March 24, 2009

Greenhouse From Old Windows

This is a brief guide on how I took some old windows from houses they where tearing down in my neighborhood and turned them into a small greenhouse in my
backyard. I collected the windows over the course of a year and a half and the build took about 3 months, spending one day a week on it. I spent about $300 for the
lumber for the frame and screws, caulk, latches, etc. That's almost 10% of what a greenhouse kit would cost. The size I built was 7ft high x 10ft deep x 6ft wide. But the
size of your greenhouse will depend on your windows and the time you want to put into project.

Image Notes
1. Area sealed with wood.
step 1: Collect Windows and Plan Two Pair of Equal Sides.
Look for old windows and save every one you get. After you have many, lay them out and play a game trying to make two pairs of "walls" both the same height. 2-3
inches won't matter as you can cover the difference with wood. Smaller holes will need to have glass cut for them or filled with something else. keep in mind that one end
will need a door and the other a hole for a fan.

Image Notes
1. Be sure to remove all the hardware.
2. Small areas like this can have glass cut and caulked in or just covered with wood.

step 2: Create a Frame
Using the windows you chose as a guide, construct a frame for each wall. Use good lumber for this, as it is the structure that holds all the weight. I used all 2x4's for the
studs and 4x4 for the corner posts. Chooses a length that allows at least 14" of the stud to be placed in the ground for support.

step 3: Brace Walls
Start placing the walls up, bracing well so they don't fall over. Be sure to check that they are level.

step 4: Make the Foundation Secure
To avoid certain problems with pesky permits I built the structure shed height and did not pour a foundation. Instead I used buried cinder blocks to stabilize the 4x4 corner
posts. They keep it from moving an inch.

step 5: Screw on Windows
I used some nice coated deck screws to affix the windows to the frame. This will allow for easy removal and replacement if any break. This side facing has the empty
window for a fan.

Image Notes
1. Fan goes here. Make sure it is across from your door.
2. This is an example of being able to "fudge" your walls a bit with the lumber.

step 6: Get a Floor
I was able to find someone who needed rocks removed from their yard. Using rocks or stones is good for two reasons: good drainage and heat storage.

step 7: Build the Roof
This was tricky. I ended up getting siding from an old shed someone had torn down. Any material you use, look for lightweight and waterproof material. Be sure that you
have some that will open for ventilation, at least 20-30% of your floorspace. You can get by with less if you use a fan for ventilation. Also build the slant roof with at least a
4 degree pitch, otherwise rain may not sheet off well.

step 8: Add the Shelves and Fans.
I found an old picnic bench table and this fan and shelf in the garbage. I figured I can use them in my greenhouse and save them from a landfill.

step 9: Caulk and Paint
Use a good outdoor caulk and seal all the cracks and holes between windows. Paint the wood to protect it from the weather.

Image Notes
1. I made a "barn-door" style door to allow for effective cross-breeze with fan.


riby_katine said...

mo puny rumah macam ni lah someday....wakakakak

puadi said...

huahuehuahuehuah.... iyah ikutan gmna pengennya aja dech... supaya cepet2 terlaksan keinginannya! keep contact my dear! hugh and kiss for you.