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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Chester, VA
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    Default adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    This is rather long so skip if not interested.

    Went out to a job site today to look a a remodel to add a sunroom to an existing house. It's 18' by 43' over an existing concrete raised patio over panning (nice structure) but the patio is 18' by probably 64'. Here is my response, anyone have any additional comments. 2-story all brick house. I-ll post the few pics I have in the future. I just wanted to bring up all the things I could thing of in adding onto this type of structure, this was a 1.5 mill house.

    In evaluating the home we visited today, for mr. & mrs ___,we would like to point out the following issues that we feel must be addressed. Although we feel the project is feasible.

    First of all, in light of the current Uniform Statewide Building Code requirements for braced wall panels, and the sheer amount of glass vs available wall segments, the design will have to incorporate a steel moment frame, engineered of course to pass Hanover county (Statewide) requirements. Said moment frame will have to be tied down to the existing foundation with details yet to be determined by the engineer. As a side note, Hanover is probably not enforcing the energy conservation codes for this type of space, but it likely exceeds them.(sf of glass vs floor space)


    A second issue is the slab itself, since it is going to be a transition from non living space to exterior space, their must be a thermal break in the slab to address this. The best location for this would be 16’ from the corner they wish to remove as that is over an existing beam and should provide the least potential for cracks in the new tile floor. Again the original plans would help in this regard.

    Attaching the new room roof to the existing structure.
    Code will not allow attachment of anything structural to brick veneer. Our recommendation is to remove all brick for the encompassed room and resupporting new brick above the new structure either into to existing house(per engineers recommendation) or onto new structure to the exterior of the existing interior wall. As a side note, leaving the existing brick in place creates flashing problems, and potential moisture leakage issues

    As to removing the entire corner of the breakfast nook.
    While it will be easy to recalculate steel beams to take the load of the master bedroom floor system, roof system hip and valley loads, if we exceed 8000 lbs at any one point, Hanover will require an increased footing, which obviously could impose execution issues, again an evaluation of the existing plans may help as well as an engineers evaluation. Additionally, opening the room to the existing house changes the scope of the project substantially, it is no longer just a sunroom by code but, habitable space.

    Underfloor insulation.
    If we provide a good slab edge thermal break, code requirements for crawlspce underfloor insulation are R-19. Anything less than a spray foam insulation will be inviting condensation problems on the underside of the steel decking.

    As to the roof system.
    In order to accommodate a hot tub and to provide for a waterproof decking, we will likely have to use I-joists (18’span) to accommodate 100# additional live load (which could vary the ceiling height relative to the existing house). Also, Dura deck should be used for the surface as it provides a durable, walk able rubber membrane with the best chance for no leaks. Other options may be available as the budget allows. Also, any glass within 5’ of a hot tub must be tempered, not a problem if in front of patio doors from master bedroom.

    I addition, the HVAC system will have to be coordinated to accommodate going through the exiting panning and providing enough cooling for all the glass even though this seems to be a northern exposure. I would suggest evaluating the entire hvac system to make sure.

    All of the above issues are solvable, although we see many challenges; many can be solved through compromise. As usual, scope of project and code issues are the primary concern. It’s such a beautiful house; it only deserves the best approach to meet the requirements of the homeowner, code issues and functionality to succeed.

    In order to proceed, Ken and I would need to either get a set of original plans to evaluate or spend 4-5 hours onsite to evaluate and measure the existing structure.

    To reiterate, this is a substantial challenge, but as you know not one we aren’t up to, and we look forward to moving forward as you direct. We will be happy to sit down with the homeowners to address all of these issues and explore any alternatives that we can.

    Thanks again,
    Kevin R. Ambrose, CPBD
    SD&D Designs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    right around the corner
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Kevin well written, the only verbage I would change is in 2 parag brick venneer? are you sure it's veneer? Simpson has bolt ties to accomodate this if it helps also if you mention and specify veneer you are held accountable for that acc. to IRC I think ask Joe T for sure though, so to veneer meains to install brick w/o a footer or bearing line in my neck of the woods what in yours?
    JASON

    "The measure of success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom"

    George S. Patton

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    It's definitely veneer, best I can tell. in our area frame wall with brick exterior.too new to be multi wythe wall.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa.
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    1,510

    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Seems very thought out. My only question (which you probably know, but isn't in the letter) is, does the existing slab have footers and are they the correct depth?
    When you transition the slab, are you going to need to dig footers for the new wall?
    It's tough to imagine with no pictures.
    -Dennis

    Can someone PLEASE invent a sarcasm font!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Our code interp has been that tying through brick veneer will crush the brick against the house cause it should have an airspace.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Yeah I know warrior, we don't know that without eval. appreciate you clarifying. And I will likely have some big point loads too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Also for all, until I get cut loose on the actual design, a lot of this is just pointing out the pitfalls to the homeowner. Due diligence. just trying to cover my bases, we all know if a professional came out and looked we're on the hook.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    right around the corner
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Ambrose View Post
    Also for all, until I get cut loose on the actual design, a lot of this is just pointing out the pitfalls to the homeowner. Due diligence. just trying to cover my bases, we all know if a professional came out and looked we're on the hook.
    Good point to th e rookies , goood luck let us know how it turns out I'm sure one or all of us can learn from this project.

    hope you get the project, good luck!
    JASON

    "The measure of success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom"

    George S. Patton

    www.jmsbuildersandremodelers.com
    (shameless plug for the google bots)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Just as a side note, I only do design I don't construct, for me it's a conflict of interest thing. My only concern is the best possible design, that's why I keep tabs here. Keep up on technology, and propose only the best or don't do it. My biggest concern is someone coming in and just attaching something cheap to the existing house.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Quote Originally Posted by JMS BUILDERS View Post
    Good point to th e rookies , goood luck let us know how it turns out I'm sure one or all of us can learn from this project.

    hope you get the project, good luck!
    Thanks JMS, me too, would make a nice portfolio project

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Va.
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    3,675

    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Ambrose View Post
    Just as a side note, I only do design I don't construct, for me it's a conflict of interest thing. My only concern is the best possible design, that's why I keep tabs here. Keep up on technology, and propose only the best or don't do it. My biggest concern is someone coming in and just attaching something cheap to the existing house.
    Kevin,
    I see those modular sunrooms even on the 1.5 mil houses. Of course no flashing in the brick and I've heard they aren't allowed to be conditioned. Here is a picture of a big one I tore down if you need the picture to convince your client not to go this way. After 12 years all of he i.g. was fogged and the roof "skin" had failed in several areas. I would gues they flushed 35,000 or more for this junk.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Dec 2006
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    Chester, VA
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    EXACTLY what I worry about Andrew, should be a realistic $250K room addition and someone will come along for less than 100k and tack something on.what do we do, hence my report. Due diligence, and lay out all the issues.
    Last edited by Kevin Ambrose; 08-08-2007 at 12:04 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
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    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    I'm wondering what the advantage is in laying out all of the technical detail, unless you know that the owner is capable of absorbing it. I'm a contractor, not a designer, but I'd stick to coming up with a basic scope of work and a budget, and don't try to get them to understand thermal breaks, footer sizing, spray foam, point loads, etc. They don't care about that--they either want a good job done or they don't, and they can either afford it or not. I'd get a contractor involved for some preliminary pricing.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    I'm weatherizing a porch on concrete slab with roof tied into sidewall.

    The slab appears to have been poured after the house was constructed, or at about the same time, but without the full basement the rest of the house has.

    It has settled differently than rest of house and shifted a bit.

    1. Can I assume that after 40 years it's moved all it's going to move?

    2. I'm going to raise the floor with an insulated wood deck and frame studs
    where there's screen now.

    3. Is there anything else I can do to make sure this space doesn't become
    a problem?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Little River, SC
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    1,234

    Default Re: adding a sunroom to an all brick house

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R. View Post
    I see those modular sunrooms even on the 1.5 mil houses. Of course no flashing in the brick and I've heard they aren't allowed to be conditioned. Here is a picture of a big one I tore down if you need the picture to convince your client not to go this way. After 12 years all of he i.g. was fogged and the roof "skin" had failed in several areas. I would guess they flushed 35,000 or more for this junk.
    They build those things here all the time. Why on earth would you want a room made of aluminum panels. Looks like a trailer with glass walls to me. My favorite is the screen rooms. They are all screen even the roof. A typical screen room (20'x30') is around $25,000.
    Two roads diverged in a narrow wood. I took the path less traveled.
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