Friday, August 24, 2012

Husband says I have no OFF SWITCH

Dear friends,

When we moved into our 1930s cottage, we assumed that most of our attention would be paid to the main house.  The little cottage/greenhouse/garage back behind us could come later, and only needed some paint and some built-in storage.

Then when the eaves started buckling and turning black, we paid attention, but not close attention.  After all, we'd just moved in and were exhausted from our year long remodeling ordeal.

THEN when the roof caved in on the greenhouse, we had to finally divert our attentions to it.  It looks like the underlaying decking is also rotted, and water is leaking into the greenhouse (and onto the ancient wiring), so that means a tear off.  NOT what we wanted to do now.

Make a note---NO flat roofs underneath large trees.

I wondered, could we completely tear off the greenhouse?  I hesitated, but mentioned it to Husband Rudy.  He was overjoyed.  He's never liked it anyway, mostly because he scrapes the top of his scalp off every time he tries to walk into it.  Note--Make overhangs tall enough for tall people to walk through without bashing their brains out.

We started talking about completely tearing off the greenhouse area, which is basically just a lean-to shed that was cobbled together at least 40 years ago.  Although I like the storage space, if it leaks it's worthless.  And the rot could travel up into the garage roof, something we have to prevent. And one wall is so low it's impossible to use.  And not enough sunlight actually gets into there to make it a proper greenhouse, anyway.  It's great for protecting potted plants during the winter, but most of it is wasted space.

I'll have to admit, reclaiming that almost 200 square feet for garden or outdoor sitting space did appeal to me.  And the slab underneath can be turned into a lovely brick patio.   We'd lose some privacy, but since we need to put up a fence anyway, that would take care of that.  Hmm......


Yesterday I decided to take the shutters off the front wall of the greenhouse we can see from the inside of the main house.  They need to be cleaned and repainted anyway.  You know, one of those ten minute jobs you do when you're too tired to do much else in the garden.

So I did that, and noticed that the vinyl siding was pretty loose around the window.  Thinking that it would have to come off either way if we tear the roof off, I started pulling it off.

Front greenhouse wall with most of the siding and foam backing removed

Four hours later, the original small clapboard ship-lap siding was revealed.  All it really needs is some scrubbing and mildew-busting.  It's in perfect shape except for the very bottom layer where it laid right up against the slab and dirt. 

That's another no-no, folks!  No wood touches dirt.

Now I have a pile of old vinyl siding, a lot of nasty foam insulation that was food for giant roaches and snails.  Boy, were they MAD when I let the sunshine in.

Now I wonder, WHY OH WHY did they cover up all that wonderful antique pine siding in the first place with horrible vinyl?  UGH.  And those 1960's aluminum windows?  Double UGH!

I really didn't mean to go this far with it.  All I wanted to do was take down the two shutters.

Husband Rudy says  I have no OFF SWITCH.  Maybe he's right.

The next step is to cut a small hole in the ceiling of the overhang to see how bad the rotted ceiling is.  We'll see how THAT goes.

I do love my greenhouse.  Or I loved the IDEA of having one.  At any rate, we'll definitely salvage all that lovely pine (which is hard as a rock now, BTW), and use it to build a smaller, more efficient proper garden shed/greenhouse in another part of the yard--out from under the pecan trees.  With antique windows, and doo-dads and maybe even a cute little weather vane on top.

BTW, the main house is covered with aluminum siding.  Presumably, the siding underneath it is the same as that on the greenhouse.  The original, hard as rock antique pine.  Maybe I'll just take off the back shutters and give them a good cleaning....

Happy trails from Tear-it-Down Texas!

bobbi c.