Thursday, May 23, 2013

building the greenhouse - part 1

jambaloney here!

i had planned on a bunch of posts - but time has dragged on and kymber already showed you the frame, so here is the stuff that happened before the frame went up...

well first off - an ancient sky pic for helga - winter and vandura!!!

back to the greenhouse - once i had all the free and scavenged railway ties cleaned up, i was ready to lay them down, first step was "planning" some were longer than others and some wider... but i had enough overall...

before i laid them down, i had to level and trench the floor so the water would run out...

in between that digging, i took windows out of the frames and casements. initially i was temped to put the casements up, but they are a lot heavier than the windows and take up more space... here is the trim..

and here are the empty casements... they will make great hot boxes when cleaned up and stacked!!!

here are the leftovers all double-paned... you will see a few casements. in the greenhouse there will be one window on every side that opens..

i am laying them out as a crude plan... i never made a plan on paper, just in my head and trusting in math ;-))


after some awesome help from the boys next door (N & H - thanks guys!), we got the railway ties in place - it was hard getting them set and leveled! now to fill it!!

my plan was to get some free sand and stones from the beach, the idea being to fill the floor with sand to level and then stones for drainage. i got the truck stuck on the beach in march trying to get sand, so i brought 2x6s, a wheelbarrow and a shovel - harder work, but safer! the boys were a big help getting the sand!

bonus seaweed fertilizer!!

3 loads of rocks later - the floor is filled  - the rocks will keep ambient heat in...

and let water out - there are 3 drains in the greenhouse..

free stones - gotta love it!

lumber bought for framing and roofing..

here is the door frame..

and the outline of the west wall - i started all the frames with an outline..

finished west frame...

finished east frame..

this is one of two south frames 6 feet tall - i did the framing by placing the chosen windows in place...

then filling in the gaps!

on misty/drizzling days, extension cord covering is a must!

tools too!

other south planning....

and filling..

now the north/backwall - it is 9 feet tall..

bottom 4 feet or so will be osb..

and the rest windows ...


and two - they are narrower than the front as the door frame goes in the middle

that's the background before the frame went up and got painted - kymber worked so bloody hard and fast that day she is hired full time as a carpenter now - we will make quick work of the rest together!

pioneer p - the top trout are yours - the big one at the bottom is for sweet sandy ;-))

cheers all! jambaloney

(note: this post was re-posted by kymber as it is not showing up on any blogrolls. hopefully i've fixed it!)


  1. this comment, from our friend Linda, came up on the original post which wasn't showing up on anyone's blogroll - and i have no idea why?!?!?!?

    so here is Linda's comment:

    I am so impressed with this post, pictures, and talent!

    My fantasy greenhouse will use my collection of large river rocks in my yard.My bricks I collect will be the paths in the greenhouse.

    Collecting the aluminum storm doors is easier because there is no wood attached--easier for me to lift. I suppose less framing might not make it as sturdy as yours will be. I have one set of windows, all one piece--7' X4--that is my pride and joy.

    I, also, planned to have one window to open on each side. Up high, I want to put a window and opener that is automatic, depending on the heat.

    Oops, did not mean to hijack a wonderful post. You give me hope. Now, where is my own J?

    1. hey linda - glad you enjoyed!!

      i also hope you can get some ideas for your own as the project unfolds - i must have looked up a gazillion re-purposing greenhouse online!

      we will have 2 vent windows...

      you will find you own j - no worries ;-)))

    2. Besides the one huge set of windows, I have lots of door glass in the frame for storm doors, nor just the set of windows. It is fun watching your progress.

    3. LOL..."my own" I did not catch on at first and wondered what you meant. I thought you meant windows, which I have.

    4. linda:

      glad you are having fun watching - i am sure yours will come together!!

  2. All Teh Troutses Belong to ME!!!!

    That is remarkable Jamby. So I guess I don't know about windows enough. You took them out of the frames but they are still in some kind of frame right? Which allows you to fit them in between the wall studs?

    I am still a bit fuzzy on what type of window specifically you need for this.

    Also I am jealous you can just go get gravel and sand whenever you like.

    1. hey pioneer p!

      i have to give sandy a few - no much fishing this year but i will get lots for you later ;-)

      windows that open come in casements... the double paned/gazed ones come framed with with with hardware to open them - i removed all of that and there is still a frame. there is another type popular here with thick single panes that slide side to side on rails.. 4 panes per casement to double up... these got cleaned right up and go on the roof.. the old-style storm windows go on the back wall.

      not so much what windows you need as how to use what you got.

      the free gravel is awesome - hard work but with a free trip to the ocean ;-)

      cheers buddy!

  3. Wow I'm always so impressed by your work. It must take hours. I bet it's gonna look great when it's finished.

    1. hey thank llcooljoe!!

      it IS a lot of work, but we are building it to last... the work will pay off in fresh food year round..

      and it will look pretty snazzy too ;-)

      cheers mate!

  4. Wow. Thank you for the progress pics. And, I can't wait to see the finished product. Were the casements mostly aluminum or wood?

    1. hey there dfw!

      glad you enjoyed - finished soon?? weather permitting - should have been done by now - rain rain go away!!

      casements are all wood - some plastic trim here and there.


  5. Kymber and Jambaloney,

    Okay, hurry up and get the greenhouse done so I can come up there, take it apart and steal it, Bahahahahhaha...... I so love what you've done.

    Thank you for being great friends, sending love and hugs your way.

    1. hey sweet sandy!

      hey you are more than welcome to try - i think building your own would be easier though -;-)))

      thanks - you are a great friend too - hugs to you and be safe!!

  6. That will be a great addition to your garden!

    1. gorges - good to hear form you!

      it will be a great addition to the garden - longer growing season!!

      hope you are well friend!

  7. Off topic guys, but I wanted to let you know your beer finished up at 7.2% alcohol.

    1. my adventures!

      that is an awesome sounding beer - have a glass for us tonight!!

      cheers to you - what an honor!!

  8. Nice! I love to see folks building things, especially when those things are for self reliance!

    1. hey there mayberry buddy!

      glad you like it - a big kudo coming from you, master project guy that you are ;-))

      hope all is well with you - cheers!!

    2. hey there mayberry buddy!

      glad you like it - a big kudo coming from you, master project guy that you are ;-))

      hope all is well with you - cheers!!

  9. Beautiful job guys!! I'm so impressed that the two of you get out there and get it done!! It looks like a TON of back breaking WORK!! It makes me tired just reading about it and I can't help but want to wish a couple of big strong boys up your way for a week or so to help out, and no, I'm not talking about the feral naked five years olds, I'm talking about the other ones that actually build things and work ;)

    I can't wait to see it all done!! It's going to be the bestest greenhouse ever....I just know it!!

    xo michele

    1. hey mystic mud!!

      your offer is sweet but kymber and i will punch this through (weather permitting ;-)we are determined!

      the work isn't as bad as waiting for the right conditions, last year this would have been done by the end of april - ah well!

      thanks for dropping by and cheers!

  10. Using a light (slightly tilted) frame with an old window in it, setting on top of a slightly excavated area is a cheap and easy way to get an early starter greenhouse. I gather that one thing you really have to watch is that the plants don't cook in the relatively small space.

  11. better late than never..looks great guys!