Greenhouse Made of Recycled Patio Doors Saves Money and Heat

| 4/24/2013 3:44:00 PM

Tags: building a greenhouse, Linda Holliday, recycled patio doors,

Greenhouse attached to houseIn the 1960s, my father spit out the word “plastic” as if it were poison. To him, anything made of a substance other than real wood, metal or glass was junk. Now, I understand.

Our first greenhouse was entirely plastic, a snazzy do-it-yourself kit my husband ordered online for about $1,600. He eagerly awaited the day the UPS truck showed up with the soon-to-be mega-veggie-growing house. Like a kid at Christmas, he ran out to help the delivery man with the boxes, thinking they’d weigh a ton.

Although he later called it a “toy”, my husband built a foundation for the 8’ by 12’ greenhouse and filled the north wall with black 55-gallon barrels to retain heat. The plastic shivered in the wind. Within two seasons, the windows were cloudy.

We’ve learned a thing or three since then.

Rather than building a stand-alone greenhouse of plastic, you can have a sturdier, less-expensive and warmer greenhouse of real wood, metal and glass by attaching it to a south-facing wall of your home or other building.building a greenhouse

Using some scrap material, old sliding glass doors and windows, and as few purchased supplies as possible (cinder blocks, wire cloth, 2x4s and roof tin), we built such a greenhouse last fall for about $400. All winter long, it provided more than enough greens for our heaping, twice-daily salads, and cost a fraction of that plastic model.

3/9/2014 10:10:39 PM

I had been told that if you attach the greenhouse to your home that you will get "sweating" under the siding. This creates mold and can cause damage to the interior walls of your house. How did you get around this?

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