A few years ago I went to a window shop to find an old window for a craft project. They sent me out to the yard and there I found the motherload of all motherloads of old windows. So I asked them what price theyd like to get for all. They must have not caught on to the demand for such beauties because they told me I could take them if I brought coffee for the staff!
Best $14 I ever spent at Tim Hortons!
I used them to build an Upcycled Window Greenhouse. Here’s how:
As soon as the snow (almost) all melted, I started arranging the windows on the ground to decide how best to use the selection of windows I had.
I decided to scrap the door and replace with a particularly long window to reduce height. The final design ended up being very tall anyways lol
What I did was arrange the ‘face’ of the greenhouse on the ground and began measuring and framing it out.
Once the front face was all built, I measured the parameters and built a back wall to the same specs, fitting in some studs and frames for a couple extra windows.
Then I built two matching side walls with pre-measured space for windows and I leaned all four walls against the fence while we dug and gravelled the plot for construction.
Initially I didnt want the greenhouse to have a floor; I wanted to be able to till and plant directly into the ground. We decided to put the greenhouse on skids so it would be easier to level and adjust. We measured the length of the four walls and built a basic 2×4 skid frame. Then we layed plywood on top and placed it on 4 treated fenceposts laid sideways, shimmying the gravel beneath the posts until the skid was level.
By this time husbeast and I realized we were too lazy to do the whole job alone so we put a call out and got the help of two good friends to tackle some of the work with us.
Putting up the walls:
I missed a chance to get an earlier picture so I’ll explain how we got this far.
Once the four walls were up, we measured and cut 2x4s to the lengths of the walls and screwed them down as ‘caps’ atop each wall, joining together the corners.
In this photo we have finished putting up the roof rafters on each side and are capping the ‘second-height’ wall
You can see we got cap-happy and added more capping than necessary. Something to do with confusing the pitch requirements of the higher roof. Whoops! It all worked out in the end.
The corrugated poly roofing was the biggest expense of the greenhouse construction (although a close tie with the beer). Total cost for roof and roof screws was almost $400
Because there were no shims or such in the window frames, I started putting up plywood on the outside, leaving a 1/4″ overhang in each window opening. This was so that I could press the windows into place from the inside and the plywood would catch them from falling through the outside.
Then came the work of installing all the windows. I should have numbered them or something, because figuring out which window went where quickly became a tedious task.
I used small strips of wood screwed to the interior of the windows frames to hold the windows in place
All along the way I was trying to get everything painted white before too many parts became too hard to reach.
Some time around this stage we made a trip to the next town over for groceries or whatever reason. On the way I made husband pull over to investigate an abandoned store and there is where I found the cutest decorative window trim. I used a crowbar to pry some off and we took it home and used it to pretty-up the greenhouse
Added some window boxes to the front and continued with the mission to get everything Painted White
We added some builtin boxes inside and used a pallet as a step-up into the greenhouse
…and the greenhouse lived beside the garden and fruit trees, happily ever-after!
Happy Homesteading! Xx
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