October 20, 2023

Progress on the Greenhouse

Even though we haven't had a lot of rain in recent weeks, we've had enough to test Dan's roof solution to the little leaks we had. It definitely fixed the problem. The next step was the gable ends (are they half gable ends?). 

This side of the greenhouse gets the afternoon sun, so this side is where we wanted a solar vent fan to exhaust the heat. 

Also, we plan to put a couple of rainwater barrels inside, so a pipe will be needed to collect rain water from the front gutter on the house and run it into the barrels on the inside.

The fan is a solar attic fan, similar to the one we installed in the attic. As you can imagine, the greenhouse holds a lot of heat in summer! I doubt I'll be able to use it for growing anything then, but the heat and humidity need to be vented. It kept my sewing room quite warm last summer!

Dan chose to cover the rest of the opening with double-walled polycarbonate. 

I don't think there was any special reason for this choice, other than price and availability (of which there seems to be less these days.) We originally looked for used triangular windows, but found none that came close to fitting. 

Trims were next.

Then it was on to the side.

There's still the back side to do, and then, we can paint.

Continued here.


Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

It's looking great. I am going to show this to my husband. I have some windows already, but it's been years since I told him I wanted one. I will have to see if he is still talking to me when we finish the new coop, ha ha!

Leigh said...

Kristina, well, our greenhouse took about 10 years before it started to become a reality! It's still going more slowly than I hoped, but at least it's happening!

daisy g said...

Great progress! Love the idea of the rain barrel on the inside, where it's practical to use.

Rosalea said...

Looking very good! Are you making preparations to use it this winter?

Leigh said...

Daisy, hopefully the rain barrels will serve two functions. 1, as a water source for the plants, and 2, as thermal mass to help keep it from getting too cold at night. How much is yet to be determined, but it should help!

Rosalea, yes, but only in a limited way because after the outside is done, there's the inside to do: rainwater tanks, tables, someplace to store starter trays, pots, tools, potting soil, etc. Plus the door to the house. So Dan needs room to work. But we do have a couple of potted plants in it and I plan to add a few more.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That looks great! I have greenhouse envy! I've never heard of solar fans. So, you fed the heat from the attic into your sewing room, or did I get that wrong? -Jenn

DFW said...

As usual with all your projects, it looks like it's coming together nicely & it looks great!

Ed said...

Looking great... as expected!

That double wall stuff looks like the same stuff I used for the roof of my greenhouse. Thus far, I've been pleased with it but I'm only a year into it at this point.

I've thought about putting gutters on ours and running it inside to a barrel but would have to poke another hole in the wall to run a drain/overflow line. I still may but I've been thinking about just putting a barrel outside the door and running the gutters to them. This frees up space in our very tiny greenhouse but keeps the water close by and I don't have to worry so much about things plugging up and flooding the place. It will be next years problem at any rate.

Cederq said...

Leigh, looks great and Dan has a professional touch. It looks organic to the house and does not distract from it. How many square feet is it?
Is this built for starter planting or for maturing plants?

Leigh said...

Jenn, solar fans are great. We have one for our attic and one for our crawl space. They are hooked up directly to the solar panel that came with them, so they only run when the sun is out. But that's fine, because summer days are when we want them venting. We unplug them in winter.

The heat in my sewing room came from the greenhouse because the wall on that side isn't well insulated. So the heat "bleeds" into the house through the single glazed windows and window wells where there's no insulation. I have thermal curtains covering the windows, but I'm hoping we can vent some of the heat out in summer and that will help.

Deb, thanks!

Ed, I think your idea would work well, especially if the barrel is right outside the door. We're opting to put it inside because there wouldn't be easy access to it outside, plus we're hoping it will act as a thermal mass in winter. If all goes well, we should be able to experiment with that this year.

Kevin, that's good feedback, thanks! It's about 148 square feet, so it's a pretty good size. I will definitely use it for early spring starts, and hope I can grow winter greens. I think it will be too hot for summer use.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks great Leigh!

Are you going to cover up the double carbonate with something? I have no idea how it would take the weather.

Leigh said...

Thanks TB! No plans to cover the double polycarbonate. I think it should be fine. It's the same stuff Ed used for his greenhouse roof!