Enclosed breezeway = money pit

mommabirdJanuary 18, 2009

My house was buit in 1953 with a detatched garage & a 16' x 20'open breezeway in between the house and garage. Sometime around 1970, the prior owners enclosed the breezeway with a front and back wall. Each wall has a storm door and 2 HUGE louvre-type aluminim windows. The inside walls are finished with white pine panneling. It is all very attractive.

When we were trying to fix the front wall storm door last year, we discovered that water has been running down inside the front wall since, oh, about the day the wall was built. We also discovered that whoever built the enclosing wall didn't actually ATTACH it at the top and bottom - it's framed up and kind of wedged in between the ceiling at the top and the concrete slab at the bottom (interesting construction method!).

We do plan to tear out both the front and back walls and rebuild them right. The confounding factor is that the prior owners also put aluminim siding over the original wood siding sometime in the 1970's. It looks AWFUL and we want to replace it. We will rebuild the walls at the same time, since we'll be taking the siding off. The problem is MONEY - we can't afford to do all this at once!

We had a huge wind storm this fall and a limb blew in to the front wall, breaking two panes in the windows. I've had 2 estimates from glass companies to replace the panes - one is $300 and one is $375. The panes are very large, non-standard size, and the way they are glazed into the aluminim frame is also very bizarre, which adds to the expense.

Here is my delima - I hate to spend $300 on these windows that we will replace when we rebuild the walls. We can't afford to do the siding now, which means rebuilding the walls & replacing the windows will also have to wait. Meanwhile, our house looks like trailer trash with 2 broken panes in the breezeway windows! We live in a really nice, well kept older neighborhood and I'm sure my neighbors are talking a about the broken panes already.

HELP - what would you do:

- go ahead and bite the bullet and replace the panes now?

- take off the hideous siding, rebuild the walls & replace the windows, and then put the hideous siding back on?

- Something else - if so, WHAT? I am out of ideas! (I even thought of removing all the glass in both front windows & just having screens but DH said absolutely no way to that idea.)

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Remove the glass and (from the inside) recover the openings with plexiglas panels which you can get at any hardware, and if you ask nicely they may cut them to size.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:16PM
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As the first reply said, take out the windows,cover the openings with plexiglas and build a wood frame to put around it, paint a color of your choice and attach.

BTW, when you remove the aluminum siding, take it to a scrapyard and get some money out of it. It should pay for some of the repairs.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Thanks for the ideas about plexiglas! I bought a sheet of it at Loew's once and had them cut it to fit my end table, to make a protector to keep it from getting scratched. You've given me the idea of measuring the panes and going to Loew's for a plexiglas sheet, having them cut it to size, and replacing the broken panes with plexiglas for now.

It will be cheap and easy. The panes are held in with plastic glazing strips that will slip out. As long as I can get the glass out, it will be easy to hold in the plexiglas with clear silicon caulk & slip the plastic glazing strips back in place.

WOW I hadn't thought of that. It will look fine from the street - not an exact match with the other panes but from the street you won't be able to notice. THANKS

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:44PM
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