Careful planning is the basis of saving money when you remodel. Many homeowners have both short-term plans and long-term dreams for their homes. Adding living or family activity space to a home is a very popular reason to remodel. You can really save when you remodel by building a deck for future conversion into a screened porch, a sunroom addition or even a fully-enclosed room addition. By building now with the future in view, you can stage your remodeling project and pay for it as you go. Here’s the idea:

Step 1: Build a deck for your family’s enjoyment now.

Step 2: Add a roof, framing and screen to create a very nice bug-free family area.

Step 3: Add the walls, whether glass for a sunroom or siding or masonry for an enclosed room addition.

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The ability to save when you remodel by building a deck for future conversion is all in the planning and design. By taking the long view toward converting the deck you build now, you will literally build your addition in affordable stages and save money by not needing to re-do the foundational work.

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There are three main things to consider when building a deck for future conversion.

  1. Footings and structural support. If you are building a deck for future conversion to a screened porch and/or a sunroom or an enclosed room, you will need to design and build your deck accordingly. The additional weight of a roof and the frame for screening will need bigger footings. Adding even more weight for walls (glass, frame, or masonry) will require even bigger footings. The structure of the deck must also be able to support the additional weight. This will mean using larger/stronger beams and additional structural support to carry the extra weight to the footings. Some of the structural support can be added as you convert the deck to a porch or a room, but you should at least plan for this from the beginning.

  2. Roof. You will need to plan the deck with a view to how the roof (when added) will connect with the roof on the house. The pitch and drainage of the roof will indicate where you need the structural support for the load.

  3. Flooring. The planks that form the deck will need to be designed for future conversion. This means they will need to be closer together. You might also decide to use planks of a different size to ensure a smoother surface. If your plan for the future is to have a sunroom, you might decide to design your deck flooring in a way that will create an attractive permanent floor for your sunroom.

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If you have a long-term plan to add a room or a sunroom, but want to build a deck now, you can plan and build for the future and save on each stage of conversion from deck to finished living area. It just takes some careful planning to save money by building a deck for future conversion.

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