Convert Your Patio into a Patio Sunroom, Pt. 1

Converting your patio into a patio sunroom will increase your home’s value, offer a convenient place for guests and special occasions, and provide a place to grow plants in the right environment. A sun room is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a quiet breakfast with the sunlight streaming in. Watch beautiful indoor plants show off their flowers as they grow in their ideal habitat. Although a seemingly daunting task, once the right materials are purchased and with the right tools, this project can be completed in two or three weekends or a single week. Patience and planning make this a project almost any homeowner with minimum mechanical skills can undertake.

Materials Required (estimated requirements should be based on area being built)

  • Depending on floor area to be covered, purchase 2x4s as long as possible
  • Sheets of tongue and groove particle board flooring base
  • Framing 2x4s at least 8 feet long
  • Pressure treated 4x4s for each corner to be erected
  • R45 fiberglass insulation for walls
  • Two to three rolls of black tar paper
  • Plastic sheeting (to provide vapor barrier between walls)
  • Double paned E glass windows (as required)
  • Double paned E glass sliding glass door(s) (as required)
  • Drywall sheeting
  • Silicone caulking
  • Caulking gun
  • Nail gun
  • Air compressor (can be rented if necessary)
  • Heavy duty staple gun
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Portable drill
  • Interior wood paneling (optional)
  • Interior and exterior paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Large level
  • Table and skill saw
  • Exterior siding
  • Wood for building window sills (interior and exterior)
  • Workman’s gloves
  • Eye and ear protection

Step 1: Preparation and Planning

As accurately as possible, begin by carefully drawing out a strategic plan of the required measurements and structures. Plan out the flooring with the 2x4s first, then the grooved flooring base. Lay out the dimensions of the wall structures, where the windows and doors will be placed, heights, widths and total number of 2x4s needed.

Step 2: Level Flooring

Dry fit the flooring materials in place and ensure cuts are to be made at the correct locations. Be certain enough material is on hand and that compensation is made for the uneven flooring of the existing patio. Use the large level to check for evenness of the flooring 2x4s. When placing the grooved flooring base on top of the 2x4s, mark the location of the 2x4s so that nails are driven squarely into them. Although a hammer and nails will work well for this job, a compressor and nail gun will save a lot of time and energy and do just as good a job.

Step 3: Check Horizontal and Vertical Fit

Lay out the 2x4s for the construction of the walls and measure as accurately as possible. Carefully consider where windows and doors will be placed, as their height and location cannot be moved after installation. Use the large level throughout the building of the walls to ensure horizontal as well as vertical level. Mark everything clearly and carefully, and be sure to cut all pieces up to the pencil line. These can be sanded or trimmed if too long or wide, but cannot be stretched if too short or too thin. Having everything measured and in place will speed up the completion of the work.