GardenTenders

Building the Greenhouse

  • Advertise with us
Project by wyndyacre posted 07-27-2008 08:09 PM 64247 views 19 times favorited 48 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Building the Greenhouse
Building the Greenhouse No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

We built my 10×18 greenhouse 6 years ago mostly from salvaged windows, doors and other material. It took us a couple years to collect everything either finding items by chance or having friends donate “junk” out of their garages and barns. The GH was then designed around the best of what we had collected.
Construction began in Sept of that year, with the building being closed in before winter weather began and the final touches being finished in the early spring…just in time to start growing!

Greenhouse, coldframe and veggie garden.

Ready to raise the roof windows.

Many of the windows are the old storm windows from the old train station in nearby Sarnia, the south roof are wood framed french doors that were all sitting in a friends hayloft, the wooden half of the floor was a deck on someones home and the brick floor are discounted pavers.
We built the benches from folding table legs and 1×1 deck balusters, the potting table is an old kitchen counter unit that was painted and fitted with new hardware. The door beneath the sink was removed and a sliding bin built to hold ProMix. Plants can be potted in the sink and leftover mix sent down the drain to the bin.

Potting table and water barrel.

I have electricity and a telephone in the GH. A 50 gallon barrel is filled by hose as my water source.
There is an automatic venting window in the roof, an exhast fan on a thermostat and an electric, oil filled space heater also on a thermostat. In the winter I cover the whole building with a clear Pool Cover, tacked to the building with strips of wood which greatly assists in insulating. Any walls that are not glass and the north side of the roof is also insulated with fiberglass batting.

Benches against south wall

Plants in the coldframe.

The grow light shelving is used with heat mats to start seeds starting in Jan every year. I bought the unit used at a great price and tho I don’t actually need to use the lights since it is in a GH, it makes great shelving for using my heat mats on.

Photobucket

I held a yearly perennial sale for many years at Wyndyacre and the greenhouse was always jam packed with propagrating plants from Jan til the sale in May. I got a new full time job recently and won’t be doing the sale any more so will have more time and space to propagate material for myself now.



View wyndyacre's profile

wyndyacre

24 posts in 3226 days
hardiness zone 6a

Embed This Project

GardenTenders Code

HTML Code

URL/IMG Code

Preview this project card


48 comments so far

View dini's profile

dini

1591 posts in 3319 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 07-27-2008 08:35 PM

Very nice. Excellent use of recycled material, and looks good, too.
I really like the way you modified the sink for potting.

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3232 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-27-2008 08:42 PM

I am so envious. I don’t have a greenhouse where we are now. The use of recycled windows is wonderful. Like Dini, I also like the idea of your sink.

Is it insulated at all for those cool nights in very early spring?

May I ask the dimensions of the structure? Where I live, we have to have a building permit if the structure is more than 100 square feet ... 10×10 ... 9×11.1 feet … etc. Did you have to have a building permit?

I truly like what you have done. Great job!

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3480 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 07-27-2008 09:00 PM

Wow!! Lots of hard work and imagination that has paid off wonderfully. As said above, wonderful use of recycled materials. Your greenhouse has so much character, love the way it looks.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Jason's profile

Jason

840 posts in 3456 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 07-27-2008 09:05 PM

I favorited this one! Outstanding job!!

-- Living on the square...Metro Detroit

View Eklectic's profile

Eklectic

1824 posts in 3402 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-27-2008 10:05 PM

Just love it! Beautiful work!

-- Eklectic, Follow my Bliss, South East Ontario 5a

View Gooseneck's profile

Gooseneck

599 posts in 3234 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-28-2008 12:40 AM

this is top notch work!

beautiful, just beautiful!

-- Toronto, Ontario

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3602 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-28-2008 05:28 AM

very impressive and it’s so beautiful!!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bob's profile

Bob

1429 posts in 3350 days
hardiness zone 3b

posted 07-28-2008 09:51 AM

Very nice structure. It will be an asset to your property and a lot of fun to use.
One suggestion:
Think about adequate ventilation. These glass houses get extremely hot even in mid winter.
The other suggestion is : Get some Remay cloth or shade cloth for the glass inside . You seedling will do better under diffused light and the temperature will be a bit less at mid day.

Bob

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth

View wyndyacre's profile

wyndyacre

24 posts in 3226 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 07-28-2008 06:37 PM

Thanks for your comments everyone.The greenhouse has provided me with many hours of enjoyment and has kept me sane in the winter! :)

Bob-I’ve developed a ventilation system that has worked quite well over the last 6 years. I’ve had the automatic roof vent right from the beginning and the doors and several windows all open for air circulation. With the addition of a 10” exhaust fan on a thermostat this spring, ventilation is finally perfect.

Around the beginning of May, I drop the bamboo rollup shades that are hung in the south facing windows. They are very inexpensive and the bamboo is spaced quite far apart. They wouldn’t provide much privacy in a home window but are perfect to provide the right amount of shade in the summer for the greenhouse.
I also began an espaliared apple tree as soon as the GH was finished. This photo is several years old. The espaliar is quite full now, fills the cable supports and provides more shade for the GH in the summer.

Espalaired apple tree and alliums in front of GH.

Some summers I’ve also tacked a translucent spun-polyester material to the rafters indoors for a shade cloth. The cloth is sold by Lee Valley as a row cover material but works perfectly as a shade cloth for the GH and is also very inexpensive.
By this time of the summer the GH is empty and I just leave the doors and windows propped open for the rest of the summer.

JRoot-As I keep the GH heated and running all winter long, it is well insulated with fiberglass batting in all the walls and the north side of the roof which is asphalt shingled. I also throw a huge MagniClear solar pool cover over the whole building from Nov to early April. It provides about 10-15* additional insulation. I caulk shut any windows that open and the west door with strippable caulking for the winter, available at any building supply store. Then I hang a thick bedspread over the west door wall (bought expressly for this purpose at the Goodwill). It eliminates any drafts around the west door as that is where the prevailing winter winds come from and I only use the east door for the winter.

Solar pool cover on GH for winter.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3232 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-28-2008 07:45 PM

Welll done. Thanks for your explanations. You have really thought it out to the nth degree. Good job.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Bob's profile

Bob

1429 posts in 3350 days
hardiness zone 3b

posted 07-28-2008 08:04 PM

Good to see you are a step ahead of me.

bob

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth

View lulugardengirl's profile

lulugardengirl

60 posts in 3229 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 07-31-2008 09:20 PM

this is great…really beautiful

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3382 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 08-01-2008 09:26 AM

Wow I just love that greenhouse.Every small gardeners dream.Congratulations on such a well thought out project.You’ve done an excellent job.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View Daisycrzy's profile

Daisycrzy

18 posts in 3440 days
hardiness zone 6

posted 09-28-2008 08:30 PM

Wow, soo very nice!!!!!! I’d love to have a greenhouse like this! I might not ever come in the house again! lol

-- "Where flowers bloom, so does hope," Lady Bird Johnson

View falkon's profile

falkon

1 post in 3102 days

posted 11-24-2008 04:10 AM

wow this is the nicest green house i have ever seen in wood construction… do u have any rough drawing for sharing…

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3373 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 02-23-2009 07:16 PM

I’m shocked I missed this post, especially since it’s such a nice greenhouse.. Good work!

My father had stacked up the old aluminum windows from their place when he changed out to new windows. Hoping I can get them from PA to KY and do my own greenhouse like this. Been planning it for a while, but they’re too big to fit right in the car.

Maybe I just need to pick up a hitch and rent a trailer. Long drive with it though.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View mario1360's profile

mario1360

921 posts in 3017 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-23-2009 07:26 PM

absolutely georgeous, i envy your talent, i cant even hit a nail straight….gorgeous….

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

View wyndyacre's profile

wyndyacre

24 posts in 3226 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 02-25-2009 06:09 PM

Thanks again everyone.
Now that I work full time in the winter, the GH doesn’t quite get used a much as it did other years. I haven’t started any seeds yet this year. But I still keep it heated and have all my tender perennials and tropicals stored out there for the winter. I also have a collection of cactus some of which are starting to bloom.

Cactus/succulents in the greenhouse.

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3422 days

posted 02-25-2009 06:53 PM

Aside from the practicality of the GH and a major on my “wish list” your Gh shows character, its simplicity is perfect and I think you did a fantastic job of it…..............inspires me to do the same!!!!

Might you be so kind to explain how the other part works, the lower area with just two leanto type windows…....what do you use that for and when do you use it?

You got some really nice plants!!!!

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View wyndyacre's profile

wyndyacre

24 posts in 3226 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 02-25-2009 08:40 PM

The smaller unit with the “lean-to” covers is a coldframe. It is a woodframed unit covered in polycarbonate greenhouse material. I was fortunate to find it in a refuse pile behind the college greenhouse when I was taking the Horticulture Course. They let me drag it home and we did some major refurbishing.

It is used for “hardening” plants off, that have been moved out of the greenhouse and before they get planted in the ground.
Plants raised in a greenhouse are tender and not used to full sun, wind, extreme temp ranges, driving rain etc. This gives them a chance to gradually get used to outdoor conditions before being planted. I can move them out and control when and how much the covers are open for a week or so and then kick them outside when I think they are ready.

I keep some plants in there over the winter also…things in plastic nursery pots that I didn’t get around to planting that need some protection over the winter.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3602 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-26-2009 05:37 AM

I think I’d live out there if that was in my yard!! So beautiful.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3480 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 02-26-2009 08:57 AM

You and me BOTH, MsDeb … just such a gorgeous place you have Wyndyacre. :-)

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3373 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 02-26-2009 08:59 AM

Did you use pre-fab windows or build your own frames? Tempered glass, or no?

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 3231 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-26-2009 09:05 AM

GranT, I wish Wyndyacre would put more pics of her place, her gardens, etc. She has really developed her place into a show-stopper since she bought it. But she has dial-up and it takes so long to load pictures.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3480 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 02-26-2009 09:12 AM

Iris, your daughter’s place must indeed be a show-stopper just from the photos we have seen. Beautiful!!! You must love spending time over there with her (although the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”; because your yard is indeed a beautiful place as well!!). But totally understand dial-up and the frustration that goes along with it. Sooooooo, we’ll happily take whatever photos she posts. :-)

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View wyndyacre's profile

wyndyacre

24 posts in 3226 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 02-26-2009 05:31 PM

Scott…all the windows are salvage in their original wood frames. They came from many different sources and were collected for a couple years before we designed the greenhouse around what we had collected.

The south roof is old double-pane, sliding doors and the glass in them is tempered. The rest of the windows are just old, single pane storm windows.

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3373 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 02-26-2009 06:02 PM

Three sliding glass doors? That’s quite a find in itself and explains why you doubled the rafters in that area.

I’m hoping that I can save the aluminum windows from the old house and make use of those.. Just stuck trying to figure out how to bring them down.

LOL.. I just found your post over @ gardenweb while surfing for greenhouses made with reclaimed windows. Nice.. ;)

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View donc's profile

donc

1 post in 2989 days

posted 03-16-2009 07:21 PM

This is great. You are the kind of person we’ve been looking for. My husband would like to know how you framed in the windows on the roof, mainly how to seal them to keep them from leaking?

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3373 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 03-20-2009 10:41 AM

wyndyacre, what kind of foundation did you lay for the greenhouse? Having trouble figuring it out from the pictures. Especially when half the floor is brick and the other wood.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View SuzyQ's profile

SuzyQ

2 posts in 2944 days

posted 04-30-2009 11:47 PM

wyndyacre, could you please answer about framing the salvaged door units into the roof? How did you seal them to keep them from leaking? My carpenter says he can bend metal to go between them and silicone it to them. Is there a simpler way?

View wyndyacre's profile

wyndyacre

24 posts in 3226 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 06-25-2009 09:41 PM

The rafters supporting the windows are doubled up…two pieces of lumber side by side for each rafter. This provides wood to screw the windows to. Before screwing the windows down, a thick bead of silicone caulking was run down the whole surface of the rafter. The window is laid on this and screwed down. Then another bead of caulking is laid along the top of each seam, where the windows butt up to each other.

The ridge line of the roof has a row of asphalt shingles that overlap over the roof and windows. The bootom edge of the windows is flashed with metal flashing.

The roof has leaked slightly in a couple spots over the years….GH is now 7 years old. We just did a recaulking and staining of all the seams and wood last summer. Leaks disappeared.

View SuzyQ's profile

SuzyQ

2 posts in 2944 days

posted 06-26-2009 08:42 AM

I finally have mine complete. I love it. But, it’s too hot in South Mississippi to put anaything in it right now… Can’t wait till the fall. It’s my dream. Thanks, wyndyacre, for the inspiration. I lucked up on some windows from a house that was being torn down, and my son replaced three sets of sliding glass doors with french doors, so all I was going to have to buy, besides framing lumber was an entry door. Well, I went to dinner one Friday night and lo and behold the frame shop next door to the restaurant had replaced a metal 9-pane door with something fancier and had thrown the old one out to be picked up by garbage truck. I retrieved it and voila, my greenhouse was ready to be built. Still don’t have it stained, but I am trying to get that done in the next couple of weeks if the temp dips below 100 again… I’ll post pics when it’s finished.

View Ingrid's profile

Ingrid

56 posts in 2981 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 09-22-2009 12:50 PM

I absolutely love this green house! I hope you don’t mind but I would like to steal some of you ideas when we get around to building me one after our move.

-- A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

View mitchdcba's profile

mitchdcba

1 post in 2616 days

posted 03-25-2010 02:57 AM

Yeah, that bums me out too. Seriously, anyone who wants a greenhouse should really be able to have one with a bit of effort.

View sethky's profile

sethky

1 post in 2604 days

posted 04-05-2010 05:25 PM

Unbelievable! This is the best DIY greenhouse I’ve ever seen. That includes mine, which I just completed out of recycled windows.

http://rubicongreenhouse.blogspot.com/

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3422 days

posted 04-05-2010 11:02 PM

a greenhouse is always a sweet kick start to a Canadian Garden.

Its like gasoline

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View MuckRacker's profile

MuckRacker

5 posts in 2504 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-15-2010 01:53 PM

That’s my idea of a perfect Greenhouse. Hope to do something very similar soon. What size “windows” do you have on top? Can you post a few comments on setting them into the wood frame.

Best Regards from

Aurora Ontario

-- William (Aurora Ontario)

View Sandra's profile

Sandra

101 posts in 2213 days
hardiness zone 8a

posted 05-05-2011 03:35 AM

You built a very nice greenhouse!! Awesome you were able to use recycled parts as well!
Sandra :)

-- http://www.joeandsandrashippies.blogspot.com

View coloradogirl's profile

coloradogirl

23 posts in 2533 days
hardiness zone 4b

posted 05-18-2011 08:24 AM

Wonderful! I am just pea green with envy :)

-- coloradogirl---SW Colorado, 7,000' elevation, zone 4,

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3811 posts in 3231 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 05-18-2011 08:47 AM

Here are some more recent pics DD took of Wyndyacre….

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 3382 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 05-18-2011 09:28 AM

Wow your yard is looking beautiful.Nice job on it.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3602 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-18-2011 10:31 AM

and she works outside the home as well… how does she find the time??
stunning (love that last photo)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View dini's profile

dini

1591 posts in 3319 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 05-18-2011 11:52 AM

Wow!

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3232 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 05-18-2011 04:25 PM

WOW !

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4312 posts in 2864 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 05-18-2011 07:14 PM

Paradise on earth, just beautiful! Thanks for the new photos, Iris.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3422 days

posted 05-18-2011 07:32 PM

Eden

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View clarksons's profile

clarksons

2 posts in 1151 days

posted 03-28-2014 11:58 PM

Wow that impressive green house, I wish I have that space to to build my own garden house. But you know what, check this one http://coastwideshadesails.com.au/shade-sails-products/umbrellas/ vinyl umbrella or awnings is perfect to add in front of your green house, why not try.

View leeman's profile

leeman

12 posts in 985 days

posted 09-11-2014 03:17 AM

Got scrap from the local store, I am planning to make my own green house, I guess you also need to see here, which I think perfect to use in the construction.

-- check me at http://caldwells.com/exterior-doors - 2070 Newcomb Avenue, Unit B, San Francisco, CA 94124.

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: All views and comments posted by members are not necessarily those of GardenTenders.com or of those working on the site.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

LumberJocks.com :: woodworking showcase

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com