This is my thread to show how I install, or attempt to install a greenhouse on an existing pressure treated deck. I looked everywhere for tips on how to do this and finally gave up. So if my experiences can help someone else have an easier time of installing their own greenhouse that would be great. I want to thank Daisyruffles (Carol) for her very helpful threads on building her Sunshine Gardenhouse. It was very helpful to me. I am going to start by showing where the greenhouse will be set up. I chose the deck, because I have very little land to put up a greenhouse, power and water are close by and it will be very convienient to use.
The Deck measures 12'X16'. My first step, since the deck was not at all level, was to cut some full length tapered shims to place under the plastic foundation pieces that came with the greenhouse. This picture shows me attaching a shim, which went from 1 1/8" on one end to zero on the other end over a span of 6 feet. I made the shims out of pressure treated wood and attached it with construction adhesive and 1 1/4" screws
This photo shows the foundation with leveling shims in place attached to the deck. I attached it with lots of L brackets bought at Home Depot. I screwed them to the deck and then into the plastic foundation pieces after squaring the frame.
After covering the floor with plywood, it was screwed down with 3 1/2" screws and I used constuction adhesive, I cut two four inch holes in the floor for drains. I used PVC 3" to 2" couplings for drains. The holesaw that I used almost did me in. It jumped and cut a big hole in my shoe.
The next step was to seal the floor against all water. Basically it is like installing a roof on a greenhouse floor! To do this I used a product put out by a company called Acrylabs. It goes on like heavy latex paint, which you inbed a polyester fabric into. After the fabric is inbedded and the coating dries, you aply two to three more finish coats. This photo show us working with the fabric.
This is a close up of one of the floor drains. The fabric is pulled over it, and then cut some slits in the fabric pushing it into the paint. If you are careful, the drains will be perfectly flashed, and all water will run into the drain. The floor slightly slants to that side.
Here is where I stop for now. The sad part of this story, which I related in Daisyruffles thread, is that after starting to put up the greenhouse, I found out that I was missing two key pieces. The upper triangle pieces that go in front and in back were missing from the shipment. I was so excited and in a hurry to get the Gardenhouse up that I did not inventory the shipment. Tomorrow I will find out how long I have to wait to get those pieces sent to me from Washington to Vermont. I decided to leave up what I had already installed (I couldn't bear to take it down), and secured it so it would not blow down. I will post tomorrow to let everyone know what Sunshine Gardenhouse has to say.
Oh wow, that all looks great!!!
You have done a very nice job on the floor. My son was just saying today we need to put something under my base to get it more level. I thought of using wood like I see you did but am not sure how long it will last tho.
So hope it works out for you.
Also hope you get your parts real soon!
You will like the Sunshine Gardenhouse! I sure do.
Can't wait to see the rest of it!
This has been very interesting to watch and I hope it continues to go well for you. Looks like you put a lot of good foundation down first, which many people wouldn't have taken the time and effort to do.
I hope you hear from these people today. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the building of your GH.
Thank you for your good wishes Donna. It appears that the Sunshine Gardenhouse Company must have taken a long Memorial Day Weekend. I have left two messages and sent an email. I have heard nothing. It is very frustrating.
Well, darn it.
They got back to me right away. The one gal even had her message sent to her cell phone. But this was with the other company that I had ordered the greenhouse from.
Sure hope you get your part real soon!!!
Update: Mike from Sunshine finally got back to me at 3:00PM my time. He apologized for the pieces not being there, but I still had to pay $47.30 to get it shipped to me two-day-air. Hopefully I will be able to get it assembled this weekend. Although the weather is supposed to be crummy off and on. As long as there is not a hurricane, I am going to put this thing together if it kills me. I will try to take pictures as I go along, but I think Carol's photos are hard to beat as far as the assembly process goes.
Sunshine has got to step up their inspection process so this doesn't keep happenning. I think that it probably does happen to them frequently, because of the instructions to inventory before beginning assembly in bold print and the checklist.
I agree that it would have been best for them to pay for two-day shipping at least from a public relations standpoint, but they did not offer. They would have shipped it pony express for free, but I was not willing to wait a week to ten days. The moral of the story is when buying a Sunshine Gardenhouse, don't start work until you count every piece.
Well, too bad you have to pay that shipping. I would have asked for something in exchange like a shade cloth, bench, etc.
But hope you get that part real soon. Bad weather isn't much fun to work in but...it will get done with time.
Go for it!!!
Thanks for the nice comments on the pictures but we all want to see you do it too. We get a kick out of seeing others put up a greenhouse!
So post away please!
Hmmmm, great looking floor, and looks like the GH will look nifty. I haven't been watching this forum in a long time, but plan a 3 season GH here. You've given me ideas to build one on my deck, which has a roof but gets late afternoon sun, and I can add lights.
Hip, Hip, Horray! My triangle box with the missing pieces just arrived. You gotta love those UPS men. Now I will be able to work on this over the weekend. Even if it rains off and on like it is supposed to here, I should be able to finish it. I will take and post pictures. Thank you everyone for your interest.
Well the greenhouse is done except for installing the bench. I will post a number of pictures and try to explain what was going on in them. I can't say it was the easiest endevor of my life. Including my base and flooring system, it took a total of 16 hours for assembly. It was easy until I got to the roof, but I will explain as I move forward. The first photo shows one of the infamous missing triangle parts.
This is me carrying one of the front roof panels. I have to say that I had a fair amount of trouble getting the roof panels installed. At one point, I even had three of them installed, and removed all of them to start over. It was very difficult for me to get them all squared up. I think that if there is any part of your installation that is out of level or square that by the time that you get to the roof, it is magnified many times, and you will have difficulty.
I'm on top here (the picture is kind of dark) wrestling with something roof related. I finally got the roof panels all on so that I was pretty happy. It is definitely not perfect, but I can live with it.
A view from inside showing the roof vent. I think that I will have to fool around with it a bit to get it to totally work the way that I want it to. The installation video shows installing the opener one way and the instructions that come with the automatic opener show doing it in a totally different way.
This is the last photo for now. I'm very glad that it is finished. I am going to have a redwood bench on one side and a full length wire shelf on the other side. I may end up with wire shelves on both sides so that I have a place to hang plants. I'm going to actually install a great portable sink in one corner which will drain through a hose into the floor drain. The sink will be a great place to wash out pots without worrying about clogging my plumbing. I am going to run a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord inside to hook up a thermostat and a portable electric heater to. I am going to calk all the seams to try to make the greenhouse as air tight as possible to heat it economically. I'm a little concerned that the automatic vents won't close tightly enough to make this heating thing possible, but there are other options that I'm exploring.
This greenhouse thing is going to be all new for me so I will have a lot of questions to post on this forum. Once again I posted my experiences to help anyone who might want to install a greenhouse on a deck. I hope that the information will be helpful. I looked at many "hobby" greenhouse models before choosing the Sunhine model. The primary reason that I chose it was because of the extra height. Every other company's hobby greenhouse that I looked at, and there were some nice ones, were about 12" shorter both at the peak and at the wall. The extra height for me makes all the difference. It gives you a feeling of spaciousness in a small space that I could not find in other models. For anyone installing a Sunshine Gardenhouse, I suggest that you check out Daisyruffles three great threads on her installation of a 6'X12' model; it was very helpful to me.
Yepper. Those darn roof panels were a doozy to put up.
My son had to take off a couple and redo them too. You only had 2 panels. Try 3 of them!
I think the reason why they don't fit right is because the main frame isn't level. It makes the difference totally, especially with wood. Mine aren't perfect by far but...we couldn't change anything to make them fit close to perfect either.
I am surprise that it took you so long. But my son is good at building so...that helped a lot.
Your vent looks just fine too me. It looks like it is installed the right way. The instructions for that vent are BAD! I will say that. I had played with it several times. Mine doesn't close tight either on one side. Again, reason being not level...
I would like mine to be airtight but it is far from it. Many gaps or holes everywhere. We don't get months of freezing weather so I am not too worried. If my plants can't handle it, they don't live here then! I can't afford to heat it so...
I did think of using like some thin foam like around the doors. Haven't looked into it yet.
As for the sink, etc. inside, please post pics. I always like to see what people do inside too. The sink sounds good tho. I have a small one but no drain. Better than nothing.
I love seeing someone else that has this greenhouse!
This picture shows the fan that I mounted up high for circulation. Yes the greenhouse is full of holes to caulk or chink with some kind of insulation. I just noticed that where the roof panel meets the wall there are some large gaps of almost a half an inch. You can only see them when you look up from underneath. I am going in search of some different types of weather stripping tomorrow night to see if I can plug some of the leaks. Wednesday night it is supposed to dip to 35 degrees I just can't believe the horrible weather that we get in this state. I am going to eventually caulk all the joints if it ever stops raining.
Carol, speaking of bad directions, can you believe the horrible directions that came with the bench. Could they be any worse? Believe me I'm not going to be heating the greenhouse for long. My original thought was to heat it from April 15th to October 15th, but I've now changed that to May 1rst to September 15th. I would like to keep it above 50 degrees because of the kind of tropical plants that I like to grow. That is my main reason for the greenhouse. I also want to use it to grow a few flats of annuals to put into all my hanging baskets that hang on my front porch every year. I will post a picture when I get my sink installed. That could be a little while, the money is fast running out. I can't believe what I've spent on just incidentals for the greenhouse already.
I love those last pictures!
I feel at home seeing these pictures, LOL
What directions? You mean that so-called piece of paper that came with the bench? LOL
Yeah right. I ended up doing my own thing as said on my own thread. I didn't like the large gap between the panels. But...
I did like the video tho. We would use my laptop outside and play it over and over to make sure we were doing it right.
Do let us know what kind of weather stripping you find to use to plug up the holes please.
Speaking of something tho. It has been so warm here which is kind of unusual in the NW, that my one dutch door won't lock now. The wood has shrunk so much that I need to totally adapt a new way to lock that darn door now! So watch out!
Go to the Goodwill or Humane for Habitat for goodies for the greenhouse.
Finishing Touches! It took awhile, but I guess I'm finally done with the greenhouse. The next few photos will be the last I will post of my greenhouse project. I very happy with my decision to purchase this gardenhouse. I think for the money, it suited my needs better than anything else I could have found. This is a photo of the contol box, minus the cover, that I built with a cooling & heating thermostat shown.
This is what the control box controls - a 1500 watt heater and a huge fan. I bought this fan a number of years ago, and could never really use it, because it was so powerful. We use to call this fan our airplane engine fan. It does a nice job of pulling in cool air from the bottom vent and pushing out the hot air from the roof vent. I almost bought a real exhaust fan, but this serves my needs just as well, and I did not have to cut a hole in the Gardenhouse.
The sink with running water. I found this sink on ebay; it is the best thing since sliced bread. It is better than the sink I have in the house. No more worries about clogged plumbing from potting soil down the sink!
I ordered the greenhouse online from ACF Greenhouse Supply. I've had really good luck with them and have also ordered a number of accessories. I am really having a lot of fun with the greenhouse. I hope that you get yours sooner, rather than later.
hey doug, your greenhouse looks superbe...what a great job you did. i only have two suggestions if you like. the first is that you could try that spray insulting foam called great stuff to seal the holes. i live in an old farmhouse and it did wonders on the tiny cracks in the foundation in the basement. once it sets you can file it down so that it doesn't stick out so much. find it at any hardware or home depot type store. that second thing i would like to tell you is that i used to do a bit of commercial roofing back in the day before my knees declared war on the rest of my body, we used a product that was very similar to the "waterproofing" product that you used on your floor...a polyester fabric with a type of "paint" that was actually an acrylic coating. it looks beautiful and works for a little but the prodlem is that uv rays from the sun break down the acrylic and it starts to flake off. my suggestion would be to re-coat it periodically or even go over it with an urethane coating loaded with uv inhibitors. just a thought.
nc, I'm planning on doing exactly what you describe with the acrylic. I had to buy a five gallon pail of the stuff and only used a little over half of it. I first heard about the acrylic at my job; I take care of the maintenance on a large library here in VT. A salesman demonstrated the product; I bought some for some problematic leaks at the library, and fixed some very bad spots that kept the water at bay for years. If I knew how to work with rubber membrane roofing, that would have been my preferred material for the floor, but since I wanted to do the whole thing myself, I had to use what I did. The Acrylabs product was not inexpensive; I paid around $180 for it including the shipping. The salesman threw in the polyester for free.
That spray foam is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I also live in a old farmhouse (175 years old to be exact). I have an old bulkhead that goes into the basement that was literally falling apart, I filled all the cracks in the field stone and rubble base with about 10 cans of that stuff, and it has kept out the water and helped hold the thing together now for about 3 years. It is really ugly from the outside, but who cares; it did the job.
I'm still hanging around, and you made my day. Other than wishing my greenhouse was larger I still love it; it works great, and I look forward to using it every year. I'm very happy that my experiences with putting this thing on a deck could help someone else.
I just finished building a small addition to my Sunshine Gardenhouse. I did not use a kit, but did it all from scratch. The factory extention kit did not fit my needs, because I did not want to tear down my existing house to install it. The hardest thing to find was the polycarbonate. Getting large polycarbonate sheets trucked shipped is easy, but finding some place to UPS smaller pieces is a lot harder. I finally found a place. It was not inexpensive, but at least I didn't have to fool around with truck shipping which I hate. The place I used can be found here: http://www.greenhouses-etc.net/glazing/polysheet_small_8mm.htm
Final picture. After building the addition, and finding a source for the materials, I feel that I could build a pretty nice cedar greenhouse from scratch without having to use the kit. Now if only VT were not so cold in the winter, and I could use the thing for more than four months a year!
That looks like a very nice greenhouse, Hoya.
There is one difference from the actual Sunshine to your greenhouse tho. The Sunshine greenhouse is made out of redwood and will last its lifetime. The cedar last a very long time but redwood is longer lasting. This is one reason why I went with the Sunshine over another type like cedar.
But you did a great job on it tho. I bet you will enjoy it even if it isn't usable in the winter time in Vermont.
I am considering converting my garden shed into a green house, and adding my 6x8 Rion to it. The existing shed is 8x8, has a concrete floor, wood frame, plywood/shingled roof, and the siding is horizontal masonite planks, but there are no windows. Originally, I was going to put my Rion on that concrete slab, but I'm glad I didn't, as I would have no where to store my other garden tools and things. I'm now thinking I could pull the siding and roof off, and replace all with polycarbonate panels, but I'm at a loss for how I would secure the panels to the wood, and am concerned that the existing wood frame is not treated or cedar/redwood, etc. It's just regular framing lumber.
Any suggestions on if this would be feasible to do, or would I be better off just starting from scratch? I also thought about just installing a bunch of windows on the the shed, but even that would require reframing the structure to hold the new windows.
I think you would be better off starting from scratch. They do make cap and trim systems for installing polycarbonate that would make your structure waterproof and protect your framing from outside moisture, but the cost and logistics of ordering such a small amount would probably be prohibitive. My greenhouse is composed of a number of preassembled panels that I dadoed to accept my 6mm poly so I did not need to use the special fastening systems. If you wanted to use your existing structure, you would have to use one of these systems available here https://www.sundancesupply.com/index2.html for real a real watertight structure. In my opinion it would not be worth the effort.
I got some books at the library yesterday on greehouses and one on order that is from 2008, can't wait to get it.
I scored this today and another old singer machine yesterday for $30 and sold the top to the antique dealer for $10. I am making a plant stand this time I think or a potting bench. But this little item was only $5 and I love it, it folds flat.