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Recycled Greenhouse

Posted by on May 31, 2014
My “new” recycled greenhouse has been a year in the making.
I knew roughly what I wanted, but the plan has changed and changed again so many times, I’m fairly distant from that original idea. I knew I wanted to use recycled windows. Thank you, Craig’s List! I started collecting last year and first scored 6 matching 3’ x 5’ windows for only $50! I love Craig’s List.

A few more good deals and a wonderful lady at church who had a whole pile of free windows, “just come get them,” and I had almost 40 windows for $150. The greenhouse was off to a good start. Now for the plan to piece this puzzle together. I started off like this…
Which changed to this…
Which changed to this…
And then Dad got a hold of it…
We decided, to save on lumber (Have you SEEN those prices!?!?!?!), to build it in the style of an old “pole barn.” Instead of framing it like a house, where the walls are typically framed like this…
the wall studs were dug directly into the ground (using treated lumber, of course) and there was no bottom piece of wood to lay directly on the ground. Quikrete cement was poured into each hole and the poles were all leveled and braced.
The top beams were then added around the walls, and the ridge pole was set in place.
The roof rafters were begun, and it finally started to take shape like a greenhouse.
I originally, as you can see in the above plans, was going to build a simple rectangle greenhouse, but Mom apparently saw my dream greenhouses on my Pinterest Gardening Board, and gave Dad some ideas. The door was moved from the end of the building, to the middle of the side facing our house, and a 2’ bump out was added. This roof was then built.
And now for the windows. Each window was screwed directly to the top cross wall beam, and then a 2”x4” was inserted along the bottom of the windows and braced in. With all the different sized windows, each section was a different puzzle to measure out.
Don’t they look great? Just wait until they’re all clean!
We will eventually be using Suntuf ($$$$!!!!) on the roof and eaves, but for this year, we used heavy duty rolled plastic. Using one giant piece, it was kind of like wrapping a giant Christmas present. I originally stapled down the plastic using pieces of lath (2”x 1/4” pieces of wood) to reinforce the plastic. If you put staples directly into the plastic, it will very likely rip right off on your first windy day. Even using the lath, part of the roof blew off on our first blustery day, so I had to go back through and screw down all the lath using special large head lath screws. This roof should now last us for at least this season.
And with that, part of the 10’x24′ shell is done, but the work has just begun! (Still needs a couple windows and plywood.) Be sure to subscribe below to see the next step in building our new greenhouse!

Want to see the finished project? Click HERE.

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17 Responses to Recycled Greenhouse

  1. Anna @ NorthernHomestead

    Congrats on the new Greenhouse! We are “building”a greenhouse with recycled windows too (actually converting part of a garage). Great concept to use windows.

  2. justina

    Wonderful. See it personally soon!

  3. Paula Parker

    Wow! Great, I am so impressed. And great bargain shopping on the windows. Enjoyed my visit. Thanks for all the photos.

  4. Annie @ Montana Homesteader

    I’m so envious of your greenhouse! I wanted to build one like that this spring but we just didn’t have time. Too many other projects on the homestead. We have a small 6×8 greenhouse that worked well but my dream greenhouse is like yours- a project for another year!

    • Idlewildak

      I was beginning to wonder if ours would get done in time this year! It’s been tight, but we’re making it. 🙂

    • Idlewildak

      I would definitely suggest gathering all your windows and supplies now! Ours would have been up quicker if I was a bit more prepared.

  5. Linda Bouffard

    Wonderful work i made a tiny little house from 6 windows. Yours is a real green house. Very cool.

    • Idlewildak

      I have some extra, square windows and I want to make one of those little ones for the lady who gave me a bunch of them 🙂

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