intended more for plants than for living space and are therefore unlikely to require the quality of materials one ought to use in the construction of a sunroom that is attached to the home.   

“Solariums,” however, are often envisioned as a more contemporary style of sunrooms with curving eaves along the exterior.  There are those, on the other hand, who prefer instead to divide sunrooms and solariums into separate groups altogether.  In this case, “solariums” would be those enclosures whose roofs are made of glass, whereas a “sunroom” would be those with solid roofs that may or may not include operational skylights.    


While the curved-eave style of the more contemporary “solariums” is one style very popular, especially among commercial properties, there are a couple of other styles well worth mentioning here too.  The first of those is the “orangery” or “orangerie,” a particularly boxy style that combines the partial shade of a solid, flat roof around the edges of the structure with a more centrally positioned glass gable or peak, occasionally decorated with a row of iron fleurs-de-lis or more intricate roof patterns.  This post-Renaissance style is one that had originated among the more disgustingly opulent estates in Europe as a modified structure, intended to house tropical fruit trees like citrus and pineapple through the winter months, before the process of importing fruit became faster and more affordable.   


Last but not least, while the orangery is a more distinctive style of construction, the Victorian-associated “conservatories” encompass a much wider range of less traditionally shaped enclosures.  This might refer to those rooms that have a footprint whose corner are not set at right angles, such as a more octagonal format or in a rectangle whose corners are clipped.  Modifications like these would then translate above into panels, glass or otherwise, that could no longer be rectangular either, potentially resulting in a roughly conical pattern of triangular cuts.  This concept could also extend potentially into the realm of those with more standard rectangular footprints, yet with roof styles other than flat or gabled, such as many hip roofs.   


No matter how you slice it, sunrooms of any shape or style are intended bring in much more light than your traditional construction, warming your home and balancing your life by setting your internal clock by the sun, as nature had always intended.  If this is the time to begin discussing which style is best for your home, I can guide you in designing an addition that suits your home and your needs, retains the value of your investment and will provide comfort for years to come.

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