NanaWalls and Home Design in The Northeast

When our experts at Fluent Design Group design additions, remodels, and even entire homes from the ground up, they sometimes receive requests from homeowners that are inspired by designs seen in magazines or remodeling shows.

If a client is inspired by a home in California, but they live in Pennsylvania, it’s likely that the product’s durability and aesthetics will differ because of the differing temperatures and humidity in each region. Though a particular style or material may look great in one region, it may not be compatible in another area due to the weather.

Despite the challenges of finding materials that are compatible across the U.S., NanaWalls have become extremely popular for people that want to enjoy both the comfort of the indoors and the natural beauty of the outdoors, all at the same time.

We’ve all inevitably seen a show, commercial or magazine with an amazing home where the living room opens to a grand view of rolling hills or the sea. Those homes likely have NanaWalls, or something similar that allows the homeowner to view the outdoors from the comfort of their home.

In suburban Pennsylvania, where Fluent is based, there are a few additional factors that homeowners must consider before installing NanaWalls.

NanaWalls give homeowners the option to open an entire wall to the outside without any obstructions. In theory, this sounds great but when it comes to northeast winters, it can be a challenge.

For one thing, NanaWalls offer little to no insulation as compared to a regularly insulated wall, so heating and cooling the rest of the home can be difficult.

Secondly, in the event of a snow storm, snow can pile up against the bottom of the NanaWall and cause ice damming. The way NanaWalls need to be installed in Pennsylvania is different from the way they are installed in California. In California, the floor can be flush with the outside, since there’s no worry of snow building up. Here in Pennsylvania, we have to build a small step to account for ice buildup and possible damming.

Our Draftsman, Jeff Stocklos, has worked on a few local homes where the homeowners asked for NanaWall technology to be added to the design. He said “I love the product but I wouldn’t use it in every design.”

While it’s not impossible to design a home in the northeast with NanaWalls, you must fully weigh the pros and cons. If you are considering adding NanaWalls, we can work with you to determine how to successfully install them in a way that’s compatible with the weather here.

See NanaWalls in action.