Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sunroom Progress Report (Construction Finished!)



Aaggh! I can't believe I haven't posted since the end of June. Six weeks! It's back to school time already (we started our new homeschooling year this week). Where has the summer gone?

The big news is that my sunroom project is finished being constructed! The photo above shows the finished project.

If you read my first Sunroom Progress Report that I posted at the end of June, you might remember that my front porch was open, and that big changes had been made since the start of construction in mid-June. Here's a brief recap:

BEFORE: June 13th.

June 21st. Walls and ceiling framed

June 28th. This is what it looked like at the end of June, when I last posted. The ceiling and walls were insulated and sealed with spray foam, and the windows had been installed. The sliding glass door was put in a few days later.

In any construction project, as most of you undoubtedly know, the changes come quickly and are very exciting in the first few weeks of construction. Then the detail and finishing work has to be done, and it seems like the pace slows to almost a standstill (and sometimes does come to a standstill if any temporary issues come up). We were lucky that we didn't have any big issues, but a few minor ones occurred that took a bit of extra time to deal with.

But things did keep moving. here are a few highlights of the continuing progress since my last post:


By July 12, the ceiling had been covered with beadboard, the small areas of wall had been drywalled and the windows were being framed in. I asked my builder for extra-deep window sills that I could put plants on.
By July 27th, the interior was largely finished and the builder moved outside to finish the exterior.

While the builder was working outside, I painted the interior during the last week of July and the first week of August.

Finally, the electrician came back last Friday, August 5, to install the lights, fan, baseboard heaters and thermostat. I then painted a couple coats of light gray paint on the floor on this past weekend. Look at all that sunlight!
The finished exterior. We desperately need to have the rest of our house exterior painted, and I need to re-paint the front steps, but at least the new sunroom has good paint coverage.

We decided to leave the front steps and railings that now lead to nowhere because we thought it might look boring without them. I'm thinking I can put plants on them next spring and summer -- I've always wanted one of the fancy "auricula theatres" that are making a comeback in Britain, although it's too hot for primroses to grow very well here, so I think perhaps I might try a few pelargoniums (non-hardy geraniums) in pots arranged on those front steps. And perhaps I'll grow clematis on the rails, and maybe on the front porch columns too.

Now all that remains is furnishing my new sunroom -- the fun part! I've been waiting for the floor paint to thoroughly dry, but in the next few days I'll begin filling the room with my many plants that are stuffed throughout the house and outside, and perhaps I'll buy a few more -- I think I need a big palm tree....

As for furniture, I've ordered a wicker sofa that I need to pick up, and I can add a few wicker chairs that I already have, plus some colorful tropical cushions and a carpet of some sort. I'll also put a small table and chairs at the end near the sliding door, so we can have breakfast or tea in there on sunny days.

I have wanted a sunroom or conservatory for many years, and now I'm almost looking forward to this winter! :-)  Well, perhaps I won't dread the idea so much as usual. Seriously, it's been so hot here in Iowa this summer that we haven't turned off our air conditioner since mid-June. It's been so unpleasant outside that I've scarcely been able to keep the grass mowed, let alone keep my too many garden beds weeded. (I'm thinking I need to reduce the number of gardens areas that I maintain -- but that's the subject for another post). I certainly am looking forward to the weather cooling down as we get closer to September.

I guess that's why I haven't posted in so long, because not many of my garden areas have looked that great this summer -- but there were a few exceptions, and I'll post again in the next week or so with some updates on those.

And I look forward to catching up with your posts too. Thanks for reading! -Beth


19 comments:

  1. Ooh, what a nice new room! Yes, you need a big palm in there! And good on you for requesting extra-wide windowsills. I don't know why all houses don't just come that way to begin with! Congratulations and have fun with it! -- Kimberley

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    1. Thanks, Kimberley --I'm with you on the wide windowsills. What don't they just make them all that way? Thanks for reading! -Beth

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  2. Your sunroom is beautiful, Beth! Great design. You will enjoy it in the fall, winter and spring. Looking forward to seeing your gardens again. The heat has made it a challenge to keep up for sure, but the heat with the combination of adequate rainfall has made it pretty lush...I have been thinning the echinacea. The hardy hibiscus are in great form right now; if you don't have them, you should. :)
    Blessings, Beth
    p.s. How is Brian's veg. garden doing and how was the county fair? We got a lot of green beans - I have since pulled them 'cuz I'm tired of dealing with them; getting quite a few cucumbers and tomatoes now and a few zucchini.

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    1. Hi Beth, I'm glad you like the sunroom -- I'm really looking forward to seeing what an Iowa winter is like with a winter garden inside. I'm sure you have been struggling with the heat too -- but I know your gardens certainly look great, despite the heat! And it sounds like you are getting many nice vegetables. Brian is picking a lot of tomatoes, peppers and zucchini these days, and still a few cukes. Robbie won purple ribbons (the highest) with his tomatoes and zucchini at the county fair, although the cukes were starting to go over with the heat by then so he only got a blue ribbon with those. But he's very happy with the better ribbons he got this year. Thanks for reading, and take care, -Beth

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    2. Glad Robby did well at the fair! Are you tired of zucchini yet? ha ha!
      I made a chocolate zucchini cake yesterday and it was great!
      Always nice to hear what's going on at your place, Beth.

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    3. Beth, Your chocolate zucchini cake sounds great! We have a recipe for sweet Italian sausage and zucchini that's absolutely delicious, so no, we're not tired of zucchini even this late in the summer.... Best, Beth

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  3. It looks so pretty and I envy you. I have asked Hubby about enclosing our back porch, but he says it would be too hot. I have to agree, the sun really heats that porch up.

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    1. Hi Betty, Thanks for visiting my blog so I could find yours! I'm sure in the South it gets pretty hot during much of the year -- but maybe you still have some greenery outside in winter? That would be so nice.... Anyway, thanks for reading! -Beth

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  4. Your sunroom ist very beautiful, Beth ! I like the white walls and the big windows. It will be a great place to be in winter. And I think it fits very good with the house.

    Greetings from Birgit

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    1. Hi Birgit, I'm so glad you like the room! And I'm happy you think it fits in with the rest of the house -- I was a bit worried about that. Hope you are well, and thanks for your kind comment! -Beth

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  5. Beth! How lovely!!

    So many wonderful hours of enjoyment to look forward to in the coming years. I'm wondering how many books will go unread because you can't look down at the pages.

    Congratulations,
    Linda

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    1. Hi Linda, I'm sure you're right: I tried reading in the sunroom yesterday and foundnd myself just looking around at the few plants I've put in there so far, hardly reading the book! I'll probably get used to it (but i kind of hope not!). Thanks for reading and for your nice comment! -Beth

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  6. It looks great! What a wonderful thing to have during the long winter months! I haven't posted a lot lately either, as it's been too hot lately to do too much out in the garden. I can't believe it's already August!

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    1. Hi Indie, I'm glad you understand -- the heat just takes the joy out of being outside. But I hope some cooler weather is around the corner for both of us. Take care and thanks for reading, -Beth

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  7. Your sun room is amazing.... many years ago we had a lean-to style greenhouse that opened into our house... I still miss it.... those cold February days come to mind when the sun was getting warm enough to bring out the rich aroma of the soil are unforgetable.... I'm sure this will make your Iowa winters much more bearable as you anxiously await the coming spring... L

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  8. Last night I roasted sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and onions with olive oil and that was absolutely delicious too. Your sausage and z. sound fantastic! It is such a versatile vegetable!

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    1. That sounds delicious, Beth! Roasted veg are especially nice going into fall, when the heat from the oven is welcome. Enjoy all your lovely bounty! -Beth

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  9. Catching up myself Beth! Wow this is looking so good..I'm going to leave a longer comment on your next post as I can see this project is now complete!

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