Greenhouse Project

Made from old windows and doors.

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Greenhouse Rafters

To put up the rafters, Gary stood on a ladder while I slid each board up to him. He attached the top of each rafter to the main board with a 4" screw so that it would stay in place while he hammers in each nail. Each brace requires several nails on each side. Once the rafters are all hammered in place, the 4" screws are removed and the end bracing can be removed (The end bracing are the vertical pieces of lumber that were holding up the main beam, which are easily seen in the photo above).

The photo below shows the inside of the bracing and hopefully you can see the "H" that was created by screwing together two 2x4s and attaching them to the wall studs.

Greenhouse Interior Framing

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Mid October, we were able to start putting on the roofing panels.

Greenhouse Roof

Here's a picture of my wonderful husband up on the roof putting in the polycarbonate roof panels. These panels are pretty easy to work with, but you have no choice but to get up there as the panels need to be screwed down in many places. I was a nervous wreck the whole time he was up there.  Can you believe that he is not fond of heights?

Normally, you would finish the walls before attaching the roof for strength, so we had to brace the walls on three sides to make it more stable when climbing up there. I knew the roof would take a long time and since we are fighting mother nature with weather, I wanted to do the roof first before putting up the walls. It took about 4 hours to complete the roof over a two day period.

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The next three photos show the greenhouse with the plywood on the bottom and the front door in place. Most of the plywood was full sheets, but since I didn't want to waste anything, there is one section to the left of the front door that is pieced together. It won't be seen anyway since there will be cedar clap board covering the plywood.

Front of Greenhouse

This Craftsman style door was given to us by a friend that I met on a gardening forum. She lives about an hour east of us, and when she heard we were building a greenhouse, she generously offered us this door and some windows to help complete the project.

It took about 2 hours to get this door hung. We still need to do a little shimming and put in the top of the door frame, but the hard part is done. Gary planed down the sides and bottom of the door so it would fit a little better and we'll need to sand down the sharp edges created by the planer and prime and paint the exposed wood before winter.

Greenhouse Sides

Back of Greenhouse

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By the third week of October, all the doors and windows were installed except for the windows on the peak. We had to make some adjustments along the way as the plan on paper didn't exactly transfer to real life 100%. What plan ever does?

Also, to make things go a little faster, we decided to not make the windows on the side open (I wish now that we had). It's hard to tell by the photo, but the three large windows on each side are all attached together to form one large window. There is a piece of wood in between each window that connects to a frame of wood that surrounds all three windows. That frame is screwed into the wall studs. It would have made more sense to have two windows attached and then have the middle one push out, but I did not take that into consideration when I designed it initially. Once the framework was built, there was no way to change that. Gary trimmed off each window so that he would have a nice surface to attach the frame to, but that didn't make enough room to have all three windows framed separately. But it's OK because we have a functioning front door and back door that can be opened for extra ventilation and there will be a window on either end of the peak that will have automatic openers attached to vent any hot air.

Greenhouse with Windows Installed

The windows on either side of the front door are actually turned the wrong way so they would fit in the space better. Now looking at all the photos, it would have been more visually appealing if we had put a piece of wood below the windows rather than above the windows. The windows are not the same height as the windows on the side, but the piece of wood on the bottom would give the illusion that they were.

A few days after the above photo was taken, we fixed the windows on the end. I think they look better. I know they still aren't the same height as the windows on the sides, but it's much less noticeable than before, so I'm happy.

Back door of greenhouse

When installing the double door on the back, we had originally planned on having both doors open wide to allow access for my garden carts, but the single doors are actually large enough for that already, so we decided to make one door fixed so that there could be more storage space, which is more important to me.

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Crop Rotation

Find out why rotating crops is so important, even in small home gardens.

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