Adding a glass room to your home is not for the faint of heart, but you are in good hands with Jim Hewitt and the skilled, dedicated builders at Conservatory Craftsmen. Beyond hiring them, our advice is to educate yourself about the design, construction, and operating issues that will determine the success of your project. Read all the information on the CC website, seek out other greenhouse and conservatory-related blogs and websites, and ask lots of questions. We appreciated Jim’s commitment to education, his timely and in-depth responsiveness to our ideas and concerns, and the desire of everyone on the Conservatory Craftsmen team to achieve a result that everyone could be proud of. We are very pleased with the outcome. Our conservatory has added a surprising bit of magic to our experience of being at home.
The Back Story
Our homeowners, a couple living on a beautiful urban lake home in Minnesota, came to the conclusion that the existing family room addition was disjointed from the rest of their home and served no use to them. Their love of the outdoors, and the joy of growing plants led them to the conclusion that a room for orchids and other ornamental plants would best suit their tastes.
A quick internet search landed them at our website www.ConservatoryCraftsmen.com. There they researched our company history, our building and business philosophy and found our values aligned with theirs.
A site-visit was scheduled with Jim, Mike and Evan who were invited to the disfavored family room for a visit. It takes a lot of courage to decide to remove a perfectly good room from your house in favor of one you really want, but the project grew and went forward.
The photos show that the structure appears to be built on a ‘deck’. We are often queried whether we can build on a deck, and here is a great example. The entire cavity of the joist structure below is filled with foam insulation.
The floor is heated with hydronic heat for even heat and happy plant roots. The ten foot glass sidewalls were important to maintain proportion and scale with the rest of the house.
Since the rear wall of the conservatory is paralleled by a garage wall, and not a great view, a 6′ custom, thin veneer, wall was designed, topped with transom windows that are automated by temperature.
This conservatory/greenhouse is fitted with a humidifier that maintains proper humidity levels for the orchids, and the roof is graced with Pinoleum blinds. The blinds are also automated and keep down the sun intensity during the day and afford a bit of insulation to the room on a cold winter night.
Colors and powder coating were designed to match the trim colors on the house. Interior stain of the mahogany structure brought out the beauty and character of the wood. The strength and resilience of the mahogany is powerful, and the clean lines interfere very little with the inspiring view.
This couple enjoys the many birds that abound in this native but urban setting and feed many varieties. Many people today would rather not have the arch crestings on the roof ridge, but we know from experience, they keep the birds off. We all know what birds like to do on glass roofs!
Conservatory Craftsmen builds conservatories that are designed to outlast a hurricane and bear up under three feet of heavy snow.
Conservatory Craftsmen was both the architect and builder on the final conservatory structure.
Nearly half of our build or replace projects come to us without an independent architect or builder being involved. Our designs and blueprints are developed in-office by Michael Hewitt as part of the cost of the project. Conservatory Craftsmen not only acts as builder, but also the general contractor in these cases. If specialty work is needed, we interview and hire sub-contractors to work on-site.
It may sound odd at first, but much of the structure of your conservatory will probably be manufactured in our workshops in Minnesota and then delivered to your job site in our over-sized trailer. In this way, we can not only be very precise in our cutting and assembly, but also apply final finishes and decorations in our clean, protected environment. In fact, the roof of your conservatory may have never seen the light of day until we take it out of our trailer to install.
As you may have read in many of our clients’ testimonials, working with Conservatory Craftsmen is a totally unique experience. We are proud of the many references to knowledge, integrity, service excellence, our solution-based philosophy and, of course, our tendency of becoming life-long friends with our clients.