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What are the Best Tips for Building a Homemade Greenhouse?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2016
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A homemade greenhouse should be built in an area that is level and receives the most sunlight in winter. Although various materials can be used, wood is perhaps the most traditional and is easy to work with. Create the base and side walls on the ground to ensure that the diagonal lengths of each construction are level. Build roof rafters and place triangular gussets on them before making the end walls which should have space for doors and windows. Construct the doors and windows separately before covering the whole building with polythene sheeting.

When choosing the area where the homemade greenhouse is to be placed, pick an area that will get the most benefit from sunlight in winter. The greenhouse frame should be laid on a surface that is level and not boggy. Sites that are at the bottom of a hill should have a drain dug to ensure that any water flowing down towards the greenhouse is redirected.

The base of the homemade greenhouse should be made from wood. Use nail plates and galvanized nails to secure the pieces of timber together. Make sure the base is square by measuring its diagonal length. If the diagonal lengths of the base are unequal, adjust the base until they are.

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Use treated sawn timber to create the framing of the side walls. Construct the two wall frames on the ground and make sure their dimensions are identical. Place these frames on top of the base and secure with galvanized nails.

For the roof frame, cut ten rafters, five uprights, and five triangular gussets. Use treated wood for the rafters and plywood for the gussets. Build the roof frames on the ground by nailing the gussets to the rafters. Place the roof frames on the side walls using nails to hold them in place. All roof frames should be vertical and parallel with one another.

Create the end walls of the homemade greenhouse on the floor in the same manner as the side walls. The end walls have a different design than the side walls because there needs to be windows and doors in them. Windows should be made from sawn timber on the top and bottom frames and treated timber on the side. Put the windows in place with two butt hinges which need to be screwed to the top frame of each window. Cut short pieces of timber and install them between the roof frames and below the windows.

It is advisable to have a front and back door on the homemade greenhouse. Again, these should be built on an even piece of ground and have the same dimensions. Use hinges to keep the doors in place and be sure to fit them with padlocks.

The final step is to cover the homemade greenhouse with polythene sheeting which is resistant to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Wrap all doors and windows. Hold the sheeting in place with battens which need to be nailed to various parts of the greenhouse, especially the base.

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