Courtyards provide a breath of fresh air and glimpse of greenery from the interior of the house. However, sometimes a growing family needs the additional square footage of an enclosed courtyard to relieve cramped living spaces. The size and location of your courtyard will have a major impact on the renovation. If the courtyard has a partial roof and sturdy flooring you’re ahead of the project.
Wash the exterior walls of the house surrounding the courtyard. Use a power wash if they’re especially dirty.
Install flooring if the courtyard has a dirt floor. Remove dirt from the dirt flooring of the courtyard so it is at least 8 inches below the entrances from the rooms around it. Backfill with 4 inches of gravel. Tamp down the gravel. Pour pre-mixed cement over the gravel to a depth of 4 inches. Level and let cure for up to four days. If you plan on adding tile on top of the cement allow for the space for additional thin set and the tile. Otherwise the room’s flooring may be above that of the surrounding rooms. Or carpet the room after it’s been completely enclosed. Wood flooring is another option.
Sweep the tile floor of the courtyard. Scrub any dirty greasy spots. Rinse and let dry thoroughly. Scrub down concrete flooring. Use a degreaser to remove any grease. Stain the concrete for a more finished look. Choose two different colors. Apply as per package directions.
Finish off the exterior walls of the courtyard so they look like the interior walls. For example, if the interior is plaster walls and the exterior brick, change the brick to plaster. If the finish is similar, paint the walls of the courtyard to match that of the rest of the house.
Install roofing that matches the exterior of the house. Install ceilings underneath the roofing that matches the ceilings of the rooms surrounding the courtyard for a cohesive look.
Consider adding heating and cooling ductwork to the current HVAC system to the room. If you decide to do this, do it before you add the ceiling. The duct work is installed between the roof and the ceiling.
Remove doors and windows that look out of place. For example, an exterior window from a bedroom looking out into another interior room looks odd from both the bedroom side and the other room.
Remove walls for better traffic patterns if need be. Be careful though to not remove load bearing walls.
Finish off the old doorways with arches or wood beams. Board up oddly placed windows with framing, sheetrock, texturizing and paint. Keep in mind that building codes may specify that every room has to have an exterior window. You may have to add windows to compensate for those you remove.