Can I Convert My Deck Into Living Space?
LESLIE: Mary in Florida is looking to make her kitchen bigger by taking away from her deck. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
MARY: Well, I have a fairly small kitchen/dining-room area and I was wanting to expand it. We have a patio/deck that’s probably about 30×10 feet that’s directly attached to it. There’s glass sliding doors that’s attached to it. We were wanting to find some way that we could enclose that and make that more of an off-season-type area, as opposed to a couple weeks out of the year. We didn’t know if you had any suggestions, ideas?
TOM: Alright. Well, first of all, Mary, you can’t take your deck and then sort of put four walls on it and a roof and call it an addition, because decks are not designed for that. They’re not really part of the foundation of the home. And I’ve seen a lot of folks do exactly that – convert porches into living spaces – and ultimately, it catches up with you. Usually, if you try to sell the house or something of that nature, it doesn’t meet the code requirements. It’s just generally a bad idea.
What you could do for that space, to make it more of a year-round use, might be to consider adding some permanent heating or portable heat. But it’s always going to be an outdoor space. You can’t take an outdoor deck and turn it into an indoor space. I mean that’s an addition and you can’t just put a door and some walls and a roof and some screening or whatever you’re planning and call that now like an extension of your kitchen. Because it just doesn’t count, OK?
Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.