Monday, July 16, 2012

Porch Conversions: Scope of Work

Converting a porch to an interior space is a cost-effective way to gain space for your home.  Below is a discussion of the scope of work often involved in this type project.

1. Insulating walls and ceilings.  How much and what type of insulation used depends in part on the existing structure and the room’s function.  In some cases it is necessary to frame down the ceiling to create a large enough cavity for proper insulation.

2. Adding energy efficient windows and doors.  Matching or complementing your home’s existing window and door styles is important.  If the rest of the windows in your house are old, this would be a good opportunity to upgrade to new units.

3. Plumbing.  This is a necessity if you are planing to convert your porch to a bathroom or kitchen.  The proximity of the room to existing plumbing will greatly impact the difficulty and cost of installing plumbing. 

4. Electrical wiring and fixtures.  It helps to plan ahead and add everything you need now, but also what you may want in the future while the structure is being built.  For instance, you may want to install speaker wires in case you decide to add a sound system to the room at a later date.

5. Drywall, flooring, painting, and millwork finishes.  Finishes will vary with the intended use of the room. Think about the character of your current house and try to complement that.  You may also want to try to use these finishes to create a theme or mood in the room.

6. Details such as door and window trim, chair railings and other moldings can make the difference between a room that looks finished – or one that simply looks like an enclosed porch.

7. Heating and cooling.  While some homes may have systems that can accommodate additional rooms, others may need a supplement.  Baseboard heating is an inexpensive option to install but may be expensive to operate if used continually.  Wood burning or gas stoves are an efficient, attractive option that can heat a large room easily.  Through the wall split HVAC systems can both heat and cool the room in a quiet, efficient manner and are simple to install when remodeling.

If you have a home with a porch and need additional space you have the basic ingredients to create a beautiful new room.  Careful consideration of the materials and scope of work will result in a quality project.

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