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  #1  
Old 05-22-2020, 12:16 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Default Help with lean-to greenhouse purchase

Please chime in and help with my greenhouse purchase. I've waited a loooong time for it. As many of y'all know, my husband and I schlep all the orchids (plus a few tropical plants) up the basement (BatCave) stairs in the spring, then back down again in the fall.

We physically can't keep doing it for more than another year or two max. With the recent stimulus checks, we decided the time for making a greenhouse top priority had arrived. First... it must be a lean-to greenhouse.

This is a picture of the south side of the sunroom, taken from the driveway. It's 10'8" from ground to the top of the first story windows. We want to take out the middle window and put in a door to exit into the greenhouse.



This is inside the fence, same windows, more up-close view.



And this is taken from southwest corner looking toward the east.



Facing the windows, below the left and right big windows are small basement windows where the BatCave, the RO water, utility sink, etc are located. So I can still utilize the RO, electricity, etc, from the basement and just pump the RO water into the greenhouse to water. I can run a gas line out to greenhouse, but after talking with my heating/AC guys, just running a ductwork from the house furnace to the greenhouse is also easy. That takes care of the electric and heating and water. There's also an outside spigot you can't see for a garden hose.

The wall where the three windows are is 14' max. I can go as far as 12'. My first desire was a Santa Barbara Greenhouse like the one I had at the store before retirement, except smaller of course and a lean to. It's redwood, poly roof, tempered glass sides. Comes in a 9x12 for $6570. That stings my pocketbook, as I still haven't paid someone for foundation work, or to put together the greenhouse. (we can't physically do that anymore). Husband is not crazy about the idea of tempered glass. Their standard redwood is $2095 but only comes in 7'wide. Redwood greenhouses are a bitch to put together.

So I started looking at aluminum greenhouses. I like the Turner greenhouse like Ray said he had, but again 7' is max, plus they're out of stock. Palram SanRemo Sunroom 10x14 is nice, but we're back to around $6500, and other than that one they aren't very large.

I don't trust buying Rion or the Snap n Grow. Then today I found Essex greenhouses. I can get an 8x12 lean to for $3875. It has 5MM and 6MM Clear Polycarbonate walls and 6MM twin wall panels for the roof.

I will still need a base about 2-1/2 to 3' around it. I plan on "flooring" of greenhouse be pea gravel over a crushed limestone or crushed concrete base, with paver walkways. It will need to be minimum intermediate warmth greenhouse.

Chime in now please, with your thoughts or suggestions?

---------- Post added at 11:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:13 AM ----------

Santa Barbara has a 9x12 with 8mm poly, $5072, but I sure like the clear poly better.
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:08 PM
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Use multiwall polycarbonate for the entire covering. The thicker and more walls, the better.

Your heating bill will thank you.
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:21 PM
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Ah heck Ray.... expand a bit. Flooring,
Ever heard of Essex?
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:04 PM
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You had mentioned "5MM and 6MM Clear Polycarbonate walls and 6MM twin wall panels for the roof", and my recommendation is AT LEAST 8mm twinwall for the walls and ceiling, but 16 mm triple wall will be far more energy efficient.

As far as a floor is concerned, ideally, I would recommend digging down below the frost line, insulating the walls, then filling with gravel. basically, anything you can do to insulate the structure will pay huge dividends going forward.

Even if you only dig down a foot and insulate, it'll be better than bricks on the floor.

Don't let maximum height of the greenhouse structure be an issue. Having a solid, opaque wall that the greenhouse frame sits on is actually a plus.

If I were to do it again, I might copy one I saw that had 8' concrete block walls and only the roof was glazed. With your south-facing wall, I might be tempted to have solid sides, and maybe a 4' foot wall on the south face, with a flat glazed lean-to roof to the point on the house above the windows/(future) door.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:52 AM
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Ray, are you talking similar to this one?

Small Cedar Greenhouse Kits, Wooden Greenhouse Sheds, Garden Sunhouse – Cedarshed USA

I'd had some thoughts about it, and just leaving the back wall panels off.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:59 AM
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Thatís generally the concept I had, although with the amount of space you have, it could probably just go straight to the wall of the house, rather than being gabled. Iíd definitely glaze it right to the top, though.

Have you considered hiring a handyman to build the structure out of treated lumber, then covering it with P.C., rather than buying a kit? That way you can maximize the space and lighting , probably for the same money or less than a kit. Plus you can stain or paint it before glazing to make if look best with your house.

Personally, Iím a DIYer and it could be a relatively easy thing to design and build.
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Last edited by Ray; 05-23-2020 at 09:01 AM..
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2020, 09:08 AM
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I have a guy coming by sometime this weekend to give me a general idea as to cost of foundation and putting up a kit. Plan on also asking him about just building one. If I were younger I would definitely do it mostly myself. Those days are, sadly, over.

My husband is great but he's not even close to being a framer, let alone a finish carpenter. He started out his Army career in Engineers, which basically means throwing up shelters quickly and blowing stuff up. It shows.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:54 PM
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I once had a dear friend say of me, lovingly, that I could build a survival shelter out of nothing in the desert but I could not make a napkin holder in a wood shop.

I put the rough in rough carpentry
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:03 PM
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So youíre channeling Michaelís construction huh? Exactamente on point!
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:32 AM
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Help with lean-to greenhouse purchase Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
It's redwood, poly roof, tempered glass sides.
This is a very beautiful greenhouse, but probably too chic for a greenhouse, Mahogany!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
If I were to do it again, I might copy one I saw that had 8' concrete block walls and only the roof was glazed. With your south-facing wall, I might be tempted to have solid sides, and maybe a 4' foot wall on the south face, with a flat glazed lean-to roof to the point on the house above the windows/(future) door.
I think Ray meant this type of greenhouse. Drawn by hand in the editor. The top, polycarbonate and the wall in front of the polycarbonate fence. The side walls are dense, concrete blocks.



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