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Building a Lean-to Style Greenhouse

Building a Lean-to Style Greenhouse

The lean-to style greenhouse is actually Greenhouse Version 3.  Although I loved Greenhouse Version 2, it was too big to fit in the backyard of our new home in the city.  So we recycled a lot of material from the old greenhouse to create the new one.  The lean-to style is ideal for our yard because of limited space and the shared wall with the house provides a great insulating bonus at night.

The first step was to pick the location to build the greenhouse.  We chose a spot on the back of our house that faces south and receives the least amount of shade throughout the day.  The site also has a window which can be opened during the day in the winter to allow some of the excess heat into the house.

After building the foundation and frame, we painted the framing to increase its durability to withstand moisture and heat as well as to increase its aesthetic appeal.

With a limited amount of polycarbonate on hand, we opted to add a knee wall.  When we moved into this house, we demolished an old dilapidated shed and kept any of the usable lumber.  The knee wall was built using the reclaimed lumber and left unpainted on the exterior to exposed its aged beauty.  The interior was caulked to fill the air gaps between the pieces and then painted to protected it from the high humidity environment.

The door is the original storm door from Greenhouse Version 2 and all it needed was a new threshold seal.  We installed the door, sealed around it and touched up the paint then added some extra braces above the knee wall.

Finally, the polycarbonate went up.  It was sandwiched between the greenhouse frame and 1 "x 2" lumber.  Everywhere the polycarbonate meets the framing, a bead of silcone was added to seal any air gaps and to act as a sort of glue.  (We discovered with the last greenhouse the wind can shake the polycarbonate pieces look if they are not siliconed in place.)

Standard roof vent openers were added to the roof vents.  They were installed to open towards the crest since we receive very little rainfall here (so we do not have to worry about a lot of rain getting into the greenhouse) and to maximize the heat evacuation.

We opted not to add ventilation fans for the time being as the greenhouse is only going to be used from October to March for overwintering plants and starting seeds.

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