For some people, a deck represents an extension to both their home and their garden; a quiet haven where the great outdoors can be enjoyed in the safe shadow of their own home. However, with the Calgary spring comes the Calgary bugs, and quickly the temperature rises to make being outside at midday uncomfortable. It’s at this time that you may be asking if you can turn your deck into a sunroom.
Fortunately, the answer is yes, and the process is easier than you think. A sunroom is one step up from a screened in porch, with walls and windows instead of fly screens, and it can be connected to your home’s heating and electrical systems easily. The process for turning a deck into a sunroom is relatively simple:
- Level and strengthen the deck — the main difficulty facing deck owners as they approach a sunroom conversion is that their deck can’t support the weight of a full room on top. A building contractor will be able to assess if your deck needs additional joists or foundations installed underneath, as well as any levelling and sanding to make sure that the sunroom starts on an even basis. This process isn’t difficult and it’s always worth erring on side of caution instead of using this as an opportunity to cut corners.
- Add supporting walls and frame — once the deck is prepared, the walls and frame will be installed right into the deck. You’ll need to have thought about your flooring options, but whether it’s hardwood, tile or vinyl, it will be installed the same as if you were covering floorboards inside. The frame of a new sunroom tends to be made from either wooden posts or aluminum frames; the former tends to be for year round use, while the latter supports a three season sunroom.
- Complete the roof — the roof comes next, and the size and shape will depend on how sheltered your home is. An exposed Calgary home will need an A frame roof to stop snow from accumulating, while a more sheltered property will benefit from a flat studio roof to allow as much natural light in through well positioned skylights.
- Install the windows — finally, you will need to decide on the size and types of windows for your sunroom. Double, or even triple, insulated windows are now the norm, making your sunroom more energy efficient and a heat trap during the colder months. You will also need to think about the number and size of the windows, which will be determined by how long each wall is and the position of the sun on your property throughout the day.
A common question when thinking about turning a deck into a sunroom is whether the shape of the deck dictates the shape of the sunroom. The answer is that the sunroom can be any size or shape you require, as long as it’s less than the dimensions of the original deck. Having a small deck area outside of the sunroom will dictate where your external doors should go, as it makes sense to use the remaining deck area as an exit into the rest of the yard.