Before and After: This Sunroom’s Before is Good, But Its After is a Stunner

updated Dec 23, 2019
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Shannon Williams and her husband, Cody, purchased their home about a year ago, falling for its beautiful, green backyard. However, the living room was small for their family of seven, and while the back of the house contained an all-glass stunner of a sunroom, it was too hot in the summer and too cold and damp in the winter. Basically, it was a waste of pretty, functional space.

“We knew we wanted an addition, but to somehow manage to keep the gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows for the 180-degree view of the yard and pool,” explains Shannon. “We thought if we could somehow insulate the room and take out the wall, we wouldn’t have to tear the beautiful glass room down and start over.”

They knew it was a big ask. So first, they hired a local sunroom company to swap out the glass-paneled roof for a solid, thermal one, and install a new glass door and lighting. “This was in the middle of summer, and we could pretty much immediately tell a difference in the temp of the room,” Williams says.

Next up: removing the wall that separated the sunroom from the rest of the house. The couple brought in a structural engineer and contractor to assess and install new support, then tear down the wall. “This was the biggest transformation moment for us, to see it all open for the first time!” says Williams. “It felt so huge!”

Additional work included running HVAC ductwork for heat and AC, and drywall and painting. After ripping out the flooring themselves, the couple hired workers to install luxury vinyl plank for durability (see: family of seven—oh, and a dog and a bunny!) throughout the house. They added white thermal curtains, which provide some privacy, too.

It was a lot of work, and it took close to two months and about $40,000. (Williams recommends anyone else looking to change up exterior details and/or load-bearing walls also bring in professionals—and to ask several for bids before getting started.)

Finally, with the reno complete, Williams was able to turn the former sunroom into the living area. She even had enough space left in the formerly small living room to create a dining area.

“What we are most happy about is the 180-degree view of the backyard we have from our living room,” says Williams. “Three completely glass walls feels so modern, yet still classic too. You sit there and are surrounded by redwoods, oaks, and weeping willows, and being able to see the girls play out there is the best.”