Sunday, October 23, 2011

Greenhouse Build - Week One

My greenhouse project is underway.  The new greenhouse will be 16X24 with a 8 foot side walls, and a 14 foot ceiling with clerestory roof windows.  The 5 clerestory windows will open with solar automatic vent openers.  The wall material will be 8 mm twinwall clear polycarbonate with a generous amount of windows thrown in for human ascetics as well as ventilation.  Additional ventilation will be provided through an exhaust fan/shutter system.

For this project, I'm acting as a quasi general contractor.  This means I'm responsible for purchasing all the materials, coordinating deliveries, making sure the carpenter has the materials to proceed with the build, approving design considerations and, of course, paying people.  My credit card has never had so much exercise.

I had hoped to purchase used windows to keep cost low, but that didn't pan out like I had hoped, and I had to purchase most of the windows new.  If you want to use old windows and other re-use items, it's necessary to plan and collect these items over a period of time.  Unfortunately, when your shopping for used material, it's pretty hit or miss.  I really want to get this greenhouse built before the first freeze, so I'm sacrificing economy for expediency.  I was able to purchase the windows for the clerestory on CraigsList and patio door was an inexpensive in-stock item at Lowes (shown below).  The other windows were all purchased new and are not due for delivery until the first week in November.

The greenhouse floor is decomposed granite with a 4"X4" foundation.  The foundation is bolted to concrete for additional support.  As fitting for a greenhouse, the contractor recycled some of my 5 gallon plastic pots to set the concrete.

The site is not completely level, so the completed foundation will be back-filled later.

Framing is an exciting day.  So much seems to get accomplished and you can start to envision what the greenhouse will look like.  The front of the greenhouse pictured below shows the space for the door (far right), as well as the space for the front windows.  The front windows will consist of 3 - 4X2 foot sliders and 3 - 4X4 non-operable picture windows.

The back of the greenhouse framed for the 3 - 6X2 slider windows.

The first roof truss is in place showing the high roof and the flat area which will soon accommodate the clerestory windows.

So, what's in store for next week... completion of the roof, painting, and installation of the clerestory windows.  Some of the polycarbonate may be installed, however, the poly fasteners have been delayed, so I'm going to say a little prayer that they come quickly.

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