My Favorite Place in our House

by - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

My favorite place in our house isn't actual in the house. It's the sunroom that we converted to an open-air balcony back in September.

While it's not a traditional room, it's definitely the place I spend the most time, as long as it's not raining. Even on cold days, it's pretty nice on the balcony because we get such good sunshine out there and it's protected from the wind. 

Working on balcony

And it's where I worked on this spring-like February day.

When we moved into our house, this space was an enclosed sunroom. It was nice extra space to have, and early on in the pandemic it became our gym. 

Old sunroom

But pretty quickly the sun beating through those big glass windows made it rather insufferable out there, and we made the decision that this space would be so much better as a fully outdoor space. 

Old sunroom 2

Also, if you noticed the windows were not in good shape and if we wanted to keep the sunroom, we would have had to replace them. Since we weren't looking to spend tens of thousands of dollars on massive custom glass curvy windows, this made our decision to convert this space even easier. 

Ugly sunroom windows

It wasn't raining the day I took this picture. The windows were just in really bad shape.

We also knew this was not a DIY kind of job. Removing all that glass, ripping out some electrical work and waterproofing and weatherizing other areas were a bit more than we was willing to take on. 

So after getting some quotes, we hired a general contractor and got on his schedule for the middle of September. 

The first thing our contractor did was remove all the windows. 

Removing small windows

The small ones at the bottom were pretty straight forward and didn't take too long. By lunch time the first day, they were all out. 

The large, curved windows at the top were a lot more challenging. Plenty broke, but they were eventually all removed. 

broken window glass


That just left the black metal frame that had been holding them up, which our contractors made quick work of disassembling. 

By the end of the first day, I could actually see the trees outside our house clearly with that terrible glass gone. 

The next part of the project is where things got interesting. You'd think ripping up hard wood flooring would be pretty straight forward. But our contractor found an unpleasant surprise. After he ripped up the hard wood, he found another layer of hard wood underneath it! 


Yes, that means at some point someone had put down hard wood flooring on top of existing hard wood flooring! 

Ripping up another layer of hard wood wouldn't have been too bad, except the person who laid the original flooring used an excessive amount of glue to attach it to the concrete exterior balcony floor. So much glue that the hard wood wasn't coming up easily, and even when they eventually got all the wood off, there was at least an inch of disgusting glue all over the floor. 

This was my attempt to capture the glue all over the floor. It's kind of hard to tell in a photo, but you can see some places where the wood didn't even come up all the way. 


It was a freakin' mess, and it took our contractor several extra days to get all the glue off. 

This is an after picture once most of the glue was off the floor and the front wall. Again, not the easiest thing to see in a photo, but I think you can sort of see that it's a bit smoother in the second picture.


After sanding everything down, he gave everything a nice coat of paint. 


Doesn't it look so much better?


Once that headache was finished, our contractor really just had to put on the finishing touches. 

He installed a weatherproof door to the outside closet. 


He weatherproofed our electrical outlets and installed an outside lighting fixture. 

The last thing we were waiting on was the safety railing, which was on super back order because of the pandemic. 

We still made use of the space for a little bit here and there before the safety railing was installed. I guess the positive of the pandemic is that we weren't having a bunch of people over that would be at risk for falling over the ledge. 


My 20-miler celebration picture was the first picture I took out there. You can see there's no safety railing behind me. 

But still, I was very glad several weeks later when all the parts came in, and our contractor came back and got it installed. 


You can tell the seasons had changed based on the leaves.

We pretty immediately ordered ourselves some patio furniture, which luckily was not on insane back order.


And now, this has become one of my very favorite places to spend time. 


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  1. What a fun peek into your home. I guess even the simplest home projects never go as planned. Glad it ended up so micely!