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Thread: I need a low cost but sturdy greenhouse

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    back2eight's Avatar
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    I need a low cost but sturdy greenhouse

    I have tried the cheapy plastic and pipe greenhouses. My husband built 2 of them, and then I bought 2 others that were cheap. They all break. We used the greenhouse plastic that is supposedly made for this purpose and is supposed to withstand the sun, heat, and cold, but it doesn't. It ends up cracked before a year is out.

    Any suggestions on a better type of greenhouse that won't break the bank? I'm going to have to change some of the types of plants I grow because of not being able to get a reliable greenhouse. Gone are the large hanging baskets of Alatas and Mirandas, ferns, and wandering jew and other house plants. There's just not room for them in a greenhouse all winter. I am trying to get more cold tolerant plants. Most succulents can handle cold temps. But anyway, I really need to look for a better greenhouse, and I have until next winter to come up with something. The ones I am using now can last the rest of this winter.

    I'm thinking fiberglass or paneling. Any suggestions of where to buy these?

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Build a wooden A-frame and get some of that hard corrugated plastic sheeting they use for sheds/porches. I found them in 20 sq. foot sheets at the box hardware stores for about $10, if I recall. My research is by no means comprehensive, but I'm convinced that wood and solid-panel construction is by a wide margin the most cost-efficient DIY greenhouse solution over time (initial investment is higher but it pulls ahead of cheaper methods after five or six years.) Not sure about good places for parts, but with the construction business where it is right now raw materials are relatively cheap. I'm getting ready to do some building myself, and while I have shopped around at local stores, I haven't found any spectacular deals yet.
    ~Joe
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    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Good idea, Joe.
    They have the clear patio/shed panels on pvc or some UV resistent pvc which is about 20$ for a 4' x 12' sheet if i remember correctly...at lowe's or home depot. You can insulate that on the inside if you want. Go with the wood frame which is easy to do and don't cost much.
    Best regards,
    Marius

    My Website: http://droseragemmae.com/

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    What were you thinking in terms of insulation, Marius? I had an idea to build a frame with brackets on it so I could have a structure with interchangeable walls; that way I could use it as a greenhouse at the beginning/end of the year to extend my growing season, and switch to bird-netting during the summer to save on fans/air conditioning. My thought was that during winter I could use two panels with an air gap in between them for insulation, or maybe sandwich some bubble wrap in there or something.
    There are also double-thick panels that they sell for greenhouse kits; they're flat like ordinary greenhouse glass but are built like corrugated cardboard, with a flat layer on the inside and outside and a corrugated layer in between for structural strength/insulation. But I have a feeling those are way more expensive than what you'd find at a hardware store.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    back2eight's Avatar
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    Nah, I'm done with DIY. My husband thinks he can build things but then they never work out and we end up spending more money than if we would have bought something to begin with. I want to buy one that comes with everything necesary, and with a warranty. I like the ones that Lowe's sells but they are small is the problem. I need bigger. I may have to get 2 of them or something. They have about a 7 year warranty, and for the price, it seems like it would save me a lot because right now I keep having to build new ones or get new plastic, etc. I'm tied of it, I need something dependable. I was outside yesterday WITH THE FLU transfering plants out of a greehouse that had acquired a hole in the roof somehow, into another one, and I didn't need to be out there doing anything. I need something dependable or else I'm going to get rid of all my plants that can't withstand the cold.

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    mass's Avatar
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    Be sure to recheck to dimensions.. They are very misleading. The 8' x 10' is only 7.06' tall, but they round it up to 8'. And the doorway is only 5'2" tall.. I'd be pissed if I spent $500 on a greenhouse and had to crawl to get into it. But then again, I'm 6'4".
    I'm ordering mine in June, but I have to go with the 10' x 12' to be able to fit inside comfortably.

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    back2eight's Avatar
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    Yeah, the 10 x 12 seems to be the largest offered for hobbyist. I looked at a wholesale website for growers and sent them an email to get prices. It's probably outside my price range, but it won't hurt to check. If I can't get anything big enough, I'll just have to scale down and go with the 10 x 12.

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