CrikeyLlama: Greenhouse Photo Album

Background:

The green house is approximately 20' wide by 30' long. It has a cinderblock foundation partially buried on two sides with dirt. The end walls are wood studs and wood siding with a spray foam for insulation. The main supports are steel and the roof supports are all wood 1x2" tongue and groove boards. The tongue divides one pane from the next and allows a metal U shaped piece to clamp the glass panes in place. It has its own electrical panel, lights, and outlets all in conduit. There are powered fans and vents at either end, doors at either end, and a propane furnace in poor condition hanging from one end cap above a door.


When we bought our house the greenhouse had numerous problems. It was overrun with vines, had numerous broken panes of glass, and was full of debris. Even the foundation had problems from dirt eroding down a nearby hill and pushing the cinder blocks into the structure.

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So we started by pulling all the vines by hand. I ended up with a sizeable pile of debris outside the door afterwards. The dead vines were piled about 5" deep! I dug down in a few places and discovered the center aisle was concrete and the sides were gravel. I came back for a second round of pulling the vines, then I used a propane powered blowtorch to burn the plants where they were popping up from the gravel. After that we put 7 chickens inside for a week or two in the winter to devour anything we had missed. When we were done all of the plant matter was finally gone!


With the ton of extra snow we had this year the weight was too much for the old rotting beams supporting the glass roof. A section of it gave way and broke 3 sections of glass on the lower half. 

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While there are still a lot of home and property work I'd like to do, I realize that if I leave the greenhouse like this then it will start to deteriorate even further. It has been bumped to the top of my to-do list! My plan at this point is to remove all the existing panes of glass, saving the ones that are not broken. By my count I need about 50 new panes of glass. Luckily I found some boxes of glass in the barn nearby from the previous owner so hopefully they are all the right size!

Once the glass is out I'll remove the rotten wood that supported the roof and replace it with new sealed boards. After that I have to jack up the frame and fix the cinder blocks. Then I will be ready to replace the glass with the new panes, put a bead of caulk on them, then put the metal bars back over them that hold them in place. That will close it all in to the elements again and I can then go about replacing the gutters, fixing the well pump, redoing the electrical and lighting, and add some other features like network cable for cameras. 

Here are some more pictures!

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