Cover a yard?

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Graye
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Cover a yard?

Post: #266249 Graye
Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:50 pm

We are about to move, yet again.

We will only have a small garden which is across the driveway (it's the coach house which is part of a sort of country estate) plus a lovely internal "secret" courtyard with lawn, shrubs and high walls, plus a large back yard. The back yard is boundaried by 1) a brick built garage 2) an old fashioned solid glass-fronted conservatory and the back door of the house 3) the garden wall of the house next door (about 6') plus the back wall of our house with a gate onto the drive. So all in all the perimeter is at least 6' high, and higher on the garage and conservatory parts (they face each other). The yard measures more or less 18' x 18'.

I would really like to cover it, almost like a polytunnel but just a flattish roof rather than a curved filled-in structure. The garage AND conservatory both have guttering so a slight slope would deal with drainage. I'm thinking of making a structure with scaffolding-type aluminium or rigid plastic poles and poly tunnel plastic but have no real idea of the best way to do it or whether there is a better idea. I was also thinking about not making it fully enclosed so that fresh air, insects etc could get in somewhere. So with the house wall and garden wall parts not being sealed but the plastic cover being sealed/battened to the garage and conservatory.

Has anyone seen anything like this? Or could point me at a website etc?
Growing old is much better then the alternative!

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Davie Crockett
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Re: Cover a yard?

Post: #266251 Davie Crockett
Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:55 pm

I reckon it could be difficult to do given that some of the boundary belongs to your neighbour. A quick google found this site: http://www.polytunnels.me.uk/prices.htm Which would get you a 14' x18' poly tunnel for £440.00 (doesn't include extras like doors). But this would be a totally enclosed space.

In theory it would be possible to use a polycarbonate flat/corrugated roof on a frame, but getting caught with gusty wind conditions would be a big risk.
Time flies like an arrow; vinegar flies like an uncovered wine must.

Crickleymal
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Re: Cover a yard?

Post: #266252 Crickleymal
Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:32 pm

It would be quite easy to do with a wooden frame on posts. You could use those Metposts that bolt to a hard surface or the ones you hammer into the ground to support the psots. Mined ewe, you would have to put a post every 6 ft or so. Cover it with clear corrugated plastic. I don't know what your neighbours would say though.
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Graye
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Re: Cover a yard?

Post: #266257 Graye
Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:36 pm

I like the full polytunnel idea but as we have a door from the house, one into the garage and one to the drive on three separate walls one of them would be blocked, no matter how we arranged things. The alternative would be a small one we could walk around from the outside but I really do like the idea of the whole area being under cover. A day out at the Centre for Alternative Technology today got me thinking about this idea, although their polytunnels are great, and open at each end too...

The wooden frame sounds good and pretty straighforward too. There aren't neighbour problems as the house behind the wall is some way away and they can't actually see over the wall anyway. In fact if we did this there is no one to actually see what we've been doing there. And presumably with the new planning laws (or lack of them) we wouldn't need to tell anyone anyway...
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Re: Cover a yard?

Post: #266266 MKG
Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:39 pm

Sounds like you're looking at a large gazebo, basically, which should be easy enough to build, as has already been pointed out. The only thing is that as you're looking at a flattish roof, it's going to gather leaves, general muck etc., over time - you need to think about how you'd clean it.

My - you are mobile, aren't you?

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Marc
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Re: Cover a yard?

Post: #266270 Marc
Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:40 pm

I've built several smaller flat roofs with a timber frame and bars 18" - 2' apart then covered with tunnel polythene held on with battens. You might get an occasional drip in places, depending on how evenly you tension the poly but I've found it works surprisingly well.
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Graye
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Re: Cover a yard?

Post: #266272 Graye
Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:13 pm

Thanks for these ideas.

I like the gazebo idea, the sides could be battened to the conservatory and garage and then uprights and cross-pieces down the two other open sides and joist type bars across the middle to make the whole thing secure. I imagine it would need internal supports too though, 18' is quite a long way.... It would give me a covered area, sufficient openings along the side for ventilation, insects etc and access to the various doors we need. I suppose the top could be either polytunnel polythene or polycarbonate too. I expect the angles would need some working on for drainage though... Much food for thought, thank you all.

As for cleaning I think it might involve a hosepipe and/or jetwasher out of the bathroom window, which is above the yard.

Yes Mike, 12 months in total isolation in mid Wales and OH is champing to get back to North Yorkshire. It didn't help that the slugs ate all his cabbages. Or that the ones they left were then eaten by the neighbour's sheep and cattle who see breaking into our garden as a new sport...
Growing old is much better then the alternative!


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