A sun porch can go by several names, including a sun room, a patio enclosure or a screened-in patio. Sun porches are ideal for families that need that little bit of extra space but can't afford or don't have the time to construct a new home addition. Fortunately, sun porches are relatively easy to build, making them a great project that can be done in just one to two weekends.
Before you begin seeking out materials for your sun porch, measure the space you plan to enclose. When measuring, write down the width of both the left and right side, the length of the front and the height from the floor up to the edge of the roofing. These measurements will be important for building a custom sun porch or for finding a sun porch kit that fits within the designated space (see Reference 1).
As a precaution, research local city and state ordinances regarding home additions. A sun room can be considered a home addition, which will require a building permit.
Materials and Assembly
If you do not already have an existing floor, build one before you can move forward with this project. Use basic construction lumber to create a standard subfloor with 2-by-4s and plywood. Then, install tile, linoleum or even carpeting after you've completed the subfloor.
Following the flooring, frame out the overall room. This can also be done using 2-by-4s or even 2-by-10s, depending on your preference or experience. Hold the frame together with 2-inch heavy-duty wood screws. Use these same woods when constructing the roof frame. If you are not planning to use screening on your sun porch roof, lay down plywood boards, the appropriate waterproofing foam or board, followed by roofing shingles that match your current roof.
Finally, apply a waterproof paint or stain to both the interior and exterior portions of the wood frame. This will protect it from Mother Nature but also will help prolong the sun porch's lifespan. After the chosen paint or stain has had enough time to fully dry, attach the window screening to the frame using a staple gun. Once your entire porch is enclosed, the project is finished.
Sun Porch Kits
Another option in building a sun porch is to purchase a kit. Sun porch kits often come with most of or all of the necessary materials to build the porch, saving time and money. These kits can vary in price and range as low as $2,000 and up, making them an ideal choice for those who need more space but are limited in time or money (see Reference 2).
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