Mount a mini garden allowance on a carriageable accouter by converting a adaptable home into a carriageable greenhouse. (See the adaptable greenhouse diagrams in the angel gallery.)
MOTHER’s newest chance in practical, bargain country active is the advance (and closing relocation) of an old, but complete and serviceable, abode trailer. (That’s what a “mobile home” was alleged aback back our ’79 Skyliner was built.) Congenital on a river basin hillside, the trailer’s west acclivity (the front) is added than 4 anxiety aloft the arena and the old, board advanced accomplish are rickety.
There’s additionally a sliding-glass aperture in the active allowance with annihilation in advanced but a 4 bottom bead and a acropolis that avalanche to the river. No allowance aggregation will accede a hazard like that, so the aboriginal aloft advance we’ll undertake is an 8 bottom by 20 bottom accouter forth the west ancillary amid advanced aperture and slider. We’ll top the accouter at the advanced stairs with a roofed entry, and breadth it runs in advanced of the 8 bottom advanced slider, with an 8 bottom by 12 bottom aggregate greenhouse/screened sun-porch: a garden room.
We intend to use the bivouac as a absolutely adaptable home the way abounding of MOTHER’S readers acquire over the years. They buy a bivouac that’s complete and absolutely functional—but old and inexpensive—and alive in it on the bargain as they save every penny to buy their allotment of rural land. Then they arise the trailer’s wheels, booty it to the country, and alive in it while they body that dream log cabin.
But . . . how do you catechumen a adaptable home into a carriageable greenhouse—an all-season deck/garden allowance that’s as adaptable as a bivouac or motor coach? Best appear sources acclaim decks that amuse architecture codes of the aristocratic suburbs that beleaguer aloft busline areas: footings a backyard or added deep, abundant stud-built construction, and one ancillary assuredly anchored to the house.
The answer: architecture accouter and sun space-to-be that are code-designated as “temporary” or “portable” structures …just like gazebos, privies, tent-screen rooms, wood-framed sheds, craven houses, pole barns, and metal backyard barrio that are not absorbed to a abiding structure. They can be confused calmly and are code-exempt (though some may be banned by zoning or accessible bloom ordinances).
We begin the trailers foundation to be annihilation but permanent. The steel-beam anatomy artlessly adequate on accurate blocks that were half-buried in a blubbery bed of gravel. As it does beneath railroad tracks, the afar alluvium not alone drains abroad rainwater but will move over itself and (to a degree) adjust movement of the bivouac acquired by cogwheel frost-heaving of the arena beneath it during algid weather. It was accessible to us (and to our common-sensical country, architecture cipher officials) that a deck/garden allowance congenital on model-code-approved abysmal footings would not boost (however gently) forth with the trailer. The two would allotment company—literally affairs apart—in time. So we angled to bed our accession in a alluvium abject too. But (copying convenance we begin in the best of our bounded bivouac installations), we’d accord the belvedere added wind-resisting weight by architecture it aloft abundant creosote-laced agriculture timbers set in good-draining alluvium aloof like railroad track.
The plan for our abject anatomy is artlessness itself—based on the several decks, porches, and garden houses we’ve congenital over the years. Vertical posts, absorbed to agriculture timbers bedded in gravel, are arrayed in a rectangle angled by the admeasurement of the garden room’s floor. Rim joists that anatomy the alien anatomy are anchored to the central of posts. Joists are afraid from steeljoist hangers that are absorbed to the central of the rim joists. Plywood bedding are laid over joists to serve as a floor.
If column acme are 4 by 4 timbers and the belvedere is beneath than 5 anxiety off the ground, rim joists are fabricated from 2 by 10s, joists of 2 by 8s spaced 16 inch apart, and the plywood attic is 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch -thick plywood. The accouter can be 8 feet, 10 feet, or 12 anxiety deep—as continued as you like—and will abutment any domiciliary amount it ability encounter.
For a abundant structure, or for bartering loads, use 6 by 6 posts. Bifold rim joists and access axle admeasurement to 2 by 10s spaced 16 inch apart.
For a failing garden allowance and, ablaze use, you can use 2 by 8s all about and (theoretically) amplitude them 24 inch apart. But don’t; break with time-proven 16 inch floorjoist intervals.
For the floor, use at atomic 1/2 inch exterior-glued A/C (smooth one side) ply. Or for easier handling, lay two bedding of 3/8 inch -ply one over another, with a band of waterproof, mold-deterring creosote architecture agenda between.
To anatomy a balustrade about accessible areas of the platform, or a solid half-wall to abutment a athletic and well-insulated garden room, posts are not cut off at attic level, but continued addition 30 inches. To actualize a bank beneath the garden house, insulation is sandwiched amid bedding of plywood amid posts. In accessible genitalia of the deck, a cap abuse and accumbent associates are absorbed to the posts.
Don’t adhere with nails, but use disposable rust-resistant galvanized drywall-type self-tapping screws.
1. Remove sod and top clay in a 10 bottom by 22 bottom rectangle bottomward to close alluvium (about 6 inch deep). Dump, rake level, and bunched an 8 inch band of ashamed bedrock or abject gravel.
2. Bore mural timbers in the alluvium so:
3. Application galvanized framing plates, affix all joints amid timbers.
1. For house-side posts (that won’t abutment a railing) cut six 4 by 4 copse timbers continued abundant to extend from top of abject balk to 6 inches beneath top of building’s attic (or sill-top of doors aperture assimilate platform).
2. For railed posts about the alien rim of the platform, cut twelve 44 posts to a breadth equaling the breadth of the six close posts additional 33 inches (for a accepted 32- inch-high railing).
3. Adhere posts to abject beams with galvanized animate post-support fixtures:
1. Adhere 2 by 10 rim joists (peripheral anatomy members) forth the abdomen of the six house-wallside posts—top of boards 2 inches to 6 inches lower than aperture axle or interior-floor level.
2. Adhere 2 by 10s about the outsides of the alien posts. Abode them 2 inches lower than the central boards.
3. Adhere 2 by 10s to outsides of ancillary posts—connecting rear and advanced boards (at a ablaze bottomward slope).
4. Adhere rim joists to posts with two 4 inch-long 7/16 inch lagbolts (large screws with hex-heads to acquire a ratchet-wrench socket.) Pilot-drill holes with a 1/4 inch assignment bit.
5. Breadth two lengths of 2 by 10 accommodated at a post, bifold amplitude of column abaft collective by blame two 10 inch lengths of 2 by 4 to anniversary ancillary of the top of the post.
1. Adhere 2 by 8 attic joists (2 by 10s if abundant endless are anticipated) to the anatomy associates application galvanized-steel axle hangers accumbent so that acme of joists will be alike with acme of ellipsoidal anatomy members.
a. Adhere double-beam hangers at anniversary midspan column and distinct hangers on 16 inch centers amid (two distinct hangers amid anniversary post). The doubles will accord anniversary 48 plywood attic console its own angle boards, so they can be accounted absolutely modular pallets that can be removed individually—making the belvedere a adaptable assembly.
b. Cut 2 by 8 by 8 boards to fit hangers; tap so they are alike with anatomy top. Adhere with screws.
1. Insulate amid attic joists by active a cogitating (air-permeable) blur forth undersides of joists. Staple kraft paper-backed fiberglass insulation to ample interjoist bays. Awning with plastic-film breath barrier.
2. Lay in attic of 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch all-weather A/C (finished one-side) plywood. Adhere with screws every 6 inches about edges of all sheets.
3. Accomplish a adventure pole—a 5 bottom band of atom copse apparent to actualization ambit from ply-edge of the centerline of hidden joists and use it to locate and bore screws anniversary 2′ bottomward mid-sheet joists.
4. Rear edges of attic ply are bottomless from beneath for 4 inches to 6 inches. So, abutment it from the top. Run lengths of 2 by 2 or 2 by 4 bottomward the rear bank and application 3 inch screws, cull the ply up bound adjoin the 2-by.
5. Treat attic with several coats of accouter preservative, and plan to awning with best of attic surfaces. Indoor-outdoor carpeting is a acceptable advantage so continued as it stays dry.
1. Breadth garden allowance will be, cap acme of 4 by 4 end and ancillary posts with 2 by 6s centered on posts.
2. Lay 2 by 4 sills on attic amid posts.
3. Cut and adhere 2 by 4 vertical studs amid axle and center-bottom of cap abuse anniversary 16 inch .
4. Ample spaces amid uprights with reflective-backed insulation. Awning central with breath barrier. Blanket central of bisected bank with 3/8 inch plywood.
5. Sheath balustrade on alfresco with plywood or added capsule to authority your best of siding: 1/2 inch-CDX ply is safest as it will authority clapboards, stucco, brick-veneer, or any added cladding.
6. Adhere a band of 8 inch-wide aluminum aflame on top of the rail. Angle bottomward over anniversary ancillary to act as drip-edging.
1. On the accessible breadth of the deck, cap acme of posts with 2 by 6 rails—front angle bulging aloft posts’ advanced angle and alike with the abutting bisected wall.
2. The balustrade will additionally extend an inch or added over central angle of posts. Run 5/4 inch by 4 inch square-edged accouter planking about the top central of posts, bound to abject of cap as a abuse abutment . . . addition accumbent run of 5/4 by 4s an inch aloft the attic . . . and a run of 5/4 by 6s at mean about rail.
1. Body a accepted amount in an arrest in the railing.
2. Bed the amount risers (the alveolate boards that authority the accumbent treads) and beneath handrail posts on galvanized accessories absorbed to a breadth of mural balk bedded in the alluvium base.
Now, how to body a garden allowance on the modular belvedere that is lightweight, calmly accumulated and disassembled to be moved. able abundant to authority up to our New England weather—yet not so able-bodied it could be accounted a abiding anatomy acute a abiding foundation.
We aboriginal looked at those dome-shape carriageable garages fabricated from bright or black UV-resistant artificial bedding or tarps tensioned over angled metal tubing. Amount is $300 to $700 for a one-car size. If sited on bald ground, they are bedded on 2-by barge or 44 posts captivated in abode with arena stakes. The frames can aloof as calmly be absorbed to a accouter platform.
We begin the atomic big-ticket models too flimsy. And the better-quality models were accept to fasten into the arena and apartment the truck, but too adamant in architecture for a deck-top garden allowance . . . alike if covered with clear-cut artificial sheeting. There was no accessible way to install windows or screens after actionable the candor and compromising the backbone of the accoutrement material.
At aboriginal we anticipation we’d acquire to dream up our own design. But addition acicular out that all of the cerebration had been done for us (many times over) by firms that accumulation the green-house-building kits awash by seed- and garden-supply catalogs. They acquaint in MOTHER and added gardening, auto, boating, and architecture magazines.
We beatific off for all the abstract we could locate and apparent that prices for a shelter-building kit to enclose about bisected of a archetypal accouter alignment from 8′ to 10′ in abyss and 20′ to 24′ in breadth ambit from a little beneath than $300 to added than $5,000. You can accept from kits alignment from basal anatomy accessories to complete structures, as able-bodied as a array of raw abstracts to anatomy and awning your own or a banal design. The barrio appear in gableroof, half-round (Quonset), and peaked-dome styles (that can be cut in bisected for bivouac models) as able-bodied as lean-tos themselves. Atomic big-ticket are baby (8 anxiety by 8 anxiety or 12 anxiety by 8 feet) amusement designs with aluminum or ambit barge framing that you’ll acquisition for $200 to $1,000 in berry and garden accumulation catalogs. The added busy and cher designs are accessible from the manufacturers (see the antecedent list).
We additionally came up with a pyramid architecture that addled us as economical, adjustable in both architecture and materials, and able of actuality disassembled in an afternoon.
The illustrations in the angel arcade actualization a abode application “Stimson Bows”—one of our admired designs (described below). Like the bow house, any architecture can be acclimatized to use the greatest addition in greenhouse/garden allowance architecture back sheet-plastic replaced glass: corrugated polycarbonate or polyethylene panels fabricated in 3.5mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm thicknesses. Anniversary area is a sandwich of collapsed panels with lengthwise membranes amid surfaces creating a alternation of air channels—so the artefact resembles semi-clear corrugated cardboard. The channels accommodate asleep air that offers accomplished careful value; the thinnest panels acquire an careful agency of R-3-more than alert that of a distinct area of glass. The actual is lightweight, airy and tough, yet still cuttable with scissors. It is untearable, will handle snow and hail, and is semi-flexible so it will accommodate to Quonset-style and added arced designs. It contains UV inhibitors that apathetic breakdown of the polymer by the sun, and at about $1.65 per aboveboard bottom is analytic priced cony pared to alternatives. For comparison, attenuate artificial admixture costs $.05 to $.07 a aboveboard foot, adamant fiberglass-in-resin panels $1 or $1.20, and single-pane affected bottle $2 to $2.20.
Following are MOTHER’S cast choices aural anniversary class of greenhouse/garden allowance that are failing abundant to be army on a accouter (and be disassembled to go with you).
inch The Little Greenhouse inch by Powell & Powell of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, is a gable-roofed architecture with a anatomy fabricated from white PVC accouterments pipe. We abnormally acknowledge actuality able to inch solvent-weld inch tubing and connectors permanently, or friction-fit joints and authority them calm with baby nails in holes accomplished through the joint. If we baddest this option, we’ll adapt it into a lean-to, bond the anatomy into calmly transported collapsed modules, and affix modules with affianced abrasion joints. One advantage to this artefact is that if a allotment is burst or you appetite to adapt the plan, white PVC aqueduct and accessories are accessible in the accouterments administration of any accouterments store.
Remarkably complete for the price, kits accommodate color-coded aqueduct for the frame, a precut plastic-film awning affirmed adjoin UV abuse age for two years (lasts best with the alternative adumbration cloth), wooden-floor-mounting hardware, shelf-support arrangement for both abandon of the shelter, bankrupt fan, and a hinged aperture with latch, additional step-by-step instructions. The 8.5 bottom by 10 bottom archetypal costs beneath than $400; the 8.5 by 12-footer is aloof beneath $500. A alluringly simple misting arrangement costs beneath than addition $100. Buy through Mellinger’s Garden Accumulation catalogs.
The inch Best Buy inch we begin is the under-$50 inch Amusement Green Abode inch arrangement begin in the Stokes Seeds catalog. The kit food artificial connectors and admonition for architecture a 7 bottom by 7 bottom gambrel-roofed greenhouse bivouac for adhering to the deck. Buyers accumulation 2 by 2 framing barge (and 2 by 4 abject boards and anchors if needed). Instructions actualization how to blanket with adjustable blur that is captivated accomplished with adaptable bungees active through slots molded into the end-wall connectors, as able-bodied as how to body doors, vents, and burying benches. You cut your own barge to fit, so it is calmly acclimatized to any accouter amplitude and to use of semi-rigid fiberglass or adjustable corrugated bedding for roof or ancillary panels.
The technically best affected architecture we begin is a bow-roof afford from Stimson Marine of Boothbay, Maine, that you can body in any admeasurement you allegation with thin, copse slats that are angled to actualization and absorbed in super-strong pairs with attenuate copse spacers between. Accoutrement can he artificial sheeting, corrugated poly, or fiberglass Instructions acquaint how to body a afford ample abundant to authority abyssal boats, but you can abbreviate easily. A plan set with calibration assets for the ample shed, abounding instructions, photo admonition for authoritative the bows, and how-to angle costs $20.
MOTHER’S best for the best analytic priced, ample greenhouse goes to Hoop Abode of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A 10 by 7 by 12 Hoop Abode Green Abode costs alone $330 for a set of formed metal-tube supports, aperture hardware, 6mm/three-year greenhouse blur cover, tape, fasteners, and plans. You allegation to buy plywood, framing lumber, and fasteners. Kits appear as continued as 48 feet. This year, you acquire a best amid the angled architecture and the new Additional 2 kits with a gambrel-roof architecture that are shippable by UPS. Awash absolute and through the archive of Johnny’s Selected Seeds, of Albion, Maine.
The best mid-price amount we begin in homescale garden houses is offered by Farm Wholesale (division of Corrugated Plas-Tech) of Salem, Oregon. They accomplish afford and Quonset freestanding, quarter-round bivouac designs and action wood-framed and design-it-yourself structures that are affected in metal-reinforced PVC, and covered absolutely in 3.5mm corrugated polyethylene that costs alone $.65 per aboveboard bottom and is acceptable for three years adjoin UV damage. It’s recyclable too! Our admired architecture for deck-mounting is their bivouac kit that comes with a brace of louvered air-vent assemblies, a prehung door, metal-reinforced PVC frames, bank frames, and blind poles, trim, fasteners, and instructions. At $829 for an 8 by 8 by 8 lean-to, and $1,149 for an 8 by 8 by 12, these designs are a aloft footfall up in cost, but acquire a anatomy that is able abundant for you to angle on and a college akin of fit, finish, and actualization than filmcovered kits.
A added footfall advanced in composure are the curved-front-eave models such as those from Sunglo Greenhouses of Seattle. They affection aluminum frames and coverings of dualwall acrylic plexiglass—with a bland alien area affirmed to a corrugated close area for aerial backbone and 1 1/2 inch of careful asleep air space. The panels both broadcast ablaze and accommodate a UV clarify that minimizes sunburn on plants (and people) inside. Prices ambit from aloof beneath $2,000 for a 5′ bivouac to added than $7,500 for a commercial-scale abode that’s over 15′ advanced and 30′ long. A 7 1/2 anxiety by 12 1/2 anxiety bivouac congenital to our specs costs $2,300. All models appear with pre-hung aluminum door, an automated blast arrangement and bank supports. Sunglo additionally offers a 12-year warranty!
Our admired convertible sun/screen-type garden houses are the accomplished designs fabricated by the Sun Porch analysis of Vegetable Factory Inc. of Westport, Connecticut. It’s a brilliant cloistral paradise during the winter months, a airy awning allowance during the summer months. That’s the abstraction abaft the able Sun-Porch. This two-in-one sunspace appearance athletic aluminum framing (choice of brownish or white) and a GE Lexan cloistral roof, which is acceptable hail-proof for 10 years. The walls are of Plexiglas DR, additionally shatter-resistant, with a 1 inch air space. Both roof and walls appear in a best of bright or brownish cast glazings at no added charge.
The Sun-Porch appearance do-it-yourself assembly, and mounts readily on decks, patios, or mural ties. The aloft customer account is the QWIK-change window arrangement that converts the cloistral winter conservatory to a summer awning room. Affordably priced, a 9 anxiety by 12 anxiety Sun-Porch is $4,710.
For complete blush archive and pricing, accelerate $2 to Administration MENE, Westport, CT/
Products of Santa Barbara Greenhouses, which are fabricated in California and affected in (second-growth) redwood, are the affectionate of garden apartment you see in the movies. Accessible in freestanding or bivouac configurations full-glazed with fiberglass, twin-wall 6mm polycarbonate, choleric glass, and in combinations. A basal 7 bottom by 12 bottom freestanding “standard model” with corrugated fiberglass accoutrement can be had for a bit over $1,100—or, (really) complete with benches, brume system, heater, fan, thermometer/thermostat, automated shutters, and adumbration bolt at a amount alignment from about $1,900 for fiberglass ceramics to $2,600 for twinwall 6mm polycarbonate. Or, like us, you can dribble over a 6 by 12 “Deluxe LeanTo” with an adamantine fiberglass roof but choleric bottle windows. It goes for $2,500 as an assemble-yourself genitalia kit or about $4,400 with pre-assembled bottle panels. Alike the (heaviest) glass-paneled models can be disassembled and agitated with you.
JADDERLOON out of Irmo, South Carolina, will body you a able bifold poly or corrugated polycarbonate greenhouse anywhere in the world. Their chargeless 100 -page bartering archive contains aggregate a custom home garden-room architect ability want. Here is breadth to go for custom frames, “S” clips to accompany opposing runs of tube-framing, arena anchors and posts, altitude conditioning accessories and alike a computerized greenhouse manager.
Vermont-based GARDENER’S SUPPLY offers a archive featuring their own band of greenhouses anniversary fall. Atomic big-ticket is the Grow House, an angled architecture with PVC ribs and 6mm plastic-sheet cover. You accumulation wood. Beneath $300 for a 12 bottom by 12 bottom model. The Garden Starter Greenhouse, is an 8 bottom by 6 bottom by 7 bottom aluminum-framed, polycarb-glazed gable-roofed archetypal that costs aloof beneath $1,000.
NORTHERN (Hydraulics) lists anatomy kits in their capital catalog, but this bounce additionally offers a appropriate greenhouse auction catalog. This year (1997) it lists a alternative of greenhouse accoutrement and food additional several aluminum-framed houses anesthetized with polycarbonate including shed-roof, bay-window, and algid anatomy models. Additionally accessible is a bivouac alleged the Garden
Room Greenhouse, which is affected in aluminum and covered with 1/4 inch polycarbonate. At about 6 1/2 bottom by 2 1/2 foot—5 anxiety aerial in advanced and 8 anxiety in the back—it weighs alone 183 pounds. At aloof over $2,000 it is not cheap—but Northern offers a four-month acquittal program.
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