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Convert 2-story shed-type addition to 3 season porch

Convert 2-story shed-type addition to 3 season porch


Old 05-07-17, 06:38 PM
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Location: USA
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Convert 2-story shed-type addition to 3 season porch

Struggled to find the best subforum for this post. Let me know if you think it should move...

I'm evaluating buying a 2 story house 1930's-built house which currently has 2 units (1 up 1 down, I'm a tenant of the lower part right now). If I purchase, I'd combine to a single family house.

However, it's 3,200 sq ft. which is far more than needed (or than I'd want to heat/cool). Also, the current rear 2 story addition (10'x26', added in maybe the 1950's?) has major structural issues. See photo to see what the structure looks like.
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Here's a summary of the issues (2nd floor addition has laundry and kitchen of upper unit):
  • There is a flakey, warped, load bearing double header just underneath the wall between the Upstairs Kitchen to the upstairs Laundry Room. It is composed of 2 2x6ís sistered together, and it is responsible for holding both the Kitchen and Laundry Room joists. It needs to be redone bigger. The double header runs East/West.
  • Then, the joists that are attached to it are done so inadequately, with toenailed framing nails holding up the floor. In many cases the joists are not flush with the load bearing double header. These ought to be hung with joist hangers on the new double header.
  • There is a girder running perpendicular to the joists in an attempt to add structural support. It is reinforced by two diagonal braces, one of which is not long enough, so it is sistered to a 2x4 that is floating. The stringer should be lengthened in order to support more of the rim joist and it should be resting on a stud.
  • The rim joist on the West facing wall of the upstairs Laundry Room is resting on the previously described stringer by about half an inch.
  • The stud that is supporting both the the rim joist and the stringer is damaged with wet rot.
  • The top plate on the North facing exterior wall of the upstairs Laundry Room has been destroyed by termites and has shattered, leaving four joist floating.

So in short, the addition part is likely a gut to studs, reinforce/replace, and redo. Here's where I've got questions. I've had the (perhaps bad) idea of when redoing it to make it a 3-season porch... since the house doesn't need more normal living space. This would probably involve:
  • Remove all plumbing and HVAC runs.
  • Install lots of some type of cost-effective windows (storm, eze-breeze?).
  • Keep interior finish simple/low cost.
  • Move exterior doors to main part of house. Install screened storm doors to exterior of shed addition.
  • Ensure main house is properly insulated.

Thoughts/recommendations/things I should be considering? Is this a terrible or great idea?
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Old 05-08-17, 01:52 PM
chandler's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Welcome to the forums! The subforum is just fine. I agree with your logic, since you don't need the heated space, why not turn it into a breezy porch just to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Yes, you would need to remove all the facilities. I would entertain a mid range vinyl casement window set. That would give you full ventilation when wanted and will seal up when not. Door movement is spot on as is storm doors to the outside.

In almost any remodel, it is best to strip to the studs, which would give you the opportunity to beef up the insulation on that wall of the house, as I can guarantee it is probably inadequate.

Let us know if we can help further.

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