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Old 01-07-2010, 06:44 PM   #1
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


I have a breezeway between my garage and house that I'd like to turn into a more finished mudroom, and possibly heat it.

This would involve:

Re-framing the front and back walls
Installing exterior locking doors on the front/back
Installing Tile floor over the poured concrete
Running some overhead lighting
Possibly installing heating

Some questions:

Can I install a tile floor in an unheated room? The temperature gets well below freezing here in upstate NY, and can hit 100F in the summer.

How do I know how much heat I need for this room, should I decide to heat it? I currently have hot water heat with radiators. The room is about 9x15 with a 9' ceiling. It will have two exterior doors.

If I do heat it, do I need to raise the floor off the concrete slab to prevent it from getting cold? There is no basement under the breezeway. Does it make more sense to install radiant floor heating?

This will be the first real construction project I've ever done, so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #2
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


This is a fairly complex first renovation project.
Are there different floor levels to contend with? Do you have to tile over the concrete or does it make sense to raise the floor level to match the other floor levels?
If you're tiling over the concrete, I would install an isolation membrane over the concrete before you tile. As for heat and it's choice, it depends on some missing details. It might be easier to install electric radiant heat under the tile. Maybe hot water radiant heat? Recessed radiators? Not enough info to really give advice. What type of heat do you have? Can you run piping to this area? Is electric heat economically the right decision, based on electric rates?
You can do heat calculations based of the room to get an idea how much heat you need. A well insulated structure will need less heat than one that is not. Can you do 2x6 construction to better insulate the space?
Need a little more information.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:33 AM   #3
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


Ron, thanks for the reply.

What's an isolation membrane? Is that for insulation purposes or crack prevention?

There is only one floor level, other than a step to get into the house. The breezeway floor is all the same level as the garage and driveway, Would this floor has to be raised to prevent water from seeping in from the driveway?

I think I could run piping pretty easily to this area. I have block foundation in the breezeway below the brick, and just behind the block is my heat pipes. Would be pretty easy to tap into it and install a radiator. I would have a plumber do this part.

The front and back walls can definitely be 2x6 walls, that's what I planned to do.

The current ceiling is made out of wood (I think) and is not insulated. I may rip the wood down, and insulate/sheetrock. I was also thinking of possibly blowing in insulation and patching the holes in the ceiling.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:01 AM   #4
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


The isolation membrane is for crack prevention. If the ground level is close to the floor level, you might want to install a row of cinder block to seal out water filtration. You would then frame on top of the block. This way the sheathing isn't too close to the ground. Make sure you use a sill seal to eliminate air infiltration and with it, condensation.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:41 AM   #5
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


it will cost more but will be worth doing to make it a conditioned space. you will be happier with it
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:16 AM   #6
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


If I do this, I probably will heat it. I don't think it will add that much cost to stick a radiator or baseboard in that space.

I guess I have a lot to learn when it comes to exterior wall construction. I will try to take some pictures of the space tonight so you guys can get a better idea and maybe offer up some specific advice. I want to research and do this right, and I am in no rush.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


I would raise the floor up off the concrete, insulate with rigid foam on the concrete
Especially if you plan to heat it
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:24 PM   #8
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


I took some pictures and did some more thinking.

Let me give some more info about the space. The breezeway has 4 doors:

Front: To driveway. Driveway is about 1-2" above the level of the concrete breezeway floor

Back: To back patio. There is a 6" step down just after the door to get to the backyard.

Left: To garage. Same slab as the breezeway

Right: To house. About 12" higher than the breezeway. There is currently a ~4" platform you step onto before stepping about 8" up into the house.

Questions:

1. I like the idea of a row of cinder blocks on the bottom of my front and back walls. How do I properly attach these blocks to the driveway/concrete slab so that they are secure and water tight?

2. There would obviously not be cinder blocks where the door is. My plan was to just lay some pressure treated wood to create a 1-2" lip for the door to sit on. This ok?

2. I plan to lay pressure treeated 2x4s along the slab to raise my subfloor off the ground. Before laying the plywood, I will just insert strips (cut to fit the gaps exactly) of rigid foam insulation, then caulk around the edges to eliminate air gaps. THen i'll lay my plywood on top of that. This make sense? Do I need some sort of vapor barrier below or above the foam? Or is rigid foam enough?

5. I will lilkely install a radiator or baseboard. THere is a hot water (for heat) in the basement, just under the window you see in the picture. Should be easy to tap into to get a device installed in the breezeway. Is installing a baseboard or radiator as simple as just cutting in a couple of Tee's and running 2 pipes (in and out) into the breezeway, then just soldering on the heating device?

4. Any other advice based on my pictures or anything I have said?

I am sure I'll have many more questions along the way. I don't plan to do this till spring, just want to get it figured out first. Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


Is there enough roof above those doors to allow for raising the floor and maintaining the space for a header?
I would check that.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Converting breezeway into mudroom


Hmm, the door on the front, maybe not. THe door may have to be a bit lower. What if the bottom of my door is below the grade of the driveway, how do I prevent water from seeping in?

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