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greenhouse/solarium combo

14 years ago

My wife wants a solarium or "four-season" room on the back of the house. I wanted a small greenhouse mainly to grow a few citrus and start some seeds - so we thought - what if we made a lean-to greenhouse that's "stylish" enough to double as a solarium? I'm not looking for heavy amounts of plants, probably just a few citrus and bananas, a small area for seed starting, and then some decorative plants, chairs, table, etc. Probably about 20' deep X 25' Long, south-facing. Obviously, I'll keep the plants in decorative pots to make it more "livable" than I would in a straight greenhouse.

I was thinking using polycarb for the roof to provide a little attenuation of summer sun, but glass walls to allow a view and more direct winter sun. It'll be heated regardless, probably just enough to stay above 40 at night and maybe low 60s during the day so it's useable as a solarium but not so expensive to heat.

Would such a structure be feasible and has anyone here done this? What kind of heating would I need, and, in my area where summer temps frequently break 90, is there any feasible way to keep it cool enough to not bake ourselves or our plants?

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