Build a Greenhouse From Vintage Windows

We were inspired to build this greenhouse from a pile of vintage windows that we found on my parents' property. This stack of single-paned windows ended up becoming a space for me to start and nurture my seedlings - and is now where I am growing my tomatoes and peppers this summer. This is a wonderful way to create your own growing space - or backyard escape! - using upcycled windows that are easily found in ReStores or on online classified sites.
Here it is, in its finished glory! We were both pretty proud of ourselves when we stood back, hands on hips, and took in what we had built!
We started by pouring a concrete pad in our backyard. We greatly underestimated how much concrete we would need - head to the blog post to see exactly how much product we used.
The cinderblock wall followed. Yes, it might be overkill, but we went three blocks high. This means that our greenhouse has great insulation in the colder months, when I'll be growing lettuces throughout the winter season.
We attached a sill plate to the wall too - get more details in the link below.
We did a very basic skeleton-frame of the walls and then put up the roof. Rather than build trusses, we opted for shed rafters.
The roof is a lightweight plastic sheeting, purchased at the local hardware store. We discovered a few ways to make this more waterproof (and attractive) as we installed it.
We had a very basic frame ready to go prior to window installation. This may not be how some builders would do it, but our windows were all different sizes, and we didn't quite trust ourselves to frame in each window until we put the puzzle together right in front of us.
The windows are on hinges, which allows for ventilation and room for error in installation.
Stain is a wonderful thing.
Get more tips, such as door installation, proper ventilation, accessories, and where we got our stained glass transom window via the blog link below! This greenhouse is a very sturdy, yet lovely, addition to our backyard. Considering that our costs were less than wooden greenhouse kits, we believe that the upcycled greenhouse project is the way to go!

Suggested materials:

  • Single paned windows  (thrifted)
  • Lumber  (big box store)
  • Stain  (big box store)
See all materials

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Tara @ Suburble

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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  • Jenny
    on Jul 24, 2019

    Ditto! Wish I had one! Can I borrow you both! You’ve done a brilliant job. Looks gorgeous 🤗

  • Joan
    on Jul 24, 2019

    What a great idea!!!

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