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How Do I Convert a Patio to a Sunroom?

How Do I Convert a Patio to a Sunroom?

Have you always wanted a sunroom, but until now you haven’t done anything to make it happen? If you said yes to that question, then you are in the right place. This post will show you the necessary steps to help you realize that goal.

There are many reasons why you would want a sunroom on your property. A beautiful outdoor room with lots of natural light, where you can entertain guests, spend time with family, indulge in a hobby, or enjoy a view of the outdoors, is a great way to increase the value of your home, says NFI Management Company.

Aesthetically, sunrooms are more eye-catching than screened patios. Adding a sunroom to your home will let you put that underutilized backyard space to good use by transforming it from a sun-baked area to an enclosed room for use in all seasons.

With a patio already in place, you are several steps closer to your dream of adding a sunroom.  It is so much easier to convert an existing patio to a sunroom than to build one from scratch. If the patio also has supporting posts and a roof, almost half the work of creating your sunroom is done. To convert your patio into a sunroom, follow these steps.


Steps for converting a patio to a sunroom


patio cover


Obtain permits

In most places, you need a permit for any project that will increase the usable indoor space of your property. If the sunroom you have in mind is a four-season room with insulation, heating, and structures that are sturdy enough to hold the insulation and wiring, you definitely need a permit. 

For three-season sunrooms with light insulation, you may not need permits. Before you start your project, find out what the local ordinances and Florida building requirements are.


Planning and design

You must submit a plan to get a building permit. The plan helps the local authorities determine if the conversion requires a permit or not. To create a plan for your project, talk to a licensed contractor; do not attempt to do it yourself. A professional plan expedites the process of getting the required permits and also helps you minimize the risk of problems on the way.


Assessing your existing patio

Your existing patio will influence the direction of your design. If the patio is attached to your home and has a concrete slab and roof, you may be able to use the roof as it is. If it is freestanding, the patio roof is probably made of some thin material.

In that case, you need a proper roof that can provide thermal protection. You also need insulated flooring over the concrete slab to keep it from being cold.


Designing a comfortable sunroom



A sunroom is meant to be sunny, but too much sunlight in the room will also make it uncomfortable. You want to be able to control how much direct sunlight enters the room. The best way to do this is with the orientation of the sunroom. Typically, the south side of the room will get more sunlight. This part of the room should have a solid wall or it should be shaded by trees or the shadow of your house.


Windows and ventilation

For sunrooms that are attached to the house, it’s easy to extend the central air system to them. But if yours is a standalone structure, doing this will be harder. To ensure ventilation, add windows that can be opened and a ceiling fan. If you need to capture sunlight to warm the room in winter, install windows on a south-facing wall. Windows help keep the sunroom from overheating in summer or getting too cold in winter.


Insulation and flooring

As explained before, the concrete floor of your patio offers very little insulation. You need to cover it with insulated flooring. A raised floor with fiberglass rigid foam (rated R-30 or higher) or spray foam insulation, along with subflooring and hardwood or laminate flooring offers the best results. You can get away with painting the floor with superior-quality floor enamel if the winters in your location are not very cold.


The cost of a sunroom conversion


home improvement

How much will it cost to convert your patio into a sunroom? A lot depends on the type of room you are building, the size of the room, and the materials you use. A four-season room will naturally cost more than a three-season room. Larger rooms with quality materials will also cost more. The cost of this conversion could be anywhere from $15,000 to $80,000. This wide range is due to the number of variables involved.


Get a prefab sunroom

If the above process seems like a lot of work, you have the option of buying a prefabricated sunroom. A prefab sunroom is a ready-made living space, complete with everything you need to be comfortable during winter. This is a quick and sometimes low-cost method to get a sunroom. Prefab sunrooms can run anywhere between $8,000 and $30,000, but they may not match the style of your home.

With all the benefits a sunroom gives you, why not consider it and turn your patio into one? If you ever decide to sell your house, the sunroom will help with the price! 


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