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greenhouse from windows  RSS feed

 
Kelda Miller
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Does anyone have experience piecing together a greenhouse from a bunch of windows? What kinds of things should we think about?

One issue is whether to use single or double pane windows? (I've heard that something too heavily insulating also takes forever to get heat through, to warm up a space, on cold winter days).

Also, any suggestions for the trim and lumber  between the windows? How to do this and not make it look ramshackle?
 
Leah Sattler
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I was ran across a whole sunroom made entirely of sliding glass doors salvaged from homes at someones place. I seem to remember there being minimal space between the doors, just enough room for trim. I think that the insulation factor and what kind of glass you want to use probably depends on your ulitimate use. Is this realistically for plants? then I would make sure you get something that filters the light as little as possible.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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My first thought was 'that sounds like something The Mother Earth News magazine has done, at some point.  I started looking in their archives, but they had 100 entries under 'greenhouse' and it wouldn't let me refine the search.  If you have the time to search, you may well find some good ideas.

Then I ran across this greenhouse (photos and all) at GW: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg1022425114142.html?54

There is a guy in the next town north who built a greenhouse on the south side of his garage using sliding-doors.  I think he just had some 2x4s between them. The sides and ends were glass and the slanted roof was, too.  The only part that wasn't was the triangle area above the doors on the end.

One thing I had heard:  if you make the roof of windows, make sure the roof slopes enough to dump the snow.  A foot of wet snow is really heavy, over 300 lbs per square yard

And the photos I've seen seem to indicate that using windows that are all the same size and shape look best.

To tell the truth, if I could do it, I would use single-pane tempered glass.  I'm pretty sure that sliding doors are tempered glass, and they're pretty big. Some are double-paned... if you removed the edging, would you have two panes without too much work?

And I've read that if you live in cold country where the ground freezes much, you need to insulate the underground perimeter of the greenhouse with sheet styrofoam or something.

Some flat-black-painted 55-gal barrels inside at the back would absorb solar heat and give it off at night.

Some people want a floor (bark, rocks, concrete slab, etc), but others leave the floor (other than a walkway down the middle) as natural soil, and plant heat-loving things like tomatoes and gourds right in the ground for the entire growing period.  In a bookshop in Olympia, I was talking to a woman who did that, getting them in early and extending the maturing time, and got MASSES of large gourds (that's about the only way you'll get them in western WA).

Don't forget about adjustable ventilation, and that means cross-ventilation. One opening is nothing but a very large solar oven.  ... Where the plants get cooked before they produce, I guess you could say!

Sue
 
                                  
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We have access to MANY sliders.
We'd like to make a greenhouse from them - seems easy/cheap.
Need lots of ideas . . . in No. KY
 
Jordan Lowery
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Location: zone 7
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the greenhouse here is made from recycled double paned doors from an old house they were going to tear down around here. its 12x20 and works well with no heating at all. winter crops thrive and are 5x or more the size of the outdoor siblings that have been planted at the same time. if we had built a solar greenhouse it would be self sufficient all year around. overall its really nice and does its job.
 
                                  
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I too am wondering what the base should be
We have two places to put the greenhouse - one requires someone to cut back into our small hill and have the north side of it somewhat underground
Should it be a block foundation and usable soil inside the actual greenhouse?
It certainly freezes here - the ground is hard and covered in snow today.
Thank you!!!
 
                                  
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Soil -

Can you give me a brief idea what the other walls are made of in your situation and maybe the roof? We have an idea of what we want to do, but it's so much easier if you have a why/why not idea I think . . . oh, and the other way we can do our greenhouse is free-standing with all the walls being the sliders I guess. They took out all the glass of the houses around the airport and put in ones that you couldn't hear thru. Thanks again for any ideas/hints/helps - we are trying to do this as inexpensively as possible - - - you know, the "do we have anything here that will work" idea is getting used more and more these days.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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the doors are the walls. all the way around. there is some recycled 2x4's to create somewhat of a frame. but it is VERY stable. i would have prefered to build a solar thermal greenhouse though but it was not my final decision. it would have been bigger and better suited for the cold winters. the glass could have come off in the summer and be replaced with shadecloth for a propagation house. oh well! it is still an amazing greenhouse.
 
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