Advice on Enclosing a Screened Porch

Old 10-06-04, 07:24 AM
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Advice on Enclosing a Screened Porch

I want to enclose my screened porch but need advice. The porch is currently covered on top with a regular shed-type roof with asphalt shingles but no insulation, and there's no way to get into the crawl-space above without cutting a door into the ceiling. The floor is a concrete slab. How can I enclose the porch so it's as warm as possible in the winter and cold in the summer. I live in Maryland so I get a few months of both hot and cold weather. The footprint is small - the room is only about 15 ft x 9 ft. with an 8 ft. ceiling, so I'd rather not frame the walls with 2x6s but I want to have the room well insulated. I plan on using the room as an office/TV room and would like to carpet the floor if possible, but am concerned with moisture issues and mold. Is baseboard heat the best way to go for heating at a modest price, and is a window-mounted AC good for cooling the room (running duct from the exiting HVAC system isn't an option)? Also, any advice on exterior finishes? Is cement board better, worse, or same as using vinyl siding on the exterior? Thanks.
Old 10-06-04, 11:58 AM
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Most jurisdictions have building codes that regulate covered patios, especially if the cover (roof) ties into your main dwelling roof. Then this simple project quickly becomes more complicated, especially since you will need electric power. Now we're talking a dedicated GFCI circuit from the main panel, etc.

And the existing patio roof, if it wasn't permitted (which is likely), will probably have to go. But you wanted insulation, so you may as well replace it anyway.

Google "sunroom" and "four seasons patio" and you will find that there are several companies that do this, for almost (but not quite) the cost of a room addition.

I strongly recommend tile over carpet. You can put seisal or area rugs over the tile to soften if you want, but your instincts are correct regarding moisture. Also your patio will have to meet basic foundation requirements: level or sloped slightly away from the house, strong enough to support weight of roof/enclosure, no cracks, etc.

As for heating/cooling, a properly-rated window or portable unit should work fine for a 15x9 room. And a space heater or baseboard heater should keep it warm in the winter if the room is tight and well insulated and windows are dual pane.

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