So, I’ve kept chipping away at the root cellar. I am pleased to say, the walls and ceiling are finished, right down to the paint! I also put in a new light fixture that will work in cold, damp environs, because the original shop light wouldn’t turn on when it got below 40. The tour, in pictures: (you can click any pic for a larger version)
The bulbs in the shop light are actually grow lights, which is all I had. They are making the photos look pink, but in real life, it’s very blue in that room. The walls are painted white, and the ceiling is the blue of the Styrofoam rigid insulation. (Be sure you use the nails with plastic “washers” on them, or you’ll just end up poking holes in your insulation. Ask me how I know…)
No amount of paint will probably ever cover the stains on the walls, but hey, it’s a root cellar. White “Killz” paint is quite a bit cheerier than a root cellar has any right to be! It’s hard to see in this pic, but no insulation or paneling touches the outside walls or floor, to avoid wicking moisture. This corner often sees a small trickle of water come across the floor during heavy spring rains. Nothing serious, but nothing I want my paneling sitting in.
To the right is the NW corner of the room, and this little alcove is formed by the base of the chimney. The plastic pipes you see will be the ventilation system. The short one goes from the window to the corner, along the ceiling. The long one goes from the window, down the wall, and across the floor to the opposite corner of the room. Convection is supposed to keep the air circulating as warm air goes out the top and cold air sinks in to the floor. When it gets too cold, I have caps for the ends of the pipes to seal them off. There are also screens for the pipes so critters don’t come in.
The window gets blocked with a “sandwich” of plywood and rigid insulation. I’ll stick it together with liquid nails, then screw the pieces together, and seal it with exterior paint. The pipes go through the sandwich, which will replace the glass in the basement window.
The shelves are also in progress. They are heavy! I’m using seven-foot-long 2x4s held together with 2x3s. These will be affixed to uprights (more 2x4s) sitting on bricks to keep them off the damp floor. The shelves don’t butt up to the walls – you can see how I’ve left 6″ sticking off the back to serve as a spacer. You want about 6″ of air space on all sides of the shelves to allow the air to circulate freely through the shelving. The shelf below is sitting on sawhorses, but it’s in the orientation it will be in when installed, to the left of the door as you walk in.
This page represents about 4-5 days of work, 2-3 hours a day. The end of the project is in sight, but it sometimes feels like it’ll never end! With gardening season coming on, though, I really have to get this finished up…