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Polycarbonate panels for windows?
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Mike D.    Posted 01-19-2004 at 07:57:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, trying to enclose our basement entrance on the cheap. I don't want to sound cheap, fact is we don't have much money to spend on it.

I built the roof a couple of months ago. Used 5 V tin from Lowes. Insulated the attic part and used recycled 1/2" plywood for ceiling material.

Now we want to enclose the sides. One side faces due South. I would like this side to have 2 storm windows. The other side I would like to use something like Lexan, or another polycarbonate. There are 2 rough openings per side. They are 42 inches square.

We are using our old storm door from the front of the house for the door on this stairwell enclosure.

Want to start seeds for the garden on shelves along the storm windows on the South side. Want to limit heat loss on the North side so the poly panels came to mind.

Would like to hear your opinions, etc.

Regards from the Old Dominion

Mike D.

deadcarp    Posted 01-19-2004 at 08:09:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
here's a thought - we enclosed our porch last summer - i used storm windows for the window openings - i think they were $35 each including screens and they half open. ended up with glass on 3 walls for like $300. i glued/screwed together an insulated 2'8" plywood door complete for like $40.

last year we put up a 20foot dome and 10foot bedroom for under $3000, including the holding tank. all the 2x6 framing came from 3 norways my uncle gave me. doesn't take a lotta money to build if you don't have it. :)

Mike D.    Posted 01-19-2004 at 08:25:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks DC,
I wondered about heat loss for the North wall using storm windows. I thought I'd set the polycarbonate panels against stop material and caulk them in place to stop drafts on that side.
At the farm I have built a lot with culls from the sawmill. Makes great siding as long as you watch for the weak pieces. I got the facia and soffit material for this stairwell enclosure from the dumpster. It amazes me what some folks call trash. The tin cost $70 including the ridge material. Looks like we got about $100 in the block and mortar and another $50 in the framing.

deadcarp    Posted 01-19-2004 at 08:45:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
well even the best 3-ply windows are lousy insulators compared to a regular 4" wall - i hope to use our porch for a greenhouse this spring too - so plan to trim down/tape-in some scrap 1" foam sheets i have for temporary. i've use it under storm windows and behind leaky doors on the rest of the place - just leave one for looking out - and you can crash thru in a hurry if need be - and boy foam/frame makes a killer fish-house. shelters are fun :)

Mike D.    Posted 01-19-2004 at 10:15:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
I went out and studied on this thing some more. Maybe the solution is to just close in the North wall. The light gain there is minimal.

That means just 2 3'X 3' storm windows to buy. I got two half sheets of 3/4" a/c ply left over from a bookcase job. I believe I'll close in that North wall that way. I like the idea of putting foam over that and give it a try. Thank heavens for drywall screws. If it don't work you can always back out the screws!

Yep, it is fun experimenting with this stuff. I'm planning on painting the block walls flat black.
We should get a good amount of heat into the stairwell, that should transfer into the basement
with a small fan set on a timer. In the night that block should put out some heat too.

One thing about doing it on the cheap, it don't hurt too bad if it don't work just right. I've built some stuff that acrhitects drew up that didn't work so well, and was durn costly to boot.

Have you posted a picture of that dome you built?
What did you use for a frame?

Take Care- Mike

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