Most gardeners love the idea of a greenhouse in their yard, but may be put off by the costs associated with building one. Greenhouses can be constructed out of materials that are less expensive than glass, but there’s something about the beauty of a glass greenhouse that can’t be replicated with alternate materials. Despite the high cost of glass, building a greenhouse doesn’t have to break the bank. Old windows are thrown out all the time and can easily be found for cheap (or free) in classifieds and reclaimed materials stores. They make the perfect option for a DIY greenhouse, as you can see in this Instructables project by Kirklewellen.
The biggest challenge when using windows to build a greenhouse is getting everything to fit together properly. Another challenge is determining the best roof angle for optimal sun exposure for all seasons. For these reasons, a plan is absolutely essential before jumping into construction. This builder used a program called Sketchup to completely design the greenhouse before starting the framing.
Once the framing was complete, the windows were installed. The windows were all sealed with silicone caulk after being secured to the frame with screws.
After all the windows were placed, plywood was used to fill in the remaining areas. The builder also cut the decorative roof elements out of plywood. All the wood elements were painted white.
This greenhouse was finished with a gorgeous flagstone floor and space on one end to plant directly into the ground.
The finished size of this greenhouse is about 12 feet by 12 feet at the base and it is about 12′ tall at the peak. A fan was installed in the top of the roof with a vent at the floor line for cross ventilation. The greenhouse also has an electric heater for the cold months and an automatic irrigation system to to water the plants.
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.
Be sure to check out this project on Instructables for more details and images.