Watch the second of our two-part series to see the completion of the sunroom, porch, deck, and pool additions we added to this house that has a beautiful view of the water, including:

  • Spraying cellulose insulation in the walls.
  • Laying inlayed pine floors.
  • Impact resistant windows.
  • Stuccoing the exterior walls of the addition.
  • Adding the porches and deck, including railings and steps.
  • Laying sod and landscaping around the addition.
  • Finishing the pool, complete with stone waterfall, jetted soaking tub, ipê wood pool house, and screened pool cover.

Watch Sunroom, Deck, and Pool Addition Project, Part 1 for more.


Danny Lipford: This week on Today’s Homeowner we are continuing work on a room with a view. We’ve done a lot already to strengthen this coastal home against the hurricanes that frequent the area. Now we’re going to make it comfortable and fun.

Last week we started work on this room with a view. And as you might guess, one of the chief concerns was taking advantage of the scenic location. But we also had to build with the weather in mind. This home is along the central Gulf Coast and it gets its share of tropical storms. In fact, the owners lost their deck during Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

To replace it we’re building a 500-square-foot sunroom with covered porches on either side, one of which will lead to a swimming pool. The framing plan called for a load of lumber and hundreds of steel straps to ensure that this thing will stand up to those winds from the tropics.

But what good is a view if you can’t enjoy it? So we had to find some windows that could take the pressure as well. They’re called ImpactGard and the folks at JELD-WEN Windows and Doors designed them for just this kind of situation, protecting the inside of the home from the winds outside.

With the sunroom dried in, we turned our focus to the fun stuff outside. A small pool house was added to the plan so we started working on that, as well as the decking to join the addition to the pool and an extension of the roof to cover the outdoor spa.

You can just imagine at this point how excited the homeowners are. They can finally get an idea of what everything will look like once it’s completed. You know it gets a little frustrating when you’re just looking at a set of blueprints trying to figure out how it’s all going to look when it’s finished.

Well, they can definitely get a good idea now. And, we can ensure that the pool’s going to look a lot better than this once it’s complete. It should look great though. The pool being finished, coping all around it, the pool house, and the whirlpool spa positioned right in the middle of everything with decking all around. But as you can see we have a little more work to do.

Inside we’re opening up the addition to the existing house. Joe is creating an archway in the caste opening that will mimic the arches found outside above the newly built porches. This little touch of visual continuity will tie the spaces together and help disguise the fact that the room is an addition.

At this stage there are subcontractors all over the job. The electricians and the home entertainment guys are conferring about where they’ll run their respective wires, and how to coordinate the placement of light fixtures and speakers in the ceilings.

While they’re hanging fixtures, housings, and pulling miles of wires inside; the HVAC guys are outside preparing to replace the old air conditioning compressor with the newer, larger unit to service the extra space.

Out here the stucco contractor is also starting work. His first chore is applying the cement backer board over the housewrap that covers the plywood skin on these walls. It’s a simple process, but there’s a lot of surface to cover out here. Then the base coat of stucco goes on, covering seams and trim details with an embedded fiberglass mesh to smooth out the finished look of the house.

Well, I’ve been hearing about all of the progress we’re making on this project, so I had to drop by and take a look at it. It’s looking great, but I understand there’s a real interesting process taking place inside.

And the process that I’m talking about is going to make this addition very warm and cozy, and very energy efficient. The guy that’s taking care of it, Hap Partridge. Hap, pretty interesting stuff you have going on here. What exactly are we looking at?

Hap Patridge: This is cellulose insulation. It’s made from 85% newspaper, which is a recycled product, very green. It qualifies for LEEDS. The other 15% is boric acid, which is a fire retardant and it’s the most fire retardant installation you can get. You see it spraying in the walls, it’s spraying around all the wiring.

Danny Lipford: Yeah, how is it sticking to it, though, because I’ve seen cellulose in attics, that it’s just laying there, it must be something in it.

Hap Partridge: This is a different process. It has a dry adhesive mixed at the factory, so it’s measured in at the factory. And actually right now it’s just sticking with water, but the adhesive will dry over several days, and it will be cured in full strength.

Danny Lipford: Now the boric acid that you mentioned, it’s perfectly harmless to individuals and everything, but I hear it’s pretty good for a bug repellent and everything.

Hap Partridge: Right. Actually roach proof that Paul Harvey used to advertise was always boric acid.

Danny Lipford: Right. Yeah.

Hap Partridge: And actually, boric acid is used in Murine, it’s actually medicinal.

Danny Lipford: Oh, I see, okay. Also, I noticed that before you guys got started, you foamed a lot of cracks and crevices, that’s going the extra length that you really have to go to these days.

Hap Partridge: Right. Studies show that air infiltration is the biggest factor in energy efficiency. So we want to get all the key areas that are possible air infiltration sites, and then we blow the cellulose over the top of them. And the cellulose is more tight than ordinary insulation, it’s about 40% more airtight than the ordinary insulation.

Danny Lipford: This stuff sure seems like a great solution to hold down energy costs. Speaking of solutions, while Hap’s crew finishes up here, let’s check in with Joe for another Simple Solution.

Joe Truini: Everyone is always looking for a faster way to paint, but sometimes a shortcut is not a great idea, particularly when painting raw wood. Now, the first step you have to do is prime it. Now primer typically comes bright white. You can order primer tinted, but if you already have some primer around the house, what you need to do is tint it toward the final color, in this case, this dark green.

So we’re going to take some of this green. Rather than pour it, I’m just going to use as little cup and dump it right into the primer. Now, I’m going to mix that up, and what you end up with is a primer tinted toward the final color.

Now, I’m going to take this tinted primer, and apply it right to the piece, in this case, a child’s storage bench. You can see it’s only tinted a little bit, but that will help a lot. If you were to prime this with just the pure white primer and try to cover with that green, you’d never do it, you’d need two or three coats. Now with this case, one coat of tinted primer, and one coat of topcoat, and you’re done.

Danny Lipford: The inside of our room with a view is moving along pretty well, with the drywall work done and trimming underway. This goes slow because much of it is very detailed work like matching the beads and bevels on the base and case molding to the ones on the custom-made JELD-WEN windows. These boards are being ripped to width and planed to line the inside of the cased openings that join the addition to the existing house.

Outside the V-groove wood planks have gone up on the porch ceilings, and the final coat of stucco starts going onto the house itself. This final coat includes the tinting that will determine the finished color of the walls. For uniformity sake the existing house will get a coat of the same color. The small pool house has now been framed, roofed, and is also ready for the final coat of stucco.

To create access to the lower yard and the water, we framed up a set of stairs leading down from the pool deck. Now one of the tricks these guys use for building the handrails is to cut a bevel on the top edge of the lower rail. This helps the rail shed more water more easily and ultimately lasts a lot longer.

With our stairs complete we have easy safe access from this level of the project right down to the backyard. Speaking of the backyard, it looks like the landscaper has more than just a day’s worth of work out here, but it shouldn’t take him long to really get this part of the project looking great.

Now, one of the things that we like to do when building handrails on stairs or handrails around decks is to add this little accent. Which is just little copper caps that not only look good, but they also serve an important function in not allowing rainwater to get into the end grain of these newel posts. That will make them last a lot longer. Now, I love these little plastic caps that just cap right over it to protect that copper while the rest of the work is being done.

Now, speaking of the work to be done, a lot of it to be done out here with the pool being completed and they’re building a screen enclosure over the entire pool and it will extend right down this side of the deck to prevent anyone from accidentally stepping off. That would be a long way down.

Now one thing that I love on exterior porches like this is this type of wood ceiling. Now this is a one by six pine and it’s going to look a little different than it does now once the painter applies one coat of stain and a coat of polyurethane. It will change the color just a little bit, but it still should go along very nicely with all the earth tones we have on the stucco and a cream colored trim.

If you really think about a remodeling project you can add a lot of small things that will really be convenient for you once the projects complete. Here’s a great example. The homeowners have a cat, and so to allow the cat access in and out anytime it wants to a little cat door here, and we also installed one over on the other side.

If you buy a good quality cat door like this, it won’t lose any energy at all, because it has a flap on the inside and out that will prevent any of that air infiltration from affecting your heating and cooling. Hey, on the inside it’s all about the finishes in here.

With the walls done, the painters turn their attention to fine-tuning the trim inside the addition. And with all these windows, there’s plenty of it to be caulked and painted. Then out on the porches they have to apply that sealer to those V-groove wood ceilings.

While this is going on, the pieces for the massive screen enclosure start arriving, and the work to keep out the insects begins. The mounting system, which includes an integrated gutter, attaches to the eve of the house, and then the aluminum framework that supports the rest of the structure starts going up around the pool. It’s kind of like putting together an enormous Erector Set. And as the framework starts to take shape, it begins to resemble some sort of space bubble from a science fiction movie.

The screen itself is much like the stuff used on your windows, only larger and much tougher. After the individual pieces are cut out, they are secured with a rubber’s spline. Again, just like a window screen, only bigger and stronger.

Well, the guys have pretty much completed all of the framework for the screen enclosure around the pool. They still have a few little pieces of screen to install here and there. This screen has to be rugged because of the large expanses we have here. You don’t want to have to get back up there and replace it at any time. And believe me this stuff is definitely rugged. You know we mentioned earlier how we want to safeguard against the chance of kids or pets falling off of this, well this will this will definitely do it. You can’t even tear this stuff, pretty rugged.

You know we mentioned earlier about the landscaping that’s about to take place out in the backyard. That will really put the finishing touches on this project. Now if you’re doing a little landscaping this weekend, you may want to check out this week’s Best New Product.

Jodi Marks: Running some errands the other day, I drove by several houses with automatic sprinklers going full blast. Normally this would be a good thing, except that it was raining. Now I realize they probably had the sprinkler on a timer system and probably just forgot to override it, or were away from the house. But this makes this wireless moisture sensor from Vigoro that much cooler.

This thing actually tells you if you need to water by checking the moisture in your soil. If the soil is already saturated, it automatically overrides your programmed sprinkler system and won’t water a yard that doesn’t need it.

The moisture sensor works in combination with the Vigoro water timers. So you just place the sensor in the area you want watered and set the desired moisture level. Then attach the receiver to your timer. The moisture sensor will prevent watering if it’s not needed, and end watering when your desired moisture level has been reached. It’s that simple. The results are healthier plants and healthier lawns, all while saving money and conserving a precious resource.

Danny Lipford: Our room with a view is almost complete. All we lack is a little flooring; a little touch up painting and it’s all complete on the inside. So most of the work now is focused on the outside.

Now obviously our pool contractor has a little more work to do. He has to drain the water out, another coat of plaster, do a little bit work here and there on some of the drains, and it will all be complete.

Now the homeowners added a few things as we progressed on this project. And of course that means that it’s taking a little longer to complete everything. But one thing they added which they will really be glad they did is this little pool house we’re about to walk through.

Now, if you have a swimming pool, it is so important to have a bathroom fairly close by. Otherwise all of your guests and family will be going in and out of the house to use that bathroom. Here you’ll be able to go in, and you’ve got your toilet, you’ve got a little pedestal sink, you’ve got plenty of storage for all those little pool toys, and you have the water heater tucked in right behind the door.

One thing missing in here is a shower. Well, the shower’s right out back. You can see the showerhead coming right out of the ceiling. But, of course, I don’t know about you, this wouldn’t give me enough privacy to take a shower. But that’s ok, we’ll be putting some panels around this to provide that privacy using a very special wood called ipê.

This dense tropical wood is very resistant to weathering and insects so it’s perfect for this outdoor application. And once the screen is completed, it makes a perfect addition to the pool house and the yard.

Over on the porch opposite the pool we have installed cement backer board and the tile setters have arrived to start laying the porcelain tiles that will cover this area. Because porcelain is more dense than ceramic it won’t absorb moisture, which might cause it to crack during freezing weather.

Inside the addition, the wood floors start going down. And to spice things up, they’re getting an inlaid pattern that should create an interesting look after the sanding and the finishing is complete. Back outside the guys are creating a series of lattice panels to screen off the unsightly underside of the deck.

And the landscaper has begun his work with the retaining wall along the slope from the pool deck down to the water. When the wall and the irrigation rough-in are complete, the flowers and the groundcover can start going in to these spaces. This should make that steep grade a lot more attractive without requiring a lot of maintenance.

But the big news has to be the final coat of plaster going on the pool. It’s a cool process to watch. The plasters’ wear these odd elevated shoes to keep from tracking up their work, and the plaster itself looks just like a pile of goop when it’s dumped into the pool. But then these guys carefully trowel it out over the walls, and the pool begins to transform into something pretty spectacular. As the dingy grey concrete gives way to a sparkling new pool surface.

We’ve been watching this pool come together over the last few months, but now that there’s water in it, it looks great and very appealing on a day like today where it’s supposed to hit 100 degrees. I think anybody that’s working on the project today would love taking a dip in this pool. And look how well it’s laid out.

You’ve got the nice whirlpool area, real easy to get in and get out. And then the waterfall that kind of ties it all together visually as well as the sound of the flowing waters, always nice. And then it flows right into the main part of the pool.

They still have a little bit of cleanup here and there to do, but they’ve already started the cleanup on all of the deck work, and got it all pressure washed and the ceiling that we installed a month or so ago, the painters have put a nice clear sealer on that, and that’ll look just like that for years and years.

Basically everything on the outside of this project is almost complete, just a few touchups taking place here and there. But the thing that will make the biggest difference in the exterior of the home is what’s happening outside, the installation of the instant lawn.

I always call it that, because sod can transform bare ground into a lush lawn in just a matter of hours. But in this heat that’s challenging for these guys, it’s also challenging for the grass.

Although the sod was only cut out of the field this morning, it can wilt really quickly in this heat, so they are watering the ground first, and peppering it with composted cow manure to jump start growth. This variety of grass is suited to this climate, but it will need lots of water in the first few weeks. While these guys green up this yard, let’s try Thinking Green.

In an effort to promote green living, we are emphasizing how important it is to completely seal the envelope of your home to prevent the escape of conditioned air and as a result the escape of energy dollars. The problem that causes, though, is the increase in poor indoor air quality. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your bath fans, stove vents, heating and cooling systems are all working properly to help rid your house of airborne contaminants.

Hey, a good way to visualize that is to think of your house as a fish tank and the water that’s in the tank as your breathable air. And unless that water is recirculating or changed, you know how nasty and cloudy that water can get. By making sure your fans are operating efficiently, and by regularly changing the air filters in your heating and cooling system, your home will be healthier and more comfortable.

Our room with a view is finally complete. We’ve maximized the waterfront view, but this addition has improved the view looking back at the house as well. The screened enclosure will make the pool and the surrounding deck a great spot to spend time relaxing outside. And the pool house couldn’t be more convenient. As the pool meets the house, it gives way to the spa, at a peaceful little waterfall. And the newly stained deck around it offers plenty of space to entertain.

Inside the addition the custom in-laid floor adds lots of warmth to the new sunroom, and the tall ceilings make the space seem enormous for 500 square feet. But the windows are the real stars, since they offer access and a wonderful view. And the quiet little tiled porch on the west side of the project offers more of the same.

In addition to that we now have this beautiful new lawn that leads right down to the water. You know you’d be hard-pressed to find any area around here that wouldn’t be real enjoyable to hang out on a day like today. Now, we gave the homeowners the room with a view they wanted, and we made it safe from all the tropical storms that hit this area.

Hey we had a lot of fun bringing you this project, and hope you enjoy it as well. We’ll see you next week on Today’s Homeowner. I’m Danny Lipford.

Room With a View was brought to you by JELD-WEN Windows and Doors. Reliability for Real Life.

If you would like to purchase a DVD copy of this week’s show visit our website at or call us at 1-800-946-4420.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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