HFGH 10x12 question?

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

I can't seem to find the answer to my question. Maybe someone here can help. I have my frame built and ready to anchor it to ground. I've read varying ways for building the foundation. I have 6 large concrete circles that I was planning on anchoring the frame to. However that would mean allowing the steel frame bottom to come in contact with the earth/dirt. After some thought we think this isn't such a good idea. We're thinking it won't be long before that cheap steel will rust. So should I go ahead and build a wooden frame for the bottom? Hope this makes sense.

Thumbnail by melsalz Thumbnail by melsalz
Bark River, MI

I have my GH on railroad ties, but those can be hard to come by anymore... maybe you could use the concrete circles with treated lumber mounted to them, with the GH on top of the lumber?

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Weed. I do have access to some RR ties, I was thinking the creosote from them could cause problems.

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

I went and bought 6x6's and I'm going to anchor the wood to the concrete, then the frame to the concrete.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Melsalz, We just put up a 1012 HFGH, I will have my DH Ric come over he may have some really good tips for you. He did a lot of research and there are several Blogs that gave him some really good ideas. Since we get snow in our area he did some extras for support and hanging baskets plus added some extra bolts in the tracks for shelving later. We put ours on a solid concrete floor and he modified the anchoring system.
Towards the bottom of this thread there are pictures of our GH and the floor we put down.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

We used the poly vinyl decking between the concrete and the frame so that it wouldn't rot out over time.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

melsalz, This is Ric, Holly's husband. If you anchored the steel to the concrete and filled the steel with crushed stone that should be plenty solid. Back fill the outside with something that will drain well to reduce water from gathering against the steel. There are a few tricks to make the ends stronger and I added a whole internal support because of our snow and ice loads. I found this blog http://hfgh10x12.blogspot.com/2007/08/this-is-greenhouse-we-bought-link-it.html
it was so good and has step by step instructions with lots of pics. I just know you'll love the detail and I will check back later. Ric

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

Holly & Ric, I have a question. What have you guys done about the gutters? We had a wicked storm yesterday and the rain runoff at the bottom created a pool inside. One good note, my HFGH is staying in place. We have had terrible winds for the past 3-4 days and my HFGH has survived.

Thanks, Melanie

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Melanie, Congratulations on surviving the winds, we are experiencing severe wind right now. The more you strengthen your frame the better.
As to addressing your gutters and the pooling, I left my gutters uncapped so they will stay empty and not allow water to collect and freeze. I have read that a few people have eliminated them entirely to prevent any build up of snow or ice. I think after you backfill around the structure it will improve the drainage away from the walls, making some kind of splash blocks for the corners will help also. If you plan to add gravel up to or above the bottom of the steel channel you'll get rid of the puddle. The original intent was to fill the channel with gravel as a base holding the whole thing down. It appears you have the same red clay we do, it takes for ever to soak up a heavy rain, If you plan to add beds around the greenhouse they'll act like sponges holding the runoff. Ric

This message was edited Feb 25, 2012 10:16 PM

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey Ric, You have red clay? in PA? I'm shocked. My husband is from PA and the only dirt they have is that wonderful black stuff. I wouldn't know how to garden with such black gold.
Back to the greenhouse. Yesterday we laid pavers for the floor inside. They were free so I was tickled to use them. I'll post a picture later.
We also reenforced the panels with self tapping screws. That made a world of difference. We started out just using them on the north wall but then decided to go all the way around.
Like I said in the previous post we have had some serious winds over the past week. One thing I noticed is the windows don't want to stay shut. They pop open just an inch or so. Do you have the same problem?

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Melanie, I wired our windows closed for the winter. You should fashion something to prevent them from blowing up too far or use a small weight on them. If they flip over too far they can come off and get damaged. I received 2 of the auto thermal openers for Christmas but haven't installed them yet. If they are sturdy enough I may see about seeing if I can work 2 windows with each one. I'll post something after I play with them a bit.
"The Univent allows solar-powered control of top and side mounted window vents thanks to its dual springs. Univent window openers have an adjustable opening temperature of 60 F to 75 F and an 18" maximum opening which would be reached at approximately 90 F. Opener will lift vents weighing up to 15 lbs. Univents are made from corrosion resistant materials including aluminum and stainless steel. Univents also feature a unique quick disconnect feature on the bottom of the unit which is useful when using the opener with a cold frame." Ric

This message was edited Feb 28, 2012 1:14 AM

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Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Melanie, I second Ric's comments on the problem with the roof windows popping up in strong winds. I had the same problem on mine, and finally gave up and wired them shut. Mine opened up just enough to invite damage from wind, so I eventually decided they were too risky in our very windy location. Last fall I replaced my roof panels, and eliminated the windows entirely, since I hadn't opened them in years. I can get away with eliminating them because I use an exhaust fan and screen panels on one side during the hot summer, but I still wish I'd been able to make them work, because they can be a great help in cooling. The windows are one of the few disappointments I have with the HF kit.

I think the weight idea that Ric mentioned is a good thing to try. I didn't think to experiment with that before giving up on them, and it might work!

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