Backyard Greenhouse From Reclaimed Windows

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Introduction: Backyard Greenhouse From Reclaimed Windows

The backyard green house has been a great addition to our way of gardening, it is a great place for us to store our potted plants from around the pool in the winter and a great place to start plants before the growing season. I created the initial design in Tremble Sketchup and a number of my initial green house scale drawings can be found in the Tremble 3D warehouse. The greenhouse measures 12' X 12' and is almost 12' tall at the highest point.

Step 1: Begin With a Plan.

A plan is critical when trying to use reclaimed Windows. Determining a plan, a layout and the utilization of the materials was the most difficult part of the construction process. Luckily I found that the windows with a 2x4 frame work was almost 12' and was the determining factor in the dimensions of the greenhouse.

Step 2: Determine the Proper Window Angle for the Most Solar Collection During the Winter Months.

The next stage in planning was the angle at which the primary window wall should be. There is a basic rule of thumb in greenhouse construction that the proper southern facing wall angle should be 10 degrees greater than the latitude of your location. My latitude in Tennessee is 35 degrees so the angle of my primary southern facing window is 45 degrees. This provides the optimum angle for both summer and winter months.

Step 3: Final Framing, Ridge and Roof Assembly.

This is the final framing stage before the beginning of window installation. The rear / northern roof section will be covered in a corrugated translucent poly material from a local hardware store. It was constructed in such a way as the corrugated material will sir flush on the lath and seal out any drafts. I will insulate the inside of the northern roof section with clear plastic.

Step 4: Preparing the Windows, Doors, and Trim Pieces for Installation

Step 5: Window Installation Begins

The east and west windows are three panel crank out windows that I acquired from Craigslist and they work excellent. The positioning was determined after I got the windows and figured out how I could use the smaller Windows below. The main front windows were installed in the framework with screws and about 15 tubes of silicone caulk. I opted to paint all the frame work white before installing the Windows.

Step 6: Final Exterior Close Out, Painting and Assmbly

The front corners were filled in with the same poly material used on the ceiling. The side and rear close out is 3/4" plywood.

Step 7: Flagstone Floor Installation - Heat Storage Device.

Step 8: Interior Growing Tables and Porch Installation.

Step 9: Things Are Growing!

A fan installed in the top of the roof pitch with a vent at the floor line for cross ventilation. Also, installed a 220v electric heater for the cold months in Tennessee as well as an automatic irrigation system to keep it all moist.

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    35 Comments

    0
    peg.yehl
    peg.yehl

    Question 9 months ago on Step 9

    I'm about to build a similar design except mine has a build up along the top which will be hinged poly framed windows and solar piston arm lifter to allow hot air rising... My question was when adding the window sashes on the south angle wall - did you install 2x2 against the 2x4s for a lip for them to sit on? Then another board on front after installed? Mine will be sashes upright on the front wall to about 5' then the angled roof which Im using poly carb triple wall. On north wall I planned to have it solid and insulated as well as the north roof to help keep from warm air rising & out the glazing in winter time. Another question - your base - did you put anything (stone, cement, etc) under your base plate or just treated wood right on leveled out ground?

    0
    Kirklewellen
    Kirklewellen

    Reply 9 months ago

    Yes, I added a 2X2 on the 2X4 (all treated, it gets really wet with my irrigation system) there is a 5/4 "cap" over the shashes that traps the windows in place and all of that is sealed. In retrospect I should have gone the route you are going as the shashes after about 5 years now have rotted away. Last Fall I tore it all apart and build new frames for the windows.

    My North wall is insulated but I have a double door for easier access.

    For the Base I used pressure treated 4X4's lying on the ground I leveled. I did not use anything under them. The floor is some leftover flagstone for the waling/storage area for potted plants (from around the pool) and under my shelves is dirt for cool-season crops.

    Good luck on your build. Mine has been very rewarding.

    0
    schaltung67
    schaltung67

    2 years ago

    Im going to copyright the project idea with a little changes. I will use polycarbonate instead of used windows and dimensions will be a bit different. Thank you for idea!

    666E75D9-8E18-4F11-9C4F-894D408F6504.jpeg4DD20154-9705-4C29-A659-B1A61BA9DE40.jpeg
    0
    beutler.r
    beutler.r

    5 years ago

    Where can I find a blue print plans?

    0
    PetervdPol
    PetervdPol

    5 years ago

    Nicely done!

    0
    Kirklewellen
    Kirklewellen

    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks!

    0
    diy_bloke
    diy_bloke

    5 years ago

    looks great. Especially the decorations on the rooftop

    0
    ScottH218
    ScottH218

    5 years ago

    Very nice. I'll be working on my one this fall. I guarantee it will be much more "rustic" than yours!

    0
    kcisis
    kcisis

    5 years ago

    Absolutely gorgeous--love the addition of the Victorian fretwork! While I doubt mine will be as large or as beautiful, I hope to start collecting windows soon. Ideally freebies from the curb in my old neighborhood now that I have a vehicle to transport them in, but if nothing else from Habitat ReStore.

    0
    Kirklewellen
    Kirklewellen

    Reply 5 years ago

    thanks! Good luck on yours! Habitat store and craigslist are great places for this type of project.

    0
    babybayrs
    babybayrs

    5 years ago

    It looks great!

    0
    MickL6
    MickL6

    5 years ago

    ."proper southern facing wall angle should be 10 degrees greater than the latitude of your location."

    In your case of 45 degrees it doesn't matter, but is this from verticle or Horizontal???

    0
    skylane
    skylane

    Reply 5 years ago

    The horizon is 0º

    Straight up is 90

    0
    Kirklewellen
    Kirklewellen

    Reply 5 years ago

    I believe that is from horizontal. The idea here is to capture as much of the Sun's radiant heating during the day in the winter and less (due to the Sun's angle) in the summer months.

    0
    PhilS43
    PhilS43

    5 years ago

    Nice job

    I didn't read all of it, but did you use sealed glass units or just the frames?

    Twinwall polycarbonate roofing works well and insulates. Arduino controlled ventilation and watering next. Fill it with stuff that really does need the heat - peppers, blight-free tomatoes, basil etc.

    0
    StlBigRed70
    StlBigRed70

    5 years ago

    This is perfect,I've been wanting a greenhouse,and this is actually affordable.Thanks!

    0
    Lineakat
    Lineakat

    5 years ago

    cool!:)

    0
    gtharris1
    gtharris1

    5 years ago

    Great concept!

    0
    ThriftStore Hacker
    ThriftStore Hacker

    5 years ago

    If you found a 60+ watt solar panel and a small car electric radiator fan you could have a cheap reliable passive vent system on the greenhouse. just a thought :)

    0
    Kirklewellen
    Kirklewellen

    Reply 5 years ago

    I have a thermostat controlled exhaust fan and a 220v greenhouse heater for winter... Great idea though, thanks!