How We Built a Greenhouse

This is a project born out of necessity. I have several large Cactus plants that I have been taking outside in the summer and bringing them inside in the fall. This is quite the task for someone 62 (almost 63) years old due to the weight and the height of some of the plants, to say nothing of their thorns.
My best friend (whom I have known since we were 5 years old) has moved in with me as my room mate and the two of us old guys took a little while each day for 6 days working on this project.
As some of you may know from some of my other posts, my home caught fire in 2012 and burned. I had to tear it down and put a modular home on the property. I have been regrouping ever since.
I am a "pack rat" that saves things that "I can probably find a use for later" all the time. It's amazing what all you can do with very little if you salvage things.
I raise Pigeons and their loft had one end wall available to use as the inside wall of the greenhouse. I had gotten a couple of 4x4's from a fellow freecycler and had them stored in "the woodpile." I had 2 full pvc pipes plus a partial one that I had saved from where they installed the water line for the new home.
So all we actually had to buy new was the plastic and 2 pvc pipes some long nails and some staples. (I think thats it)
So first thing was to measure for the height of the top, it is 6'7" next to the wooden wall. We drilled holes through the 4x4's into the concrete to anchor the 4x4's to the ground. The concrete area is what use to be the garage of the old homeplace.
After nailing the 4x4' down which created the frame at floor level, we then drilled holes on 3 spots in the wall of the pigeon loft into the 2x4's on the inside. He had some metal rods that he had salvaged from dismantling old printers, and we drove them into the 2x4's leaving approximately 10 " sticking out of the wall. This is where we slid the pvc pipes over them to hold the pvc rods in place.
Down on the 4x4 there were 3 porch swing round hooks (where the 4x4 had once held a swing) so we moved them and screwed them in the appropriate places to meet the other end of the pvc pipe The middle pipe was smaller diameter and we had to hammer it down to get the pipe to fit over it.
Then we took the remaining pvc pipe (which was shorter) and tied it with heavy nylon cord and wrapped it with tape to tie the 3 arched pvc poles together and stabilize them. Also we X'd the cord from bottom front to upper back and bottom back to upper front to keep the pipes from swaying or collapsing one way or another. We also tied the cord from the pipe down to the 4x4' to help hold the arched pipes down.
We also connected wire between the 4x4's on the corners to help insure that they didn't accidentally get pulled apart in the event a nail came out of the concrete.
For the door I still had the door to the old pigeon pen which had been in the garage of the old place. When the house burned I had saved it, it had been outside for the past 2 years. We stripped the wire off of it and wrapped it in plastic.
For the door post we stood a 2x4 up next to the front pvc pipe, but had to make a brace on it to help make it steady and strong.
Then the fun part, putting on the plastic. The plastic is 10' x 25' 4ml. So we put the 25' side from front to back and the 10' coming down over the arch of the pipes. We wrapped it around a 2x2 board which we nailed to the wall. Now in doing the wrapping we ended up cutting ourselves a little short trying to reach the 4x4 on the arch.
That was a big scare, but we figured out that if we were to cut the pvc pipes (next to the loft wall) we could gain that much plastic back. It worked, and actually turned out better, (before the cut the pipes actually came down and arched inward at the bottom,) after the cut, they were straighter coming up and going into the arch.
After it was a done with the trim and everything, I think we did a pretty good job for two old guys that have never done anything like this before.
I have some pictures below I didnt actually take any at the VERY BEGINNING but hopefully this "LONG" description along with the pics below will help you understand how it was done.
Sorry for the lengthy description I take longer to explain things than most people (lol)
this is just the skeleton of the greenhouse showing the side wall of the loft and the 4x4's in place
this is looking through the door opening
door opening
joint where the arched pipe and the cross pipe come together tied with cord and taped
This is the brace to strengthen the door post
this is the X on the side to help keep the pipes from swaying or collapsing
The back cord is from the X the forefront cord is the one that goes straight up and ties the pvc down to keep it from lifting upward
This is the wooden side fo the Pigeon loft with the pvc pipes in place over the rods
this is the front pvc pipe with the door post brace just above it
this is the door post 2x4 up against the front pvc pipe
This is where we tied the 4x4's together with wire
and finally this is the finished product ... I am very pleased with it..

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Esther Turull
    on Oct 6, 2017

    What kind of plastic did you use and where did you purchase?
    • Buster Evans
      on Oct 6, 2017

      The WRONG KIND ! Lol it only lasted til the following summer. I thought it was a good thick Heavy duty plastic, (can't remember the kind or thickness) but it did not hold up as well as I thought it would... The sun and elements caused it to deteriorate quickly.
      I still. Have the frame but it's now covered in a heavy tarp like material and I use it for storage...
      It was still a good idea, and experience I just didn't get the proper plastic ...
      But I learned from that mistake...

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