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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we live on a 1/3 acre lot in the city, and we are trying to move in the direction of growing more of our own food. the previous owners of this house built an extension for a hottub - they put down a concrete pad in the backyard, then plunked a large tub on it and put up walls and 5 sets of patio doors and a roof, and connected the whole thing to the house via a covered walkway/porch. We have no use for the hottub but our realtor says if we dismantle it and turn the room into anything else it will reduce the property value. We have been tinkering with the idea of turning it into an area for growing things (we'd have to put in some solar tubes and turn the patio doors into windows because of our cold climate) - maybe rabbits and some veggies - unfortunately the extension is on the north side of the house. This is our first home and my husband and I are not really handy types. I wondered if anyone has suggestions of favorite websites, or ideas of what to do with this monstrosity of an addition. I am looking around on motherearth news, but am feeling rather dull. This is making a rather long story, but we need a new roof and want to put in metal for rainwater harvesting and this extension is making us consider whether this property is really the best one for our ambitions. TIA!
 

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Tough question. I think you can be assured that the realtor is likely right about the property value. That said, how long do you plan on living in the home? If you live there quite a while and get what you want out of the place, then why not make it what you need, right?

I think rabbits would do well, even in a north-facing room...and plants, I suppose with lights, like you said...is this is the backyard? Are you allowed to have chickens too? That might work out, if you could close them up in winter. They could do all right. I don't know what you'd be allowed to keep, but basically, anything you do keep, you're going to want to be fastidious with housekeeping, unlike me in the barn.
:

You might also set that space up as your mudroom/garden room?

Good luck...
 

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I'm useless, I'd use it for it's intended purpose, love love love the hot tub, although I personally prefer them outside. I wouldn't put animals in it though, ugh the smell would be hard to get rid of if you ever sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, my husband has since said 'no' to the animals in the room - I'd been talking about it for a while but he hadn't really heard me. Chickens are presently illegal here, but we're working on it


We're not sure how long to stay here. We feel uncertain in this economic climate about moving, but at the same time this isn't the best house or neighborhood to put money into and... then we get back to the issue of the roof and our desire not to put asphalt on the roof. So our current thought is to consult with an architect or interior designer about the room. I think it may not have enough sun to function as a greenhouse.

However, I am fantasizing about having chickens some day and if that doesn't work out I can still have rabbits. I saw a website where the owner has made a barn / greenhouse work with hotbeds. We haven't a lot of sun in winter, but I might be able to extend the coldcrop season for a while that way (and keep the rabbits happy) Thanks!
 

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You could turn it into a hydroponics room. Or maybe just a nice playroom. I know that serves of no agriculture purpose, but kids would love it.
 

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I have to say I would second the cold room idea. You can store so much in a cold room. Potatoes, onions, veggies. You could put a freezer out there, because it is dry you could store flour, beans and all sorts of dry goods out there. I dream of having a root cellar and you could use it just like a root cellar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have the book, "Rootcellering" and I'll have to take a second look at it. Our basement isn't really finished except for in the one area apparently intended to be a storage room - they insulated the walls and it's right below a furnace pipe
so in order to make that the rootceller we'd have to do a fair amount of work. I had thought of pull-out drawers under the walkway that connects the hottub room to the house, but I'll have to look more into using the rest of it as a pantry / summer kitchen. I'm not sure the main part is well-enough insulated to use as a rootcellar here, as the temps get pretty low in winter. "Rootcellering" is a good book, btw!
 
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