The porch is the pinnacle of Americana. You may even be reading this blog post while sitting in a wicker chair, drinking iced tea, listening to the crickets and watching fireflies flit across your lawn. The porch is truly a magical place to hang out.
Until winter comes, that is. Then the porch becomes a stackup for boots and a place to sweep and throw down salt for ice. How about making the square footage useful? One way to do that is by turning your porch into a sunroom.
What’s involved in doing this? Homeowners often ask. In this blog post, we’ll tell you all the dirt and all the benefits you’ll get out of a project like this. As a homebuilder in Middletown, we can tell you this straight off the bat: If you’re looking to create a room that features electrical and possibly plumbing and windows, you cannot make this a DIY weekend project. This is a complex job that requires knowledge and experience of a qualified contractor.
When you find the right contractor, you will learn that you still need a building permit for this type of project, even though you’re not building on a physical addition to your home that adds square footage. If you add lights, you’ll need an electrical permit, and… you guessed it, adding plumbing or any air conditioning will mean the same thing. Permits shouldn’t deter you from starting a project—but they will take time, so plan that into your calendar budget.
After the permits are done, you’ll need to get an analysis of the foundation to make sure it can support the weight of living space in the porch area. We strongly encourage bringing in a designer for your sunroom project, in addition to the contractor. A designer will take the blank canvas of your porch and make the most of the space that you’re creating, whether it’s for a sunroom or an extra bedroom, or even an enclosed porch.
Expect most of your budget to be spent on windows. For something that used to be a porch, you definitely want to retain the light that will pass through this new part of your house.
We’ll leave you with a thought from a homebuilder in Middletown to stew on: If you’re planning a big remodeling project in the next few years, a good test project for a contractor is a smaller job like this one. You’ll get to know the contractor’s process and develop a strong relationship. When it comes time to redo your bathroom or kitchen, you’ll know exactly who to call, because you’ll already be enjoying the results of one of his previous and less expensive projects.