ROBERT JOHNSON

Greenhouse - What would you differently now?

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Speaking as a complete novice. (I've never owned a greenhouse) I would have preferred a wooden greenhouse. They just look right and if mine had had to be in a prominent position I would have reconsidered my choice - although I'm not sure I could have afforded a wooden one. As it is, my green house will be mostly out of sight of the house hence aluminium.

Purely cost in the end.

Robert

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Sarracenia growers seem to prefer aluminium, lets the maximum amount of light in and winter heating isnt an issue for them.

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6 hours ago, Alexis said:

The frame sizes are thicker though. The plants can get a bit shaded 

yes I'd go along with that, a sunny location does help in this respect

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4 hours ago, ROBERT JOHNSON said:

Speaking as a complete novice. (I've never owned a greenhouse) I would have preferred a wooden greenhouse. They just look right and if mine had had to be in a prominent position I would have reconsidered my choice - although I'm not sure I could have afforded a wooden one. As it is, my green house will be mostly out of sight of the house hence aluminium.

Purely cost in the end.

Robert

Although wood is my preference you do get a lot more greenhouse for your money with aluminium so if cost was an issue I'd go with aluminium, there are some great options available.

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Repeating much of the above

Double glazing if you can afford it. Automatic vents

Wood looks great and easier to fit out, clearly more expensive though

A sunny a spot as possible - you can always put on shading  

As large as possible.

This may be overkill, but I have dual power supplies: MCBs on a non-RCD bus in the house CU, 6mm2 3-core armoured cable, sub-CU with multiple RCB protected circuits in the greenhouse to minimise failure domain and a non-electric propane heater (set lower than the electric heater) as backup for electricity outages

Well constructed solid level base / dwarf wall plinth/ concrete slab

MDPE mains water supply & preferably a supply run in from outside water butts

 

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I prefer wooden too.  Just use a staple gun to fix up the bubble film each year and find a simple 30W tube heater enough to keep the frost out in all but the worst weather (have a 3kW fan heater IF needed too).  Had my Alton now for 25 years and its not perfect anymore but only just starting to rot (just used some wood filler the last weekend to fill a hole in the top at one end).  Don't think the increased frame size cuts much light out.  Biggest issue is the increased cost of a wooden one - the replacement cost is a bit steep now!

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19 hours ago, Dunc said:

the replacement cost is a bit steep now!

You definitely need to shop around now, local specialist joinery firms are around half the price of the famous brands.

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I've just finished building mine today. I got it free and dismantled it myself on Sunday. Then spent the last 2 days building it. The thing I would do next time is have someone help me... my back is in bits now.


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4 hours ago, Gaz said:

You definitely need to shop around now, local specialist joinery firms are around half the price of the famous brands.

Link please!!  Would be very interested to get some more info please!

I've not been unhappy with my current one as its well built and has lasted, so good value if a bit initial outlay.  I think a problem I'll have may be that the preservatives used now are far less effective than those used a few decades ago.  I had most of the fences built with agri standard treated timber over 20 years ago when we moved in here and a few post are only just rotting (easy fix with concrete spur).  The main boards are still completely sound an have never been re-treated.  Bit thinner as the wasps slowly chew them away but that's it.  My fencer reckons modern posts would not last  10 years, possibly not even 5!!!

 

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Woodpecker used to be reasonable but looking at the prices today they seem to have shot up.

(just thought on, imported wood, bad exchange rate = brexit)

Edited by manders

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13 hours ago, Steve Werzal Miller said:

I've just finished building mine today. I got it free and dismantled it myself on Sunday. Then spent the last 2 days building it. The thing I would do next time is have someone help me... my back is in bits now.

It's definitely better with another pair of hands but I remember when me and a mate put my first greenhouse together (aluminium in that case) it almost brought a 20 year friendship to an end!   All was well after a couple of beers though :cheers:

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It's definitely better with another pair of hands but I remember when me and a mate put my first greenhouse together (aluminium in that case) it almost brought a 20 year friendship to an end!   All was well after a couple of beers though :cheers:


It's not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. I had some help to dismantle it. This made building harder as I wasn't sure where it all went. Looks good now though.fce13d15b2e8e70a97bfcd7d738ebc30.jpg


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It's definitely better with another pair of hands but I remember when me and a mate put my first greenhouse together (aluminium in that case) it almost brought a 20 year friendship to an end!   All was well after a couple of beers though :cheers:


It's not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. I had some help to dismantle it. This made building harder as I wasn't sure where it all went. Looks good now though.fce13d15b2e8e70a97bfcd7d738ebc30.jpg


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4 hours ago, manders said:

Woodpecker used to be reasonable but looking at the prices today they seem to have shot up.

(just thought on, imported wood, bad exchange rate = brexit)

Yes, Woodpecker was who I was thinking of.  My 12 x 8 Woodpecker cost about the same as my 6 x 8 Gabriel Ash.  The GA does have one or two innovative vent gizmos but on the whole the Woodpecker is a sturdier structure and in my opinion better value for money.

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51 minutes ago, Gaz said:

Yes, Woodpecker was who I was thinking of.  My 12 x 8 Woodpecker cost about the same as my 6 x 8 Gabriel Ash.  The GA does have one or two innovative vent gizmos but on the whole the Woodpecker is a sturdier structure and in my opinion better value for money.

I've just bought a Woodpecker 12 x 8 Bromley, on the basis of good feedback from a few other growers

Customisation wasn't any extra, and they do useful options for double glazing (vertical sides only) and capping the roof bars and ridge for minimal maintenance up there.

Unfortunately they left the drawing and manufacturing to the absolute last minute, and ended up without the glass for install day, so only put up the frame, which to be fair looks pretty good. So I've had a weeks delay waiting for the glass to finally arrive, hopefully tomorrow.

Other than that niggle - perhaps they're overworked - so far so good

 

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We got a Bromley as well, a couple of years back, didn't realise they do a double glazing option...  I did it myself with polycarb.  My only small niggle was they ran out of sealant and i had a leak in the roof.  They did come and fix it though.

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22 hours ago, osmosis said:

I've just bought a Woodpecker 12 x 8 Bromley, on the basis of good feedback from a few other growers

Customisation wasn't any extra, and they do useful options for double glazing (vertical sides only) and capping the roof bars and ridge for minimal maintenance up there.

Unfortunately they left the drawing and manufacturing to the absolute last minute, and ended up without the glass for install day, so only put up the frame, which to be fair looks pretty good. So I've had a weeks delay waiting for the glass to finally arrive, hopefully tomorrow.

Other than that niggle - perhaps they're overworked - so far so good

 

yes mine is also a Bromley.

My experience was that Woodpecker's greenhouses are great but their communication and customer service does have some scope for improvement, but they're a small outfit so gave them the benefit of the doubt.

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21 hours ago, Gaz said:

yes mine is also a Bromley.

My experience was that Woodpecker's greenhouses are great but their communication and customer service does have some scope for improvement, but they're a small outfit so gave them the benefit of the doubt.

I gather from the installers mine is far from an isolated incident.

You order months in advance, but everything is done very last minute e.g. drawings done a few days in advance, manufacturing the day before, frames stained on installation day and actually onto the lorry wet.  

As a result, apparently they routinely spend a fair amount of time mopping up various issues.

As you say, they may be a small outfit, and the end result is good, but giving themselves some contingency should produce a more reliable delivery, stop wasting their time and the customers, and shouldn't slow them down overall. Feels like they're a bit in denial.

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On ‎23‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 2:43 PM, manders said:

We got a Bromley as well, a couple of years back, didn't realise they do a double glazing option...  I did it myself with polycarb.  My only small niggle was they ran out of sealant and i had a leak in the roof.  They did come and fix it though.

To be fair the double glazing is pretty thin, by house standards. Not much thicker than twin-wall polycarb. It looks good and I'm sure the insulation is better than polycarb, but I'd see it as a bit of luxury rather than a money saver. We did it with the intention of being able to see into the greenhouse for more of the year without having bubble wrap or polycarb in the way

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I think you only need a few cm of water normally, but if your going on holiday and want to fill up a good number of inches is usefull.

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Water: water hardness/Quality England Water   Poor Norn Iron is not listed but NI Water provide a lot more detail and my water has been used on the plants and there have been no adverse effects. I also 'benefit' from a lot of the natural stuff from above!

Wind:   no matter how well you think you have glued, cemented, no nailed, blue tacked, cello taped, drawing pinned etc Mr Wind will always find that weakness. As stated above it will be a gradual mm by mm move, then one day it'll be off. A door, a vent, a window, the frame will inevitably pop one out. A good study of the garden/area to locate is invaluable. My garden gives a lot of variation in wind from front to back and left to right. When its howling an Atlantic gale there are oddly a few places not being moved at all. Try and gauge the 'dead spots' a few garden sticks with a few inches of ribbon etc will happily blow and show you the direction and strength (roughly of course) Would be especially useful if as mentioned there are to be plants left to their own devices around said house.

any plants that are to be located around a solid structure would also benefit from a little perusal at this, or similar t'internet search

Wind Flow in Garden

Sun: LMAO not been an issue in Norn Iron. If I can get some on EBay (or similar site) I would be interested....

If you want to grow crops (I got chillies, peppers, toms, aubergines) all year round, it’s best to line up the ridge of the structure to run east-west, as this will maximise light during the winter. It will also help it to heat up more quickly after cold nights. Or aligning the ridge north-south gives an equal amount of sun to each side and helps to reduce overheating on the hottest days. This shouldn't really be much of an issue unless using/constricting a lean-to, if so then use north facing wall.

Location:

Avoid the base of a slope, colder air will sit and cause a frost pocket. Reasonable distance away from tress and bushes, this will avoid dirt, mould, damage from falling branches etc.. however keep in mind the potential for wind protection above.

 

 

you probably have it ordered, delivered, built and filled by this stage so forgive the tardiness in adding my 10p worth....

 

 

 

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