Expanded Miken business offers Betterliving


Ever wanted to sit on that back porch but then remembered that it was only 40 degrees outside? Or thought twice about sitting on the deck in the middle of summer because the mosquitoes were out?

Coastal Point • Monica Fleming: Betterliving Patio and Sunroom of Delmarve offers three- and four-season rooms and more. The business is a division of Miken Builders, who partnered with Craft-Bilt earlier this year.Coastal Point • Monica Fleming
Betterliving Patio and Sunroom of Delmarve offers three- and four-season rooms and more. The business is a division of Miken Builders, who partnered with Craft-Bilt earlier this year.

Betterliving Patio and Sunroom of Delmarva has the answer.

Betterliving Patio and Sunroom of Delmarva is a division of Miken Builders, and their new showroom is open at Clayton Crossing in Dagsboro. They sell and install three- and four-season sunrooms, retractable awnings, freestanding canopies, replacement windows and doors, and solar shades for both commercial and residential customers.

After being contacted by the manufacturer Craft-Bilt in May of this year, Miken started discussions with the company about a partnership.

“We thought it would be a viable business in Sussex County and Maryland, so we interviewed each other,” said Mike Cummings, one of the principals of Miken Builders. “And we spent three days in Lansdale, Pa., and we were so impressed with the organization and the manufacturing.”

The manufacturer provided all the training for the sales and installation staff, and they have systems in place for other areas of support.

“The support they give you is overwhelming,” said Cummings. “It still is.”

Cummings added that the three- and four-season rooms are perfect fit for people who realize that, when it’s too hot or too cold or the bugs are out, their screened porch or deck doesn’t get the use it deserves.

“We have a solution to bring the outside in,” he said. “People who get the three- or four- season room often say they wish they did it earlier. It’s like sitting in your back yard without all the elements.”

Because the rooms are custom-built, the “sky is the limit” on size and features. All of the Betterliving product installations are performed by Miken employees and backed by a 50-year transferable non-prorated guarantee, plus Miken’s standard five-year service and labor warranty. The glass is safety glass, which goes above and beyond code requirements, and screens can be replaced for any reason, at any time, for no charge.

The replacement windows and doors meet the government standard for EnergyStar certification and, if ordered by the end of 2009, can qualify homeowners for a $1,500 tax credit.

“They have a special sash-tilt technology that makes them the most energy efficient glass on the market,” explained Cummings.

Because the economy has tightened up the financial belts for nearly everyone, Cummings said the need to keep things fresh is crucial for business at times like this.

“Diversification and customer service is the lifeblood of the market today,” he said. “Whether dealing with commercial or residential or maintenance customers, we are always thinking, ‘How can we do it better?’ Our business is a work in progress all the time.”

Miken Builders has been in business since 1986 and expanded into Sussex County in 1995. They launched Reliable Home Maintenance in 2007, and Betterliving Patio and Sunroom of Delmarva is their newest division.

Betterliving Patio and Sunroom of Delmarva will be displaying their products at the Delmarva Home and Remodeling Expo, at the Wicomico Civic Center, on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call showroom manager Emily Harne at (302) 251-0000.