Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to Kill a Saturday in One Huge Project

Or, The Subterranean Greenhouse Redo in pictures.

First, I had to pull a layer of ceiling panels off, then a layer of plastic that went across the top and to the floor on each side, then another layer of ceiling panels and two more layers of plastic that were wrapped around the frame and taped together for dear life. That took over an hour and I had no help with it.

Now, what you see here is the bare bones of the pvc frame. It is a rectangle that is 7' across and 9' long. the wrought iron railing is at ground level and you can see the top of the basement door on the lower left in this picture. The slanty hunk of pvc is a brace that holds that corner of the frame up when the whole thing is together.

Another view of the frame, this time the house wall side. The tall pole holds (or held, it's not as necessary anymore) the center of the pvc rectangle up. In this shot you can see the door and window more clearly. The door stays shut and the electicity for the heater comes out the window.

Another angle of the frame. On the far side, you can see the chimney sticking out from the house wall - it gave me a natural barrier to help keep the cold out and help keep the roofing on as well as the perfect door opening. I no longer allow the door to be useable in the winter - have another pvc rectangle that just fits in that spot that holds the plastic in place so the wind can't blow it - and I insulate that with bubble wrap.

This lovely spider decided she was going to help me. I decided that she wasn't.

There were dozens of these moths, dead but perfectly preserved, in the layers of plastic. I call this the attack of the polyvinal moths.
After ripping off the plastic and cleaning out the mess, I decided that I needed to add the middle brace to the rectangle. Went to home depot and grabbed another hunk of pvc and two t joints, got my saw and a little later this is what I had. I am hoping it will help hold the plastic up better since I did not wrap it all the way around the pvc frame this time - just draped it over. You can really see the door and window in this shot.

First layer of poly on the frame - the frame is slanting toward the end with the railing because the brace is not in place. It's much easier to put the poly on with the frame loose so I leave the brace out till later.

After the first layer of poly, I put a row of ceiling panels - corrugated, clear plastic - across the top of the frame. Unfortunately they had all sagged and are now curved. I turned them over so the curve goes up, but the curve made them shorter and it made things difficult. After that layer of ceiling panels, another layer of poly - this one drapes down to the floor on the 'door' end (by the chimney) and down past the bricks on the other end.

After the second poly layer, I put another layer of the clear, corrugated ceiling panels - this holds the entire roof on the subT and, hopefully, adds yet another layer of air and insulation. You can really see the curving on this layer of ceiling panels - sure hope they lay down quickly cuz otherwise the first windy day they'll all fly away.

This is the inside from the 'door' by the chimney wall after I moved the plants in. I must have less plants this year cuz I have more room - tho I still have the 4 biggest plants to move in there. It's a lot brighter than it was yesterday so I'm glad I went to the trouble. Plus, I discovered that even the most protected and clean of the original poly was brittle and cracked and tore easily. Next year I think I'll get new ceiling panels (even tho they were the most expensive part of this whole installation).

This is looking down into the SubT from the top of the stairs that go down to the basement door. You can see ground level and the brick wall and the wrought iron railing.

And then, after I ripped out the old and rebuilt it, then moved all the tropical plants down into it, we all played basketball using the backboard that the neighbors left in our yard when they moved. It was fun.

1 comment:

Eve said...

Eek! I wouldn't have wanted that spider to help either!

I just love your little greenhouse.