Converting a Screened Porch to a Sunroom

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.

Before and After pictures of converting a screened porch into a sunroom.

There’s nothing like a before and after picture, so we’ll start with it.

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.

Before picture of a screened porch being converted to a sunroom.

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.

Before picture of a screened porch being converted to a sunroom.

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.

After picture of a screened porch converted to a sunroom.

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.

After picture of a screened porch converted to a sunroom.

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.

Interior pictures of a screened porch converted to a sunroom.

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.

Interior pictures of a screened porch converted to a sunroom.

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.

Interior pictures of a screened porch converted to a sunroom.

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.

Home Decorators Collection Brette 23" Indoor/Outdoor Brushed Nickel fan from Home Depot installed in a sunporch.

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.

Home Decorators Collection Brette 23" Indoor/Outdoor Brushed Nickel fan from Home Depot installed in a sunporch.

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.

Old and ugly ceiling fan.

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.

Home Decorators Collection Brette 23" Indoor/Outdoor Brushed Nickel fan from Home Depot installed in a sunporch.

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.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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. 

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

Temporary bracing is in place while the crew removed the old wood.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

After framing the sunroom, the top windows were installed.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

The windows on the entry side of the porch are stationary.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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.

Converting a screened porch to a sunroom. Progress photo of the project.

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

Boxwood Blight in Lynchburg, VA

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.

A screened porch is transformed into a sunroom. Before and After pictures.

We also need to skim coat and then paint the foundation of our home.  

Final Look at the Sunroom

Before and after picture of a screened porch converted to a 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.

Window replacement by Hometown Windows in Lynchburg, VA

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

Home in Lynchburg, VA

Here is a look at our home from this past spring before we had replacement windows installed.

Windows in Lynchburg, VA before window replacement.

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

A home in Lynchburg, VA with replacement windows by Hometown Windows.

Here is our home with its replacement windows and sunroom.

A home in Lynchburg, VA with replacement windows by Hometown Windows.

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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Converting a Screened Porch to a Sunroom. Before and After pictures plus progress pictures.

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46 Comments

    1. I have enjoyed seeing your new home under construction. I know that you are eager to get the project complete. I’m looking forward to the end result and especially look forward to seeing how you decorate this space.

      Paula

  1. Everything looks great, Paula. You’ll be able to enjoy the sun porch all year. We have one of those doors with the retractable screen and love it. And I’m envious of your new windows. We really need to replace ours and I like the look of yours. Thanks for sharing all of the photos.

    1. I love the sunroom but I’m thrilled with the windows! I am so glad to be rid of those terrible storm windows. Now I have no excuse not to have clean windows. They are so easy to open and close, too. Opening our old windows often felt like a weight workout.

      Paula

  2. Everything looks beautiful Paula.. we had replacement windows put in a few years ago and I love them. So much easier to open and close and love how easy they are to clean. We also had storm windows.so glad to get rid of them. You will see a difference in your heating and cooling bills. We were thrilled. We have a big covered porch on the back of our house that I would love to turn into a sun room .you have inspired m to look into it. I plan on staying in my home after my husband passed away and I know I would love that room so much. Your home looks beautiful..

    1. Thank you, Yarlette! I am very curious to see what the replacement windows do for our heating and cooling bills, hopefully a lot!! Your covered deck sounds like a wonderful place for a sunroom, I’ll bet that your husband would want you to get this project done. I know that you miss having him around to sit on the back deck.

      Paula

  3. These were excellent improvements to your property, Paula! The results are fabulous. I really agonized over having windows replaced in our former home – 22 oversized windows, plus full glass ceiling and wall windows in our sunroom. It is now under new ownership, and they have an opportune time to choose doing this before their furniture is in. I have a friend who did exactly as you’ve just done with her screened porch to sunroom. They are loving it, and have opted for overstuffed furniture vs patio furniture. It’s a really nice additional room. They also installed climate control for all season enjoyment. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this room to the max. Love the fan choice too.

    1. Thank you, Rita! I think your friend’s idea of using overstuffed furniture instead of patio furniture is a good one. We have to save up some $ before we can get anything new, but that is an idea that I am definitely going to explore.

      Paula

  4. Why did you use Windows on the porch and NOT sliders?

    What heat do you have on this porch? Any a/c on porch?

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. The top windows are sliders that open and close and the bottom windows are glass window panels. We don’t have heat or AC out there but we have a space heater that we could use out there in the winter on a very cold day. I think if we left the door to the house open, the space would either heat up or cool down pretty quickly.

      Paula

  5. WOW!!! Very nice improvement. i live in the mountains of Arizona and have an “Arizona room”. Which is basically a screened in porch. We sealed it in a couple of years ago….and LOVE it!!!!! You will find it is much more usable. We also installed a “mini split” heater and air conditioner. It has become a great place to watch the birds in the summer with an iced tea AND a great place to sit and read your Bible while it is snowing with a hot cocoa. You will enjoy it!!!!

    1. You space sounds great! We don’t have heat or ac out there but if we open the door to the house, I think that it would either heat up or cool down pretty quickly.

      Paula

  6. Your home looks so handsome with the sunroom! I saw this on FB and hopped over to see it. We are getting ready to make some renovations to our porch and we are toying with the idea of turning it into a sunroom. And, as you say, there is nothing level or straight on our porch!

    1. Our porch definitely wasn’t level or straight, another reason why we didn’t want to tackle a DIY on this project. (Plus we never would have had time to complete it.)

      Good luck with your porch project! I look forward to seeing what you end up doing out there.

      Paula

    1. Thank you, Wendi! We are already enjoying using this space. I think when it cools off a bit we’ll enjoy it even more.

      Paula

  7. Your remodeled porch is beautiful both inside and out! Having lived in older homes in which we replaced windows, I can appreciate how much better the new windows work. Many congrats!

  8. Paula, your screened porch looks so good with the new windows! We live in a 60s home that had original windows plus storm windows. What a pain to clean plus during the harsh winters we couldn’t see out of them for the frozen condensation. The day those were replaced was a happy day. You’ll notice a big difference in your heating bills. Enjoy your new windows!

    1. Thank you, Marie! Those old storm windows were the pits. They were the devil to get in and out and wouldn’t come clean no matter how much time I spent cleaning them. I had never thought about frozen condensation on windows. That must have been depressing to not be able to see out of your windows for a good part of the winter.

      Paula

  9. Loved watching the process of your rennovations! So glad you were able to be away for a chunk of it, too. Don’t think I had seen an outside view of your home; it is beautiful . Had never seen a fan like yours, either. Had never heard of boxwood blight, either. My mom had a room she used as a sunroom; I have always been envious; the light and warmth is so nice. Enjoy it!

  10. Hi Paula!
    I love your new sunroom – so pretty! I like how you used lower windows at the bottom near the floor too. Goodness, you’re going to enjoy those new windows in the house. They are so much more convenient this day in time – especially with cleaning in mind. Your makeover project looks terrific and added great curb appeal! Hope you’re enjoying this warm Tuesday!
    >>> Kim

  11. This looks great. I found the whole process fascinating. I was looking for clues as to where it is you live and then you mentioned Cape Cod.
    We don’t really get houses with screened porches like this here in the UK but a lot of people have conservatories and you’ve kind of made yourself a conservatory here. I love how practical it is and all your lovely eclectic furniture with stories behind each piece.

  12. Wow what a beautiful transformation. The NEW looks completely appropriate for your house. We replaced windows a few years ago – heaven on earth!

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! We are really happy with our porch and our windows. Now I won’t dread washing windows nearly so much.

      Paula

  13. I like that you mentioned how your sunroom has big windows that can be opened with ease. My wife and I would like to add a sunroom to our house. It may be best for us to hire a contractor to help us get the job done.

  14. We bit the bullet this year and replaced a door and 11 windows with iimpact windows since we live in hurricane country. The sunroom windows are next and an accordion shutter will be added. So far the change is amazing. Yank out those infected boxwoods before it spreads. You will use the sunroom every day – I do.

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