Auditor's Field Notes #3: Adding Comfort and Value to Sunrooms and Porches

“Our porch was structurally unsound and out-of-date. We wanted a space that was an extension of the house, another living room. Our goal was to make the porch a place we felt comfortable in.”

This summer, one of our repeat clients dreamed of adding more space to accommodate her growing family. But, her West Philadelphia rowhouse didn't allow for much expansion. Like many of her neighbors, she purchased the home with a large front porch that had been converted into a closed-in sunroom. A renovation was well past due: the existing jalousie windows were broken and missing slats, the floor was uneven and cold, and the room was without a heat source. The porch was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Her family could use the space for only a small portion of the year; her goal was to transform it into a usable space year-round.

"Because we were going to tear down the porch, we were able to design it from scratch." The old, drafty porch windows were replaced with new Energy-star rated wood windows and transoms to maximize the natural light and to improve its curb appeal. The floors were removed and upgraded to new faux-wood tile floors, which added durability and warmth. For added comfort, we air sealed and insulated the walls, floors, and ceilings and installed an electric baseboard heater with a separate thermostat. When asking what she loved about the porch, the client exclaimed, "Everything!" 

Bellweather has a BPI-certified Building Analyst on staff to help its clients make energy-efficient design decisions and product selections that increase a home's comfort and decrease its utility bills.