If you want to bring more of the outdoors to a city dwelling, you might take a lead from home expert Ben Lloyd, who added a glass and aluminum greenhouse to the back of his 1860s Brooklyn townhouse. Mr. Lloyd, interior design and architecture editor of Metropolitan Home magazine, uses the addition as an old-fashioned solarium in which to house and grow many plants. It also serves as another light-filled living area. The glass structure replaces the dark, rotting, and sagging enclosed wooden porch that was an original part of the house.
The space stays comfortably warm from normal house heat and sunlight, but because the solarium faces east and not south, it is not the ideal solar collector, Mr. Lloyd explains. The tight fit of the unit, however, helps it retain heat, as does the fact that all the glass areas are double glazed.
Components of this particular greenhouse, which is marketed all over the United States, come in a kit made by English Greenhouses Products Corporation, 11th and Linden Streets, Camden, N.J. 08102.The manufacturer estimates its assembly to be a five-day chore for two or three ``handy'' people working together at least six hours a day. If you have the greenhouse installed professionally, it could add from $1,000 to $1,800 to the cost.
The standard kit for the 8-by-16-foot greenhouse costs about $5,000. The one chosen by Mr. Lloyd, which included custom adjustments, retails for about $6,000.