sunroom roof windows

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  #1  
Old 07-18-00, 09:32 AM
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Dear Handyman

We thought we were going to get a manufactured sunroom addition, however, we've decided to build it ourselves and are seeking information on the best way to construct the roof windows to insure no leaks. Additionally, what is the largest recommended span between joists. Our joists will be four feet long. The sunroom is 4 X 8. Thankyou for your help.
 
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Old 07-18-00, 04:11 PM
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There are a lot of things that have to be considered. How much of a snow load do you hae to meet where you are? Will the room be subjected to things falling out of the sky, like pine cones? This will determine the best material to use for the roof panels, but probably either tempered glass or Lexan will work. How much clear ceiling will you have, and how much will be solid panel? This roof will generate a LOT of heat, and the more glass you have, the more heat it will generate. What sort of a climate are you in?

As far as making the joists and sealing them so they won't leak, try a "T" shaped joist, installed upside down, so the roof panels rest on it. Use neopreme or rubber weather stipping between the joist and the glass. On top, cover the joist and about 3/4" of each edge of the glass with a cap, again, with the same weatherstripping between the glass and the cap. Leave room on the edges of the glass for expansion. Personally, I wouldn't span over about 2' between the joists, but this will be determined mostly by the snow (live) load you have to meet. Good luck.
 
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Old 07-23-00, 08:35 AM
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The thing to remember when designing a glass enclosure is that it WILL leak either by condensation or penetration. To avoid having to deal with constant nagging problems provide an exit(known as weepage) for these leaks. I recommend using a spcial purpose aluminum extrusion attached to a wood frame. This is called a skin system in the trade. Find a supplier in the back of home project magazines. These extrusions have a built in gutter to channel water to the exterior. The second most impotant issue is the layout. Size your sunroom to accept standard sizes of safety glass i.e. 34"x76" or28"x66" etc. And don't forget flashing where the structure joins the house. Good Luck
 
  #4  
Old 07-24-00, 10:38 PM
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WES has a very good point. If you examine a manufactured sunroom carefully you will find that there is always some sort of weep system engineered into every part of the room. The mfgrs. know that you can't stop the water from penetrating -- you can only control it and provide a means for it to exit in such a way that it won't be a problem.
 
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