derelict garage 2..crosspost from greenhouseforum

MoccasinAugust 10, 2010

Ok, I'm trying this subject crosspost again, since the first thread seems to be freaking out.

I originally took my question about future uses of my derelict garage to the Greenhouse & Garden Structures Forum over on the Gardening side of GW.

I found some interest there, but feel that this forum has the kindred spirits who understand my desire to refurbish this building and have more living space for my smaller home. Not as a dwelling per se, but as a place for an above ground Endless Pool (not an INFINITY pool, that is something else), for my plants that are too tender to take winters even in zone 8B Alabama, and to maybe have other uses for the space as well. Like a free flight inside aviary for my two parrots. A lofted area for sitting reading writing, listening to rain on a tin roof.

What I asked in Greenhouses Forum, to which I give the link below, was how successfully could I use this space for a "greenhouse" --meaning a place for my plants. Telling me it is not oriented properly for that, but not referring me to a place where I can read the requirements for a successfully oriented greenhouse, well, that does not answer my question, which was: CAN I MAKE THIS FUNCTION AS A GREENHOUSE? Should I put the roof on it to face any particular direction? Would THAT help? Would it be best to have a low pitch roof on the south half, and plant it as a living roof? I'm interested in that. And having the northern half of the roof VERY high pitched to give room for a small loft up there, with high vertical windows above the Endless Pool? I see a spiral staircase in this case.

The high windows would be at the junction of the low roof and the high roof, and allow southern light into the space.

I appreciate Jey_L coming to the rescue, with the benefit of his ideas, and hope to hear more.

This subject fits well with our interest in SHEDS. Maybe this forum can acquire rights to the subject as an adjunct to SMALLER HOMES?

Now, let's hope this time the thread does not go kaput.

Here is a link that might be useful: DerelictGarage..Greenhouse.etc..Garden Forum

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As was said in the dead thread- It would probably be better to attach a lean-to greenhouse to the existing structure. Maybe figure out a way to re-roof it, and have a door leading out to the greenhouse? Or you could simply re-purpose it:

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 3:46PM
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oh my - is that the garage you're talking about - the newly painted one? that looks great! is south toward the house? toward the trees?

what are the dimensions? (might have been in other post - I didn't read it, just looked at pics so far)

post pics here also?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 3:57PM
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ML I just popped over to see your pics and wow, it looks great with the new paint. I thought jeys mockups were fantastic, I loved the roof design he did. with the solar panels, is that for the water heating you talked about? I'd put that on the house just because it will be more practical there, and put them on the south side of the roof, here they are always on the north side where possible so the panels can catch the low winter sun as well.

btw, I have my new solar water heater and I'll take a pic soon and post it here for you (I might get DH to climb up on the roof and take a pic because he's more comfortable up there than me lol)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 4:12PM
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I just went through your photo album. What great stuff you have done and a ton of work. Plus I have a chocolate here and the same bathroom faucet.

My 2nd shed was planned for a greenhouse. But after reading the greenhouse forum I realized there is far more involved than my interest to maintain one. The forum is scientific and certainly they have the right information. I think newcomers are passed by due to their not wanting to repeat information or deal with us if we haven't been part of green housing. Not to be taken personally as there are other forums similar.

Taking "sheds" out of the forum would help. Very little on sheds or reclaiming space as we do here. I like that there are so many here who have come up with options and changes which others would go no further with. This is a lifestyle for us.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 7:30AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Your garage looks great, both inside and outside! I don't have any advice for converting to a greenhouse, but it looks like such a wonderful space to spend quiet time 'communing' with your plants. LOL, I'll bet you have a similar vision for my potting shed/milk house! Can't wait to see your finished space--and all your interesting ideas.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Desertsteph, SOUTH is to the RIGHT of the garage. The privacy fence side of the garage. As you stand in front of it, the house is behind you off to the left of your left arm. And standing there, WEST is at your back. NORTH is to the LEFT side of the garage.

Trancegemini_WA, yes, what Jey_L did with the rendering is right on. I really was impressed. But I agree, I will be putting the solar panels on top of the house roof, which is more exposed to the sun all year long, being further away from the shade of the neighbor's trees. Although most of the trees are deciduous. We will be having some solar water heating at least, because I left room for a preheat tank in the little leanto which holds the new electric water heater. That is within 3 feet of the master power line into the house. I think we'll let someone else, not DH, put those panels on the roof AFTER we put a metal roof on the house. So give us about two years to get that one done. By that time, I will have the final projects done, maybe even this garage looking spiffy too. BE sure to show and tell about your new solar water heating system.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 6:24PM
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moccasin - I went to the grnhouse forum and looked at the innards of your garage. dang, that is AWESOME!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:23AM
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Thanks, Steph.
My DH originally wanted to tear it all down, but while it is really damaged and must be repaired, it is grandfathered in where it sits. A new structure would not be. And on THAT SIDE (south side) of the yard, our setback has to be 12 feet, due to the neighbor's garage apartment being less than 8 feet from the line. I learned the other day that the requirement for setbacks is 20 feet total space between two houses/properties, so if one is 8, the other must be 12. And on our NORTH side, which is where the bath bumpout and new closet are going, the neighbor's house is at least 12 to 15 feet from the line. There is 21 feet between our house and the property line, of which we COULD use up to 12 or 15, but we like to have the breathing room, and will only use 5 more feet for the tub and closet.

Anyway, the garage is worth more to us standing than it is torn down. Whatever shape it winds up being, I plan to make it my STUDIO, an escape from the ordinary. I'll probably call it the TEA HOUSE, which would be named for a real structure from my youth, built on the campus of my old college, and which all of us buddies frequented in those days.

In fact, I can visualize the derelict garage metamorphing into TEAHOUSE in my mind, like a butterfly coming from a coccoon.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Hi ML, Everyone,

Thanks for the compliments.


I am showing a 12 pitch on the roof already and the lower section has no headroom for a loft. Keeping things as low as possible was a concern of mine from the beginning. What were mistaken for solar panels on the back are skylights.

The Endless Pool is a modular system with all the mechanicals built-in similar to a spa. It is a self contained unit. We are talking about a pool that creates a flow for you to swing against right?

You can make anything function as a greenhouse depending on how you capture and distribute the available light wether natural or artificial. Much of that will be determined by the shape. One of my thoughts was to make the entrance a greenhouse but that would add to the footprint. I am not trying to eliminate the shutters or grg door altogether but would rather incorporate them into the finish as apposed to the quasi structural elements they are now.

The living roof is not a new concept and I have done many but they are very expensive to build and very, very, very high maintenance using any of the "systems" available, of which the majority are of very poor design. That is why I was showing flat as it is more versatile and it provides easy access to the other roofs to clear debris and the like. The valleys on the other side will run quite quickly when it rains so I don't foresee too many issues with them.

Let me know your thoughts.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 11:35AM
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'My DH originally wanted to tear it all down'

holy moly! thank goodness you saved it! mystery, romance, dreams... floating away with imagination. curled up reading a good book!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 2:34AM
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    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:51AM
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JeyL, so nice to see you back, and apparently you are in fine creative mode. I like the image of the house.

To refresh everyone on the orientation of the block building, the garage door faces due WEST. The side close to the privacy fence is therefore facing SOUTH. The long side of the pool is against the NORTH wall. And the lovely skylights face EAST. I really LOVE the way the view through those skylights shows a morning sunrise, JeyL. I am more a sunrise person than a sunset person. I like beginnings.

Putting the open raftered look in this building really increases the volume of the space. I can see it used as a flying space for my two parrots. Only one flies freely, but the other one likes to climb.

And the way you have the roof oriented, with the two gables on the north and south ends, from the house and from the road, the roof could look like a typical Irish cottage to the front, and then the skylights would be a secret from anyone but the back neighbor. Altogether, I really like the spacious feel of it.

I might have to lose the chimney, which is no biggy. It appears that this structure would not feature anything that the city could object to. As far as they would be concerned, we'd be restoring an existing derelict garage into a benign multiuse structure. If the pool is in ground, there are permits required. But if it is in a building and in the ground, I do not know. For that, I'll have to check the code.

It looks great, Jey. I plan long, and then take my time refining the plan. Our finances are one of the considerations. After we sell my DH's house up north, we will be able to do the garage without a mortgage on any property. I want to do this before we get too old to remember what we wanted that garage for!!!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Hi ML,

I've been busy getting ready to move. I replaced my hard drive too and had a difficult time finding someone to send the correct enclosure so these were trapped for a bit. The sun is actually showing high noon on Aug 12. Jan 12 is pretty dark so windows and lighting need to be addressed but just changing some of the surface materials should help. White washes work great.

I went through your tree removal pictures and was a bit bummed. Those would have made some nice beams for that roof. You may even be able to get a loft with a ships ladder of some sort in there. Those trees would have come in handy there too.

This idea is showing cutting down the higher parts of the existing block wall to level it out as opposed to building up. The peak is about 17' from grade. I do like flat roofs but not flat flat.

I show the pool in-ground because it was too overwhelming sitting on a slab.

Would you consider a bamboo roof? Even if you do a pre-cast concrete you can achieve that look in both texture and color. I'm a big fan of concrete and am currently doing some designs for a formal front yard garden for an Italianate up in VT. Everything will be concrete (raised beds, pergolas etc.) and they are doing it themselves so it will be inexpensive and will match their white marble foundation.

I'll be dropping in and out here and there so post some more thoughts. I still use some of the "old" gadgets like web crawlers and the like so while I can't post comments I can read things while I am off line.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:55AM
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