Build a Greenhouse from Old Recycled Windows

article image
Photo by Gary and Gina Blocker
Discarded windows and doors make up this low-cost, one-of-a-kind greenhouse.

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.