Difference between revisions of "Step 1: Design and Build your greenhouse"

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(1.2.2 Assemble the battens)
(1.2.2 Assemble the battens)
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[[Image:assembly.jpg|thumb|center|300px|The final assembly, a team effort]]
[[Image:assembly.jpg|thumb|center|300px|The final assembly, a team effort]]
[[Image:DSC01854-1364x908.jpg|thumb|center|300px|With a little help from a wall]]
==== 1.2.3 Cut the palette wood ====
==== 1.2.3 Cut the palette wood ====

Revision as of 17:21, 7 May 2014

1.0 What you need

Bills of Materials

The structure
Type References & Dimensions Quantity Unit price Total price
Wooden battens L=2m40 or 2m50, section ~2cmx2cm 11 4.5 € 50 €
Screws 4.5mm x 60mm, for outside use 30 0.20 € 6 €
Geotextile 3 m2 (bottom included),

1.5 m2 (sides only)

2 €/m2 10 €

(?, often sold in larger quantities)

Palette wood 3 palettes 0 0

The cover
Type References & Dimensions Quantity Unit price Total price
Plastic film transparent, U.V. resistant, 200 microns


8 m2 2.20 €/m2 18 €
Hook and loop fastener (Velcro) 20mm wide 15 m 35 € / 25m 21 €
Sewing Thread ? ? ? ?


Wooden battens

To optimise the number of battens that you need, and to minimise the amount of wasted wood, the following dimensions are a good compromise (all dimensions are measured inside the greenhouse, see here): For 2m40 battens: WxDxH = 1.10m x 1.10m x 1.34m. For 2m50 battens: WxDxH = 1.16m x 1.16m x 1.40m. In both cases, you will need 11 battens.


Inside the box, you can either use geotextile or plastic sheets for "drainage" (google). In french, search for "feutre géotextile" and "drainage vertical alvéolé" (example). If the greenhouse will be put on a terrace, a hard surface, or polluted ground, you have to cover the bottom of the box with geotextile that let's the water through. If the greenhouse is put on soil, you only have to protect the sides of the box.

Plastic cover

For the cover, we use transparent, U.V. resistant, 200 microns plastic film. It's not the most beautiful solution but it's the cheapest one. Alternative solutions (glass, transparent polycarbonate, or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA, or Plexiglass)) are much more expensive.


So far, we've used hook and loop fasteners (velcro) to fix the greenhouse cover. Alternative options are snap fasteners and eyelets (Fr.: oeillet metal) but we haven't tried them, yet.


The structure
  • Paper tape, useful also as an alternative to the clamps
  • Pencil and meter
  • Nail pincers or nail pullers (to remove nails from palette wood)

The cover

1.1 Design your greenhouse

The final result looks something like this

The structure of the greenhouse

The first thing you need to do is to calculate the length of the different elements of your greenhouse, and firstly, the wooden barrens.

The wooden barrens

You need the following elements to build the structure:

List of wooden bars

General Overview

((Insert table with general dimensions))

Use the calculator to adapt the general dimension of the blueprint to suit your needs.

1.2 Build the greenhouse structure

1.2.1 Cut the wooden battens

Mark the different elements prior to cut the wood. Double check before cutting, and try to limit wood waste.

Mark the wooden battens

Use a hand saw or a rotating saw to cut the battens to length. A mitre box is better to make clean cuts when using a hand saw.

Mitre box

Use sandpaper to smooth the edges.

1.2.2 Assemble the battens

Start by assembling each sides separately.

Use clamps to keep the bars in place while drilling.

A clamp in action

Drill holes before screwing the bars

Drilling before screwing

Try to drill "in parallel" to avoid mistakes and measuring dimensions only once.

Drilling in parallel

Use a right angle when fixing bars at 90°. Tape bars to keep bars in place after angle is mesured.

Right angle in action

Tape on bars

To ease the operation, work on a flat zone.

The "flat" work zone

To assemble the sides together, use some help from someone else.

The final assembly, a team effort

With a little help from a wall

1.2.3 Cut the palette wood

1.2.4 Assemble the side panels

1.2.5 Add the geotextile

1.3 Make the greenhouse cover

1.3.1 Draw the shape on the plastic

1.3.2 Cut the plastic

1.3.3 Sew the velcro

1.3.4 Fi the velcro on the greenhouse