Thursday, August 21, 2014

TBT Sunroom - Before and Destroy

Over the next few weeks we're going to go back in time and show you how we took our sunroom in our first house from this:

To this:

This Sunroom was a long, narrow room that went along the back of the house. There were many windows which let in the light and may have once looked over a perfectly maintained pool (which unfortunately had a sapling growing out of the bottom of it by the time we bought the place). 

There were some signs of water damage (probably from ice damming), but the inspection report was solid so we assumed that there were no real structural issues. This room was slated for some cosmetic work (get rid of the paneling) and perhaps add a door that would go directly to the back yard, maybe onto a deck.

These plans were accelerated slightly when we started to pull off the fake wood paneling. The header that went above the windows was showing some signs of deterioration, but we were hoping that's where things would stop and a quick patch job and maybe a better ice/water shield on the roof would do the trick. 

We decided to start pulling things apart early in the afternoon on our first wedding anniversary. Just to put our minds at ease, we decided to take a look at the studs under the paneling. I started to pry the paneling off and it kept splintering! 

Finally I got the paneling to pop loose, and the studs came with it. In other words, these studs were not doing anything.

Going outside, it was now clear that there was significant structural damage to the main support beam which held up the floor. In retrospect this made sense, since the floor did slant down quite a bit.

Along with the rotten wood, we also found a nice little colony of carpenter ants.

And that's pretty much why we had a somber first wedding anniversary. We happened to have dry rot insurance so after an insurance adjuster came out and we showed pictures proving we didn't know the extent of the damage when we bought the house, we were able to use the insurance money to completely overhaul this space. And by overhaul, I mean take the entire back wall of the house off.

The insurance money wasn't a ton so we still did a lot of work ourselves and for this big of a job, I called in the reinforcements. Soon my dad was on the scene and we did some of the most major structural work of my life. The back wall of the house was removed, and sturdy 2x8 boards were inserted to support the roof.

Next we got some KFC (apparently), and removed that rotten support beam. The damage in the corner where it was "supported" showed that it was not too far from failing.

With this beam gone, we took the opportunity to jack up the floor so that it no longer sloped away from the house.

All I can say is thank goodness it was summer. This gave us time to properly think through our plan, get the right permits, and build everything back correctly. Tune in next week to see this room take shape!

Want to see the whole renovation? Click the links!

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