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It has been said that all knowledge is found in SF fandom if you look far enough; well I don't know who's reading this but maybe the same goes for LJ. Anyway, I've got a problem in carpentry, sorta, that I apparently lack the proper keywords to dig anything out of the Internet in the way of getting it solved. Advice would be welcome.

When we bought the house, along with the regular house stuff was one back room that was actually some sort of prefab enclosure with three exterior walls (the fourth being the side of the house), windows and roof, resting directly on a concrete slab covered with carpet, and reached down what were presumably once the back yard steps (also carpeted) from a french door. This thing is constructed from an aluminum frame (still in good condition), and panels held in place by the frame such that near as I can tell it becomes necessary to disassemble the frame to change them. Therein lies the problem; on the two most exposed sides, some panels have been severely warped by sun and rain and need desperately to be replaced. But unless there's something immensely flexible in both directions available, I can't find a way to replace them myself. And when I go checking Google, none of the key words I can think of are finding me whoever it is builds and repairs this sort of thing. Not really carpentry, I don't WANT to replace the whole thing since most of it is still fine, not "internal modular walls" not... well, anyway see here for pictures of the room itself. I've had zero luck with handymen, and I don't need a home construction contractor. So what in the heck am I looking for? Anybody?



(Deleted comment)
Mar. 24th, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)
That's what I was thinking it sounded like, between your description and the photos. Another current term is "sun room". In olden days, it might have been "screened porch".

It definitely looks like the original back steps and patio got enclosed using this process.

Are the panels possibly Masonite siding?
Mar. 24th, 2007 05:01 am (UTC)
Thank you! Just searched on "enclosed patio" and found a site with several things that look a lot like what I've got.
Mar. 24th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
It looks like the panels fit into channels in the framework.

It *might* be possible to replace each panel section in thirds, if the plywood or paneling material will curve enough to snap into place at top and bottom, then slide sideways into the two sides. The central piece would have to be cut to *just* fit between the two side pieces, then caulked and battened (on both sides)to secure them. How accessible is the inside of the wall?
Mar. 24th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
The inside of the wall is on the other side of a lot of cardboard-like insulation. It's somewhat accessible on the side with panels I've temporarily shored up with plywood, but I'd have to pull out all the insulation to reach through enough to pull a panel through, at which point it would be necessary to either lose the insulation for good, or have no way of putting the interior panels back into place.
Mar. 24th, 2007 10:50 am (UTC)
Okay; so much for that idea.

Sounds like a structure that wasn't really intended to be *repaired*.

I recall, when we had our then-house re-sided with aluminum siding, that the installers stapled styrofoam insulation board over the existing siding, before installing the new siding.

How possible is it to use sheet-metal screws to attach anything to the aluminum framing?

I'm thinking toward this:
A] scrub existing deteriorated surfaces with bleach and a wire brush
B] Apply a sealer-coat of acrylic paint
C] Cut styrofoam insulation board to fit snugly into the shapes formed by the channel framing
D] Apply a new panel of siding material over the top of everything, and paint to match the visible old siding.
Mar. 25th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
Alas, it'll take more than A to fix the surfaces which are strongly warped outward where they're not broken entirely (see the photos in the article) - they have to be replaced and there's no way of getting the replacements IN because the channel is already there. That's what I tried to do and got nowhere with. Anyway, worst case I'll just have it taken down and a new one installed. Might do that anyway - I want to see if I can add a raised floor so water won't leak in under the doorway.
Mar. 25th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
Ah, well; at least it looks like, from your post above, that you've found some online leads to replacement structures.
Mar. 27th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Yeppers - and since it'll probably be at least a few months before I can afford it anyway, I've got plenty of time to check the lot first. Long as I beat the next major rainy season.. which to be sure is probably several years away. :/

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