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  1. #1

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    Default Thinking about building a sun room addition

    So I've been thinking about building a sun room addition on top of my deck. I have a really nice view from the rear of the house and want to enjoy it 4 seasons.

    I had Champion come in and give me an estimate, and its clear they are a prefab mill. The specs he quoted for were much smaller than my deck (after I told him I wanted to cover the entire deck), and their pricing was outrageous.

    I'm looking to build - this room will have as close to 100% windows as possible, and a gable roof that connects with the rear wall (not roof) of the house. Do not intend to take HVAC in there - I will use a heater fan in the winter when its in use - so electric will need to in there.

    I'm moderately handy with interior work (did a flawless job on interior crown molding for the whole house recently - coped joints and all), but have never attempted major construction. Also handy with electricals.

    Any advice on where to start? What should I contract out? Build myself? How to select contractors etc? Any thoughts and advice appreciated. If there are folks on here who can advise, I'll upload pictures.

  2. #2

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    Maybe it's being from the South and now living in the Southwest, but I just never understood the appeal of a sun room. Isn't it sunny and hot and humid enough without bringing all that inside the house? Maybe if you're a green thumb and want a little jungle or something....

    That being said, if you go electric heat, like a strip heat along the wall or a heat pump upgrade, make sure your service entrance can handle an extra 30-60A 2-pole breaker.

    Wes
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  3. #3

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    framing it out would be first step after permits.
    This is what i do for a living
    If you need some one to build it pm me
    Im in springfield but im in new lenox and round lake beach all the time and on the chain of lakes
    polk 10bs--- prodigy hd2 modded Burson Audio opamps
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-SIG View Post
    Maybe it's being from the South and now living in the Southwest, but I just never understood the appeal of a sun room. Isn't it sunny and hot and humid enough without bringing all that inside the house? Maybe if you're a green thumb and want a little jungle or something....

    That being said, if you go electric heat, like a strip heat along the wall or a heat pump upgrade, make sure your service entrance can handle an extra 30-60A 2-pole breaker.

    Wes
    Well, up here in Chicagoland, you kind of go batty in the winter inside the house, and you really lose the use of the deck and outdoors for like 5-6 months of the year. Even in the summer, the sunroom provides shade and comfort from pests (mosquitoes et al.). So that's the thinking anyway.


    For heat, I was thinking to install this: http://www.fanheatlight.com/
    It probably will not be able to cope with the coldest months of the year, but I'm hoping it will be adequate with a sweater. Any experience with this?

    Quote Originally Posted by fastz28 View Post
    framing it out would be first step after permits.
    This is what i do for a living
    If you need some one to build it pm me
    Im in springfield but im in new lenox and round lake beach all the time and on the chain of lakes
    Awesome. Have you done any sun room's? Any pictures?

  5. #5

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    I used to work for a company that manufactured and installed sunrooms. A few words of advice are offered. If you frame the rafters and columns from wood, have some aluminum "C" shapes made at a local sheet metal shop to cover the outside of the wood. This will allow you to get a good caulk seal between the glazing and the frame. Make sure you install a weep pan at the sills because you will get a lot of condensation on the inside of the glass that needs to be diverted outside. Use insulated glass units with a low E coating on the #2 surface. IGU's are made from two panes of glass with a 1/2" air space that is usually filled with argon. The outer surface of the exterior pane of glass is the #1 surface. Inside face of the outer pane is the #2 surface. In the northern climes the low-e coating on the #2 surface reflects heat back into the building which is what you want in the winter. Make sure you install a vent fan at one side at the high point of the roof slope. You will need this for summer when it will get extremely hot inside. It is also a good idea to install shades on the underside of the rafters that you can pull down to block summer sun. If you go with a standard roof design with no glass in the roof, you could just install standard windows in wood framed walls which should be cheaper than an all glass sunroom.
    Lots of Carver stuff and a pair of LSi9's

  6. #6

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    yes many
    25years exp...
    Attached Images  
    polk 10bs--- prodigy hd2 modded Burson Audio opamps
    dcm time windows ---- parasound pre amp
    TDQ-1600 Broadcast Reference Tuner -- yamaha cd s700
    yamaha px-3 Denon dl-110 --- audioquest ic
    carver 1.5t--- bogdan speaker cables
    ps audio 200cx--- ps audio phono pre amp

  7. #7

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    Having a sheltered space like that makes your home so much more enjoyable. My step father and I built a nice covered roof for my deck last year. Has a shingled roof, beadboard ceiling with two ceiling fans, and extends three feet past the footprint of the deck so it really shades the house well. Add in the Atriums and a Squeezebox Duet, grab a beer, and it's hard to find a better place to watch a late spring thunderstorm.

    My $.02 in regards to design, having built ours and helped my parents design their sunroom, I'd suggest against a glass roofed room. As skipf said, a glass roof needs curtains along it's underside to block the sun in the summer. Otherwise you have a greenhouse. The curtains are a pain to clean/dust around. My parents sunroom had a glass roof and never really took them down in the winter because it was a PITA; I didn't care for the way it looked. Also, it was loud when it rained. Didn't bother me, but my parents ended up replacing the glass roof with a more traditional one. I like Skip's suggestion about framing the room and installing windows.

    fastz28: Nice looking room!
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  8. #8

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    We are currently remodeling our second home. There are a lot of DIY things we can do, but plumbing and electrical require license, bonding, insurance, etc. to satisfy me from a safety aspect.

    I'll also add that some things are not DIY only due to time constraints. Work such as drywall can be accomplished by pros in a day when I may take a couple of weekends (not to mention the mess in-between).

    Good luck with your project. Please submit pictures of progress.
    Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Friend.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by skipf View Post
    ..If you go with a standard roof design with no glass in the roof, you could just install standard windows in wood framed walls which should be cheaper than an all glass sunroom.
    Fantastic advice skipf - thank you. I would like to have a standard gable style shingle roof, potentially with a couple of skylights. I do like light, so I'd like to have the walls as close to 100% windows as possible, and putting low profile cellular blinds on those should do the trick in the summer when it gets too hot/bright. Any tips on getting to near 100% windows for the walls?

    Quote Originally Posted by strider View Post
    Having a sheltered space like that makes your home so much more enjoyable. My step father and I built a nice covered roof for my deck last year. Has a shingled roof, beadboard ceiling with two ceiling fans, and extends three feet past the footprint of the deck so it really shades the house well. Add in the Atriums and a Squeezebox Duet, grab a beer, and it's hard to find a better place to watch a late spring thunderstorm.
    Do you have some pictures of this? Mind sharing the rough budget over PM?

    Quote Originally Posted by fastz28 View Post
    yes many
    25years exp...
    That is a beautiful room. How big is it and what was the approximate budget (on here or over PM)? Which part of the country was that in?

  10. #10

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    This lady might be able to help you out!

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120840
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  11. #11

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    If you want almost 100% glass in the walls, go with a commercial aluminum storefront system. You could put up wood corner columns and a wood beam at the front with stud framed gable ends and sill walls. That should even be less expensive than a window system. The only drawback is that the windows won't be operable. If that's not a deal killer for you, that type of system would give you the most glass area, and almost all storefront systems use insulated glass. Any local commercial glass shop could hook you up with the componants. The systems are self weeping too so you shouldn't have any problems with water damage from condensation on your interior sills. If that's the way you want to go, feel free to contact me and I can tell you what types of flashings, etc you will need and some suggested frame systems.
    Lots of Carver stuff and a pair of LSi9's

  12. #12

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    The first place to start a project like this is with your local zoning officer to be sure what you want to do (conceptually) is allowed according to the local ordinances. If so then an Architect would be your next step. He would examine the existing structure to ensure the footings, framing , posting and attachment to the house is adequate to support the additional structural loads. Also many codes will require you to have a certain level of energy efficiency ("Res Check") when the new space is to be conditioned .

    Jimmy

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
    Do you have some pictures of this? Mind sharing the rough budget over PM?
    I'll take some shots on Sunday, the next time I have off during the day. We called in some favors and ended up spending about $4k.
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  14. #14

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    That one was about 19,000 grand with brick fireplace,hardwood floors,shingled roof, skylites and electric.
    polk 10bs--- prodigy hd2 modded Burson Audio opamps
    dcm time windows ---- parasound pre amp
    TDQ-1600 Broadcast Reference Tuner -- yamaha cd s700
    yamaha px-3 Denon dl-110 --- audioquest ic
    carver 1.5t--- bogdan speaker cables
    ps audio 200cx--- ps audio phono pre amp

  15. #15

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    That was total price from start to finish
    polk 10bs--- prodigy hd2 modded Burson Audio opamps
    dcm time windows ---- parasound pre amp
    TDQ-1600 Broadcast Reference Tuner -- yamaha cd s700
    yamaha px-3 Denon dl-110 --- audioquest ic
    carver 1.5t--- bogdan speaker cables
    ps audio 200cx--- ps audio phono pre amp

  16. #16

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    Got alot of stuff from habitat for humanity They sell alot of building materiel for 75 % off
    polk 10bs--- prodigy hd2 modded Burson Audio opamps
    dcm time windows ---- parasound pre amp
    TDQ-1600 Broadcast Reference Tuner -- yamaha cd s700
    yamaha px-3 Denon dl-110 --- audioquest ic
    carver 1.5t--- bogdan speaker cables
    ps audio 200cx--- ps audio phono pre amp

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastz28 View Post
    That one was about 19,000 grand with brick fireplace,hardwood floors,shingled roof, skylites and electric.
    Interesting. Which part of the country was that?

  18. #18

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    The first shot is from the dining room. Pine bead board, stained. Hunter outdoor rated celing fans; the railing is the original wrought iron cut and re-welded to work with the new roof. The end of the roof overhangs the footprint of the porch 3 feet. It really cuts down on the sunlight that enters the house in the summer. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, the light hits the floor and warms the room.

    Second picture is from the yard. The roof is a dutch gable with asphalt shingles. It was a bit more work then a shed roof or a-frame but it has more character. My stepfather and I framed the structure, finished the roof, installed the siding on the front of the gable, as well as the flashing at the house and the siding on the front of the gable. My brother in law welded the railings together after I cut them to length. We had someone hang the beadboard, wrap the roof frame in aluminum, as well as hang the gutters and other aluminum trim.

    Still have to finish priming/painting of the railings and figure out how to finish the support posts for the roof. We're staining the deck surface and redoing the exterior walls below the deck after the railing's finished.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by strider View Post
    The first shot is from the dining room. Pine bead board, stained. Hunter outdoor rated celing fans; the railing is the original wrought iron cut and re-welded to work with the new roof. The end of the roof overhangs the footprint of the porch 3 feet. It really cuts down on the sunlight that enters the house in the summer. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, the light hits the floor and warms the room.

    Second picture is from the yard. The roof is a dutch gable with asphalt shingles. It was a bit more work then a shed roof or a-frame but it has more character. My stepfather and I framed the structure, finished the roof, installed the siding on the front of the gable, as well as the flashing at the house and the siding on the front of the gable. My brother in law welded the railings together after I cut them to length. We had someone hang the beadboard, wrap the roof frame in aluminum, as well as hang the gutters and other aluminum trim.

    Still have to finish priming/painting of the railings and figure out how to finish the support posts for the roof. We're staining the deck surface and redoing the exterior walls below the deck after the railing's finished.

    Very nice work. I'm looking to do a gable roof as well, but I'd like to have the inside of the roof be exposed - you seem to have it flat. It looks really nice. I think having the inside space will make it feel a little more spacious. And I want to put in windows.

    Why did you wrap the roof frame in aluminium?

    Looks great!

  20. #20

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    So I had the addition done this fall. Chose to go with a vinyl on aluminium unit, all double pane glass, gable roof. They basically had to rebuild the deck to take the addition. Put in 9 new 6x6 posts for the foundation. The floor is as solid as a rock - no flex at all.

    I'm finishing the interior myself. Started putting down concrete backer board today for the porcelain tile. Driving all those screws is a PIA. I plan on finishing the back wall (house) and ceiling with cedar paneling, and putting in an antique style fan to match the paneling.

    Oh - and it will of course have Polk outdoor speakers wired into the main rig with the Squeezebox.

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