Sunday, October 23, 2011

SubT: Ready for Occupancy

A couple hours this morning and the SubT (subterranean greenhouse) is ready for occupancy!

This is the finished roof.  You can see under the top layer of poly film the corrugated panels.  They aren't vinyl after all, they are PVC and they are getting brittle.  We had to toss most of the original ones that I bought 4 years ago because they were too bent and too brittle but we managed with the extras I bought two years ago.  We will have to have new ones the next time we replace the poly sheeting but hopefully that will be at least 2 years from now.

This is how it looks from where the neighbors can see it - not pretty but not too bad.   The neighbor on that side doesn't spend any time outdoors - I have seen her and spoken to her one time in the 16 years we've lived in this house and that was when she came over to yell at me.  She doesn't even answer the door for trick or treaters.  You can barely see it from the road because our house sits atop a hill so I doubt that it bothers anyone.

This is what it looks like from the top of the stairs that go down into the well where it lives.  (The long white pole is holding the poly that covers the opening up and out of the way - sort of).

This is the door frame that fits in the opening.  It fits tightly from the outer wall to the back of the chimney wall.  I can leave it so that it will open and you can go in and out, but I have blocked it off for several years.  When the plants get in there, there isn't a lot of room for coming and going so I just push the frame into place with the sheeting that hangs down from the roof around it and it effectively makes that a wall.  

This is the inside - cozy but bright.  It is 6' across from the doorway to the outer wall and 9' long from the opening where I'm standing to take the pic to the end where the white shelves are next to the door.  

And this is standing next to the door to the house looking out the opening that heads up the stairs.  You can see where the chimney wall comes out from the house (behind the wire table) and makes the doorway that I close up.  

Most of the shelving in the SubT is recycled.  The table was a clothing rack that had been donated to the costume shop at the school, but one piece of leg was missing so it was worthless.  The white bakers rack was missing one piece of iron and the glass for two shelves had been broken so the neighbors were throwing it away.  I just put wood where the glass was missing and it's great for my purposes.  The shelves along the long, outside wall are made from cinder blocks that were in Dad's basement when I cleaned out his house and recycled closet shelving (think elfa but cheaper).  The floor is slanted towards a drain that was built in, so I used shingles to level the various shelves.  I do have a small electric heater, but until it gets very cold and stays that way for a while, the light bulb in the outdoor light will keep it pretty warm.

The whole thing is pretty cheap, and pretty effective.


Gina said...

I'd like something like this but it probably woudn't work in zone 4 like it is here. Maybe it's even zone 3 - it gets COLD!

Michelle said...

What a wonderful idea- I wish I could do something similar. It looks like it could even be a nice spot on a warm winter day for a cup of tea and tatting. Here we just bring them inside, they'd never survive. tee hee.

Teresa said...

I do kind of doubt that this would work where you ladies live. I know they make better insulating material for greenhouses - including bubble wrap that provides great but still see through insulation. I think that even if you could insulate well enough, you'd have a bigger problem with something like mine colapsing under snow. I'm pretty happy that it only snows here about every three years.