I want a greenhouse for jump-starting the growing season -- but nothing overwintered inside, no tropicals or anything like that. Seeds, cuttings, but things going outside for permanent residence in the ground. I'd likely use it as a greenhouse from Feb to after last freeze. But not a year-round growing place.
Even tho I have 5 acers, it's all steep hillside and more than half of it wooded. It would need to be close to the house, which is a story and a half set on a full walk-in basement or I wouldn't use it. And that's the sunniest part of the property as well. The deck on the main floor (kitchen/living room level above the basement) is on the south side of the house and is 8'x24' and has a rail. There is a greenhouse mesh awning there now -- easy to remove as needed.
The 1944 house has little or no insulation. A metal porch roof on the south side would help shade the living room/bedroom on that end of the house, therefore cooling somewhat the entire structure. I have a greenhouse mesh shade awning up there now and it helps but not as much as something solid. A greenhouse would help warm that end of the house in the cool months but would have to have extreme ventilation and fans or the house would be insufferable in the warm months.
Could I have a solid metal roof on a greenhouse and get any practical use out of it?
The clear sides couild be upside down storm windows -- really big ones so when "open" the screen would be on the upperside of the window. If I lined 3 sides with these, I could have massive ventilation as needed. There is one set of stairs on the east side, so it's not really 3-sided, more 2 and a half sided greenhouse if you allow for a door.
Additional problem -- the deck is just an 8'x24' deck with railing, air underneath, but the supports are 2"x12" so there is room for insulation if I could make the decking waterproof, that would be a huge step up for warming the greenhouse but still there would be wind beneath the floor and since the basement door is below the deck, no practical way to completely enclose underneath the deck. Could I get enough of a heat sink with black painted containers lining the south-facing side under planting shelves and insulating all 12 inches of the floor joists -- enough to offset the air flowing underneath in February?
I'm completely baffled about advantages of tempered glass vs. polycarbonate (sp).
I have propane heat in the house, but I don't anticipate leaving the living room exterior door open to the GLASShouse to heat it in the winter.
Anyone tackled a greenhouse on a deck before? A lean-to off a main exterior door? A metal-roofed greenouse? Storm-windows as enclosures? Thanks for any thoughts.