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#270334 4-May-2020 19:39
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Bit of a strange question and one that maybe can't be answered without actually seeing it but I will ask anyway...

 

We are in the process of planning a small renovation to a spare bedroom/future childs room at our house. The bedroom is a bit odd in that it has a single window that opens into a conservatory area as opposed to directly outside. The conservatory has a solid thermapanel roof so the room doesn't get a huge amount of light or ventilation. We plan to install an electrically opening roof window as part of the renovation to help with this but are a little bit stuck on what to do with the existing window.

 

The two options that we like the sound of so far are:

 

  • Leaving the window opening the same size and installing a wooden double glazed two-pane bifold that opens towards the left as you stand on the inside of the room looking out
  • Converting the window into double glazed two-pane bifolding doors of the same width as the existing window opening (1550mm) but full door height that open in the same manner as the above option

A benefit of converting the window to doors is that we have access from the bedroom directly into the conservatory. This would be somewhat convenient but we already have good access through large internal bifolds in the office which is adjacent to the bedroom.

 

A benefit of leaving the window opening and installing bifolding windows is that we can put furniture under the window which may be helpful given the relatively small size of the room (3.7x2.6m). It would also be a bit cheaper than cutting in new doors. Would it also be a bit more interesting? I dunno...

 

In an ideal world, we would convert the conservatory into proper rooms but that would be a much larger project than we would like to take on for the time being.

 

Does anyone have any comments on the two above options? We are 50-50 at the moment but are also open to other suggestions. We ideally want to avoid doing something that would be considered strange or odd.

 


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  #2476615 4-May-2020 20:21
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Hard to tell what the floor height difference is, if at all. Have to be careful of knocking your head on any windows that open outwards. Have you considered sideways sliding windows (like a mini ranch slider)?


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  #2476619 4-May-2020 20:35
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I wouldn't give my toddler an easy way out of his room! If you do decide on doors make sure they need a key to exit - though of course in a fire that's not helpful.

 

A door also means less insulation, so could heat the room up. Does the room already get hot in summer? It's generally easy to heat a room with a small heater than to cool it, I've found.


 
 
 
 




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  #2476620 4-May-2020 20:36
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You are right it is hard to see the floor difference, but it is negligible. There will be a small step down into the conservatory but that's totally fine.

 

Yeah the outwards opening windows would be a pain which is one of the reasons we like bifolds that would open outwards and stack against the conservatory wall. They will be nicely out of the way.

 

The window you describe is something we looked at but really want to maximise window opening if possible.




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  #2476623 4-May-2020 20:43
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timmmay:

 

I wouldn't give my toddler an easy way out of his room! If you do decide on doors make sure they need a key to exit - though of course in a fire that's not helpful.

 

A door also means less insulation, so could heat the room up. Does the room already get hot in summer? It's generally easy to heat a room with a small heater than to cool it, I've found.

 

 

Good point about the toddler escaping! We have just put french doors in our 18-month olds bedroom. I don't think they need a key to exit...Fine while she is in her cot now but will be very interesting in a couple of years!

 

The room does get very hot in summer. That was part of the reason for installing the roof window. Hopefully being able to open it up will generate a bit of a draft in through the new window/door and the rising heat will escape out of the roof window. Well that's the plan anyway 😀


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  #2476626 4-May-2020 20:48
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How much does the roof window cost? I'd just put in air conditioning, ideally central air conditioning, around $12K I think. A window might help a bit if you had an easy source of cool air, but any air coming in the window is going to be warm from the conservatory.

 

You can easily change lock barrels from able to be opened from the inside to key both side. I just bought new barrels from ebay as the size I needed wasn't available in NZ, I fitted them myself. Easy.




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  #2476633 4-May-2020 21:00
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We are getting an installer in on Wed to quote for the largest we can install without council consent being required. It will be interesting to see what they say. I am imagining $3k for the motorised opening window including solar electric blinds. Installation will be extra - how much extra is anyones guess...

 

A benefit of the roof window is the extra light it would provide but in saying that you raise a valid point in that we could get a ducted heat pump installed even just in the 4 bedrooms and leave the existing high wall in the open plan lounge/dining/kitchen if we wanted. If light was an issue we could then put in a fixed skyight which is likely much cheaper than an opening one. Even just better (LED) lighting will likely make a difference to be honest too.


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  #2476656 4-May-2020 21:53
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I'd go with LED lights over a skylight. Much more control. A skylight would put me off buying a house, where ducted heat pump would be a great features, in case you want to sell later. Each to their own though.

 
 
 
 


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  #2476670 4-May-2020 23:21
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If it's mostly a light issue, can you replace the conservatory roofing with polycarbonate sheets?



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  #2477218 5-May-2020 18:58
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When we bought the place the conservatory had a polycarbonate roof. It was definitely good for letting light in but it basically made the area unusable for 10 months of the year. It was freezing cold in winter and very hot in summer. We replaced it with an insulated thermopanel roof and the dfference to the inside temperature was amazing. We can now go out there throughout most days except the middle of summer and winter.

 

But yeah, as you point out leaving it in would have helped the lightness in the bedroom.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on leaving the window vs putting in doors? I guess either would be fine and it is just something we are going to have to decide

 

 


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  #2477226 5-May-2020 19:22
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mrfee:

When we bought the place the conservatory had a polycarbonate roof. It was definitely good for letting light in but it basically made the area unusable for 10 months of the year. It was freezing cold in winter and very hot in summer.

 

 

Ah, thought that might have been the case. Conservatories are something that sounds great in theory until you realise they're uninhabitable nine months of the year.

 

 

Another alternative, what about a solar tube for the bedroom?



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  #2477234 5-May-2020 19:39
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A solar tube could be a good option and would definitely be more cost effective but I do think I would have to be very convinced we would love it to justify the roof penetration and associated leaking risk.

 

I am leaning towards trying to go for a ducted heat pump solution to control temperature and adding some nice LED lighting (cove lighting or strips or something to lighten the darker parts of the room) and then leaving the option of a adding in a non-opening skylight up our sleeve if we still aren't happy with the light.

 

Actually I am already running a bunch of home automation stuff using Home Assistant so could even do something like detecting someone entering the room and turning on some light strips hidden behind some sort of custom scotia. Could also have the colour temperature match the time of day or something a bit fancy like that.

 

 


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  #2477317 5-May-2020 20:58
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mrfee:

A solar tube could be a good option and would definitely be more cost effective but I do think I would have to be very convinced we would love it to justify the roof penetration and associated leaking risk.

 

 

There shouldn't be any leakage risk if it's done right, i.e. non-cowboy. Friend of mine has had solar tubes through both tiles and long-run steel and never had any problems. It's about the same as a 100W bulb in the room in terms of light.

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  #2477332 5-May-2020 21:31
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What other access do you have to the conservatory? Would having a door from your spare room (and possibly a child’s room) be something that would improve the flow of your house? Try to imagine how you might use it. At the same time picture how likely it is that you would actually use the space under a window for a piece of furniture. There doesn’t appear to be a huge space beside the bed in your photo, but obviously it’s dependant on what you envisage having in the room.

 

When we did renovations on our house a number of years ago we replaced the window in our dining room with french doors. It was a relatively simple process because the existing lintel was retained. The doors gave much better access to our deck, which previously was accessed by going through the laundry. The laundry door is now rarely used and probably hasn’t been unlocked in about 3 years. The downside is that we are limited in what can be put in the dining room because the path to outside has to be kept clear. But the process of deciding on the french doors had us determining how much we would use them vs a slightly less usable dining space.





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