How to Build a DIY Greenhouse

4 Materials
$2200
4 Weeks
Advanced

Y'ALL, WE DID IT. I'M STILL IN SHOCK AND VERY TIRED BUT WE DID IT!!!! THIS POST IS ABOUT THE JOURNEY OF HOW TO BUILD A DIY GREENHOUSE. BECAUSE WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONAL BUILDERS, THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL TUTORIAL BUT IS MEANT TO INSPIRE YOU TO NOT GIVE UP ON A DREAM AND HOPEFULLY ENCOURAGE YOUR STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT LEVEL TO TAKE ON NEW PROJECTS.

Clear the spot

This is the area just behind the farmhouse where the Greenhouse would be constructed. We had cleared the trees from the area and were ready to get started. Next, it was time for some serious window shopping. Then the Covid19 Pandemic hit our country. Suddenly, all thrift stores and vintage shops were closed which resulted in no window shopping. However, complaining about the situation paid off because a follower contacted me with an offer. He had several sets of french doors, rescued from a coastal home after hurricane Florence. He offered to sell them for a great price.

Draw your plan

Once the doors arrived, I drew a rough plan and it quickly became evident that the doors would allow more than enough light for the space. Therefore, the windows were no longer needed.

Materials Needed
  • Treated Lumber - amounts will vary depending on size of your structure - our greenhouse is 12 x 16 with a 4 ft porch.


  • 70 - 2 x 4 x 8
  • 6 - 2 x 4 x 12
  • 4 - 2 x 4 x 16
  • 10 - 2 x 6 x 16
  • 4 - 2 x 6 x 12
  • 47 - 1 x 6 x 12 Deck Boards
  • 4 - 4 x 4 x 8
  • 12 - 1 x 4 x 8 trim boards
  • 18 sheets Clear Polycarbonate Roofing 4 x 8
  • 8 Packs - Roof Panel Closures
  • 8 Sets of French Doors - rescued
  • 6 -Concrete Blocks
  • 32 - Metal Joist Hangers
  • Ridge Cap - 20' long
  • Reclaimed Shiplap siding
  • 2 gallons - Primer Kilt z
  • 1 gallon White Dove Exterior Paint
  • 4- 4 x 8 Exterior Plywood Sheets
  • 2000 Nail Gun Nails
  • 200 Roofing Screws
  • 2 boxes wood screws

Tools




  • Nail Gun and Air Compressor Kit
  • Circular Saw
  • Chop Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screw Driver
  • Drill
  • Ladder
  • Saw Horses
  • Level
Build a Deck Base

Since our carpentry skills were limited to building decks, we started construction as though we were building a deck base. In addition, concrete blocks were used to level the foundation. After the frame was built, the 2 x 6 x 16 floor joist were installed using metal hangers.

Lay the flooring

Next, the 1 x 6 x 12 deck boards were installed using a nail gun.

Treated Lumber was used to build the base of the DIY Greenhouse. Each step of the process could be written as a whole DIY Tutorial. Therefore, if you have questions about our amateur process, be sure to ask in comments.

Build the walls

Next the construction of the walls began. With the aid of a nail gun, chop saw and my plan, the walls came together. The sketch was drawn to scale and really helped with the placement of the walls and doorways.

The Rafters

The rafters were built by hand using 2 x 4 x 8 treated lumber. Prior to installation, all the boards were painted with Kilt z Primer. Installing the rafters was a little more involved than building the walls. This was primarily because of the height involved and working with only two people. I just held everything steady while my husband did the ladder climbing and attached each rafter.

Door Frames Installed

It was important to be sure each door frame was square prior to hanging the doors. We did a lot of measuring and leveling to get them square.

Hang the Doors

These doors are super heavy and hard to manage with just 4 hands. Although we measured and re-measured the door frames, more than one door had to be re-hung to adjust the level.

Install Roofing & Ridge cap

 Prior to installing the roofing material, 1 x 4 boards were attached to the rafters to allow the roofing to attach to them. The clear polycarbonate roofing material was attached using roofing screws. In addition, as the roof was being attached, my husband also installed the ridge cap as he moved from the front of the building to the back.

The challenging part of the roof was that my husband had to do it all himself and my job was to hold the ladder and pray he wouldn't get hurt. There may have been some tears during this part. Note: Using a ladder to do this part of the project is not recommended. In hindsight, the job would have been much easier and safer had we rented scaffolding. However, the work is completed and many lessons were learned. LOL  

Install siding and exterior plywood

Finally, the walls are completely closed in and the roof is finished. From this view, you can see the reclaimed ship lap siding that was used to cover the exterior. Since there was not enough of the ship lap for the entire project, outdoor siding was added to fill in the gaps. To pull the exterior together, it was painted with White Dove exterior paint by Benjamin Moore. In addition, a small porch was a last minute idea for the DIY Greenhouse. At this point, the construction has been underway for exactly 3 weeks.

Interior Touches

A thrift store chandelier got an update and works perfectly inside the greenhouse. Solar lights have been added because there is no electricity in the greenhouse. See how to re-purpose a boring thrift store chandelier here.

The finishing touches

Field rock was used to fill in around the foundation and a few larger rocks were added as steps to enter the Greenhouse. All the french doors were installed to open outward because this would allow the doors to open without disturbing anything on the interior of the greenhouse. And in addition, it creates great air flow. The DIY apothecary cabinet was another transformation we did for greenhouse storage. You can see the before here.

I hope you enjoyed this process. My husband was working from home during this time so the process didn't take nearly as long as it would have normally. He suggested we call the greenhouse Covid 19. LOL

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Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse

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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Norah
    Norah
    on Aug 16, 2020

    I’m curious, will that type of roofing hold up too heavy snow or will they break?

    • Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      on Aug 16, 2020

      Yes,

      We made sure to use polycarbonate roofing that can take the heat and hold up to snow. Be sure to check the specifications for your area and type of project.

  • Rita Mizell
    Rita Mizell
    on Aug 16, 2020

    What was final cost?

    • Jeannie Carle
      Jeannie Carle
      on Aug 18, 2020

      Waaaay out of my budget! :'( AND skill level. It IS beautiful, tho. I'll just have to find something much less fancy - more simple, and MUCH less expensive :-)

  • Andrea Booth
    Andrea Booth
    on Aug 26, 2020

    How did you manage to shove the fieldstone under the deck once you'd built the deck. It looks like they fit in perfectly.

    • Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      on Aug 26, 2020

      Andrea,

      we just stacked the rock. It was like doing a puzzle but it worked. We just used smaller stones at the top to fit. Thanks for stopping by.

      Rachel.

Join the conversation

4 of 91 comments
  • HD
    HD
    on Aug 25, 2020

    OMG!!! Absolutely wonderful! What a great space just to be in and zen. Rachel, you and your beloved should be soooo proud of yourselves. Ah, in the wee hours to be there with a cup of coffee..... Thank you so much for this inspiration. Be well.

    • Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      on Aug 26, 2020

      Thanks so much for these sweet compliments. It’s a dream come true for me. My husband’s still having nightmares about it! Lol. Not really! But we are so happy and your comments made my day.

  • Maureen
    Maureen
    on Sep 22, 2020

    Wow!! Absolutely beautiful greenhouse.

    You & your hubby did an amazing job.

    Thank you so much for sharing ❤️

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