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Orchid Bay Window > French Doors


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Howdy everyone,

I'm currently working--slowly but surely--on my first house (surprise!) The Orchid. I was wondering, has anyone tried to modify the side sheet containing the bay window to suit French doors? I've swapped the side sheets, in favor of more wall space in the "parlor" (the larger room to the left), so now the bay window would look in on the small kitchen under the stairs. I'd prefer to "open up" the space by allowing more light in; also, I must admit I don't love the idea of working hard to build that bay window if it isn't going to be a focal feature.

Relatively long story somewhat shorter, have any of your found that it was possible to convert the bay window into a space fit for French doors? If so, how?

Any and all guidance is deeply appreciated! Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday!

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Yep, I did it. Just cut a bigger hole around the bay window hole, that's the size of the Houseworks french door.

dollhouse5.jpg.83f245966e05a5a82d45aca93

free-orchid8.jpg.918586d0c5a8c2729705049

I did it so I could use the Houseworks conservatory as an addition, that's what that other piece is in the first photo. Sorry I don't have a better picture, I gave this house away a while ago.

But if you're switching the walls, does that mean your stairs will run up the wall where you want to put the french door? In that case it seems like you won't have room for the double door. You might be able to fit a single french door underneath the tallest part of the staircase. In that case don't punch out the bay window pieces -- use wood filler to fill in the grooves where they would have been punched out -- and then you can cut a new door hole. The plywood is fairly easy to cut by hand with a utility knife - if you're using a Houseworks door you can do a rough job cutting the hole, because the trim will cover up the edges.

Hope that helps!

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On 11/23/2017, 9:52:54, fov said:

Yep, I did it. Just cut a bigger hole around the bay window hole, that's the size of the Houseworks french door.

I did it so I could use the Houseworks conservatory as an addition, that's what that other piece is in the first photo. Sorry I don't have a better picture, I gave this house away a while ago.

But if you're switching the walls, does that mean your stairs will run up the wall where you want to put the french door? In that case it seems like you won't have room for the double door. You might be able to fit a single french door underneath the tallest part of the staircase. In that case don't punch out the bay window pieces -- use wood filler to fill in the grooves where they would have been punched out -- and then you can cut a new door hole. The plywood is fairly easy to cut by hand with a utility knife - if you're using a Houseworks door you can do a rough job cutting the hole, because the trim will cover up the edges.

Hope that helps!

WOW I love this idea and will probably steal it since I have an Orchard waiting in the wings to make . My only issue is i'll probably want to keep it and where will I have the room?  Miniatures my love / hate obsession .

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Hi Emily,

Thanks for this! I'm glad that you were able to achieve this; my idea was, coincidentally enough, also to leave room for a future conservatory. You made a very good point, that stairs may very well interfere with the double doors. I may try the single french door instead. This is a wonderful suggestion! Unfortunately, I've already punched out the bay window pieces (I'd planned to paint them before assembly, until I discovered this might not be the route I wanted to take). So, it seems I'll have to find another way to make this work! Perhaps I'll even return that panel to its original side and have French doors in the parlor; it may be worth sacrificing the wall space.

In any case, I'm very grateful for your help! 

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Do you still have the pieces you punched out? You can glue them back in.

Here's how it looks with the conservatory. The upstairs window pieces also need to be left in or else the top of the conservatory would bump into the window.

wholehouse_front3.jpg

(This was the first house I built and I cringe when I see it now! Those colors! I bought quarts of paint at Lowe's because I didn't know any better, and then I felt like I had to use them even though the colors weren't what I'd envisioned. I learned a lot from this build...)

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On 11/23/2017, 10:13:27, fov said:

Do you still have the pieces you punched out? You can glue them back in.

I do! Perhaps I can glue them back in. Also, the house looks great with the conservatory! I'll admit, the color scheme could be a bit overwhelming; but nonetheless I very much like the house. Do I see that you have a dining area set up in the conservatory? Or, do my eyes deceive? 

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Hi Eli and welcome.  In my Orchid I just put a new houseworks window in instead of the bay window.  I had to buy a bigger window and make it smaller to fit the hole, it was my first house also.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/23/2017, 2:32:54, Beulah said:

Hi Eli and welcome.  In my Orchid I just put a new houseworks window in instead of the bay window.  I had to buy a bigger window and make it smaller to fit the hole, it was my first house also.

This is also a good idea. Thank you!

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