How To Build Your Own Small Greenhouse

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How To Build Your Own Small Greenhouse

How To Build Your Own Small Greenhouse


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Home Page > Home Improvement > Gardening > How To Build Your Own Small Greenhouse

How To Build Your Own Small Greenhouse

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Posted: Feb 03, 2009 |Comments: 0
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Building your own greenhouse is a cost saving option. If you are on a tight budget or you want a customized design that would otherwise be beyond your means then perhaps you should think about building your own.

If you feel that you lack the essential skills then why not enrol on a part time course. Many community colleges provide courses in basic construction skills. You could combine your theory with some practice in your own back yard.

The skills required vary depending on the kind of structure you choose. If you want an elaborate redwood greenhouse with power supply, automatic watering and ventilation systems then you will need slightly higher level of skills. At the other end of the scale you could erect a simple steel framed tunnel covered in plastic in one day provided you have some one to help you pull the plastic tight.

But you should not be daunted if you want that redwood greenhouse. If you choose a prefabricated structure all you have to do is bolt the greenhouse together. The same is true of aluminum framed greenhouses. You could call on a skilled tradesman to put in the power and water supply.

Your first requirement is a level site. You will need to spend some time clearing it and levelling it for your greenhouse. Effort put in here will pay off later when you come to erect the greenhouse. If your site was uneven nothing will fit together properly.

If you plan to erect a simple polytunnel there is no need to do anything more. In fact a polytunnel will accommodate some unevenness in the site. It is a flexible structure.

For a more rigid greenhouse you will need to lay a foundation. For a small greenhouse this need not be elaborate. A timber frame is ideal. Lay some geotextile on the space you have cleared. This will stop weeds coming through.

On top of that construct a timber frame in the shape of your greenhouse. The timber should be 4 inches by 6 inches. Your timber merchant will probably cut it to length for you. Check that the frame is horizontal with a level.

Your next step is to fill the inside of the frame with gravel. This will make a water permeable floor for your greenhouse. You can lay paving on top of it for a path if you like. Your greenhouse is then secured to the timber frame with bolts.

A larger greenhouse would certainly need a concrete foundation. This is not strictly necessary in a small greenhouse but will be more permanent. If your greenhouse is a relatively expensive model that you want to last for a long time, then a concrete foundation may be the best option.

You should lay a concrete slab at least 3 inches thick. Some people recommend 6 inches. It should be poured on top of about 6 inches of compacted gravel. A waterproof membrane laid over the top of the gravel is a good idea. You can also add polystyrene insulation slabs at the sides.

The greenhouse is then bolted down to the concrete slab. A line of sealant can be run along the joint between the greenhouse and the foundation.

An alternative is to build a foundation wall out of concrete. You must dig a trench deep enough that it goes below the frost line. If you do not know where that is then ask neighbours or a local builder. It is the deepest point where the ground freezes in a bad winter.

Make the footing wider than the wall of greenhouse. Drains can be installed at this point. Treches for electrical cables and water pipes can be dug at the same time.

Fill the footing trench with concrete and allow it to set. The concrete should be 2 to 3 inches above ground level. This sill provides some insulation and keeps the frame of the greenhouse dry.

You can bolt the greenhouse directly to the concrete foundation or build a small wall on top of it first. This is useful if you want to increase the height of your greenhouse. You can also add come insulation inside the wall.

When the wall is dry bolt the greenhouse frame to it and seal the join. Check that the wall is level as you build it.

Laying a foundation is the hardest part of building your own greenhouse. Care taken at this point will pay off later. The more accurate your foundation the easier it will be to erect the framework.

Once you have got the framework of your greenhouse up and the glazing in place you can begin to install your electrical connections and water supply. The electrical connections in the greenhouse need to be suitable for outdoor use and your water pipes need to be insulated from frost.

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Abhishek Agarwal -
About the Author:

Abhishek is passionate about Greenhouse Gardening and he has got some great Greenhouse Maintenance Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 94 Pages Ebook, “Greenhouse Maintenance” from his website http://www.Gardening-Master.com/788/index.htm . Only limited Free Copies available.

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Article Tags:
greenhouse, insulation of greenhouse, footing trench, greenhouse sealing, compacting gravel

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Abhishek is passionate about Greenhouse Gardening and he has got some great Greenhouse Maintenance Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 94 Pages Ebook, “Greenhouse Maintenance” from his website http://www.Gardening-Master.com/788/index.htm . Only limited Free Copies available.


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