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Groanhouse to GREENhouse!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I have kept you hanging. Well, I've kept myself hanging. With travel and work and all, it was a struggle to find another full two-person day to devote to Groanhouse construction, but eventually there came a Saturday when we were determined to finish the sucker off. It was just Bill and me now; Dave and Marcy had helped immensely through the worst of it. And we are so grateful, because who knows how long it would have taken if they hadn't? Three full days for four people, and then a fourth full two-person day. That's fourteen man-days. That's one hell of a Saturday, if you ask me.

Rion. Don't be telling your customers that two people can put this thing completely together "on a good Saturday." Maybe two bionic rocket scientists with a Lowe's right next door. But please. Be real about it.

I'm not saying that the Rion Prestige isn't a good greenhouse, or that you shouldn't consider buying it. What I'm saying that you should know what you're getting into when you embark on assembling it. And that the thick book of wordless directions bites stinky cheese, and will chew you up and spit you out repeatedly during the ordeal of building it. 

For instance: The side windows we fondly call "deli trays" for their sort of wacka-wacka ductility and thinness almost all buckled badly when inserted in the frame, leaving what we came to call "hand-sized gaps" where air rushed in. Why? Why? We tried and tried to figure this out. Finally had to call the company. "Oh yes. Lots of people return them as defective. But all you have to do is cut the extra plastic off the corners and they'll slide right in."

Oh. You might have put THAT in the directions. That extra plastic on the corners detail. Or, like, trimmed the extra plastic. Or something. Pfft.

They'll slide right into place right, she failed to add, after you disassemble the frame so you can get them back out to cut the extra plastic off the corners. And even then that's no guarantee the things won't buckle when you reinsert them. And reinsert them, and disassemble the frame and reinsert them a third time.


Maybe the fourth time's the charm.
This is getting old fast.


It's also so, so easy to build something backerds and upside down when the directions have no words. Like the front doors. Yep. Backerds and upside down. Disassemble, start over. Tra la.



Eventually, though, we had the two bottom tiers built and framed in. Chet Baker kept walking in and out, perceiving that it was becoming a livable structure. And liking the way the sun warmed him, coming through deli trays.


Time to put the roof on! Ack Ack Ack! All roof putting on photos by Liam Thompson!!


Look out honey here we come! Get clear! Oof! Dang thing is heavy! Yeah, I got it, but just barely.


Next: The Groanhouse becomes a structure! That you can walk into! Sit in! Drink wine in! Not that you needed wine after you finished constructing it! Noo! Not at all!


6 comments:

Perhaps they should hire you to write the directions. Hmmmmph.

I'm tuckered out and feeling the need for some Ben-Gay just reading your greenhouse posts... .

Yeah. That face. The 'I'll be damned if I drop this sucker but whooo this is HEAVY' face.

Good job, you guys.

Enjoy your new deli.

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Reading this and earlier accounts of the Groanhouse helps me remember why, at our ages, my husband & I employ someone to build such structures.

The first thing I thought,was that you should write a manual WITH words.

You would have all the pitfalls up front so self discovery and rebuilding wouldn't have to happen.

And there ought to be a way for all the windows to be checked - maybe in the first layer of window build?

The company should pay you a little to write directions for dummies - that's us - and then pay you a $1 every time they sell.

I have NO spacial ability and can read NOTHING in pictures. This greenhouse probably would not have gotten built at all, unless I bought lots of pizza and beer for my skilled friends

And can you give us an easier way to prove we aren't robots. I can read the numbers but not the letters and now I think I'm up to 3 - 7 times.

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