Sunday, 20 June 2010

Conservatory almost done

This week I've continued to work sporadically on the conservatory and it's looking pretty good.  My friend Swooze says this might be called an 'all season room' in some parts of America.  Blog reader Denise says  that 'conservatory' is also used.  DH says that he wants to move into this house and sit in the conservatory and read a book.

First of all, thank you to Denise for all her comments and encouragement.  Denise, your Blogger profile is set to 'no reply' so I haven't been able to reply back to you, but I love the close-up pics of your Pickett Hill (PH) here.  These are the clearest close-ups I've seen, and I will definitely be referring to these.  Wish I had had these from the beginning, as I have been working from low-res PH pics.

Denise had a great suggestion for interior window frames, which unfortunately would be prohibitively expensive here in the UK as the windows are all imported from the States, so I think I will have to do it the hard way.  Denise said:
"For the interior window trim, using Grandt Line windows, I usually glue another window from the inside! For the inside window, you use the exact same window which you used for the outside but you cut away all of the mullions and sand the inside frame smooth. Then, all you have left is the frame and it fits perfectly on the inside of the window! "

Remember that railway track I bought at the hobby store, before Keli sent me her porch pieces?  I used it to make a bench for the inside of the conservatory.  The front piece is how it comes from the store.  I popped off the metal braces and cut the plastic down to bench width (middle piece).  Then I glued on some simple U-shaped wooden leg pieces (back piece).  This stuff is the perfect scale for slatted wood, it is even printed with wood grain but I had to sand off the brand name printed on the plastic on one side.  There are a few small holes but they will be covered up with the cushions I will make one day.

I also cut up the plastic canvas door knob hanger to make slatted trellis to cover the base.  I hung everything on a coat hanger and gave it a few coats of white spray paint outside, then touched it up with the white emulsion.

And here is the finished bench glued into place.

Then I glued the conservatory onto the house base.  I glued on the trellis around the base but did not apply any finishing trim yet until I get the roof on.

The roof has been developed fairly unscientifically.  I am not good at math and mainly work by eye.  I drew the roof angle out on some paper and used that to judge where to cut the Houseworks trim for the best visual fit, aiming for an end result similar to the PH conservatory.  I taped the roof beam to a quilting square to keep it level, and first glued on the struts on one side, just using tacky glue (for gap filling).

Of course, when I went to glue on the opposite struts, they didn't all fit perfectly and I ended up taking each pair back off, fine tuning, then regluing.  I also glued on subtle bracing at the peaks, made from coffee stirrers.  At the moment, the bases are just glued onto the tops of the walls, but I am going to think about how I could also reinforce these so they don't break off when I inevitably drop some later construction piece from the main house onto the conservatory  :)  Once the glue dried, I started applying trim around the base of the walls, covering up the join with the house, covering up the join where the front wall joins the side walls etc.  In this pic, the trimming is ongoing.

I'm pretty pleased with how it is turning out, and a bit relieved as I've been winging it on this even more than on the main house.


  1. Great job you are doing. I'm learning a lot about improvising. Love the roof you are doing on the conservatory. Here in Newfoundland (Canada) we would call it a porch!! Thanks for sharing your work.

  2. How imaginative - I would never have thought to use one of my quilting squares to brace things with! You certainly think outside the square. The portico (conservatory) is fabulous.


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