Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget

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Lilylove

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Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« on: May 10, 2018, 22:29 »
So, I have a plan to make my own combi shed/greenhouse out of pallets and plastic bottles.  I have been given permission by the Committee as long as I keep the size within 14 x 10 feet.  In my head, if I stuffed the plastic bottles inside the pallet, this should offer some sort of insulation and form the shed end.  For the greenhouse bit, plastic bottles threaded onto canes and fixed into a wooden framework.  Would this work?  Do you have any other suggestions??

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hasbeans

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 05:59 »
Make sure the shed end is facing north to maximise light into the greenhouse
The plastic bottles exposed to sunlight/uv will start to break down after a year or two...
You can get old windows/patio doors/conservatories on ebay/gumtree for next to nothing if patient, these will work better than bottles.  Old is best as modern glass has coatings that restrict infra-red light, which is what your plants want.
Make sure that you can open lots of 'glazing' for ventilation, some being at the highest point to let the heat out.
Saying all that, I've never owned a greenhouse, but I am building one and have just spent the winter reading too many books on the subject!
Good luck

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Lilylove

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 18:46 »
Some great tips there and a lot to consider - thank you!  I like the sound of using old window frames as these would give more character.  However, plastic bottles can be replaced every year quite easily.  I can see I am going to have lots of different designs to draw up along with all the pros and cons of each. 

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hasbeans

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 20:28 »
If you are using this bottles as a laudable 'green' solution then please consider that those bottles cannot then be recycled after use in the greenhouse.  Otherwise go for it and have fun.

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sunshineband

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 20:34 »
When I was at Uni first time around, many years ago, a few of us made a greenhouse out of plastic bottles, strung on canes. built into a 2x2 wooden framework, with a slightly angled roof. Issues we faced were:

-Bottles come in many sizes and obviously they all need to be the same size, and transparent. It took ages to collect enough even from amongst all our friends.

- Angling the roof created some awkward spaces to fill, and although the gaps did let excess heat out in Summer, we ended up taping thick polythene sheeting over the triangular areas for the Winter.

- Rainwater came in through the roof as the bottles, even pressed together tight, let water through, and we tried to seal them using aquarium sealant, which turned out to break down in sunslight so again heavy plastic sheeting was used, but this cut down on the light a lot

Just some thoughts, which I hope help you work through your design

Oh, and the bottles did last several years, and we grew a lot of very tasty food to supplement our meagre student diet at the time!! I wish I had some photos of the structure but we never even had a camera between us

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lettice

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 13:14 »
Seen many youtube videos and blogs over the years of people doing Plastic bottle greenhouses.
They always look like its more of a build project rather than a real practical use long term.

It always seems hard to keep the rain out seeping between the bottles. Hate to think what happens when snow covers the greenhouse and a lot of the thawed water seeps through rather than running off
The temp inside the greenhouse will not be as good as glass.
They will need replacing after a few years. Some bottles last longer than others.
The gaps between the bottles will become a slug/snail magnet and not so easy to spot them or remove them easily than a conventional greenhouse.
Cleaning will be more of a chore each year with all the nooks and crannies. A huge moss trap.

For me, it kind of defeats any thought of recycling, as eventually they will need to be replaced anyway.

Why not get online and find a free greenhouse somewhere, that you can offer to dismantle and rebuild. Stlll a project and could still design it with three sides and an attach to the shed, so having some spare glass or a side if the free one is a bit tatty.

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Lilylove

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2018, 15:19 »

- Angling the roof created some awkward spaces to fill, and although the gaps did let excess heat out in Summer, we ended up taping thick polythene sheeting over the triangular areas for the Winter.

- Rainwater came in through the roof as the bottles, even pressed together tight, let water through, and we tried to seal them using aquarium sealant, which turned out to break down in sunslight so again heavy plastic sheeting was used, but this cut down on the light a lot

Just some thoughts, which I hope help you work through your design

  Some great thoughts here - thank you.  I had been wondering how to solve the roof problem and it looks as though I may need to resort to a corrugated roof - at least that'll be easier in terms of collecting the rainwater :)  Thanks again

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Lilylove

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Re: Designing your own greenhouse/shed on a budget
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2018, 15:24 »

It always seems hard to keep the rain out seeping between the bottles. Hate to think what happens when snow covers the greenhouse and a lot of the thawed water seeps through rather than running off
The temp inside the greenhouse will not be as good as glass.
They will need replacing after a few years. Some bottles last longer than others.
The gaps between the bottles will become a slug/snail magnet and not so easy to spot them or remove them easily than a conventional greenhouse.
Cleaning will be more of a chore each year with all the nooks and crannies. A huge moss trap.

Why not get online and find a free greenhouse somewhere, that you can offer to dismantle and rebuild. Stlll a project and could still design it with three sides and an attach to the shed, so having some spare glass or a side if the free one is a bit tatty.
 
More great points that I hadn't really considered ....!! Think I better take my time to consider all options instead of my usual 'jump in head first'.  Thank you.



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