Adding an enclosed porch

The owner of this NODA house, which was only 5 years old, wanted to transform her existing rear covered porch into an enclosed space that she could use all year. She wanted it to be a light-filled space for her plants and durable enough to accommodate her dogs.

Adding an Enclosed Porch

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

  • We wanted to create a beautiful space in keeping with the style of the home.
  • Even though the home was only a few years old, some of the materials used in its construction had been discontinued.
  • Code impacting the space in question had changed since the home was built.


  • Although the existing deck and roof were adequately supported by three brick piers, we had to fill in the area underneath the existing deck with a solid brick masonry foundation due to code. That necessitated that footings be dug by both machine and hand, because of space restrictions under the existing porch framing. Although the new brick was as close a match as we could to the original discontinued material, it was not exact.
  • To create a light-filled space, we added a wall of three sliding vinyl windows across the back with an additional window on the side. We added wider windowsills to provide ample space for plants to soak in the sun. The flooring was a gorgeous tile set in a herringbone pattern that then continued 36” up the wall. That creates a beautiful buffer so that if her dogs jump up to look outside, they are not getting pawprints on the sheetrock.
  • Since the windows are all Low-E glass, they are energy efficient and also provide a measure of privacy from the many neighbors who walk by. For added security, we installed an LED security light on the corner soffit.
  • When we looked at the staircase from the existing side door, we realized it was already rotting, since the pressure-treated wood used was in direct contact with the dirt. We replaced it with proper materials installed the right way that are now built to last.
  • A combination of heavy rains and a six-week wait for windows due to COVID-related supply issues delayed the timetable of this project, but we made wise use of the time.
  • The homeowner had some issues with her cement siding. About three dozen pieces had been cracked. We discovered that they had been improperly installed. We replaced the boards properly and since the exterior paint was already fading, we repainted the entire house so that everything would match seamlessly. We painted the new masonry foundation to match, which eliminated the issue of the brick color being slightly off.
  • She also replaced the existing wood handrail system with a three-quarter inch black aluminum balusters.
  • To dress up the existing front porch, we installed two new ceiling fans, painted the ceiling and stained the decking.
  • Since the homeowner was an instructor teaching from home due to COVID, we carefully worked around her schedule to the best of our ability during working hours.