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12 years ago I added a 12'x14' screened porch to the back of my house in Maryland. The screen porch was permitted and inspected when I original built it. I'm now thinking of upgrading the room to a 4 season room. I would like to keep the room as open and airy as possible so in spring / autumn it can still feel like a screened room but in summer / winter it can be cooled / heated as appropriate.

Currently the screened porch has double 2x6 resting on 4x4 posts at 4' intervals. My plan was to keep the corner posts but remove the additional posts and replace them with more traditional 2x4 framing around the windows / doors. The roof has 2x6 rafter ties running across a 4' interval. Pic of the propose changes below.

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Is the framing approach correct? Originally I wanted more windows but when I spoke to the licensing office the explained that because of lateral loads I needed a minimum of 2' of solid wall in each corner. Is there any easy (code compliant) way to avoid / minimize this)?

Revised to focus solely on the framing question.

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  • What part of the country are you in? I can see the need for bracing the corners, especially if you're in a high wind or hurricane/tornado prone part of the country. But there are probably alternative means of achieving that aside from the 2-feet-of-solid-wall-at-the-corner your local jurisdiction mentioned. – SteveSh Mar 28 at 16:14
  • Howard County, Maryland. I was told this by the permits office. The only way around it according to them is to have an engineer approve alternate plans which sound expensive. – jonathan Mar 28 at 16:22
  • Howard County - my old neck of the woods! I would have thought their permitting people would be a bit more helpful. I found them to be one of the more citizen-friendly jurisdictions to deal with. My son's house in Columbia had an aluminum sided sun room built over top of an existing deck, installed by the previous owners. Windows/sliders on 3 sides, right up to the corners. No 2-feet of bracing. It was permitted and passed all inspections (my son pulled the paperwork before he closed on the house). – SteveSh Mar 28 at 17:15
  • I agree on the helpfulness of Howard County - they are great to work with. I'm guessing the difference is that the aluminum sun room you reference was probably a kit that had been evaluated by an engineer. My hope was to reuse the existing screened room roof. – jonathan Mar 28 at 17:25
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    This is far too broad to fit into the SE mold. Please edit it down to focus on just one question at a time. You're are more than free to post all your questions at once (link to the others so people can find them all), or, you may find it more useful to focus on one question at a time and use the info from that to reform each follow up question. – FreeMan Mar 29 at 14:58

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