Putting Siding on the Greenhouse Shed

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

It’s been a little while since my last greenhouse shed update but things are coming along. It’s been difficult to deal with the cold temperatures and find suitable days to work but that’s the challenge of working on an outdoor project in the winter. Lately we’ve been focusing on applying siding to the solid areas of the building. I picked out a siding that is a cement board siding which is constructed with a wood grain look imprinted. Originally I was going to use wood siding but this type of siding will last up to 50 years and is very resistant to termites and weather. (Really who would want to eat cement?) It’s primed and ready to be painted whenever the weather is suitable!

Greenhouse Shed Front 1-2010-1

On the left side of the greenhouse are our patio doors that we retrofitted into the sides of the building. Cutting the siding to fit the small spaces around the corners and between the windows is very time consuming. I also had to purchase a special blade for my saw that would cut the boards easily without excessive dust and breakage. It also saves the edge on my other blade for cutting wood. I was hesitant to buy it at first but that blade has been worth every penny of the $20 I spent on it. Always use the right equipment for the right job!

Greenhouse Shed Side - Patio Door Windows 1-2010-1

Here’s the back door. The trim on the right side of the door is only attached to the wall door and will open with it. It is there just to give the appearance of a single door. The siding is up underneath the window but there is still a long way to go.

Greenhouse Shed Back 1-2010-1

You would think that this would be the easiest side to cover with siding but in fact it will be the most difficult and time consuming. The small spaces on the left, right, and center areas may not take up much siding but they take time to cut!

Greenhouse Shed Side with Large Picture Windows 1-2010-1   

I’ll have to go back to pick up more siding to complete the project. I only bought enough to do part of the greenhouse on purpose since I really don’t want much left over material.

Thanks for visiting the Greenhouse!


Blocks, Bricks and Floor

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

Before I began building my greenhouse shed I did some research into what makes a good greenhouse. Among many important aspects like positioning (for ideal sun), materials, and passive heating I learned that a porous surface for flooring is essential. It makes sense, plants need water - plants will drip water, it has to go somewhere! In my greenhouse shed I started with the goal of finding good flooring materials that would give me a hard surface but still drain well. Free bricks were part of that solution and will fit in nicely for the walkways but I still needed something for the "shed" part. The shed section is an area of the greenhouse that will house my mowers and lawn equipment.

So I came up with this idea, a raised platform that is level with the back entry. The platform is edged with heavy concrete blocks and cap stones that will contain gravel. The following picture is where the riding mower would enter the greenhouse.

The concrete blocks will hold the gravel and keep the two areas defined.

Next to the main mower pad is a smaller pad that needs one more cap to finish. This will be where the push mower sits when not in use. Keeping the mower in the greenhouse may not be ideal but it will give me a place to store it and I'll have a spot for all my plant propagating!

The main floor and walkway will be covered in bricks and paving stones for a clean and solid surface to walk on. The addition of the stone and bricks should help to retain more heat throughout the day during the winter.

The recent warm weather, which still hasn't made up for the recent cold weather, has helped me get a few more things done like the concrete blocks. They are loosely set and I don't plan on mortaring them - I want the option of moving them if I need to later. The bricks are just set temporarily while I play around with patterns. I can't wait to see how it all fits together!


Bricks for the Greenhouse Floor

>> Monday, January 11, 2010

Today I picked up nearly 300 bricks for use in the greenhouse floor. Bricks are a good choice for flooring since they are solid yet can allow water to flow through the cracks. They will also help to absorb heat during the day and release it at night when the temperatures are cooler which is just what you want in a greenhouse! And to make it all even better I found them in a listing on Craigslist for free.

There are 299 bricks with a few broken pieces here and there.  They measure about 3"x8" on the flat side and should fill about 50 square feet of the greenhouse. I'll still need more bricks or paving stones to completely cover the greenhouse floor but this is a very good start!

The person who gave me the bricks was trying to clear the lot of a house for sale. It's a very nice house in the Nolensville area with a dry creek bed in back and a lot of gardening potential!  If you happen to be looking for a new house in that area let me know and I'll send your email onward to the owner!


Chilly Days and Things to Do

>> Wednesday, January 6, 2010

There's not much happening on the greenhouse right now - it's too cold! I walked out this afternoon to see if I could add some weather stripping to the front windows but it was too cold to add them as it needed to be higher than 40 degrees, or so said the packaging. This time of the year it should be somewhere between 40-50 degrees, normally. The weather forecasters have said we're in for a couple more weeks of this cold weather pattern. I certainly hope not! I can remember having a couple nice 60 degree days last winter that were perfect days to get out in the garden and get some chores done. Just a couple warm days like that would really propel this project along. Until then I'll have to just plan ahead.

Things to do:
  • outside siding
  • outside trim
  • add more gravel, then floor the equipment area (Where the mowers go!)
  • weatherstrip the windows
  • seal the air gaps
  • insulate solid walls
  • build plant benches

On Monday I'll go to pick up some old bricks and blocks I found from someone on Craigslist. I'll use those to help create a solid floor on top of the gravel base. The great thing about brick is that it will absorb heat during the day then release it at night which hopefully will help stabilize greenhouse temperatures.


Working on the Front Door

>> Sunday, January 3, 2010

Before Christmas we managed one more work day on the greenhouse shed. It was the last work day since the recent temperatures have been unbearably cold for working. It's not predicted to be above freezing at all in the forecast. Snow is even being mentioned but I'll believe it when I see it!

We managed to haul in 6000 lbs. of crushed gravel as base for the greenhouse flooring. Eventually I hope to use salvaged brick or paving stones on top of the gravel for the floor. The floor needs to be porous for water to flow through but still good for feet.

We also managed to close up a gap in between the front two French doors. Once the doors were hung there was a 3/4 inch gap between them. We measured perfectly for the opening but had to remove some pieces from the door to make them work. OK I guess that really means we didn't measure perfectly - or at least we didn't take the extra pieces in account. Whatever the case we replaced the parts we took off with some wood pieces that really work great and close in the gap snugly. On the outside of the front doors we put some old molding that came from our house's back door. We had a new patio door replaced and saved the old trim molding just in case we could use it. It's nailed to the door on the right which opens outward. We'll eventually paint it to match the doors.

On the inside we attached a strip of wood to the other door. It completely closes in the gap from the inside and gives the door knob something to lock into. I'm planning on painting the inside of the door eventually but that is very low on the priority list!

Now if the cold would relent for a day or two and go back into the 40's I might actually be able to get more work done!


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