A Conservatory and Glass Roof in Martha’s Vineyard, MA

by | Oct 24, 2018 | Construction

Today’s build journal explores the “island lifestyle” by taking a look at the design and build process for a gorgeous custom glass conservatory and roof system we created for clients in West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Sasha Robinson White served as conservatory designer and the general contractor was Island Woodworks, also out of West Tisbury. The finished conservatory roof system features solid mahogany framing and high-performance insulated glass (PPG Solar Ban 70XL). Flashing and caps are copper.

A key goal for this project was pairing the new glass dormer roof with conventionally constructed elements and the existing architecture in order to achieve the desired levels of natural sunlight in the interior space. French doors provided by Marvin offer exceptional views of the backyard patio, pool, and greenery. Because this is a year-round addition, these views and light levels can be enjoyed even in the winter in full comfort while allowing the entire home to be opened up in warmer weather. Opening up the space allows ample light and fresh air to enter the home when conditions permit.

The glass dormer roof designed and installed by Sunspace pairs perfectly with the adjacent lean-to glass roof components. Interior details include brick walls and stone flooring. We used soft color paint on the interior and copper cladding on the exterior. Let’s take a closer look:

An engineered drawing of the glass dormer roof’s front elevation.
We provide detailed drawing packages for each project.

The site has been prepared by the general contractor.
We can serve as the general contractor or team up with other professionals to offer specialty services as needed.

Work on the walls continues.

A view to the left…

…and a shot of the framing which reveals the new conservatory’s footprint adjacent to the existing architecture.

The lean-to components of the conservatory’s glass roof will be positioned against this face of the home.

A look at the dormer’s ridge-valley connection.
Note the copper which has already been laid down beneath the new siding.

The ridge beam is carried forward and allows the dormer to extend vertically beyond the pitch of the glass roof’s slope.

The roof frame is starting to shape up!

Our glass roof systems and custom enclosures are built to last.
Every measurement and cut is made with absolute precision.

Windows are going up and the conservatory is taking shape.
The backyard might not look like much yet, but the end result will be stunning.

We’ve begun to install glass units in the conservatory roof frame.

Glass work is mostly complete. Next up: the copper capping process.

Work on the roof continues. Polyken 360-45 tape has been applied.

This close-up view illustrates the copper being applied to the ridge-valley connection.

These copper eaves will glimmer in the sunlight to create a gorgeous effect.

Copper cladded skylights are located on either side of the central ridge.

Another view of the copper skylights.
Work on the interior continues below.

Wiring time!

Interior construction continues as the fan block is positioned.

Interior detailing required careful precision.
This view shows the valley rafter intersection.

Another look at the valley.

Here we see a jack intersection along the valley from the interior.

The fan block seamlessly integrates with the roof frame and has been styled to match the interior.

The glass roof system provides the interior with ample natural sunlight.

The angularity of the glass roof framing creates strong visual interest.
Our glass roof systems can be engineered to meet any specifications. You dream it, we build it!

A view from the interior toward the right. Note the rustic brick walls with built-in shelving.

A view through the French doors toward the backyard pool.
The family pet seems to like the new space!

A look at the interior’s left side.
This operational workspace and seating area allows the conservatory environment to serve multiple functions.

A play of light and shadow on the glass roof.

A view of the conservatory’s exterior on an overcast day.

Large stone slabs create a rough, natural-looking patio space outside.

The sun rises over the completed custom conservatory.
The French doors provide convenient access to the glass structure’s interior.

The pool is full, the foliage is vibrant, and the clients are making use of their brand new space!

Remember that photo of the incomplete backyard?
We’ve come a long way!


Our custom skylights, glass roofs, and enclosures like this conservatory are available in virtually any style and configuration. We design for you, and that means that your needs and goals are addressed in the planning stage. If you’ve ever had a vision of how the perfect glass space or roof element could transform your home, we’re here to make that vision a reality. Reach out to a Sunspace representative by calling us at 1-800-530-2505. We’ll get back to you shortly in order to determine how we can best help you begin your home renovation journey. We can also be reached by info@sunspacedesign.com or via our specialized contact form. Thank you for your interest.

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