Turning a closed deck into a room/rooms

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  #1  
Old 07-21-15, 01:55 PM
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Turning a closed deck into a room/rooms

I haven't decided completely on the layout yet, but I've decided I'm going to turn my back deck into a playroom, and maybe a portion of it into a bathroom (not 100% on the bathroom part).

I just have no idea where to start and need some help with the planning/expectations portion of the project. I have no idea how much this will cost in the end, and how much I will need to start and keep myself busy while I continue to throw money in the bank to finish the project with major purchases.

So, I know to help, you will need to know more about the space.

- It has a high rise/barn style ceiling, I have no idea what kind of insulation is up there. Kinda tempted to lower the ceiling to have extra storage, also kinda tempted to leave as is to have a stylish high-rise ceiling.
- It has several screened in windows that will need to either be selectively filled in or turned into full fledged windows
- The space looked like it was originally a deck turned into closed porch
- It has roofing already.

The following items are a must:

- Insulated space with heat, air, and electricity
- Standard dry wall finish (currently the house's original wood finish adorns the inside of the walls)
- Unsure of how many windows, but there will be a few

Aside from measuring out the space and deciding what to do with it, I don't know what else to do, how to even start. Would a bathroom/extra plumbing be too much to bother with? The only reason I even think about it is because the house is a tri-level, with bathrooms on top and bottom level, with nothing in the middle.... and this deck is on the middle level.

My financial situation is currently... recovering. I've gotten rid of all debt and working on my savings account, while simultaneously getting older appliances/outdated house hardware (insulation, HVAC unit, water heater, etc) replaced.
 
  #2  
Old 07-21-15, 02:05 PM
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Posting some pictures would sure help and ansewer a lot of unasked questions.
No such thing as a "high rise barn style ceiling"
Exposed beams?
Add a bedroom and you'll open up a whole can of worms with zoning, health dept, building permits.
 
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Old 07-21-15, 02:28 PM
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At some point you have to consider properly adding on the space instead of converting a deck that has already been converted into an enclosed deck. Just read this forum long enough and you'll find a lot of posts about enclosed decks and porches discussing various leaks, floor cracking and that it's difficult to heat and cool. Just because it can be done does not mean it's a good decision.

The construction required for finished space is quite different than a deck. Just look at your house for an example. You'll also have to look carefully at the condition of your existing deck. Pressure treated wood has a limited life span. Has half of yours expired already? Are the footings, posts and beams up to the task of supporting the extra weight of finished walls, windows? Then you mention a bathroom which takes things to a whole other level.
 
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Old 07-23-15, 03:58 PM
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Here it goes.

Outside:



Underneath:
Posts seem to be anchored in concrete.

Ignore the hot tub, it's coming out.



Inside:



Ignore the hot tub, it's coming out.



Flooring:
The last owners saw fit to cover most of the deck with carpet (eyeroll). This is the exposed portion near the hottub.

 
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Old 09-30-15, 07:33 PM
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Ok, I had a contractor come out and look at the enclosed deck. He said the supports should be more than enough to handle enclosing the room or even putting in a bathroom.

That said, I have no idea where to start or how much to save. The contractor should be coming back with a quote, I just want to make sure it's in the same ballpark of fair price, also, I made it clear to the contractor that he is being hired to teach me how to convert this room as well as leading the project (I'll be doing the work beside him).
 
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Old 09-30-15, 07:37 PM
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I would not even attempt to convert what was originally designed as an outdoor deck into an indoor living space. Decks are not designed to take the loads involved, and you will just run into more problems down the road.

Just my opinion.
 
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Old 10-01-15, 06:27 AM
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I also can't imagine a GC standing behind the work of a homeowner.
 
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Old 10-01-15, 11:53 AM
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Nobody on this forum has said that converting your deck as you want is a good idea. So, I'd say you and that contractor are on your own at this point.

I see it all the time though. It starts with a nice house. Then someone adds a deck and it's still a nice house. Then someone decides to put a roof over the deck and maybe enclose it. That's when things start to head south. Then the next owners want to turn the screened porch into conditioned living space. All the while there is still an old deck at the core with several generations of 1/2 arsed "upgrades".

Additions and upgrades can be done properly. It's when you try using old stuff that's not appropriate. Look at any house. Decks are constructed differently than the main, conditioned parts of the house. There is a reason.
 
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Old 10-13-15, 11:05 AM
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"Additions and upgrades can be done properly. It's when you try using old stuff that's not appropriate. Look at any house. Decks are constructed differently than the main, conditioned parts of the house. There is a reason. "

That's my goal and the pitfalls I'm trying to avoid, I'm not fighting to necessarily covert the deck, I'm fighting to do an addition, and if that means tearing the deck down and rebuilding with a permanent addition in mind, so be it.

So is the general consensus is that the GC is full of crap, then I need to find another GC.
 
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Old 10-13-15, 11:17 AM
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No reputable GC would recommend turning a deck into an indoor living space. So yes, your GC is full of BS. Thats not to say it cant be done, but it wont be done the way it is supposed to be, and wont have the stability and strength it needs to prevent problems down the road.

I would tear it off and start from a fresh foundation.
 
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Old 10-13-15, 11:39 AM
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Thank you, I expect nothing but brutal honesty from you folks. I'll find another GC.

In the meantime, any recommended reading for me?
 
  #12  
Old 12-09-15, 01:00 AM
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legs to stand on

the main obstacle with this idea is the foundation underneath your deck. if it was more of a "porch" with a poured basement similar to that of the house itself, it would be fairly simple to connect it as a conditioned space to the current interior.

i am wondering though... if you left your patio doors intact as-is... it might be feasible to create an independently heated/cooled space with a mini-split system and some closed cell spray foam insulation underneath and surrounding your new room. you would essentially be creating a new conditioned space, separate from the home in terms of hvac. it would likely require quite a bit of replacement of bottom deck boards and assessment of current footings to be sure it was capable of handling new weight. spray foam is not cheap- might be worth expanding up and building dormers for attic space? not to mention setback regulations and increased property taxes... they will get you for everything they can.
 
 

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