Build a Greenhouse from Old Recycled Windows

Repurpose old glass windows and doors by assembling them into a beautiful and unique greenhouse.

Lore

Discarded windows and doors make up this low-cost, one-of-a-kind greenhouse.

Photo by Gary and Gina Blocker

Content Tools

We garden, can, and preserve as much food as possible each year. We wanted a greenhouse to grow plants from seed and have fresh vegetables in the winter. However, we didn’t want to spend big money for a prefabricated structure. Instead, we came up with the idea to salvage and repurpose old windows, doors, and scrap lumber for our own “green” greenhouse.

Our first job was to find old windows and doors. We searched local papers, asked friends, and visited sites where houses were being remodeled or demolished.

When we had what we thought would be enough windows and old sliding glass doors for our planned 10-by-10-foot greenhouse, we laid out the windows in the yard like a puzzle so that we could determine their placement on each wall.

Construction began with us building the frame and the support structure for the roof. Then, we attached the windows and doors to the frame. Finally, we painted and sealed the entire structure.

It just so happened that we were having our driveway widened (we always seem to have two or three projects going at the same time), so we used some of the extra gravel for the floor of the greenhouse.

All the tables and work areas inside the greenhouse are constructed from an old entertainment center, and some planters were made from canning jars and hose clamps.

Our greenhouse has already been a money-saver, as we were able to purchase a Japanese maple for $7 during an end-of-season clearance sale. The Japanese maple made it, alive and well, through the winter, and we planted it in the yard this spring. We’ve started peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes from seed this year and have an herb garden growing in the canning jars.

jameslynnbates
12/8/2016 11:33:36 AM

Just a tip for anyone thinking of doing this, it can be difficult scouring Craigslist, junk shops, etc, to come up with enough windows of the same size to do a project like this. Having to accommodate all the different dimensions can make framing a real challenge. Call around to window installation companies in your area, ask real nice, and chances are that you will find someone in that company that grabs up all the old windows from replacement jobs and resells them. I'm in the Atlanta area and I found someone who sold me about 30 window sashes for $5 apiece, enough to build a 10 x 15 structure and I L-O-V-E my greenhouse. Absolutely the best and most rewarding project I ever took on.