Greenhouse from old windows and doors

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Motomom34, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    We talk a lot about building greenhouses on here but to buy one of those greenhouse kits it take cash, lots of it. Some look flimsy and I always wonder about replacement panes and snow loads. Kits are great and work for some but since we live in a throw away society, I wonder how long those greenhouse kits will last.

    A couple of my neighbors have this type of greenhouse:

    I have noticed that they seem to get milky with age. I am unsure if this milkiness affects the growing capability and strength.

    A person up the road just built a greenhouse from old slider doors. It is a sturdy building and looks like it will last for years. We also had a fellow monkey build a greenhouse from windows. Greenhouse almost done! | Survival Forums
    I think this would be the way to go if you want a good sturdy greenhouse. One would be recycling materials plus if you are good at finding free or cheap stuff you could build a greenhouse cheap.

    This article to building a greenhouse from repurposed windows is quite extravagant but gives a good idea of what you can do. Building a Repurposed Windows Greenhouse | Our Fairfield Home & Garden

    Here is another article that shows examples of what you can do with old windows and doors:
    14 DIY Greenhouses From Old Windows And Doors - Gardenoholic
    GOG, Seepalaces, pearlselby and 3 others like this.
  2. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    When people switch out old single-pane windows for more modern designs, the windows guys have to get rid of the old windows.
    Usually they just smash the glass out of the aluminum ones and sell the metal for scrap. They usually have piles of old windows and doors, and often will sell them surprisingly cheap. Likewise, you can advertise that you want old glass windows, shower doors, etc., and get truckloads for free. They also make great instant cold frames.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Don't forget sheds. Buddy of mine built a 12x16 shed with insulated garage door sections. (All scrapped from doors torn out with one or two usable sections.) Framed the corners and gables with 4x4's and lag screws. Roof was sections covered with one sheet of 1/8" roofing rubber and construction adhesive.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @UncleMorgan great suggestion. I have been looking for the old windows and saw some posted for $30 a piece. People like to craft with them. But I like the idea of contacting a window company. I am sure I could get some cheaper, even Habitat for Humanity has their old windows marked at a premium.

    @kellory that is an interesting idea. I has seen old tuff sheds for sale and I know a couple that renovated their tuff shed into a play house. If I can find frame work already done that would be a bonus.
    kellory and Seepalaces like this.
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    My only comment would be to ensure the roof is made of the poly-carbonate panels. Otherwise, your first hail storm is sure to be an ugly surprise....
    Tully Mars and Motomom34 like this.
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    One little note: I built some cold frames for my mother in law 20 years ago from old windows. The windows covered the box and were pitched at maybe 25-30 degrees. She used then several years but I noted that unlike when the windows were situated vertically, water would collect and sit in the little triangular trough on the glazing at the bottom of the window, it couldn't drain away. Didn't take but a few years for this to rot the wood frame at the window bottom. Suggest maybe put a big fillet of silicon caulk along the bottom to cause this to drain away and to seal that area.

    Check out the corrugated clear ploy-carbonate roofing panels at the building supplies and big box stores. It not that expensive and with some treated lumber a sturdy greenhouse that would last 20 years or more wouldn't be hard to construct. .

    Tully Mars and oldawg like this.
  7. melvinderby

    melvinderby Monkey

    I used my old windows to build a greenhouse. Having this greenhouse in my garden was really a good choice as I could grow my plants happily without having to worry about the weather. The first thing that you have to do is to find out the building code. You can think of how large you want your greenhouse to be and plan accordingly. This will determine the number doors and windows you would need to build it. Looking at professional designs will give you some good ideas on how to place your windows and doors properly. Once you have collected your windows you could lie them side by side.When you choose the window make sure that they are of the same design or you would have to fill in the gaps with wood. You could use your windows as a guide while you are constructing the frame for the walls of the greenhouse. Avoid using concrete foundation, use cinder blocks to stabilize the corner posts. I have attached an article that I referred when I was building my greenhouse,I hope you find it useful
    Ganado likes this.
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