A Country-Style Sunroom in Gloucester, MA

by | Nov 7, 2018 | Construction

Homeowners considering glass additions may find themselves hesitant to add a sunroom if they base their decision on the performance of the cheaply made, prefabricated vinyl and aluminum units that characterized the industry in the 60s and 70s. These units developed a well-deserved reputation for leaks, poor thermal performance, and unanticipated post-installation expenses. While these units still exist on the market (and often run into the same problems), modern homeowners have more options and don’t have to settle for subpar quality. Sunspace Design’s sunrooms are crafted using the finest construction materials, introduce tremendous levels of natural sunlight into interior spaces, and achieve levels of thermal performance which won’t significantly increase your heating or electrical bills.

Today we’re exploring the design and construction of a high quality residential sunroom built in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The client came to us with the goal of expanding their existing kitchen so that the enlarged space could be used for both entertainment and dining. After exploring options with the client, we settled on a glass roof and triangular windows to provide the expansion with adequate light. Our approach lets sunlight flood the new space below while also brightening adjacent areas like the kitchen and living room.

The client’s home had a cabin-like aesthetic and we used a natural wood system to carry that look and feel into the newly expanded interior. Solid Douglas fir framing was the right fit, and the glass roof frame was stained to complete the look. The high-performance glass utilized in the construction provides the sunroom kitchen expansion with a comfortable environment throughout the year. Let’s take a better look at how this Massachusetts sunroom project came together:

A photo of an aging backyard deck with peeling paint and broken stairs taken prior to the start of construction

Foundation for the expansion has been prepared to the rear of the client’s home.

A hand-drawn sketch of the rear elevation of a new glass conservatory being designed and planned by Sunspace Design for installation in Hamilton, Massachusetts

Another look at the position of the expansion on the client’s property.
Walls are about to go up.

A hand-drawn sketch of the side elevation of and entry stairway for a new custom glass conservatory

The walls are up!
Weathermate housewrap has been applied to protect the site during construction.

An architectural CAD drawing showing the precisely engineered specifications for the rear elevation of a Sunspace Design custom glass enclosure

A view depicting the sunroom’s connection to the exterior deck.

A fully engineered CAD drawing depicting the side elevations of a custom glass conservatory that is part of a larger set of engineered drawings for building permit submission

This is going to be a quite the expansion!
The additional room will really open up the interior kitchen area.

Ladders and tools are positioned on an aging deck that is having its railings removed in order to create room for brand new construction

The ridge beam is going up.

In a fresh clearing created by the removal of an existing deck, conventionally framed walls visibly establish the footprint for a conservatory being constructed

All measurements are double and triple-checked.

A red brick corner fireplace with an intricate design is under construction in this photograph

With the ridge beam in place, the Sunspace crew begins preparing the site for the roof frame.

Slats of freshly milled mahogany boards are carefully assembled and prepared for transport to the job site in this photo taken inside the Sunspace Design workshop

The sunroom’s glass roof frame components have arrived from the Sunspace workshop.

Copper caps and flashing are stacked lengthwise inside the Sunspace Design workshop

The Douglas fir framing elements, still without glass, are being fixed to the ridge beam.

A view of the custom glass conservatory's recently positioned ridge and kingpost

A look at the ridge beam connection.

A look at the corner of a solid mahogany hip rafter that will comprise part of a Hamilton, Massachusetts glass conservatory's intricate roof system frame

A view from the interior as the crew continues frame assembly.

The mahogany glass roof frame for this custom project is starting to take shape, with framing elements visible before the start of glass installation

After the glass roof’s wood frame is complete, glass is installed.

A Sunspace Design crewman stands atop construction scaffolding as he begins work installing a conservatory's roof system glass

A look at the sunroom’s glass roof.
Our methods achieve a large glass surface area for maximum sunlight.

As the sun goes down, work on glass installation for this roof system winds to a close

With brand new siding, the home’s gable and glass roof junction looks terrific.

A look toward the sky through the newly installed high-performance insulated glass units in a custom glass roof system

Light levels are achieved via new windows, huge glass spans in the roof, and sliding doors connecting to the exterior deck.

An assortment of construction ladders are positioned near a conservatory that's under construction; Andersen 400 series windows are being installed

The brand new space opens directly to the kitchen.
Thanks to the new floor plan, the kitchen feels bright and airy.

Ladders and scaffolding are positioned beside a brand new glass conservatory as Sunspace Design workers begin work on the exterior trim

The new space allows for additional dining and relaxation options.
Check out the new bar-style seating!

A Sunspace Design construction crewman finishes work on the custom mahogany glass roof of this Hamilton, Massachusetts residential construction project

Another view of the sunroom’s interior…

A photograph taken from the interior of a glass conservatory that's still under construction depicting conventionally built wall framing and LVL headers

…and a look at the gorgeous, rustic sunroom’s exterior.
The new siding, finished details, and surrounding greenery create a lovely appearance.

We hope this construction journey leaves you with an appreciation for the multitude of ways that our modern sunrooms offer far more than their outdated predecessors did. Every project we design and build is fully customizable and can include features more common to our other product lines like conservatories, orangeries, or greenhouses if you so desire. And because we have a background in conventional construction, our team is more than comfortable working with virtually any existing structure so that your new space pairs perfectly with the architecture. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you achieve your home renovation goals.

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