There is more to your porch than meets the eye. If you have always wanted a sunroom, but don’t have the budget or space to build one, transforming a structurally sound porch is a viable option. You can easily tackle this do-it-yourself project on your off time. When you are done, you’ll not only have added another room to your home, you’ll have built an incredible retreat for those moments when you need a place to relax!
Consider Seasonal Challenges
When planning your new sunroom, take the seasons into consideration. Building a sunroom can become more complicated if you’re attempting to do construction during the cold months, just as doing projects during the summer can present their own seasonal issues. If you are looking to add a room to your home, and not just upgrade the porch, bring in a contractor to discuss seasonal friendly options, like extending the ductwork or installing heating alternatives.
Examine the Space
Do a cursory examination of your space and determine what you might need professional help with when converting the room. Consider bringing in an electrician to add more outlets, for instance. How about insulation before hanging the drywall? Pull out your flashlight and inspect the condition of the screens and the foundation, too. Make any additions or repairs necessary, so the sunroom is safe and functional.
This is also a good time to create a timeline and a budget for your renovation. The Family Handyman reports that this type construction project will take several months of weekends to complete and cost 500 dollars for the basics, but more if installing windows and heating.
The Devil is in the Details
If working with a screened porch, you already have walls in place. If not, you’ll need to add them. You can have a contractor do the work for you in just one or two afternoons, or tackle the project yourself. This Old House rates this project as moderate to hard, so if you have no experience, it is worth the money to get a professional. This way, you can concentrate on decorating the sunroom with distinctive touches, like roman shades from stores like The Shade Store, or french doors that let in the breeze, rather than manual labor.
If you decide to tackle the job yourself, start by measuring from the floor to the bottom edge where your windows will sit. This gives you some specifics for buying supplies. Consider what type windows you want, as well. For example, if heating the room, double-hung windows will improve the efficacy of the space.
Now, Decorate, Decorate, Decorate
Once the hard work is over, the fun begins. Decorating will undoubtedly be the highlight of the project. You’ll probably go into it with an idea of what you want, now build on it! Keep your décor selections practical; if you insulated the walls, you can consider wallpaper, but otherwise painting or stone inlay makes more sense. There are apps available to help get you through the design process: look for Sherwin Williams Color Snap app, available at no cost for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, or HGTV Dream Home, free for iPhone, to help plan your decor.
When selecting furniture, consider patio sets to bring an outdoor feel into your space. The furniture selections can make the room multifunctional, too. Adding a patio table and chairs near the window creates the perfect dining nook. Tuck a daybed into the corner to provide a place to nap or read a book.