Porches, Sunrooms, and
history, porches have provided us comfortable refuge,
outdoor dining area, and a permanent place to hang a swing or hammock
even on rainy days.
These airy add-ons can also help reduce heating and cooling costs in
our homes by sheltering foundations and walls from sun, precipitation,
This beautiful cedar wraparound has been fitted with screens and light
vinyl window coverings to keep heat in and snow out.
Gazeboes provide a shady getaway and a
comfortable place to rest on a rainy day.
gazeboes such as the one pictured here make perfect three season
retreats. They can built as freestanding structures or as a deck
extension. Either way you can enjoy the weather and the
Where mosquitoes are a concern, screens can be
permanently attached. Adding
plexiglass windows to the above gazebo allows the
homeowners to lounge in the gazebo even on winter days.
Sunrooms are an excellent way to extend
the summer and reduce
winter heating costs.
As an extension of your existing home, sunrooms require a more
permanent foundation and are tied in to the existing roofline and wall
structures. An abudance of windows or patio doors means more air
in the summer, more light in the winter, and more time for you to relax
and enjoy any season. It's the perfect place for a mini
mid-winter vacation or to practice indoor gardening.
season rooms are uninsulated additions to your home. The
glass invites sunlight and heat into
the home during the
winter months. The effect allows additional heat to build up and
gives your heating system a break. During the evening, the three
season room will cool down to the outside temperature.
room, still under construction, shares two walls with the main
house. The ceiling and remaining
three walls are post and beam construction
combined with five 6' patio doors and three skylights.
insulation and one forced air heating duct, maintain comfortable
temperatures on winter evenings while unassisted daytime
temperatures range from 20º C on cloudy days to 35ºC on sunny
days, even at -35º C.
Excess ambient heat is circulated through the main
house by ceiling fans.
insulated door keeps summer heat out of the main house, while the
interior rooms and buffers cold westerly winds. During summer
evenings, the five patio
be opened to allow
breezes to naturally cool the entire house.
The owner is an avid
who winters the tender contents of four large flower beds (as above)
inside the 16' x 18' room. Friends and
family refer to it
as the Jungle Room. The family's four cats who sun themselves among the
orchids and geraniums or climb the eighteen foot schefleura think
it's just purr-fect. It's a relaxing room that has become
everyone's favourite gathering spot. Working clocks are
Traditional wood rails
and spindles of cedars and treated spruce lend grace and style to any
home, with the added value of functionality.
Hot new alternatives
to wood rails and spindles
Glass, Plexiglas and wire offer new options for homeowners and
cottagers who want to enhance the view from their favourite deck.
of your home that comes into contact with the earth is subject to the
natural and seasonal movement of the earth. If you think of your
home as a bowl filled with water set into a larger bowl filled with
mud, you'll begin to get an understanding of how moisture levels can
affect the stability of a foundation and anything attached to it.
If one side of the mud bowl should freeze or dry out, it causes
pressures on the water filled bowl, causing shifting and settling until
conditions are once again equalized.
The effects on a home are generally experienced by the appearance of
small cracks in the foundation, a difference in the way windows and
doors function, even phantom squeaks that seem to appear and disappear
at will. In decking, effects usually manifest as loosened boards,
uneven surfaces, and broken joists or supports. In many cases,
the deck can actually pull away from the home causing unsightly and
dangerous gaps as well as damage to the home and foundation walls.
Selecting the appropriate type of foundation to support your beautiful
new deck should include
- soil type
- weight load
- frost lines in area
- attachment to the home
- size and design ofdeck
Substantial decks attached to a home or where the surface is likely to
carry large weight loads (snow, roof lines, hot tubs, or gazebos) are
generally best underpinned by concrete footings set in at 4' below
ground level. Solid walls, of concrete or block, are then built
to the desired height. This provides the deck with stability to weather
the upheavals and movement experienced during all seasons.
Free standing decks and smaller decks set in lighter soil types are
generally built upon concrete pillars set 4' below ground level like
footings. For lighter soils, a solid concrete base is usually
poured first to prevent the pillar from sinking unevenly.
Low decks and those that are free standing can be mounted on solid pads
such as deck blocks. The soil is cleared to 6" below the surface
and the pads or blocks are set on the packed soil. This method
works best on clay and hard packed soils and is not usually advisable
for lighter sand or loam soils.
Since each build is different and each site has unique features of it's
own, don't hesitate to ask a professional for advice on how best to
proceed. The local building inspector is also an excellent source
for advice on these projects.
Innovate. Build. Experience.