Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Building a Greenhouse Part #2

Ok, so you still want to do this? Well here I will go into some detail of the actual construction.. Enough of this planning stuff. 

So for starters You need to excavate and lay down your base for you greenhouse,  I selected to build a concrete pad for my greenhouse.

I excavated a base roughly 15 feet wide by 30 feet long. I used a small wheeled bobcat for this, You can rent them so 250 a day at a local rental place, I luckily had access to one. This saved on the cost. 

I laid a 4inch base of 2a modified stone, and watered it, then compacted it.

I then rented a "ditch witch"  Since I was bringing water and electric to the greenhouse I had to trench below the frostline for the water, and the deeper you go, the more flexible your electric line options are. I ran a 3/4 pex line, and 12/3 UF rated wire bare no conduit (check your local codes) 

So I trenched 36 inches deep from my house to the one corner of the pad

After I trenched everything, I ran the lines, backfilled the dirt in, and installed a treated lumber post to run the utilities up. 

After this, Its time to build your forms... This is a pretty simple task, using 2x4s, 2 foot steel ground stakes, and a level you build big ass square where you want you pad over your compacted base, you level it, and make sure its very well secured so it doesnt move while you pour your concrete.

Next would be your concrete delivery... If you are wondering how much concrete you need just type in "concrete calculator" in google and you will get a few to help you.  This job required 5 yards of concrete, I selected 4000psi with fiber reinforcement. I did not steel reinforce this pad due to its very low weight load.

When pouring such a big pad, it is helpful to select a day in the 70's and not so sunny.  We poured this pad in late august, on a very sunny day, and it was 96 degrees out.  Dont do that, just dont.  

So now onto the fun part!  Building the greenhouse.  This will be a pretty short section, since everyones greenhouse will be different. Mine took 2 days to build, I had help for one of those days (Thanks Pauly!)... I would suggest a helping hand at all times, it'll really speeds things up.  Most of my greenhouse frame was "click together" so it was pretty easy.  All the bracing bolted together and it was a well designed system.  I will share a few pictures below.

Whoa... Your greenhouse Grew?  Yup... remember that part where I told you to write a size down on paper, then throw it away?  Yeah, listen to me.  In the back of my head, I knew this would happen, thats why I oversized the concrete pad, and bought a expandable system.  About three weeks after building the greenhouse I realized, I would need the extension, and need it now.  I purchased a 6 x 13 extension and added it on, Since I was familiar with the system, and the frame was a click system, the addition took 3 hours.

The greenhouse is now 13w x 26L

Also at the same time, as if building a greenhouse wasn't enough, My wife decided she wanted a Pergola, I wanted a firepit.. So I designed, and built a new patio, and pergola at the same time while building the greenhouse. I dont suggest you do this either lol. 

So there it is... Lots of planning...  I completed everything over the course of 2 weeks from excavation, to finished product, both greenhouse and pergola.  And yes I work a full time job also. 

Till next time! 

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