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Installing a Sunshine Gardenhouse (Greenhouse) on a Deck

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

The next step was to insulate the deck boards with 2" polystyrene (styrofoam) insulation. I needed to insulate the floor, because I am going to heat it for about six months out of the year.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Then the insulation is covered with 1/2" plywood. This is the first sheet.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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 message was edited Jul 23, 2007 9:17 AM

This message was edited Jul 23, 2007 9:17 AM

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

This is another photo of us finishing up with the fabric.

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Fulton, MO

Watching with interest...

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Here is the completed floor.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

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!
Carol

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

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.

Good luck,
Donna

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

Doug

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

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!!!

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

Fulton, MO

Why did you have to pay shipping? They are the ones who sent an incomplete kit!

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

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!
Carol

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

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.

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

Doug

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Inside the gardenhouse looking at one of the sides that have just been installed. The sides were easy.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Another shot from down below just waiting for the roof installation.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Just another shot of the finished greenhouse looking in from the doorway.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

I'm posting a couple of shots from down below looking up. Unfortunately the sky brightened up just before I shot these and the photos are dark.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Another photo from down below.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

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!

Carol

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

Carol,
I'm posting a couple pictures of the Gardenhouse with a few plants in it and the bench finished.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

One last picture.

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Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

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.

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

The control box with plants in front.

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Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

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.

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