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.
There are many benefits to turning your outside deck into an indoor sunroom that easily make the cost and time worth the effort almost immediately. Many new sunroom owners find these benefits include:
- Temperature control – while everyone loves the idea of summer when the temperatures are cold, but they can quickly become stifling when the humidity starts to rise as well. A sunroom allows you to control the temperature and humidity levels to your personal comfort level while still getting all the sunshine and vitamin D from the summer sun.
- An indoor/outdoor lifestyle – the call of summer makes everyone want to feel like they should be outside all the time, and that any moment spent in doors feels dark and gloomy. However, there are definitely days when all you want to do is curl up on the couch with a good book or just sit in quiet while the rest of the family gets their energy out. A sunroom provides the perfect balance between being inside where it’s quiet and peaceful while still feeling like you’re outside with the views of your family playing noisily in the garden.
- Extra space – while you’ll certainly have had plenty of use from your deck throughout the years, it takes a lot of maintenance and effort to make it into a space that you can use beyond the summer season. This effectively turns it into dead space when weather turns colder and the days get shorter. A sunroom, especially a four season room, can be used at any time of day regardless of the weather outside. This will give you and your family a whole new room to use, and the possibilities as to how to use this extra space are endless!
With all those reasons for turning your deck into a sunroom, the next questions is how to go about doing it in reality. Even though it’s effectively a new addition, the size and profile of most sunrooms means there’s little or no planning permission required to keep your building in code, and the process is easier than you think. 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. It’s also the time where you can expand and extend your deck to make your sunroom bigger. However, within this decision making process is a thought about costs. Most beams and posts tend to be measured in set lengths, meaning that you’ll drastically reduce the costs if you stick to standard measurements.
- 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. In terms of heating, an A frame roof gives you more volume of air to keep warm, and the hot air will rise to the top. This means that you’ll likely need an additional heat source for the cooler times of years. A flat roof reduces the amount of air in the room, so you may just be able to use the heat absorbent properties of your sunroom to keep the room warm.
- 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.
Having a competent building contractor will be keep to turning your deck into a brand new sunroom. At Desert Sun Patios, you’ll get an experienced team who will work with you every step of the way, from the initial planning discussions through all the decisions to high quality after care. So if you’re looking to do something with that old deck outside, call Desert Sun Patios today to set up your initial consultation.