New Usable Space That Matches The Homeowners Lifestyle

In 2003, we had the privilege of building this DeForest, Wisconsin home, and were thrilled to be called back by the second owners to convert their screened porch into a sunroom. Complete with heat and air conditioning, as well as additional storage space underneath, they now have an indoor four-season room that is more suited to their lifestyle, and added space to store lawn mowers, snow removal equipment, and gardening equipment. Adjacent to the sunroom, the deck was refurbished with low-maintenance, waterproof barrier decking to keep rainwater from damaging the new storage space below. 

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Because the screened porch already had a roof over it, fully integrated into the original house, the new sunroom had to fit in the same spot. A window and patio door layout was created to fit the space. While the main house has casement windows, those would have conflicted with usage of the deck when they crank open. So instead, double hung windows were chosen which simply raise up, preserving use of the deck in any weather.

Storage, Heating & Cooling

The house has an oversized 2-car garage but that just wasn't nearly enough storage for the new homeowners. So under the sunroom and deck, a new storage area was created. A foundation was carefully excavated and poured under the existing roof, and one wall acts as a retaining wall where the deck walks out at ground level. While you must duck to enter the storage room, it provides much needed space for snow, garden, and lawn equipment. The floor of the sunroom is well-insulated with dense pack cellulose, and the sunroom has a "mini ductless split" heating and cooling unit.

The dedicated HVAC unit solved two problems. First, it was going to be nearly impossible to get ductwork into the sunroom to tie into the main HVAC of the house. Second, the sunroom will require different amounts of heat or air conditioning than the rest of the house -- it might be warmer on sunny days and not require winter heat, or, a warm morning will quickly warm the room in summer months, so the AC can be turned on only in the sunroom before the rest of the house.

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We hired Degnan Design-Builder-Remodel (DDBR) in the spring of 2016 to convert a deck and screen porch to a four-season sunroom, rebuild the deck, and add enclosed but unheated storage under the combination. We chose DDBR because they built our home in 2003 for the original owners and, after purchasing and living in the home for 6 years, we were pleased with the quality, durability, and style of the construction. We also considered that they would have the original construction drawings available to help plan the remodel. We have now been using the remodeled and added space for over a year. We are extremely pleased with the outcome for the following reasons: Abe and his team listened carefully to our requests and then sought to honor them but were willing to suggest options and alternatives they thought might be helpful; Project Manager Anthony and carpenter PJ were outstanding in their helpfulness, willingness to answer questions, availability, and quality of work; DDBR handled the selection of subcontractors, managed their schedules, and stood behind their work; DDB brought the project in on schedule and on budget. The remodeled space has been excellent to use, matches the original fit and finish of the house, and has exceeded our expectations. We are very pleased to recommend DDBR to other homeowners seeking quality, thoughtful, and competent remodeling or building contractor professionals.
— Review by Doug F, DeForest