How do I build a sturdy greenhouse out of antique windows?

I want to build a greenhouse out of old windows. How do I make sure it’s sturdy enough to hold up thru all the seasons? Is one plan better than the others?

  3 answers
  • Thelma Thelma on Jul 28, 2018
    To build a sturdy greenhouse with windows, you have to sort the windows to make sure you have 2 of the same size for each 'section'. Measure the window frames so you will know where the wall studs have to go - these studs are what will make the greenhouse sturdy - a stud must be between the windows on the sides, a double brace above the top window and below the bottom window in each section. Also, remember that the studs are what holds up the roof so don't use 2" x 4" studs if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and use double studs together for the corners to make them strong. The foundation for the greenhouse must be built (or poured with concrete) before you start the walls. When you start the walls, build them with the corner first, a window space, a stud (with the top brace between it and the corner {be sure to put the braces on edge - not flat - so they can hold the roof weight), another window space, a stud with brace; repeat to next corner where you put a double stud on both sides of the corner; repeat this way all around the building making sure you have a door on 2 sides. Also remember to put some air vents in a couple of the spaces above the windows when you enclose them with the clear greenhouse paneling. These vents are necessary for good air circulation and to keep the plants from cooking with the heat coming through the windows. Use the clear panels on the roof joists so the sun and light can shine through and help keep the plants from trying to grow one-sided. Hope this helps.

  • Pat Russell Pat Russell on Jul 28, 2018

    Hi, Maddie - You would not want any rotten frames. Cracked glass could be replaced. I would just go with windows that are in pretty good shape. A neighbor built one onto the saide of her garage which had a door in it for access to the garage, which then could enter the house! She put new aluminum windows for the roof so they would be sturdy and used the old old ones for the ends and sides. The roof windows were slanted from under the garage eave to about seven feet for the side. Of course, she put a door to the outside, also, which she had also scavenged. It had glass in it, too, but she said later a wooden door would have worked as well. This was on the East side so got morning sun and untill well past noon. She did not use a plan, just started with 2x4's for frame work and installed the windows as if they were in a house. Her windows were double hung so she could open from top as well as bottom. She did pour a concrete slab for the floor so it could be hosed off. She is very handy!

  • Thelma Thelma on Jul 28, 2018
    To build a sturdy greenhouse with windows, you have to sort the windows to make sure you have 2 of the same size for each 'section'. Measure the window frames so you will know where the wall studs have to go - these studs are what will make the greenhouse sturdy - a stud must be between the windows on the sides, a double brace above the top window and below the bottom window in each section. Also, remember that the studs are what holds up the roof so don't use 2" x 4" studs if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and use double studs together for the corners to make them strong. The foundation for the greenhouse must be built (or poured with concrete) before you start the walls. When you start the walls, build them with the corner first, a window space, a stud (with the top brace between it and the corner {be sure to put the braces on edge - not flat - so they can hold the roof weight), another window space, a stud with brace; repeat to next corner where you put a double stud on both sides of the corner; repeat this way all around the building making sure you have a door on 2 sides. Also remember to put some air vents in a couple of the spaces above the windows when you enclose them with the clear greenhouse paneling. These vents are necessary for good air circulation and to keep the plants from cooking with the heat coming through the windows. Use the clear panels on the roof joists so the sun and light can shine through and help keep the plants from trying to grow one-sided. Hope this helps.