Screened Porch to Sunroom Conversion
This homeowner wanted to extend the usable living space in her patio home. Many of her neighbors had converted their screened porches into sunrooms, but unfortunately, some had been less than happy with their results. She wanted an option that would convert a space that was functional for only a few months of the year into a true extension of her home.
Palmer's Project Goals and Challenges
- We wanted to convert this compact space into an area that lived large.
- When we removed the screened porch's vinyl siding, we discovered that the existing framing was of very poor quality; much of it was out of square, out of level and not plumb. Because there would be so many windows in the new sunroom, it was essential that the framing which underpinned them be correct and true.
- The direction in which the home faced meant that the sunroom was exposed to the full force of the sun for an extended period of time each day.
- Plans called for us to tile over the existing concrete floor, which originally had been designed for exterior use. It was thus slanted to promote water runoff and was of less than stellar outdoor quality. Complicating the issue was the fact that the tiles we were using were up to 36", a far longer than usual length that necessitated a smooth surface to achieve the best results.
- Rather than build the new sunroom over the existing framing, we opted to essentially reframe the walls. We supported the roof, rebuilt the walls correctly, and then continued from there.
- While we could not alter the direction of the sunroom, we lessened the impact of its direct sun exposure by selecting glass that had a smoke tint. This essentially is like wearing a pair of sunglasses - it softens the glare and allows the homeowner to sit back and watch the deer and other wildlife in comfort. The glass also had to be tempered to comply with a recent code change.
- The homeowner selected a unique and striking tile that mimicked the look and feel of a wood floor. Since we had far less flexibility with these longer tiles, we did a lot of prep work to repair the concrete floor. We used a floor leveler and got the surface where it needed to be to ensure a beautiful, professional tile job.
- Aesthetically, we selected long, vertical windows to accentuate the room's height and visually open up the space. The walls and trim were finished in the same color to create a cohesive feel, yet the beadboard accents and trim were finished in a semi-gloss paint that added texture.
- Four weeks
The homeowner is extremely happy with the way this room has evolved. The windows lock out the pollen that had been a perennial problem in the existing screened porch, and the heated and cooled space can now be enjoyed year round.