By: Danny Lipford
While this house had a beautiful view, the homeowners could only enjoy it when the weather permitted. With the addition of this great looking sunroom and patio, they’ll be able to take advantage of it all year long.
The first step was to remove the existing bricks from the exterior walls adjoining the sunroom. Next, the site was prepared and forms were constructed for the two concrete slabs.
When building forms, make sure they are sturdy enough to keep from deforming under the weight of the concrete. The form for the patio employed a step arrangement to accommodate a brick border around the outer edge.
The soil under the sunroom was treated for termites. The patio foundation was treated as well in case the homeowners ever decided to convert it into living space.
A plastic vapor barrier was put down to prevent the absorption of moisture from the ground, then reinforcing wire and rebars were cut to size and set in place to keep the concrete from cracking. The slabs were poured and the surface leveled and finished.
Scored Concrete Floor
Once the concrete had set, lines were laid out in a diagonal grid pattern on the sunroom floor. Grooves were cut into the concrete using a circular saw and guide board to simulate the look of a tile floor. Since concrete continues to harden for quite some time, score the lines as soon as possible after it has set to make cutting easier.
To protect the concrete while curing, the floor was covered with sheets of plywood to prevent it from becoming nicked or scarred during construction.
Since a sunroom has more opening for windows and doors than walls area, 2”x 6” studs were used to provide added support. Metal angle braces were bolted to the slab and attached to the corner posts for extra security.
Once the walls were up, work on the roof began. The slope and design of the roof and eaves were carefully matched to the house. The ceiling joists were aligned with the overhang and the rafters tied into the existing roof. When adding to an existing roof, make sure the framing is strong enough to handle the additional load.
Since the new roof channeled runoff to the side of the house, a small extension known as a “cricket” was considered as a way to divert the water. Crickets are commonly used to prevent water from building up behind a fireplace or other obstruction.
After consulting with the roofer, however, it was decided that an extra layer of felt underlayment and additional copper flashing were all that was needed to handle the excess water.
A ventilation strip was installed in the soffit under the eaves with 3/8” plywood flanking it on either side. The wood fascia boards were matched to those on the existing house.
Windows and Doors
After the windows and doors had been installed and the drywall hung, any gaps between the door jambs and wall were filled with caulking or foam backer rods to prevent air infiltration. The window casings were assembled and aligned with the window units, and the trim molding applied.
To handle the heating and cooling needs of the sunroom, a ductless unit from Mitsubishi was mounted on the wall near the ceiling with a separate outdoor condenser unit. The temperature can be adjusting using a wall mounted thermostat or a remote control.
The bricks and mortar on the exterior of the sunroom were carefully matched to the existing bricks and mortar so they would blend in seamlessly with the house. The same bricks were used to form the border on the patio that is inset into the slab.
SmartKey deadbolts from Kwikset were installed on the doors to the sunroom so they would match the locks on the house. These innovative locks can be programmed to match the keys from other locks, eliminating the need for multiple keys.
An acid stain was applied to the floor of the sunroom to give it a rich brown color. Acid stains consist of muriatic (hydrochloric) acid mixed with metallic salts. The acid etches the surface which allows the salt to penetrate and react with hydrated lime in the concrete. Once the stain has dried, the acid is neutralized, and a sealer is applied to protect the surface.
Other Tips From This Episode
Reciprocating saws work great for cutting holes in existing drywall, but the long blade can also cut through any wires, pipes, and framing. To keep this from happening, cut the blade to length with tin snips so it barely protrudes through the wallboard.
We all know how important it is to keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, but until now their appearance has left a lot to be desired. The HomeHero fire extinguisher is ergonomically designed to make it easy to use and has a sleek look that blends with any décor. The HomeHero fire extinguisher is available at The Home Depot.
Concrete Cracks Under Carpet
I just pulled up my carpet and noticed there are cracks in the slab. Should I be concerned? –Rick from San Diego
Most cracks in slabs are small expansion cracks that should not pose a problem. If the crack will show, it can be filled with a concrete repair caulk. If the crack is 1/4” wide or wider, and one side is a different height than the other, you may have a settling problem that should be examined by a structural engineer.
Power tools used on Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford® are provided by Ryobi.
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