Budget Backyard Greenhouse
By: Danny Lipford
When the temperature starts to drop where will you put those plants you’ve nurtured all summer? This DIY friendly greenhouse might be just the right solution to extend the growing season in your backyard garden.
Building this 8’ x 8’ greenhouse cost $800 about in materials:
- 26 – 2” x 2” x 8’ treated pine (wall/roof framing)
- 6 – 1” x 4” x 8’ treated pine (shelves)
- 17 – 2’ x 8’ corrugated fiberglass panels (roof and walls)
- 16 – corrugated foam gaskets
- 1 – 32” x 80” storm door
- 1 – 32” x 36” vinyl window
- 5 lbs. – 3/4” self tapping screws with rubber washers (siding)
- 16 – 3” deck screws (shelf brackets)
- 24 – 2” deck screws (shelves)
- 5 lbs. – galvanized nails (framework)
- 1 – 8’ x 8’ plastic sheeting
- 10 – 50 pound bags of gravel (floor)
Framing the Greenhouse
The frame for each end of the greenhouse was assembled on the ground from pressure treated 2”x 2” lumber. The rafters were cut and joined at a 45° angle at the peak with the walls slope out at a 15° angle.
A 32” wide by 80” high opening was framed into the front of the greenhouse to accommodate the storm door, with a 32” x 36” opening in the back for the window.
The end frames were joined together with 8’ long 2x2s at the ridge, wall top, and bottom. Side wall supports and rafters were added to each side on 32″ centers.
Roofing and Siding the Greenhouse
Temporary 1” x 4” braces were attached diagonally at the top and bottom of each of the side walls to keep the frame square until the fiberglass panels were installed. The corrugated fiberglass panels were attached using self tapping screws with rubber washers. The front and back sides of the greenhouse were covered first, starting at the bottom and overlapping each panel over the one below.
The fiberglass panels on the front and back were cut flush with the frame using an abrasive blade in a circular saw. Be sure to wear a respirator or an approved dust mask when cutting fiberglass panels.
Next, position foam gaskets on the side frames and center a fiberglass panel over the ridge of the roof, attaching it to the frame with screws. Apply the rest of the panels, working from the top down each side, making sure to lap the upper panels over the lower ones to prevent leaking.
Cut the holes for the window and door using a circular saw and abrasive blade.
Use scrap 2x2s to make eight angled shelf brackets. Attach the brackets to the side frames using 3” screws. Connect the brackets together using 8’ long 2x2s.
Use 2” screws to attach the pressure treated 1×4 shelves to the brackets, leaving a gap between each board to allow for drainage when watering plants.
A simple floor for the greenhouse can be made by covering the ground with plastic sheeting, then adding a layer of gravel on top.
Greenhouse Door and Window
Attach the window to the opening in the back wall of the greenhouse with screws. Plumb and level the storm door, and attach it to the opening in the front of the greenhouse with screws.
Other Tips from This Episode
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Homemade Container Garden
It’s easy to make your own container garden using 5-gallon plastic buckets. Start by drilling holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. Then put foam packing peanuts in the bucket, followed by layers of potting soil and gelatin to help hold moisture in the soil.
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Seed Starting Potting Mix
When growing seedlings in containers, it’s important to have the right soil. Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix is perfect for growing seedlings, since it contains peat moss and perlite to absorb water and plant food. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix is available at The Home Depot.
Ask Danny Lipford:
Staining a New Wood Deck
Pressure treated wood decking often comes still wet with preservative and needs time to dry out before finishing so the stain will absorb properly into the wood. Wait 4-8 weeks before staining a new deck, depending on drying conditions.