This is a Greenhouse made by me alone and is in memory of my Mother and Daughter. It is mainly made from 110 yr. old windows obtained from the Eastern Shores of Virginia.The Doors were obtained from down the road at a house that was being remodeled and the cinder block and mortar used for the foundation are left over from a house being built around the corner. It measures 16' x 12' and is wired for 110 volts. I particularly like the split level roof and the open concept  Credit belongs to Buildeasy-Greenhouse for the basic design which I built to suite. This is a labor of love with no deadline, and as a result you will see rough but quality work. All wood is pressure treated , primed and painted prior to assembly  Tools used were circular saw, zaw-zaw, chop saw, cordless drill, hammer and measuring tools. Don't forget PPE, (personal protective equipment). I'll talk about that later. 
      I am currently in the process of building a Hydroponic growing system for growing vegetables and flowers. The first type of system will be Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) using channels constructed from UV-stabilized, recycled plastics, 6"Wide x 2.5"Deep. It is suitable for large, leafy plants and vine varieties, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum and zucchini,  in which the recycled nutrients flow past the roots 24/7. I will learn this technique before starting a second type. (if you're wondering why there is one yellow window frame it's because that's what I visualized in my mind what it was going to look like when it was finished. ) 

Step 1: Hot Day in August

This picture was taken on afternoon toward the end of August. Here is a good shot of the Greenhouse with 70% shade cloth covering the south side. I did a pretty good job blocking the sun but there was still some issues with the heat. One day I was complaining to Dennis about the heat and he asked me what I did for the plants that were outside in Mother"s garden. Nothing I said. There you have it. I guess if the outside plants can handle it so can these. Jeez!
<p>Wow. that is amazing. I am envious. I have been saving old windows myself to do this very thing although not on the grand scale you have done. I am thinking since I live in Orlando it might be way to hot. But you did a fantastic job. I am sorry for your loss. </p>
aje127, You are very kind, Thank you.<br> I lived in Panama City for 3 years in the early 90's. I really enjoyed it, especially the Gulf, where I worked most of the time. Greenhouse where you live should be OK. You might want to provide more ventilation than what I have. Have some mixed in screen panels among your window. You should definitely try it. It is very rewarding. I'm working on a blogger web site, Just learning how to make one. It's a little confusing but I'm getting there. Go to www.hydroponicpioneer.com. and tell me what you think.<br><br>James
<p>I'm a techie not a gardener but this has to be my favorite Instrucable so far.</p><p>Very innovative, entertaining, moving, and a lesson in how to live life well.</p><p>Thank you for your inspiration.</p>
jburns47, glad I could have been of some help, your comments make me happy. I sent it to the chaplain of the Hospice House here so she can share it with other grievers. Life is not over when someone we love leaves us.but it feels like it for a while.
<p>No finer Memorial was ever built, protecting and nurturing the ever-growing, green life inside, as is surely its effect on the builder, too. Thank you for your story and obviously high standards in life, and thank you for serving your country.</p>
<p>Brilliant idea to dry fit the windows in your frame before putting it up!</p>
<p>I think it was a very good idea to spray paint down the lines of the foundation. It helps to visualize the physical space far better than string. A view from the second story makes it all that more useful, as you can judge what the greenhouse would block from your views.</p>
<p>this is absolutely inspiring! I felt so guilty when we got rid of our old windows, from our 1923 home, for more efficient ones. I wish I had found your Instructable back then, as I am also an enthusiastic gardener. Bravo to your obvious talents!</p>
<p>Thank you Karinsart. Don't feel guilty it happens, There are plenty out there for you. Today I am working with ladybugs. Bought some to take care of the aphids. They are so cool to watch. check out youtube ( MHPgardener) He has a fantastic site and instructions.</p>
Nice job !! Reminded me of the greenhouse my Father &amp; I build about 30 years ago. It was much bigger as he was growing commercially, but it was built from old windows from a school. If I remember right, the windows were 16'x3'. That made the walls 32' long &amp; 6' high. The roof was made from 2x6s &amp; glass was laid in an overlapping (like shingles) pattern into rabbets in the 2x6s. Hope you have many years of enjoyment &amp; peace in your GH.
Just a tip I remembered, if you find the GH getting to hot in summer, you can thin down white latex paint &amp; paint the roof with it to cut down the sun entering. By the time fall arrives the paint has weathered off &amp; you have full sun again. CHEERS!
Good idea Lectric Wizard, I just might try it. Right not I have the shade cloth on one side but the other side is in need. I like the idea. Your GH sounds like it was very nice. I bet you enjoyed it but if it was commercial it was a lot of work I bet. <br>Take care
<p>I noticed that you used polyprop panels on your roof. We had glass, so you might want to do a test to make sure the paint doesn't harm the plastic, but I think it should be fine. I think we used quite a thin mix but I don't remember the ratio. I've heard that windshield washer fluid works better that plain water, as water can sometimes make the latex set up instantly, but haven't tried it. Again some experimenting is in order. In a few years I'll be retiring to a small farm I have &amp; hope to build a little GH then. Cheers!</p>
Very impressive work !&hellip; <br>Congrat's !&hellip;
Thank you for the recommendation, good idea, I will look into the shades and electrical interface.Thanks for the nice compliment also.
Plants do not need sun exposure all day long in order to thrive. One way to help keep the temperature down in the summer would be to install bamboo type roll up shades around the outside (or inside in order to preserve the window look, i.e. full wall &quot;window shades&quot;. This would be in addition to the roof coverings. <br> <br>With a little help from your electrician, you could install small electric motors to raise and lower the shades individually at various programmed times during the day depending on sun angle. A programmable control box for a zone type lawn sprinkler system would work great. <br> <br>Fantastic and beautiful green house! It has personality!!
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind, there is one not to far from me.
tractor supply still sells nut an bolt by the Lb.s.
Updated, 9-15-13, frame 34, week 6
A wonderful tribute to your mom and daughter. It is a beautiful piece of work and, I am sure, a wonderful help when you feel down. Good job of recycling too!!! those windows and doors are too beautiful to be in a landfill somewhere!!! <br>
Thank you for your nice review, it does help me a lot, I believe there is a force field surrounding it. Right now the tomato plants are blooming in Sept. I'm excited!
I love every detail you put into it! I've been wanting a greenhouse as long as I can remember. I think I'm going to post on FB to see if anyone has any windows they want to get rid of. Maybe I can get my dad to help me build one. Only thing is I'd like to be able to take it with me if/when I move. Renting now, so when I get my own place, I'm definitely going to have a green house. Even if its just big enough to hold a few plants at first. I love growing & making things, it just the physical labor part I have trouble doing. Have had 2 lower back surgeries & need 2 more. 1 on upper & 1 on lower. Plus I have a bunch of other probs too. If I can make a greenhouse, I'm definitely going to try to do the stacking technic. Where the plants are on racks above each other so you have more space. <br/>Do you need a heater or anything for the winter time?
Thanks for the feedback and compliment, Yes i have a heater. This will be the first winter so I will have to sort it out. I plan on trying to maintain about 70 degrees inside during the winter. Yes, Having a greenhouse would definitely be good therapy for you.It is for me. and Yes, ask dad to help you. I think the stacking method would be perfect. Check out YouTube for a guy named MHP Gardener. Very very smart and has helped me some. There are a lot of smart people out there that you can learn from,I have. I will send an update on my hydroponic garden this weekend---Blessings to you.
Not only an amzing greenhouse, but the story behind it makes you feel warm too. <br>I have seen similar kin dof greenhouses before, but they all are ment to be cheap and built cheap by stacking windows, <br> <br>this one is completely designed around reused windows and ment to stay. Love it and i'm already thinking of what part of the garden i can free up ... <br> <br>the part where you mention its a reminder to your daughter takes my breath away, father of 3 kids myself.
A beautiful tribute to your mom & daughter. A place where there is sunshine, warmth, and lots of life. I hope that your fond memories of them and your new memories you create in the greenhouse, garden & workshop help each day to get a little easier for you. Thank you for this instruct able and for serving our country for so many years.
This is an amazing greenhouse. Truly jaw dropping and inspiring. Thank you for sharing this and your story.
Thank you for the compliment, It helped me get through the worst year of my life and still is. I'm working on the interior now. Custom shelving etc...
This is a beautiful project an a great narrative to accompany it.

About This Instructable




Bio: Retired from the U.S. Navy of 24 yrs. in 1996. Was a Navy Deep Sea Diver for 18 1/2 yrs.Have always loved ... More »
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