In spring, seeds have to be nursed, in summer, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, grapes etc. need extra warmth.
I winter, lots of plants need protection from the cold. In my attic it is too warm and dry - survival rates are low.
During about 2 years I have been keeping an eye out and been collecting suitable wood and other materials.
Everything is recycled and re-used, except nails, brackets, paint and the plastic roof cover.
Total costs for me were about E 200.
If used wood and 2nd hand agricultural glass would have been purchased, the costs would have been ca. E 800- 1000.
If new stuff would have been bought, the costs would have been over E 4000.
Companies selling greenhouses made from disassembled commercial large greenhouse complexes charge ca. E 10.000, assembled on site for this size.
If well built and maintained, it can last over a lifetime.
The greenhouse was built with hand tools and electrical hand saw, planer, router, belt sander and (battery) drill. In front, the allotment has 220 V.
Time: more than 2 months, almost full time (built completely on my own). Update: make it 3 months. (doors, gutters, and windows which can be opened). Building time can be shortened by using standard sizes of windows etc. (I made everything custom built)
The sizes are actually 5.20 x 3.85 m, with the roof reaching 2.75 m (not the decoration). For US: about 17 x 13 feet, with a height of about 8 feet.
Step 1: Materials
Wood: Lots of large boards (beams), about 16x 6 cm (6+ x 2+ inches). Many about 2 m, but some over a sweet 5m!!! (learn metrics!- 6 to 16+ feet). Had to be cut (over length) in 2! Many smaller boards were found, as needed. Sometimes, it almost seemed like I ordered them: anytime I needed a certain size, a certain amount, a dumpster showed up, with just the proper wood required!
The 'glass': This part of my instructable is of course very specific to my own situation: I found beautiful, large, discarded acrylic sheets, but with nasty commercial plastic foil stuck to it. It was loads of work to remove the sheets and very sticky glue, but now I am the envy of everyone.
In the step about ' the glass', I will present some options to find transparent greenhouse covering.
Finding useful stuff in dumpsters works 2 ways: Giving nice things found, away; everyone will help finding that special bracket, the ways to stabilize the frame, or the address where to obtain the perfect roof covering material.