Hi folks. For the past several weeks I've been planning an indoor basement grow room. I created this thread to post pictures & document my progress with this build.
The area is roughly 12 feet long x 7.5 feet wide. Ceiling height is about 78 inches, 72 inches underneath a couple of floor support beams. I live in Zone 5. The basement has a very nice french drain & sump pump. I have a dehumidifier that drains directly into the sump. The previous homeowners drylocked the basement, so I am aware that there is a buildup of salts, minerals, and mold in the picture below. In the middle of winter the nighttime basement temps never dip below 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Purpose of the Room:
This room is intended as the catch-all for my plant obsession. I don't have much room in front of my more well-lit windows in my house. Some of my non-carnivorous plants are currently crammed in front of the windows, fighting for space, are an eyesore and at times get in my way. I'm planning to fill the room with carnivorous plants of all flavors, in addition to any other plant that finds its way into my collection (Tillandsia, Orchids, Ant Plants, Bromeliads, Tubs of Sphagnum Moss, African Violets, etc. you get the point!!). I also plan to set aside a bit of space to over-winter some of the plants that I grow outdoors in the summer, such as Meyer Lemon trees, etc. This room will also be used for plant propagation; but I will have a repotting station located outside of the room in the basement so I can try to keep the room neat & tidy. Last but likely not least...I'm planning to have enough space for a small folding table and 1-2 comfortable folding camping chairs (or those awesome plastic Adirondack chairs) to relax and enjoy my morning coffee, and an evening beer or gin & tonic whenever I feel like it.
My plan is to clean the basement wall & floor, removing as much of the mold and salt/mineral buildup as I can. After that my plan is to construct 4 framed walls with pressure treated lumber. Only 1 of the framed walls will be touching the basement wall, and I will be using special material to insulate the basement wall from the frame to allow the wall to breathe while protecting my frame from moisture. I will also be framing out a door. I decided not to drylok the basement wall as I've read many sources citing it as the direct cause for mold problems down the line as it prevents the wall from breathing. My basement is kept in good condition by the sump pump & dehumidifier. Next my plan is to install a moisture resistant drywall to the interior wood frame & ceiling, and tape all the seams & screw holes. At this point I will also install some ceiling ventilation ducting to remove excess heat & humidity and channel it into the main basement; most of which will be dealt with by my dehumidifier. After this, the wall & ceiling seams will be sanded. Finally I will then cover the walls and ceiling with several coats of a waterproofing paint for good measure. The paint I use will be flat, bright white, as I've read that this would give me a highly reflective surface. I will likely leave the basement floor alone for now, but will give it a good cleaning. Eventually I'll get around to covering the frame on the outside of the room, likely with just some OSB plywood type material and give it a couple coats of whichever water resistant color paint I choose. From here on out my plan is to fill the room with adjustable grow racks, lights, and tables in varying arrangements to suit the needs of the plants. I hope to slowly grow into this space and make a nice, warm, humid environment for my plants (and for me to enjoy my plants!). I'll be monitoring my day/evening conditions daily and make adjustments as needed; for example, more/less ventilation, oscillating fans, humidifier/hydrofogger, etc. I think that being such a closed system, the fluorescent lighting alone will produce sufficient heat for the system. Wish me luck!
Future site of indoor grow room by Radagast The Brown, on Flickr
In my opinion the most important piece of equipment for my grow room...
Most Important Grow Room Equipment by Radagast The Brown, on Flickr
EDIT: I've decided to just clean & drylok that one section of wall based on some suggestions from friends. Using the sealed basement wall painted white as one of my 4 walls would help the heat from getting out of control. So I'd have a nice, bright, well-lit and water proofed room with comfortable temps and high humidity. Sounds like a win-win for what I want to grow.