My first greenhouse was a lean-to made of 2×4’s and covered with plastic. 2 layers of plastic. It was in a protected place behind a tall retaining wall. A few years later we built a deck over the greenhouse. No more sun. The story of my new greenhouse ………. With pictures of it today, at the end of the post.
Over the years we had replaced windows and sliding glass doors in our 1959 house with more efficient ones. I saved all the old ones for a future maybe greenhouse. Two things happened that were the catalyst. My son brought me a pair of 10′ sliding doors. And at a garage sale I found a 3 part stainless steel commercial sink with a counter for $10.
Where to put the greenhouse? My only choices were a free standing one on the West side or build a lean-to on the South/southwest corner of the house, off the walk -in basement. Better choice! It would be protected from the North. And have the bio-mass of the house. Would not get as much light as I wanted, but, it would over winter my geraniums, succulents and lemon tree.
The design. It is L shape around the corner of the basement. To do that, I had to move the A/C up the slope. Then get a bobcat to dig out that area on the SW corner. Next a footing was poured, and a block wall erected. This was 4 feet high on the NW side, (good bio-mass) then stepped down around the corner governed by the size of the windows and doors. Lots of measuring and drawings on graft paper!
Then hire a carpenter. It was built out of pressure treated lumber. (Lots of moisture in a greenhouse). What to do about the roof? I couldn’t believe my good fortune! A local glass company had some large tempered glass fixed windows they had removed from a office building! They delivered them for $10. a pane! They were a little short. So, a short roof area was installed along the house edge. That was covered by leftover metal roofing. The sink was put in and hooked up and a drain run into the woods. Also a raised bed was put in along the inside of one of the large doors.
Note the small rocks on the outside. They were rocks dug out of the garden. I nailed rock mesh on the wooden uprights and mortered on the rocks. Still need to finish it. It adds some more bio-mass. And it looks cool. Arthritis in my hands hampers me.
NOW THE INSIDE!
You can see the roof in this picture. We did not have quite enough glass. A shower door and a couple pieces of table top glass worked.
These shelves are installed upside down to provide a lip to hold the pots. Note the thermometer on the wall. I have several in different locations to make sure the greenhouse stays above freezing. There are 2 bathroom osculating heaters I turn on if it gets to close to freezing.