We’re Jumping In!

This past week we started our biggest DIY project to date; a full-scale renovation of our sun room.  Here’s what it looked like before we got to work.


As you can see, it is an “interesting” space. Our plans for it are as follows:

  • Remove the existing drop ceiling and replace the foot of old, fiberglass insulation with something like this.
  • Create a cathedral ceiling by adding support beams and re-installing the ceiling panels at an angle.
  • Replace the existing jalousie windows with double hung casements.
  • Demo this outdoor kitchen and replace it with a bar area complete with upper and lower cabinets and shelving, and a counter topImage
  • Remove the carpet and the vinyl flooring as well as the sub floor in order to shore up the floor joists and install a new floor.  We’re thinking about giving this idea a try.
  • Install a new heating/AC unite as well as a ceiling fan and chandelier.
  • Paint and decorate.

We started by taking the ceiling down and cleaning up ALL.THE.INSULATION.  I’m pretty sure we both took a few years off our lives breathing in all that fiberglass, but it was worth it. Here’s how the room looked when we finished.Image

By taking out all that insulation we added about three feet of height to the ceiling.  So now it’s about 9 feet on the high side and 7 feet on the low (window) side.  Here’s a closer up picture:Image

The lower beams are where the ceiling was before.  We are kept them there for to help with support until we installed the larger beams.

After we got every last piece of insulation out from the ceiling, we rolled up the carpet and  got it the heck out of there.  I wasn’t sorry to say good bye!Image

After we got the carpet out, it was time to install the support beams.  We used (2) 2x8s attached together with a piece of particle board between them to create the beam.  Later we will cover these in wood trim to make them a bit more substantial looking since they will come down below the rest of the ceiling.

After Mark measured the angle of the ceiling slope and cut the boards accordingly, we used this little makeshift contraption…Image

…and this hydraulic lift to ease the 2x8s into place.


Once we got one of the 2x8s in place, we nailed it to the window header and the ridge piece that is attached to the house then added a piece of particle board before adding another 2×8 on the other side.  I was helping with this step so I don’t have any good pictures, but when it was done it looked like this:


We placed the beams about 6 feet apart so there were 4 of them total. Here’s what the room looked like once the beams were all installed.


Our next steps are to drill 2 1/4″ holes above the window header to allow ventilation below the roof and above the ceiling.  Once that’s done, we’re going to route the electrical boxes to their desired locations and put up scabbing/nailers so that we have something to nail our ceiling to along the beams and where the ceiling meets the wall.

This is a big job so we aren’t tied to any specific time frame.  We’re joking that if it’s done by Christmas, we’ll be happy.

Of course, we’ll keep you posted on our progress.


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