Sun Room: Indoor Porch Brings the Best of Outdoor Living In

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This 300-square-foot porch was rebuilt to accommodate the second-floor loads of a room addition built directly above it.

December 01, 2003
This project presented two tricky circumstances. First, the porch had to be remodeled so it could structurally support a room addition above it. The porch's floor joists were restructured with piers, and steel tubes encased in cedar (rather than 2x4s) were used between the porch windows and the bottom plane of the addition to transfer the loads. The steel columns provided structure with minimum width, which allowed for bigger window screens. Second, the existing porch floor slanted away from the home, so all of the remodeling work was done on an angle.
This 300-square-foot porch was rebuilt to accommodate the second-floor loads of a room addition built directly above it. The project also required bringing an outdoor grill into an enclosed space, so the types of materials used were of utmost importance.

The porch was reconstructed using custom millwork of treated wood. It has double-thick walls, and behind all the siding and wood are fireproof materials. A drainage system " with a drain series between the baseboards and the weep holes on the outer wall's exterior " removes any rainfall that might enter the porch.

Custom-built stainless steel cabinetry houses the gas grill, and a 2,300-cubic-foot-per-minute vent hood with an external blower removes all smoke from the area. Although the porch is screened, air-conditioner vents were built in to help cool large groups, especially during summer.

Craftsman-style casing and trim, copper mesh screens and V-groove paneling on the ceilings and walls match the home's existing style and make the porch look as old as the home.

Ryan Haas, CGR, CAPS, vice president of sales for Houston Structural, says the homeowners received a high-tech, fire-, water- and weather-resistant structure that far exceeds code, "gives them the ability to entertain year-round and also gives the home a whole new zone with an area for retreating."

The nine-week project cost $54,000.

 

Vent hood: Thermador




Remodeler: Houston Structural Inc., Houston

Project location: Houston

Age of home: 84 years

Scope of work: remodeling and screening an open porch, which had to support a second-story room addition

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