anyone have this feature in Mississippi?

yellowchucks7April 8, 2013

We are in the process of finalizing our plans and I need suggestions and or first hand advice on the pros and cons of adding bi-fold windows/doors along the back side of the house (living room) leading onto the screened in back porch. (Basically it's a movable wall of windows that can be opened and closed) The idea of course is to open the space up for entertaining, etc. BUT I'm a little nervous of adding this (pretty expensive from what I've heard) feature without having researched it first. I can't find any testimonies of homeowners that have them in Mississippi. Suggestions on companies who specialize in these would be great- especially ones from the south.

Is this something that we may regret years from now?

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Sophie Wheeler

Mosquitos and humidity will make you regret it quickly. Even if you solve the first problem, the 90% sticky hot evenings from April through October won't leave you ever getting your money's worth from that 30K worth of windows. You'd be better off spending your money putting in a pool and doing an unvented attic with a zoned AC.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Hollysprings, Thank you for your advice- I think you're spot on with the humidity. I doubt we put in a pool, but I appreciate the attic suggestion. Any other advice for building in the South? Hopefully this will be our forever home and I find myself worrying that we'll forget something!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:08PM
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I live back in Mississippi now, but I lived in California for 6 years back in the 90's. I absolutely loved that lots of places had this feature with the folding wall of glass that would open up to let the outdoors in. But it is just so different here and you would not get your money's worth by having these back east because of the insects (flies and mosquitoes) and the humidity. I could literally leave my front door open all summer and ZERO flies or mosquitoes would come in. And the air was so light and refreshing, totally unlike our air in MS. Get it if you can afford to get minimal use out of it for the bucks you paid for it, but I wouldn't.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:48PM
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We once stayed in a condo in Florida that had this feature -- really neat! It was amazing to make the wall "disappear" and be so connected to the beach and the ocean. Incidentally, bugs weren't a problem because the wall-o-windows opened onto a screen porch.

However, I don't think I'd choose them for my own house. I wasn't paying the power bill, so I didn't care that opening the windows let out every bit of air conditioning in the house.

I also understand they're crazy expensive.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:19PM
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We are building in North Alabama and will have 3 sets of sliding French doors that open to the back porch. 2 sets will just be normal 5-6' wide, but the large set will be over 11' with 4 panels. The middle 2 panels will open like the picture below. We've also been in houses with the folding wall you mentioned and thought the 4 panel sliding doors was a nice alternative. We will also have screens for the doors we can use. I'm sure they won't get much use in the summer, but we open our windows anyway in the spring and fall when the temps are still too cool for the a/c to run (like now).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Those are beautiful! I like the idea of using something like that instead. Would you mind sending me a link to the doors?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:47AM
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It's not even Tax Day yet, but it's 85 degrees here today.70% humidity. With pollen turning everything yellow. I can't imagine being in the South and having the home open to that. Our "windows open" days for this year have consisted of about 8 hours total, only during the middle of the day when no one was home. Saturday was nice for a couple of hours, until it got too hot. It will be too hot for the rest of the summer. Yes, summer starts in late April here. Then there was the pollen. September stays above 90 for most of the month, with ragweed pollen too. October does start some pretty nice weather, and some days in early November can be 70 degrees and sunshine too. But again, you are limited to the hours that you aren't working and can actually enjoy those days. Which doesn't work out to much time for the expense involved. I'd rather just have a traditional patio slider or french door. The costs won't be so high, but you'll still be able to have some fresh air when the weather allows.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:18AM
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Really nice doors, khall10!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:43AM
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yellowchucks7 - We are going with the Hurd H3 Sliding French Doors (windows too). We also looked at Marvin Integrity's Sliding French Doors, but they didn't have the configuration we wanted for the largest doorway. We could have gotten it in the regular Marvin line though, but it was more expensive.

The Hurd website isn't the greatest, so here's the link to Marvin Integrity too:

I'm pretty sure there are other companies that make Sliding French Doors, these are just the 2 we looked at. HTH.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hurd H3

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:44AM
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