Home & Garden

anyone fab up their own greenhouse?

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  • Apr 22nd, 2020 9:08 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 28, 2005
83 posts
6 upvotes
Georgetown

anyone fab up their own greenhouse?

i'm in an unforgiving northern climate now and ran out of time before last years frost to harvest half my gardens veggies.

i'd like to put some sort of plexi enclosure extending past my garage where the garden is.. has anyone sourced raw materials to use as posts and T's to mate uprights to ceiling panels?

i've been checking aliexpress too figuring i can source glass or lexan locally.. but not much luck.
37 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2007
2619 posts
857 upvotes
sm4k wrote: i'm in an unforgiving northern climate now and ran out of time before last years frost to harvest half my gardens veggies.

i'd like to put some sort of plexi enclosure extending past my garage where the garden is.. has anyone sourced raw materials to use as posts and T's to mate uprights to ceiling panels?

i've been checking aliexpress too figuring i can source glass or lexan locally.. but not much luck.
Do you live in a small village? You should be able to get either in the city, just call up a glass shop, they carry both. They can also cut to size for you.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 28, 2005
83 posts
6 upvotes
Georgetown
worse than a small village.. city about 5 hours away on terrible roads.
what name might such framing go by other than "greenhouse posts" ?
Deal Guru
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Sep 1, 2005
12554 posts
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Markham
sm4k wrote: i'm in an unforgiving northern climate now and ran out of time before last years frost to harvest half my gardens veggies.

i'd like to put some sort of plexi enclosure extending past my garage where the garden is.. has anyone sourced raw materials to use as posts and T's to mate uprights to ceiling panels?

i've been checking aliexpress too figuring i can source glass or lexan locally.. but not much luck.
If you can find vapour barrier plastic 6mm thick, you can create enclosure using 2x4's and the plastic.

http://gardeningwithgramps.blogspot.com ... ars-i.html
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15925 posts
13161 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
We looked at roughing up some sort of greenhouse structure (Example 6x6 or bigger )
But unless you have a FREE to CHEAP source of old windows
It’s really not worth the effort

Cheaper to just buy a pre fab from a DIY Big Box Store (Lowe’s, Rona, Home Depot )
Or elsewhere on line (like Wayfair, The Bay etc)

In a previous thread, someone mentioned a great US supply Co. (sorry name escapes me at the moment )
Where one could order on line or get from one of their stores (of which there were tons across America)
Prices were extremely reasonable
More so if you can go across the border yourself & pick it up

There are quite a few greenhouse related topics here on RFD
Just put the key word : GREENHOUSE
Into the SEARCH THIS FORUM at the top of the HOME & GARDEN FORUM Directory

Here’s two of my faves

sturdy-glass-greenhouse-backyard-2361814/
want-build-greenhouse-2214072/

Personally, we are still leaning towards a mini greenhouse right now ... something like this
https://thorndown.co.uk/projects/painti ... reenhouse/

If you google: MINI GREENHOUSE
You’ll find lots
Some bigger, some smaller
Some taller
Some that are more furniture like that can be unassembled & then reassembled indoors for the winter
Extremely practical in this climate
Where many of us begin our gardens / seeds / seedlings indoors each New Year

The one thing that I can say ... is when it comes to Greenhouses in the ready made DIY category there is a lot of choices
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 28, 2005
83 posts
6 upvotes
Georgetown
i'll search around for that u.s. company..

the link with the "wrap" was interesting but the roof would cave in from snow the first winter..

it's easy enough to source old screen doors and windows if i cant find plain glass.

good leads though thanks i'll do some digging for more details.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3234 posts
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Toronto
I paid $100 for very large custom made storm windows. Single pane glass, operating windows. About 33" x 65" in size each.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9960 posts
5246 upvotes
Paris
sm4k wrote: i'll search around for that u.s. company..

the link with the "wrap" was interesting but the roof would cave in from snow the first winter..

it's easy enough to source old screen doors and windows if i cant find plain glass.

good leads though thanks i'll do some digging for more details.
You wont easily find old screen doors as they have value as scrap aluminum. Old patio doors are a dime a dozen in a normal spring and I personally welcome anyone on this forum to come by and get a truck load from our place in Dundas.

If you have a 5 footer and a six footer, you just put the matching door on the opposite side and the overall wall length will be consistent.

Many many years ago I did vapour over 2x2s to put over my strawberries in the spring and it works well to this day. I only have it out around now till the weather stays warm and its 6 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet
Member
Jul 23, 2014
230 posts
229 upvotes
Outaouais
How would you usually heat up the greenhouse when it's -30 outside?
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9960 posts
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Paris
SuperHanuman wrote: How would you usually heat up the greenhouse when it's -30 outside?
The big burning ball of nuclear reactor that shines from 6am to 7pm right now.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
6608 posts
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GTA
Jerico pointed out using old patio doors, its a good source of free glass. Wanted to mention similar source, there are plans and pics online of greenhouses built from old shower glass panels-doors. A lot of old shower glass has light weight frames, we had a few glass door panels hinged off old cottage wall.
[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 28, 2005
83 posts
6 upvotes
Georgetown
super generous with the patio doors! i guess i meant patio doors but due to resitrictions associated with cost of travel here a lot of recycleables are wasted.. i'll drop off some useful scrap when i come grab patio doors if they are still available.

i dont think i'd grow all through winter (-30? hah -50 some nights but its a dry cold) just want extend the season and draw some of the heat from my garage which i keep toasty (all my toys in there) and vent the greenhouse area when needed.

i have some left over sonotube for posts and rigging for patio doors wont be hard.

project is shaping up thanks all!
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9960 posts
5246 upvotes
Paris
sm4k wrote: super generous with the patio doors! i guess i meant patio doors but due to resitrictions associated with cost of travel here a lot of recycleables are wasted.. i'll drop off some useful scrap when i come grab patio doors if they are still available.

i dont think i'd grow all through winter (-30? hah -50 some nights but its a dry cold) just want extend the season and draw some of the heat from my garage which i keep toasty (all my toys in there) and vent the greenhouse area when needed.

i have some left over sonotube for posts and rigging for patio doors wont be hard.

project is shaping up thanks all!
Old windows and patio doors normally go to the dump so call a local busy window place once they are running again near you. They will be happy to not have to pay for disposal
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
749 posts
313 upvotes
sm4k wrote: i'll search around for that u.s. company..

the link with the "wrap" was interesting but the roof would cave in from snow the first winter..

it's easy enough to source old screen doors and windows if i cant find plain glass.

good leads though thanks i'll do some digging for more details.
Palram
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
749 posts
313 upvotes
sm4k wrote: super generous with the patio doors! i guess i meant patio doors but due to resitrictions associated with cost of travel here a lot of recycleables are wasted.. i'll drop off some useful scrap when i come grab patio doors if they are still available.

i dont think i'd grow all through winter (-30? hah -50 some nights but its a dry cold) just want extend the season and draw some of the heat from my garage which i keep toasty (all my toys in there) and vent the greenhouse area when needed.

i have some left over sonotube for posts and rigging for patio doors wont be hard.

project is shaping up thanks all!
Palram also makes lightweight polycarb sheets suitable for Canadian winters that you can use instead of glass or plastic. If installed correctly, the sheets have great wind and snow resistence and they're lightweight.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
12554 posts
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Markham
Cons of old windows and doors is sourcing them, poor insulation (likely single pane) and jigsawing them together.

I still think simple 2x4 framing (or you can use electrical conduit which is also pretty cheap) and vapour barrier is great to start - cheap, fast and easy to build, effective, lightweight. You can even install barrier on both sides of 2x4 to create an insulating air barrier. If it tears, just reinstall it. When it gets warm, buy the black mesh type stuff you see that commercial growers use and install that over the frame instead.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 9, 2010
2760 posts
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Windsor
Do not use glass unless you REALLY care about how transparent the panels are (aka: it's a show-greenhouse). Glass has a lot of problems, a big one being that it breaks relatively easy, and a smaller one being that it has brutal thermal properties (aka: it's a bad insulator). You'll also note that the overhead panels would either need to be internally laminated, or you'd have to laminate them yourself, so when one of the panels breaks, you don't have shards of glass in your plants that you will be finding for the next 20 years. You can get lexan for the ceiling (and the walls if you want) but it will be insanely expensive.

Use those expanded polycarb panels; a lot cheaper, have higher r-value, and they're near indestructible. The negative being that they're not clear, meaning you can't see through them (but plenty of light will get through). If you want to go super cheap, you can make a frame, wrap the inside with poly-sheeting, and wrap the outside with poly-sheet (so you have an air-gap); quite efficient on the cheap.
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[OP]
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 28, 2005
83 posts
6 upvotes
Georgetown
i think i'll be using a combination of all three..

not a show piece by any means and being able to tape up any holes is a big bonus..

i'm remote but neighbours arent any real distance apart so the challenge will be not making a community eye sore out of the project.

hopefully by the end of the season i'll have materials gathered and posts in to extend the season a bit..

zero intention of shovelling the roof of the greenhouse all winter though so unless i find the space massively theraputic its doubtful i'll set foot inside after november.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
749 posts
313 upvotes
ChubChub wrote: Do not use glass unless you REALLY care about how transparent the panels are (aka: it's a show-greenhouse). Glass has a lot of problems, a big one being that it breaks relatively easy, and a smaller one being that it has brutal thermal properties (aka: it's a bad insulator). You'll also note that the overhead panels would either need to be internally laminated, or you'd have to laminate them yourself, so when one of the panels breaks, you don't have shards of glass in your plants that you will be finding for the next 20 years. You can get lexan for the ceiling (and the walls if you want) but it will be insanely expensive.

Use those expanded polycarb panels; a lot cheaper, have higher r-value, and they're near indestructible. The negative being that they're not clear, meaning you can't see through them (but plenty of light will get through). If you want to go super cheap, you can make a frame, wrap the inside with poly-sheeting, and wrap the outside with poly-sheet (so you have an air-gap); quite efficient on the cheap.
Palram Suntuf polycarb makes a clear panel. They are guaranteed for 20 years not to discolour or get cloudy.

Whatever options you use on the sides be it windows or plastic vapour barrier, consider using the Palram Suntuf panels on the roof so you don't have to keep repairing the plastic. A better investment would be to do the whole structure in these panels but they are pricier than plastic sheething obviously. If you use a vapour barrier on the roof, the snow will damage it every year. Snow will slide off the Suntuf corregated panels at even a modest pitch. In the long run the polycarb roof is your best bet.

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