Speaking Of Sunrooms..Does aybody Know?

bulldinkieMarch 24, 2010

MY problem is we have a 1700 farmhouse we completely restored.wE have a big screened in porch on it now well when it rains everything gets wet.WE want to close it in BUT..we dont want this 2010 room on back ,that sticks out we want it to look like its been there all along.Where can I see photos of this?Do you know what Im saying?I dont want to build a room that looks like it was just built.blends in looks good..

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A glass sunroom from 1700 might be a stretch. Have you considered roll down exterior plastic/canvas covers? Perhaps they could be hidden under the eaves. Louvered interior storm shutters might work too.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Im not saying a 1700 sun porch Im saying I want it to look good ,dont want to ruin anything by just building any old porch.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Is it possible to see pictures of the area? While not called sunrooms in the 18th century, enclosed exterior spaces were used. I believe many larger houses had them--I think Jefferson called his an orangery. Large windows to fit the style of the house, with thin sections of wall between, and small panes of glass like in 6 over 6 windows...you could have the large windows be double-hung, or set up like casements to open for breezes in nice weather.
Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 12:02AM
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Do a google image search on conservatory. You'll get lots of hits. Georgian conservatory (1714-18something) might narrow the results down a bit, and hit the right timing for your house.

I think you could spend a ton of money to get the right look; expensive windows, ironwork, etc.--OR, just get the proportions of the windows right, not spend a lot, and still have it look fantastic. To my mind, good design is more important than expensive materials (tho I'd love to have both!) Make sure the knee wall is lower than you think it should be; you can see in lots of the pictures, they're just too high, and ugly. You want strong vertical elements. If the knee wall is too substantial, it overpowers the vertical elements of the windows, and you notice the wide horizontal band at the bottom too much.

When I do my conservatory, I hope to have the windows come down to 15-18" off the floor level. At 18", you've got the perfect height for seating ledge.

The po closed in my front porch, and the windows start 34" off the floor. It is off-balance, claustrophobic, and just looks wrong.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 9:29AM
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Have you seen those screen doors, where the screen rolls away and it's glass on top, then the screen rolls down and the top half is screen, but the bottom half is still window?

I am looking for something like that for my planned screen porch on the back of our farm house. Our little farmhouse is not nearly fancy enough for a conservatory and I have a little porch I'm adding into the kitchen as a year round seating area. Being in the country though, I want a screened porch to keep out the bugs, barn kitties, porcupines, racoons, etc (LOL) but I don't want it wet from rain, or full of snow in the winter!

I think if they develop a window that does what those front screen door do...it would be perfect for a glass screen porch with roll down screens on the top half, that are hidden when it's all glass. Don't you think someone would think of that?

BTW, if anyone has seen these, please let me know ASAP!

Thanks and I hope you find a good solution to your sunroom/porch :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Lavender Lass, you need to build that product yourself and make a fortune selling them to folks like me!!

I like the roll up or roll aside screens. I tried to convince my DH to put them on the sliding glass doors in his sun room up north. The regular sliding screen panels were destroyed by the cats and squirrels, don't know about the raccoons. But down south I enclosed my carport for my parrots, and had to use hardware cloth 1/2" size on the interior of the regular screening, because of raccoons trying to get to a tasty meal of parrot meat. I did not have operable glass or Lexan anywhere in this enclosure though.

But roll-up screens is the way to go with windows or sliding doors you plan to open for ventilation.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:38AM
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LOL! I would be happy if someone would market them...it doesn't have to be me :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:46PM
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bulldinkie, I have seen older/rustic houses that have glass in wood frames that can be put up on a screened porch or taken down. They were held up by brackets. They were the same height as the porch screens, but were narrower. For example, a wall 9'x9' might have 3 3' framed glass panels. I have also seen these glass panels in two sizes, so one doesn't have to move around an 8' or 9' panel. For instance, the lower panel might be 30" tall & the upper panel 5 1/2' tall.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 5:42PM
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Moccasinlanding, parrots are called flying buzzsaws for a reason! Did the hardware cloth work? Raccoons are very determined, and so are parrots, and they always want to be on the other side of any barrier!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:22PM
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Vjrnts, the heavy duty 1/2" hardware cloth worked fine. I wire brushed it to remove stray particles of glavanizing (not good for parrots to eat), and then spray painted it all black. Then on the outside I put the layer of fiberglas mosquito screening (as I call it). The birds all lived very happily in the enclosed carport.

Raccoons are a force to be reckoned with. I lost one of a pair of my birds to a coon, who pulled the poor baby through the cage bars bite by bite. It was awful, and the bird's mate was in shock after that. I now prepare for the worst that could happen and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:52AM
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I found a company that does exactly what you want. Renaissance Conservatories, located in Lancaster, PA. They design, manufacture, and build conservatories from California to Maine. They will be more expensive than your average sunroom "kit" company. They build to suite, any custom style and they are great to work with.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:38AM
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To bring another option to the table, you can also have the infill panels hinged ON TOP, so that instead of swinging left or right, they can be RAISED UP and secured to the ceiling of the porch. I've seen this done in Louisiana with shutters.
Also, I've seen the hinges placed at the bottom of the window units, and they were dropped DOWN. I consider that a difficult option, since furniture would be in the way, and someone might break the glass. Overhead out of the way is best.

I would consider a room with such an installation a THREE SEASON ROOM, since it is not very weatherized for the colder climates.

My solution is for a permanent 4 season install, and I'd do it with Lexan panels. So far we've enclosed our front porch, leaving the wood members as it looked when it was a screened porch, and the Lexan panels go ceiling to floor. Then on our back porch, which had been partially enclosed with the stucco siding of the rest of the house, but had screening up top, we used Lexan panels there too. Now this back porch is ready to incorporate into our kitchen, and it already has some cabinets on either side of our big fridge, and also a pie safe with dishes in it and the stacking laundry center too. Plus, the back door is a glass door with a blind in between the double glazing, so we can see the little wood deck off the back.

The Lexan panels are very sturdy (bullet proof) and also weather proof. I consider the space 4 season now, and with a small window a/c for the hottest weather, that is where my parrots now live, happily getting the sunlight which makes their feathers look so beautiful, and having a sense of participation with the environment.

One thing to remember if you are enclosing a porch, is that the floor has a big slope away from the house, and it must be levelled if it is enclosed...or the walls must take the slope into account.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 1:29PM
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