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Old 01-27-18, 09:45 AM   #1
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Default Anyone ever build DIY window panels for a sunroom/porch?

Like the title says, I am looking into what it would take to build the window panels for a small sun porch.

Our home faces south and has a large overhung porch with 3 pillars and a cement floor. I'd like to have some large window panels that fold out for collecting solar heat on colder days and open up for the warm summer days. Because this is on the front of our home it must look nice and professionally done.

The idea is to take advantage of the solar gain in the winter with the possibility of adding a home brewed Air Source Heat Pump within this space in the future.

I've looked at a few options via search engines. Glass, polycarbonate sheets, etc. I've not really found any great sources of information on actual techniques that would take R-value, expansion and contraction, Uv protection, and other issues into account.

Has anyone here taken on a similar project or have any ideas/thoughts on making this a successful project?


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Old 11-09-18, 08:02 AM   #2
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I recommend checking out (For example this project: They do wonderful things there with solar heating, so worth a read.

For what you're trying to do I would think that twin wall polycarbonate would be sufficient and would more worry about the thermal mass of the concrete floor preventing the air from heating up.

Easiest thing to do is just to attach the polycarb panels (under an angle for efficiency) to the porch and have a fan with a temp sensor blow the warm air into the house.

Trying to make the doors slide would probably add a lot of complexity to the project. If you're worried about cooling in summer an easier way would be to make a roof window or a latch of some sorts that can open to dump heat.

You could also consider only glazing half the porch.
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Old 02-21-19, 03:19 PM   #3
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Inner space of window between the glasses must be hermetically sealed. If you can achieve this, then why not.
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Old 06-10-19, 05:26 PM   #4
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The most cost effective way to get big double pane windows is to buy sliding glass doors and build around them. I made the mistake of buying huge vertical slide windows because I thought they would look better. They were considerably more expensive than sliding doors and the counterweights don't have enough pull to hold the windows open. So they stay permanently closed. I hate these windows so much I considered replacing them with sliding doors.

If you are worried about appearance you can put screen frames in front of them and nobody will notice.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:09 PM   #5
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If you want to save money check Habitat for Humanity ReStores. People donate sliding doors all the time.
I took glass out of the frames for my greenhouse. I bought them pretty cheap.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:07 AM   #6
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Adding a sun room in the front view of the home is very helpful one to add the value and increase extra space at home. It's good to use thermal cladding system to your sun room.

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