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Greenhouse Design Help Please!

Lakeville, MN

I have a bit of an off the wall idea and wanted to run it past those of you with experience.

The wife and I have been thinking about making our 3 season porch into a 4 season porch and screening in the area underneath it instead. I'm wondering if, in the winters, I could frame up polycarbonate panels around this lower section and use it as a greenhouse. I could then remove the panels come spring and it would still be screened in for summer use. My thinking is that it not only provides a place for plants/small trees in the winter but would help keep the room above it a lot warmer as well. That porch area faces south & west and the sun covers the whole slab for most of the day.

The plan is a lean-to style greenhouse wall like the one pictured. The red crosshatched section in my picture would be sealed up/sided when we close in the upper porch so I figure I could start the lean-to polycarbonate roof there which would stay in place year round, the vertical wall under it would be wood framed & screened and then I can put up polycarbonate panels on those walls for winter.

My question is, what's the best choice for greenhouse material given this situation? I've been leaning toward the 25mm triple walled polycarbonate but don't know if that's the best choice, overkill or if there's a better solution. The greenhouse add on section would be open to the area under the raised porch making one big open area. I'll have a space heater to keep it above freezing as it not only helps with the plants but any extra heat below means less cold air leaking into the new 4 season porch above. I'm in MN, zone 4b.

Thanks!

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Cadiz, KY

Go for it! I think you'll have an overall positive heat gain. Yes to triple wall poly, in a greenhouse in MN, there is no such thing as overkill.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I've had a greenhouse since 2003...........and we built a sunroom on the south side of the house 4 years ago. The g'house has double wall poly panels on the south roof and south wall. The north roof, wall, and the east and west walls have spray foam insulation and foil/bubble/bubble/foil on them. The sunroom has the same spray foam insulation in the walls (well, what there IS of the walls.........there isn't much "wall" in it because of all the glass. Oh, and it's in the roof too. We also put it under the floor. The sunroom is 2 story, which I am really glad we did, since if it would have been one story, it would have been a total snore. We were limited in the dimensions of the sunroom because of zoning, but we were allowed to square it up with the existing house wall...........where we put the sunroom had been, many eons ago, a porch. A totally crappy porch, if I may be so bold............LOL

The greenhouse, in its previous life, was our sow breeding/gestation building. We finished off half of it for the g'house, giving me a 30x64 building. The total length is 120 feet............if we ever wanted to, we could finish the rest of it off. We will not.

Here are some pix of how we did the sunroom. Oh, I see it didn't put them in order.......well, I guess you get the idea.

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Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

More sunroom..............

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Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

A couple more. And no, I do NOT have plants in the sunroom...........I have a greenhouse for that..............

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Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

A few greenhouse pix.

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Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

More greenhouse...........Hope this give you some ideas. If you have questions on how we did anything, just ask.

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