Back to Basics - A Sunroom Addition

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Owners of this french country home were not pleased with their less-than-thoughtful existing sunroom addition, which amounted to what SawHorse project manager John Patterson calls a "giant, cedar octagon plant room." It did not blend with the home's stucco exterior, and because its only connection to the home was through a set of double doors, it didn't carry natural light throug...

February 01, 2007

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Sunroom Addition
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Coming Out On Top

The sunroom addition and enlarged breakfast room blend seamlessly with the existing home.
After photos by Scott Wang Photography

Owners of this french country home were not pleased with their less-than-thoughtful existing sunroom addition, which amounted to what SawHorse project manager John Patterson calls a "giant, cedar octagon plant room." It did not blend with the home's stucco exterior, and because its only connection to the home was through a set of double doors, it didn't carry natural light throughout the home.

For their new sunroom, it was essential that the homeowners have a flat area for their young grandchildren to play. Their lush garden and dense surrounding forestry would be a backdrop, and they also wanted to incorporate a grilling area for entertaining.

Before

 

The new sunroom is both leisurely and lofty. It features vaulted, 15-foot ceilings with two skylights. Together with the French doors that lead to the patio and the Palladian windows that anchor each end of the family room, the much-needed natural light streams in. Oak flooring and custom fans finish the space.

The portico provides an additional and less-formal entrance to the home, a nice alternative to entering from the garage, which is what the customers had done previously. An extra closet allows what the owners call a "plastic explosion" of toys to be contained for easy access.

"With this addition, and by enlarging the breakfast room, we created a nicer flow for the entire lower level and a better connection with the back yard, which had a really nice water feature that can now be appreciated while inside the house," says SawHorse Interior Designer Maribeth Gaines. The $235,000 project was completed in about four months.

"Projects like this are great not just because of the results, but because they show how clients, project managers and builders can work together well," Patterson says. "These clients where engaged and gave us objectives throughout, which helped us know that we were constantly meeting expectations, not just at the beginning of the process. We worked together as a team."

 

Sunroom Addition

REMODELER AND ARCHITECT: SawHorse, Atlanta
PROJECT LOCATION: Marietta, Ga.
AGE OF HOME: 20-year-old French Country
SCOPE OF WORK: Remove the existing sunroom and replace with a 600-square-foot addition that includes a family room, storage area and covered porch with outdoor kitchen

Products List

Doors: Simpson, Tucker  Fireplace: Majestic  HVAC: Amana  Lighting Fixtures: Halo, Lithonia  Paints & Stains: Duron  Roofing: Tamko  Windows: Monarch, Velux

Though the client's primary objective was to create a casual play area for their young grandchildren, the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and its custom built-in cabinetry give the family room formalit and presence for "grown-up" entertaining.

Coming Out On Top

The vaulted ceilings challenged how the remodeler would connect the addition to the existing home. It was so much of a challenge the homeowners had already brought the project to several other remodelers and architects — none who could provide an adequate solution — before meeting with SawHorse. "The area of the second story adjacent to the new sunroom contained a bedroom with windows, prohibiting a typical tie-in," SawHorse Project Manager John Patterson says. However, SawHorse's architect was able to address this by creating an elaborate cricket roof that links the existing roof to the addition's roof, creating two separate rooflines.

Although this resulted in a two-inch drop where the tie-in meets the second story, Patterson insists this floating element is very gradual and does not affect the proportions of the interior spaces. "The segue from one area to the next looks like it's all original, which is what you always want in a remodeling project — the new should be obvious," he says, noting that their ability to provide this solution led to repeat business with this customer.

"We barricaded them in a dustless comfort zone, and they appreciated the care we took to keep them protected and comfortable," Patterson says. "They didn't have a complete perspective of how the rooflines worked until the very end."

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