How to design a covered deck / sun room

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Posted by: from Edmonton
6/18/2012 at 7:37:07 PM

I hate my old deck, and have started ripping it out. I like to make something that will last and can be used for more than just sitting on. I guess it is called a sun room, has a roof, has windows and could be heated, maybe have electricty too.

When I do a project I like to CAD it, to get a better idea of what I am thinking, and get the answers before I get my feet wet. I will have many questions and hope this the place to get them?

I my general thought is to make a concreet pad that has a wall fondation and filled with pavers. I am thinking that I can space it about 3/4" from the house with a insulation of some type filling the gap. A short framed wall with windows above that to the roof. A insulated metal roof.

To start with, I am in Edmonton Alberta, the questions: Do I need a permit? Can I run gas to tis room? Can I run electricity to it? To start my designing phase; What roof slope is best?

I am sure I left alot of information, but, please bare with me, I can use your help! :)

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Date/Time6/18/2012 at 8:35:39 PM


Well, I am not able to answer all of your questions but I will tackle some of them for you. You will need a permit from the city. We get all our permits from Permit Masters and they usually will include a blueprint of what you need done. If you want to add power, heat etc they will also include that so that you are able to have the proper permits for everything before you begin.

On your plans it will show where all the footings will need to be put etc. so you can then take your plans and get the specialists that you need to do the work that you are not able to do yourself. I hope this helps.

Good luck with your renovation.

Thank you,

Sherri & Dustin Depatie

Seamless Finishing Inc.

Office : 780-760-3852

Sherri : 780-297-0986

Dustin : 780-885-2231

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Steve in Kingston
Date/Time6/18/2012 at 8:57:22 PM

Hi John,

I think you have the right a idea about putting in a proper foundation, there's always the possibility of creating a cold room for storage. You will need a permit if your planning on running any services out to your new sun room, designing it in CAD is a great idea, just label all the new services and you should be able to submit that to the building department, you might need to get a heat loss survey.

As far a roof slope I would match the existing house and build it out of rafters instead of trusses as it is not a huge area.

There is also the possibility of calling a sun room contracting company, there should be one in every city. They would be the most helpful for this project I would think as long there's one in Edmonton.

Steve Garvin

(613) 929-8852

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Date/Time6/19/2012 at 6:53:24 AM

Permit is something you should get. First of all If you don't get one, and the city finds out, I will cost you alot of headakes.

Also, If you are running electrical and gas into that new addition And a fire breaks out, for what ever reason You will not be covered,

Before you start to build Have a set of drawings made up, for what your plans are. Have a structure engineer look at the drawings, and have him include Any details that he feels need to be done. Get your permit Then go to town.

But just note :

Electrical needs to be inspected by inspector or electiction

Gas line, should only be installed by a pro with a gas ticket.

Don't get caught with your pants down, If you start without permit, And get caught, or something bad happen, the cost will hurt like hell.


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John in Edmonton
Date/Time6/19/2012 at 7:40:57 AM

PERMIT, understood. The gas will be for a bbq, I can let the plumber do that at a later date. The electrical will be simple, so again I can let the electrician do that.

I really want to build this myself, stick built. I can CAD the blueprints, and have them looked at by a engineer. There is so many things about the code I don't know to get the drawings started.

I added a JPEG of my CAD, please take a look, tell me things. If I can make a drawing proper, it can save me alot of money with dealing with the engineer.

How to design a covered deck / sun room
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Date/Time6/20/2012 at 4:42:00 AM


Your stud wall looks fine, but it doesn't show the floor joist, and beam.

I don't know how the city of Edmonton permit office works But in Winnipeg and BC You need to show elevations of each wall, A floor Plan, and details, like what size floor joists, and what kind of beam that is being used. A servay of the property. They have their own engeener, that will revew your plans And may ask you for more info.

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John in Edmonton
Date/Time6/20/2012 at 7:32:36 AM

That is my first drawing, There is a small footing of concrete that encludes the floor and stud wall base. I raides the stub wall base high enough to lay over the floor pavers. That way I get no weeds, no moister. I am not sure of how deep the footing should be for Edmonton.

CADing the drawings I do on weekends. I plan to make drawings of all three side from the out side showing the ground elavation. A overhead view floor plan showing the intended electrical and gas, seprae drawings.

That first drawings has most of my difficult questions to it. The footing size, concret floor thickness. load barring post location and size, roof slope.....

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John in Edmonton
Date/Time6/20/2012 at 7:02:14 PM

The width of this sunroom is about 18 feet.

Can I use a 2" X 6" tube steel steel beam to support the roof or should there be a support post in the middle?

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Date/Time8/8/2012 at 11:49:25 AM

I live in Calgary, also in Alberta. There are so many things when you want to add a room to your house. It does not matter sunroom or addition the permit as a MUST. Moreover, not only the permit, but if you are not using pre-packaged sunroom, the structural engineer has to check if the existing foundation can handle the sunroom and sign off your drawing.

There is one more interesting thing-the glazing. how many windows will be looking at the house next door? There is a code in Alberta that there has to be the appropriate amount of windows (glazing) facing the property line. This has to be calculated by designer or engineer. Of course you can do it, but it worth to check it before going to submit the permit.

Now the foundation- the structural engineer has to verify the location of the posts. the posts must be no less than 4 deep plus the footings 2x2, otherwise they will not hold the sunroom.

Again, everything depends on the type of the room you want to build whether this is normal room with windows and drywall-then City of Edmonton will decide if this is an addition or the sunroom. They will give you clear instruction of what they need, but definitely all elevations of the house, all measurements, your existing house plan with utilities lines location, glazing calculation, and an engineer stamp for the structure.

If there is an electrical, plumbing or heating work-you will need the permit for each service. After receiving a permit, you have to put this permit at the location where it can be found for the inspection to see and it has to stay there until the project is complete.

Once you complete the framing time to call for rough in inspection and structural engineer review. You call the engineer first; he has to sign off that the foundation is done according to the drawings that he signed. Then the framing inspector will come and complete rough in inspection. Then the there will be electrical, heating and ventilation (if needed) and plumbing (if needed) rough in inspections. Electrical inspector will put yellow sticker on your work (on the panel or some other place).

Once all rough in inspections are done, you can finish the sunroom and call for final inspections all previous inspectors.

Do not relay on guess work, it will cost more money to re-do the work, then do it first time properly, all approved, signed and with the permits.

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