Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big Screen Room 101

As long as I've had and been creating my big screen room around my T@B, I just realized I've never really detailed how it was made or how I set it up.
Here you go:
First things first, the materials:
Two - 10x20 Instant Set Up Shelters
Two sets of screen walls that go with the Wal-Mart First Up Shelters and three sets of solid walls that go with the Wal-Mart First Up Shelters. (The third set was to provide extra material and zippers). When I purchased mine, blue was still an available color, now tan is all that is available.
10 ft and 5 ft zippers.
ebay seller: zipperstop
belt webbing, and snaps
The first thing I did was cut two 10 ft. by about 12" wide strips from one of the sets of solid walls, and sewed the edges and sewed them to one of the long side of one of the shelters, then sewed zippers to the other long side to create "gutters" of sorts to connect the two shelters together, so very little water drips in between the shelters.
Then, I cut all the top connecting straps off of the two sets of screen walls and two of the sets of solid walls. I sewed zippers to the tops of the screen walls, then pinned and sewed the other half of the zippers around the entire perimeter of the two shelters set up. I used some of the extra material in the third set of solid walls to give the two sets of screen rooms a little more girth to go all the way around both shelters. I sewed the solid walls to the top edge of the screen walls (below the zipper) with the belt webbing at strategic places so that I could roll up the solid walls when not needed. Then I sewed vertical zippers in appropriate places to zip it all up when necessary.
Now for setup pictures.
First I back the camper into the spot leaving as much room as possible behind the camper.
I set up the first shelter and raise the front legs onto two tables I have:

And raise the middle legs onto two bins that I have:

That raises the front edge of the shelter enough to push the camper underneath.
I then set up the second shelter:

Then zip the two shelters together with my gutter:

I then string my lights around the shelter. I like the mini lights. It gives me enough moving around light in the evening without attracting a lot of bugs. I use blue most of the year, but use orange string lights at Halloween, and multicolor lights at Christmas.

Then I start zipping on the walls. They ended up being in three pieces.

I then stake everything down. I even still have most of the loops in the bottom of the screens and stake those down also. I also have shelter weights that I use on some of the legs if needed, and I have some lynx levels that I put under some of the legs to level the shelter if the site is uneven.
Then I roll the solid walls up (rolling them under), and secure them up with the belt webbing with snaps that were sewn into the seam where the solid walls meet the screens.

In moderately warm weather, with all the screens up, I can leave the T@B door open in a relatively bug free environment and the Cool Cat can provide some cooling to my outdoor space. In REALLY hot weather such as the last week, it was actually better to open up some of the screens and just run fans.
In cold weather, with all the solid walls down, I can turn on my propane tank top heater and warm the outdoor space.
This setup can also be done with 4 10x10 First Up awnings from Wal-Mart. The only additional thing you need is extra gutters to join the awnings in the other direction.

1 comment:

outdoor patio cover said...

Nice pictures and documentation. Not too bad a cover! Almost as good as the type that gets installed on a person's house.