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How to Build an At-Home Greenhouse

The recent months of staying at home due to coronavirus threats have inspired many homeowners to spend more time gardening. While some are quite content collecting and tending to their beautiful houseplants indoors, some would like to take their love for gardening to the next level and plan to build a greenhouse.

Having your own greenhouse allows you to grow succulents, flowering plants, and edible plants like fruits and vegetables all year round, no matter the weather. Aside from its practical purpose of housing delicate plants, a greenhouse also has a decorative quality that can definitely add more character to your garden.

 In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the steps and the factors you need to consider if you are looking to build a greenhouse in your backyard. Let’s dig right in!

Buy or DIY? 

If you’ve got time in your hands and advanced carpentry skills, you will have a blast making a DIY greenhouse. There are countless tutorials online teaching you how to build a greenhouse from scratch inexpensively. Nevertheless, if you don’t have the time (or the patience) to pull off a DIY project, store-bought options are conveniently available. Believe it or not, you can find prefabricated greenhouse kits online that can be delivered to your doorstep and setup immediately. 

Large greenhouse with French doors

Select Style and Materials 

Greenhouses come in several styles and sizes. They can be constructed using a wide variety of available materials. The frames can be produced using leftover wood, aluminum, galvanized steel, or PVC plastic pipe. For the covering of your greenhouse, you must evaluate options based on their durability and capability to withstand the harshest weather conditions, such as torrential rain, heavy snow, and gusty wind. The material should be able to serve as a reliable shelter for your plants. 

Here are some excellent examples of resources that are typically used to build a greenhouse.

Deciding on the specific design and build of your greenhouse is an essential step that will determine the functionalities you can expect and how much budget you need to set aside for this project. 

Greenhouse with lotus and water plants

Build A Greenhouse with Repurposed Windows and Doors 

We’ve seen old windows, French doors and sliding doors get a second shot at life when homeowners use them as reclaimed or repurposed materials to build a greenhouse. 

We understand why they gravitate towards these items. First of all, it’s possible to source them at no extra cost. Just ask around your neighbourhood if anyone’s getting new window replacements or brand new doors and whether you can take care of their old ones. Another one is that using them as walls and sidings for your greenhouse reduces the amount of work because they’re fabricated already, and you just have to attach them with a frame.  

To give you an idea of how to build a greenhouse using recycled windows, we found this practical tutorial online. Check it out.

1. Collect & Assemble 

Start by collecting old windows. It’s highly recommended that you also get a pair of equal size windows. If you’re planning to build a big greenhouse, you’ll need as many recycled windows to cover it. 

2. Layout the Windows to Build A Greenhouse Wall 

Once you’ve accumulated a sizable amount of old windows, assemble the pieces side by side or pair by pair to create a wall made of glass panels.

3. Make a Frame for Your Window Walls 

With the laid out wall of old windows, take measurements and construct a sturdy frame using lumber of excellent quality and appropriate thickness. 

4. Brace The Walls & Strengthen The Foundation 

Put the walls of your greenhouse up and have a brace ready for support. For the foundation, there are many ways that you can do this without pouring concrete cement, including tucking cinder blocks, to prevent the corner posts from moving in place.

5. Fix Your Glass Windows Onto The Frame 

Begin to build your greenhouse walls by screwing the glass windows in the wooden frame you created. By screwing the windows individually, it would be easier for you to replace the unit should it get broken. 

Greenhouse made from old windows

6. Put On A Flooring 

There are several options for flooring. Some layout bricks, while others prefer gravel stones for proper drainage and insulation.

7. Get The Roof Done 

For the roof, you can use old windows and doors all the way or use polycarbonate or corrugated galvanized sheet iron, depending on your preference. It’s suggested that you build your roof slightly slanted, so the raindrops slip off easily.

8. Add Cooling & Ventilation 

Another benefit of repurposing old windows when you build a greenhouse is that you can simply open one or two to promote air circulation and ventilation. It’s going to prevent overheating and save your precious plants from wilting or browning as a result. A smart strategy would also be to install a cooling fan to circulate air movement for scorching days. Rolling shades or drapes can also be installed during the summer. 

9. Weatherproof Your Greenhouse 

Ensure all your greenhouse plants will get through the winter months by sealing off the gaps and cracks with a good-quality caulking product. Give it several coatings of weatherproofing paint for good measure and to make it even more aesthetically pleasing.

For a detailed step by step guide, check out these free greenhouse plans using recycled windows, sliding doors, and other sustainable materials.

Greenhouse featuring old wooden windows

Clera Windows and Doors 

Whether you are thinking about using old or brand-new replacement windows and doors when you build a greenhouse at home, you’ll never go wrong with Clera. We have a team of Window Wise installation certified experts that can help you should you wish to order customized windows and doors for your greenhouse project. If you’re planning to repurpose your old Clera windows, you’re lucky because our products are made with high-quality materials and will last a lifetime.

To request a free home estimate, please contact us today!