Conservatory/Sunroom Addition

For this sunroom addition in Wheaton, Ill., it was imperative the homeowner, who is an opera singer, have a beautiful, inspirational place to sing and write music. The room also had to reflect her and her husband's world travels.

July 31, 2007
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Sunroom Addition

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Steel to scale

 

The number of window installations doubled the project time from two months to four months. "Because of the commercial-grade materials and techniques, we went slower than usual, but it was important to double- and triple-check," Lehner says.

Photos by Rich Sistos Photography

For this sunroom addition in Wheaton, Ill., it was imperative the homeowner, who is an opera singer, have a beautiful, inspirational place to sing and write music. The room also had to reflect her and her husband's world travels. They approached Lehner Brunton because the company had done two previous additions on the client's home.

"She spends lot of time in Europe, and she brought a lot of the ideas of what she wanted in the project, like the type of flooring and the balcony treatment, based on places she'd seen," says Robert E. Lehner, president and owner of Lehner Brunton Remodelers in Warrenville, Ill. "Because she had a very distinct idea of what she wanted, I knew it would not be a typical sunroom. It would be grand, and it would not be traditional."

The 600-square-foot conservatory features 31 windows and six remote-controlled skylights that ventilate the room and provide shade. The skylights can be set by timer, and also have weather sensors to automatically close. The floor slabs were built with both electrical wiring and ductwork to accommodate speakers, a television and a watering outlet for plants.

Matching the conservatory siding to the existing home posed a big aesthetic challenge; the existing siding style had been discontinued, and the homeowners did not want to replace the home's siding just to match the addition. Lehner Brunton crews went to approximately six shops throughout the country before they found a product that was really seamless in both color and grain pattern.

"Both of the homeowners work very hard, and they want to enjoy their 'castle.' They now have a place to relax with fresh air, lots of light, lovely plants and a view of their garden from within," Lehner says. "They have no intention of moving; they are only making improvements for themselves — not for increasing the resale value of their home."

 

Sunroom Addition

REMODELER AND ARCHITECT: Lehner Brunton Remodelers, Warrenville, Ill.

PROJECT LOCATION: Wheaton, Ill.

AGE OF HOME: 30-plus years

SCOPE OF WORK: Two-story rear addition with floor-to-ceiling windows



Products List

HVAC: Carrier Doors: Pella Home Systems Control: Leviton, Lutron Lighting Fixtures: Halo, Juno Housewrap: Tyvek Insulation: Owens Corning Locksets: Schlage Paints & Stains: Benjamin Moore Millwork & Molding: Woodgrain Millwork Roofing: CertainTeed Siding: Norandex Windows: Pella, Velux



Steel to scale

The master bedroom's window had to be carefully dismantled to accommodate the new French window and preserve the existing arch. 

Bearing the loads of each window and maintaining the integrity of the corners where the walls meet was crucial, so subcontracting crews welded 12- and 18-foot steel I-beams to the wood framing to strengthen the walls and reduce stress from the roof weight. To secure the window headers, Lehner Brunton Remodeler's crews used microlams perpendicular to the beams.

"We knew these types of techniques were common to commercial construction, and we had used that type of steel on a horizontal basis for floor loads, but never in walls," Robert Lehner, the company president, says. "This added at least a week, with the crane and spot-welding."

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