Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Four Seasons Sunroom of our Dreams

Back in the Olden Days, before such incredibly helpful things as Pinterest had been invented, the insomniac  had a scrapbook of pictures she'd clipped from magazines and scotch taped into The Book of Inspiring Decorating Ideas she hoped to incorporate into her dream home one day. And in that book were more than just a few photos of conservatories, the following being the greatest of them all, and therefore having bestowed upon it the grandiose title of The Conservatory of One's Dreams.

If you look closely, you can still see the remnants of tape in the corners ...

So when we chose our house plans, much of that decision was based on the fact it had a conservatory. “Finally!”, we shouted gleefully. “A conservatory of our very own!”

The insomniac  excitedly emailed a company for a quote on an exact duplicate of that conservatory. And being quite out of touch with how much construction prices have skyrocketed over the last quarter century and upon discovering it would cost roughly one-third of our entire budget, we forlornly concluded a conservatory was not going to happen in this lifetime.

Cherlyn and Tristram took one look at our mopey little faces when we told them our intentions of having a conservatory would have to be scrapped, and started looking around for other options. They set up a meeting with Jeff at Four Seasons Sun Rooms, thinking he might have something more suited to our budget. How one is growing to loathe that six-letter word Budget ...

Seated around the table with Jeff in one of their sample sunrooms, the first question the insomniac  had as we were discussing the various styles was, “Do any of them come in black?” Jeff replied that black was not an option, but they did have a lovely bronze colour.

He then went on to tell us important details about the UV glass they use which reduces sun damage to carpets and upholstery, but the insomniac  missed that part because she found it necessary to interrupt Jeff to ask, “Isn't there any way we can get one in black?” Jeff then went on to mention the energy efficiency of the windows which allow one to sit in the sunroom even when the outside temperature dips to well below freezing blah blah blah, but the insomniac  sort of missed that information too, because she was still trying to wrap her head around the fact it wasn't available in black. He then told us about the maintenance-free exterior ... the phrase “maintenance-free” did actually manage to catch her attention.

And while the spouse was sitting at the table during our meeting also ignoring all the important details Jeff was imparting unto us, but was instead visualizing himself in the sunroom gazing up at the stars in the night sky, the insomniac  was also visualizing herself in that same sunroom nervously staring out into the Spooky Forest at the glowing red eyes of the carnivorous beasts staring back at us. And so we decided on the Hybrid Victorian Conservatory, which is built on a half wall and elevated off the ground, which seems slightly safer but is also not available in black.

During a brief respite in the weather, the guys came out to install our Hybrid Victorian Conservatory and worked diligently through -20C weather until it was completed. Except for that one day it was in the -30's, and really, who can blame them.

Mindaugas hails from Lithuania ... where it's also cold.

Nazar is from the Ukraine ... cold there, too.

It looks right out into the Spooky Forest ...

Quite excited about that little piece of Victorian roof cresting ...

Mindaugas and Nazar did an awesome job, keeping the worksite extremely clean. Rather than tossing the scraps of wood to the ground, they would hand-deliver them to the spouse at his burning barrel, thereby helping us save money on bin fees. And one day, in a sudden fit of divine inspiration, it occurred to the insomniac  that maybe she didn't want to stain the fir trim in the conservatory in Minwax Jacobean to match the rest of the house and would instead like to stain it a weathered grey, so she texted the spouse and asked him to save a few pieces of that trim to use for test samples.

And wouldn't you know, he'd already squirreled away a goodly portion of those scrap pieces into the back of his truck under the pretense of saving it to make more birdhouses. We haven't even moved in yet and already the hoarding has begun. Uh oh.

Look at how neat they kept the work area ...

View from the rear ...

Mindaugas adding a few finishing touches,
not even pausing work long enough to take a decent smoke break ...

Packing up ...

Finished conservatory ... except for the stucco and stuff.

You can hardly tell it's bronze ...

Probably didn't need to make such a big stink about it needing to be black.

All that lovely fir trim that will require getting up on a scaffold to stain ... sigh.

This is how we're visualizing the floor will look after we install some Victorian geometric tiles, but suspect we will be living with an equally delightful plywood floor for quite some time. 

Photo via Original Style ...

If you want a beautiful conservatory suitable for use during all four seasons (or two seasons, if you happen to live in Alberta and can pretty much lump spring, summer and fall into an all-too-brief four month period), get in touch with Jeff at Four Seasons Sun Rooms and tell him the insomniac  sent you. You may want to avoid asking him whether whatever style you happen to choose is available in black though.


He was going to the Trade Show afterwards.
That's why he didn't have sensible winter boots on.
Or a balaclava. Or mittens.

Although building a four seasons sunroom guarantees one a “beautiful space in which to host parties”, ours isn't nearly big enough to hold everyone we plan on inviting to our End of Build Party to celebrate all the wonderful people who are helping make our dream come true. See you guys in the summer ... be sure to bring lots of beer and a Designated Driver! Or at the very least a tent, so you can spend the night.  

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.


Apologies to Mindaugas and Nazar for the length of time it took to write this post, since you finished our sunroom well over a week ago ... it seemed prudent to pay for it first before writing about it. Now you can contact the family overseas and let them know you're semi-famous! :)