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I’ve mentioned several times in the past few months that we had plans to convert our screened porch into a sunroom. We finally bit the bullet and not only had our screened porch converted to a sunroom but also had new windows installed in our 1950’s home.
Getting rid of those dreaded storm windows and having windows that easily open and close and are easy to clean is a dream come true. I was worried about losing the character that our old windows added to our home but my worries were naught as our new windows look great from both the inside and outside of our home.
Our new sunroom is a great place to relax with windows that easily open and close. The new windows let in so much light and we feel like we’ve gained an additional room to enjoy in our home.
This is a long post, so grab a cup of coffee or a refreshing cool beverage to enjoy as I show you the process of converting our screened porch to a sunroom, the interior of the updated sunroom, our replacement windows, and projects that we need to tackle now that this one is complete.
Converting a Screened Porch to a Sunroom
We like to DIY, but this project was one that needed to be hired out. After getting quotes from several local businesses, we chose Hometown Windows to do the work for us. This is NOT a sponsored post and was 100% paid for by us.
If you are local and are thinking about replacing windows in your home or adding a sunporch, we were extremely pleased with Hometown Windows and highly recommend them. The crew who did our work were knowledgeable, friendly, efficient, and very respectful of our property.
There’s nothing like a before and after picture, so we’ll start with it.
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Screened Porch Before
The former owner of our home had a great idea for our porch. He designed plexiglass panels that screwed into place over the screens. In warmer weather the plexiglass panels were to be removed to make this space a screened porch.
The problem with this design was that it wasn’t easy to remove the plexiglass panels nor was it easy to rehang them when the season changed. The wood around the panels also was not in good shape and we didn’t remove the panels for fear of them falling apart.
Since we didn’t remove the plexiglass panels, this porch was too hot to enjoy in the summer but was pleasant in spring and fall.
We almost always enter and leave our home through this porch. It’s a spot where we both put on and take off our shoes and where Mr. SP dries Sherman off if he comes back from a walk wet.
I liked the column detail on the sides of our porch and I loved the chippendale door that Mr. SP made to match the one on our front door.
We both knew that we would enjoy this space a lot more if it had windows that would open and close.
Our New Sunroom
Our new sunroom has large windows that easily open and close. The modern screens blend in with the windows and are hardly visible unlike the old screens. This space is light filled and we can easily adjust the temperature by opening or closing the windows.
I hated to lose our Chippendale door but I’ve grown used to the design of our new porch door. I also wasn’t sure that I liked the handle but when I mentioned it to the crew installing the door, they explained that Mr. SP had selected that handle. Oops. I’m used to it now and I like that it is easy to open when my arms are full of grocery bags.
A feature of the door that I really like is its retractable screen section. When the top glass section of the door is lowered, a screen that is stored in the upper section of the door rolls out. This makes the top section screened which is great for cooling the room with a cross breeze when we have the windows on the opposite side open.
We live on a corner and our neighbors enjoyed watching the progress on both our window and porch project. We’ve received many nice comments about our porch which are nice to hear.
Inside Our New Sunroom
We have plans to invest in some comfortable furniture to use in this space but haven’t yet taken time to shop for it. For now two rockers and a bench are meeting our needs.
This picture also shows our replacement windows. They are vinyl clad making them maintenance free. I washed them days after they were installed to make sure that each one worked properly and I was able to do the job by myself and do it quickly and easily.
When I saw this rug at LLBean, I couldn’t resist ordering it. The bench came from Plow and Hearth and was a birthday gift to Mr. SP very early in our marriage. We made the table using a milk can from Iowa that our neighbor gave us and the lamp was my dad’s, used on his desk at VPI when he was a student from 1958-62.
The top windows open and close and the bottom windows are stationary.
If you are wondering why there’s a quilt rack on our porch, it’s where Mr. SP hangs towels that he uses to dry Sherman off after morning walks. My grandfather made this quilt rack using cherry harvested from the family farm in Maryland. You can see a picture of the family farm in this post and see the mantle that we created using a beam from a carriage house on the farm here.
The carpet on our porch is an outdoor carpet and I chose a color that matches the soil in our neck of the woods since Sherman and Mr. SP often have dirty paws after their morning and evening walks. Our Sherman loves to boat and since he’s part lab, this rug really spoke to me.
Updates Inside of the Porch
After the sunroom was complete, I cleaned and painted the floor and also cleaned the rug using my mom’s carpet cleaner. We also painted the ceiling and updated the ceiling fan.
My Mama is so sweet purchased a new carpet cleaner when I asked her if she would clean one of our carpets at the lake. Mama owns a few rental properties and has frequent need for a carpet cleaner. She lost an essential part to her old carpet cleaner and replaced it with a Bissell Pro Heat that is easy to use and works very well. She left her carpet cleaner at the lake and I brought it home to use to clean this carpet.
We love the look of our new ceiling fan. We chose the Home Decorators Collection Brette 23″ Indoor/Outdoor Brushed Nickel fan from Home Depot.
Our old and ugly ceiling fan was given away on Craigslist and we are in love with its replacement, a better unit that is certainly more aesthetically pleasing and casts better light.
Building Our Sunroom
Now for the progress pictures of building our sunroom. I was traveling with my mom and cousin during most of the construction of our sunroom but I was able to enjoy watching the progress through the pictures that Mr. SP took. Our phones are synced together and we see each other’s pictures.
We did not anticipate needing to replace all the structure of the side porch, but determined that it was necessary after the workers started demolition.
The structural integrity of the old porch was suspect, so we’re glad to have all this structure replaced. These guys worked some long days to tear down and replace the structure in anticipation of the new windows.
When I was looking at progress pictures while I was in Rhode Island with my mom and cousin, when I saw the porch with no windows or screens, I really liked the open air look.
You can see that they were working on the carpet and as you can imagine, it got very dirty. They later rolled the carpet up but boy-oh-boy was it dirty and full of sawdust.
Temporary bracing is in place while the crew removed the old wood.
The new structure is taking shape. It was known before construction started that nothing was level on the porch. It required some good carpentry to frame this up, and determine a horizontal datum for placement of the windows.
After framing the sunroom, the top windows were installed.
The windows on the entry side of the porch are stationary.
Once the windows were installed into the new structure, the exposed wood was clad in aluminum. This was also done for the replacement windows in the main structure of the house as well. This should eliminate future need for painting.
Our old porch had a transom window over the door which had to be eliminated with the remodel because the size of window needed was not available.
You can see here how careful Hometown Windows was with our property. My Boxwoods received no damage during the construction of the sunroom.
One Thing Leads to Another – Future Projects
Unfortunately, Boxwoods in my area are dying from Boxwood Blight. The three dying Boxwood beside our steps need to be dug out and disposed of. I have my fingers crossed that the Boxwoods on the long side of the porch won’t die from this.
We also need to skim coat and then paint the foundation of our home.
Final Look at the Sunroom
We love our new sunroom and are so glad to have this update for our home.
Replacement Windows for Our Home
If you are thinking about replacement windows for your home, I highly recommend that you bite the bullet and invest in them.
The crew made remarkably quick work of replacing the windows in our home. All of the windows were removed from the outside, which meant that all the wood molding inside remained intact. All the windows were replaced within one long day.
Our House with it’s Original Windows
Here is a look at our home from this past spring before we had replacement windows installed.
These windows are original to the house, but had storm windows added to them sometime later – likely in the 70’s. The storm windows were suffering, and the original double hung windows needed reglazing.
All the windows and the exterior wood needed chipping and painting. We decided replacements were a better choice than to maintain the old windows.
Our House with Replacement Windows
Here is our home with its replacement windows and sunroom.
We agonized over the color of the windows (and grids) versus the color of the house trim. We finally decided on white windows while maintaining the tan trim color. We love the resulting look. Here you can see the wood brick molding and the window sill clad in tan aluminum to be maintenance free. Note that we were able to keep the shutters with the replacement windows and clad molding.
If you are still here after this very long post, I hope that you enjoyed reading it. We have been wanting to have these projects completed for years and are 100% pleased with the end result.For the past few years we have focused on our lake house and have ignored improvements that our primary residence needed. In addition to this project, we had air conditioning installed in the upstairs of our home which is another improvement that we are really enjoying. Our Cape Cod upstairs was unbearably hot in the summer and now is cool and enjoyable. Having the air conditioning installed upstairs makes the guest room much more pleasant for when my mom stays with us and makes the second bedroom that I use for sewing and crafting a pleasant spot to work.
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