Opinions on screen design

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Opinions on screen design

Postby classic form » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:03 am

I know, I know. Another screen/fence post. Here goes...I will be putting up a screen on the lot line of my house this spring/summer and am planning on a simple structure similar to the screening used by Joe and others that consists of 4X posts with mistlite or similar material between them. My question is...What do you feel would be the best looking distance between the 4 X 4's? In other words, should I repeat the dimension of the house module itself (2'8")? some multiple (5'4"...8')? Or, some other dimension all together. The screen/fence will be on the south side (picture below with all windows) but I am suggesting repeating the pattern seen on the north side (panels between windows). Also, what would you suggest for height to width ratio? I would think that unlike a low ground hugger this house would look OK or better with a taller rather than wider panel? I want as many opinions on this as there are members here!! Thanks all.

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Postby Joe » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:41 am


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Postby SDR » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:45 pm

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby Jamal » Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:12 am

ditto to the responses above. ideally i would want the fence to look like it was designed by the original architect and installed when the house was built.

we have a somewhat related issue because we have to rebuild an orginal brick retaining wall that is falling apart. it uses the same brick as the house - which was a coal fired brick - so we will never be able to match it...

btw - the pics above of your house are awesome. where in michigan are you? any more posted online or here?

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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:30 am

Schematic drawing of ideal screen:
. . ._________________________________________________. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . . .l. . .
. . .l____l____l____l____l____l____l____l____l____l____l____l. . .
.....l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l.......l..... ground line

If you can ignore all the spaced dots, and connect the verticals into continuous lines (dratted "keyboard drafting !). . .

If this is for an aluminum storefront glazing system, the verticals should be continuous and go into the ground to below the frost line, where they sit on a continuous reinforced poured footing, well drained with crushed rock. (You would need confirmation that this is an appropriate use of the material; I don't know of any reason why the aluminum, and any finish on it, would not last under these conditions.) The posts are back-filled (with crushed rock ? compacted soil ?) while the posts are supported in a vertical (plumbed) position. The top rail is as continuous as available material will allow; a concealed rigid bar connecting any break in the material, or a flat piece of matching material added to the top, bridging such breaks and continuing end-to-end, would suffice, I think.

The ends of the top frame rail will have to be closed with a matching cap piece; this is the only place where the rectangular-section hollow extrusion is exposed.

The glass is installed (after the frame is complete) with press-in neoprene extrusions, leaving a neat black line where the glass meets the alloy. Depending on quotes, it should be possible to have the system delivered after the groundwork has been prepared, and could be erected by laymen; then the glazing company could be hired to install the glass -- or even the first panel, to be copied by the laymen (you and a friend). You'd need to rent a couple of vacuum glass-handling clamps (do they stick to the smooth side of Mistlite ?).

Architects ? Any advice ?

SDR
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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:06 am

Jamal -- MoneyPitModern (he's in the Chicago area) has used a company that can successfully re-color brick; perhaps he'll come to the rescue and give us the name again. . .if that would allow you to use a brick of the correct size and texture ?

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Postby classic form » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:00 pm

Thanks for the advice all, I was really concerned that using the same width wouldn't look "quite right" but, alright then, repeatrepeatrepeat it is.
Joe, it didn't take you long to respond to this so I am assuming that there was absolutly no question in your mind. Thanks for the opinion.
SDR, your attention to detail and willingness to help never ceases to amaze. I'll probably use stick built as opposed to the aluminum. I tend to agree that it should look like it was built at the same time as the house and would be worried that using aluminum would look too contemporary. I like the idea of using the same dimensional lumber for the verticals, do you think 2X will support well enough if used every 32" like you suggest?
Jamal, Wife and I are in Kalamazoo. We've been in the house a little over a year. I removed the majority of pics in the gallery but there are still a couple exterior in the residential/single family/midwest/kirkpatrick house. I got a little paranoid about having all the interior pics for all the world to see but I'd be happy to email you some if you'd like.
We have seen your house haven't we? Walkout with the downspout issue? Or am I mixing things up...?
I think Nelson liked his 32 inch module, used in the CSS line for Herman Miller and here in our living room shelving.
Image

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Postby moderns-r-us » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:31 pm


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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:55 pm

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby classic form » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:01 pm

Image

Upper right hand corner shows detail of vertical mullion. Doesn't look like it showed up too well here but I tried. Looks like two pieces of 5/4 X 8 1/8 sandwiched together with 1/2 X 2 inch end caps. I have always been under the impression that the species is redwood as the interior half of the mullion looks like the redwood trim and paneling of the rest of the house. The portion that is outside has weathered gray and at one time had a varnish? on it. Polycarbonate sounds right. The height will be maximum allowed but I haven't checked code yet.

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Postby PacificaModern » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:24 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time I checked, Mistlite isn't available as tempered sheets, further the only examples of it I've seen are quite thin, making it (to my mind) inappropriate as a material for a fence along a property line (this IS the intent isn't it?)...The good news is that there are several products available which give generally the same effect and are much more resilient!

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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:21 pm

Interesting detail to the house mullions. One advantage to the sandwiched boards, is that warped or curved boards can be paired in such a way that the final piece is straighter that either one of the separate pieces -- it they are assembled with their curves opposing each other. Truly straight boards, which always exist in the imagination and are taken for granted by many, are actually somewhat rare -- if the wood wasn't carefully dried and/or re-cut from wider stock. etc etc.

Are any surface fasteners, keeping the two boards together -- nails or screws -- visible ?

You're another lucky owner of original drawings -- very useful in understanding how your house was designed and constructed (barring the odd change of plan. . .).

I imagine you could dispense with double boards -- though the trim cap, if it is visible via a small reveal on each side, would be a nice detail to replicate. (This rabbet could be routed into the edges of a 2x10, eliminating a separate piece and its fasteners.) Does this also occur on the horizontals -- or are they recessed and/or different in thickness ? Whatever, you have your "model." Raw clear heart redwood -- the best you can find, as today's material is far coarser and "fluffier" than was redwood of yore -- will turn brown/gray in time, while appearing pink-red at first -- so you can wait for the proper effct -- or speed up the process with nitrate treatment (I have heard that certain liquid fertilizers will instantly age some woods -- teak was the example) to a weathered appearance.

Get the best material you can -- the same amount of labor will be expended on it, but the long-term result will be much more rewarding.

SDR
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Postby classic form » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:47 pm

Here's a pretty good shot of the detail. I hadn't noticed it before but, yes, you can see where the fill that covered the nails (for connecting the two 5/4 boards together) hasn't darkened at the same rate as the redwood. Nailed and glued I'll assume.

Image

I'll take the advice here and have this duplicated for the fence posts. I think it should be plenty sturdy enough don't ya think?

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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:22 pm

Two pieces of 5/4 would make the pier 2 1/2" more or less (5/4 being nominally 1 1/4" before or after planing, depending on where and when. . .) That should be more than enough for a 10' high screen if that is what you desire. Personally, I see no need to break up the panels vertically -- if the rationale of the breaks in the house walls, is not present in the case of the screen. Less is more, in this house ? Perhaps I'm wrong. . . I certainly wouldn't break the panels in the middle, but somwhere that would echo the proportion of one or another of the existing spacings --which may or may not conform to a rational proportion (2:1, 3:2 etc).

Does the screen go at the lot line, or somewere nearer the house ? Are there trees nearby, or is the area open ? Would it rise from a bed of pebbles, perhaps ?

SDR
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Postby dentedvw » Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:53 am

Pebbles in michigan? Only if you want them mixed heavily with leaves. :) See the ground outside the windows?

Gorgeous house, btw. Hard to believe it is here in michigan. :)
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Postby classic form » Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:37 am

Here is a pic from the upstairs...We will probably run it from the back corner of their house to slightly beyond the back corner of their garage. We knocked around the idea of placing segments in our yard to be used as a literal screen from certain angles but I don't really want to loose any of this portion of the yard visually. Kind of a bummer for the neighbors because they will loose the view out to our portion of the "back woods" but at least I'm not running the fence up along side of their house which would have cut off their view of the college. This is the only side of our house that is not surrounded by woods.

Image

You can see a low stone wall at the top of the stairs near the end of the brick retaining wall that shows the property line, the small lattice fence section you see is approx. 2 feet on their side of the line. The mulch they just put down in the back runs right up to our ground cover that defines the lot line.

Image

In this view from the front you can pretty much eyeball down the line (slightly off to the left). Our house sits across from their garage, their house is nearer the road.

Thanks Dented and you're right about the pebbles, major pita.

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Postby SDR » Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:41 am

Isn't that what leaf blowers are for ? [Are electric ones quieter ?] :wink:

But it looks like a more rustic placement, that mightn't justify the effort of a refined landscape/hardscape treatment.

How about adding to the existing "softscape" with denser (evergreen) plantings, which wouldn't require the expense and trouble of a glass screen ? Rhododendron in front of a "natural" (ie, irregular) row of spruce ?

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Postby classic form » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:24 pm

I've considered the plant screen and still haven't ruled it out.
I like your idea of a mix of the two instead of a long continuous screen. A "refined landscape/hardscape treatment."

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Postby Joe » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:54 pm

consider sheets of fluted exan instead of mistlite.

If land screen is desired, you could build a frame for the plants to climb on, the frame could mirror the window frames.


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