Is a DIY sunroom really possible?

Old 07-24-04, 06:51 PM
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Is a DIY sunroom really possible?

I've looked through alot of posts on this site, and it seems my problem is a common one...

I have a concrete pad as my back porch, with a 10'x25' aluminum roof covering it. In the Florida summer the bugs get bad and the rain gets bad and it really isn't enjoyable to be outside.

I am looking at options to enclose this space. I don't have the $20k-$30k to hire a contractor to do it, and I'd like to find a DIY option.

I made up plans to frame in the space with 2x4's, put a real roof on and nice windows and doors on it... about $7k in parts... I took that to the local permit office and they explained to me the need for a better foundation than my existing slab. The idea of busting up the slab and pouring a new foundation and slab sounds like it would be thousands of dollars, which rules out that option. The permit office mentioned that aluminum frames don't require such large foundations, a book he had showed the need for 4" of concrete, and my slab is 6", so that could work.

The problem I'm having now is finding out how to do this. All I really want is the ability to enclose my existing space with some windows... plexiglass/lexan would be fine... maybe put down some outdoor tile... get some nice outdoor patio furniture... make it an indoor/outdoor space that looks nice and is useable when it rains or when the bugs come out. The concrete pad is fine, the roof is good.... I feel like all I need is some sort of aluminum frame and sheets of lexan...

I looked at Home Depot and Lowes, and the only thing they have is the parts to build a screened porch. I'm not a big fan of screened porches... they tend to be kind of dark and rain can still come in. I'd rather have clear windows/plexiglass.

Is this something that can be done on a small DIY scale? I've seen the kits at, but they seem overpriced for what you get... the same materials would cost me maybe a quarter the price from a hardware store... plust they insist that you use their roof, which is clear plastic, which would make the room really hot. Besides, I already have a good roof.

Has anyone seen anything like this done? Is it DIY doable?
Old 07-27-04, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
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I have seen 3 kits that the owners built themselves. I was called in on all three to make them stop leaking. I looked at them and walked away.

I have built several hundred sunrooms and patio rooms, and have only been called back on 2 or 3 for leaks -- usually just moisture weeping through a stucco wall.
Old 08-02-04, 05:53 AM
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[My son built his own in Florida, (it was a kit) looked really cute and good. Has no problems that I know of.]
Try it you'll like it~!!~

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