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Old 05-18-2005, 11:29 AM   #1
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Help - I need to enclose a porch


I have a 12x30 covered porch that I want to enclose and make into a room of the house. It has a concrete floor and smooth block walls about 3 1/2 to 4 feet high. The house already blocks a little over 1/2 of the porch. 1)how do I frame the windows over the block walls? 2) whats the best way to insulate it (especially the block part) - I live in NW Pa and the winters can get chilly 3) what about radiant heating for the floor?

Thanks for any and all help.

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Old 05-19-2005, 09:17 AM   #2
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Help - I need to enclose a porch


Hi - I'm not the best in putting my ideas to words, but here it goes.

Check to see if you need a building permit, don't get caught without one.
Here in WI, if this were my job, I would core-fill the blocks (if they aren't already) and set j-bolts to anchor the bottom plate of your wall to. Just make sure you mark the block where the windows are going to go so you don't get anchor bolts in the R.O. Then when that is ready, put on sill seal and a treated bottom plate just like any other concrete wall. You'll have to determine what is going to be the finish on the exterior of the block wall. That way you can figure out how much to offset the treated plate. Example: if there is going to be nothing but exposed block (no siding on the block), keep the treated plate back 1/2" for the sheating to come out flush with the block so the siding can lap down on the block a little.

Now, build the wall like normal. The lowest you could go with the window is to have the treated plate be the bottom of the R.O. with this method.

As far as insulating, I would build a 2x4 wall on the inside of the block wall, with the top of knee wall ending up aprox. 3/4" below the actual window jamb. Wire for outlets, lights or whatever, then insulate and poly. I cap these walls usually with an oak 3/4 board that overhangs the sheetrock a bit. The oak cap also becomes the extension jamb on the bottom of the window (that's why I keep the framing down 3/4"). The side and head jamb of the window get trimmed like normal.

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Old 05-19-2005, 09:21 AM   #3
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Help - I need to enclose a porch


Forgot to give you an idea on in-floor heating.

You mentioned you have an existing concrete floor, that hurts. You either lay pipes or wires on top of what you have and pour another floor, or bust it out so it can be installed and re-poured.
If you have a radiant system already in the main house, maybe look into using baseboard registers, it's a cheaper option.
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Old 06-17-2005, 01:38 PM   #4
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Help - I need to enclose a porch


I live in Florida and have never experienced that radiant floor heating. Is that superior to heated air? I'm sure it's more efficient but how does it feel in a house?
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Old 06-19-2005, 09:48 PM   #5
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Help - I need to enclose a porch


Dave, I don't think that it's worth the price down here. I only heat a few weeks out of the year, all of that fancy stuff is for Yankees.
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:43 AM   #6
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Help - I need to enclose a porch


Hi! This is my very first post of any kind and I really hope I do this right. My family is getting together for out Christmas Eve party at my Grandfathers house. Although the house has an open floor plan, if is still quit small for our large family to get together. He has a large (8ftx40ft) covered porch of of the front of the house. How could I enclose this just for that night to keep the wind and other winter elements away from everyone and give us more room and how could I maybe keep a little heat in there. I don't want to do anything expensive or anything that would cause damage to his lovely home. Any suggestions would be greatly appriciated. We will have at least 40 kids and adults there.

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