I started planning my new bigger and better greenhouse project a couple of years ago now and like all best laid plans of mice and men, my intentions never quite seemed to come together, first I had not enough money, then that changed for the better, but I had no time and then all of a sudden I found myself with neither!
Over the winter, more time and a bit of dosh was coming back to me so I started to make noises as to my intentions again.
My original plan was to have an aluminium portal frame made from 4x2 box section with a clear span of 6m x 6m long all clad in 25mm multiwall polycarb, giving me 400sq feet which is almost twice what I have now, this would allow me to keep about the same space for my lowlanders, whilst doubling the highland section, space badly needed as many plants are maturing and just need more room.
Going all polycarb would also bring down the lowland running costs considerably, and I reckoned that the fuel saving would pay for the build in a few years……my bills have been horrific !! Last year keeping over 20c whilst it was -14c outside nearly got me a divorce!
This however, was, I argued, a very “good reason” for wanting to build a new BIGGER greenhouse as the fuel savings would be impressive.
Well the wife was finally coming round to the idea and then she saw the plans and said @#]]% that!
I should explain that we live in a barn conversion, set in a fairly traditional looking setting, and a hi-tech grow house would look out of place to a certain extent.
My argument was that it would be prettier than the current one and I could maybe screen it a bit better from the barn. Also, it would be very quick and easy to erect with some precision timing and cause least disruption to the plants……………...
So I lost that argument as is the norm and the idea was,or rather the plans, were shelved.
A new tack was required.
Now my wife loves to see good things happen, especially when they are ”her idea", and coupled with her complete inability to resist a bargain, I pointed out a few alternatives on ebay, and when we missed one item that I cried “ would have been perfect and so, so cheap too, and we will never see another like that” (all true) she was hooked on the idea, and it was now just a matter of finding something appropriate……….and pleasing to her eye.
Low and behold 2 weeks later, a massive Victorian style greenhouse (450sq ft)came up with no reserve.
“Wow this thing would cost a fortune new” I suggested, and it was not very old “but we will never get it within budget, what a shame! it will likely make a few grand” “similar things of a quarter the size cost loads” I sobbed. “but how beautiful it would look and there could even be space for you to grow a few chillis?” I said choking back the tears!
I suggested my guide budget, bearing in mind the extra work involved in building and converting this thing to my requirements, and was told I had no chance, “be realistic” she said and added 50% to my price…….. Game On!
Well amazingly it came down at under my estimate, so a real bargain could be attributed to the boss!! No going back now……………. Get in!!
Now the nightmare truly begins!
How to build a dwarf walled greenhouse with twice the footprint in a position 3ft offset from the existing (therefor dissecting the existing footprint) in super quick time?
Not possible! So I now have to plan the timing perfectly so that the plants can be temporarily housed in a polythene tent, erected inside the garage, for as short a time as possible, as they will surely suffer with reduced light levels, etc.
I also have to move the shed, dismantle and sell the old Hartley Botanic greenhouse (by auction to get rid quickly) demolish the old dwarf wall and rebuild the new in double quick time!!
I hope I can get the plants out and back within 2 weeks, but I suspect it will take longer.
Anyway, here are a couple of pics to get things going.
Here is the existing GH
And a couple of shots of the plants that need to be moved.
(sorry for quality of last 2 pics)
I will update as and when things get properly moving!
One saving grace is that the base, in form of a concrete slab, already exists.
Edited by Dicon, 10 April 2012 - 20:23 PM.