This project started a few weeks ago, with my blog post: DIY Greenhouse. At that time, we located a 10' x 5' dog run on CL for next to nothing. The plan was to make a greenhouse using the framework of the run. We removed the damaged chain link, and moved it to the back-yard. As we researched materials, we came to one conclusion, while we would definitely save a lot of money doing it ourselves, it was not going to be without some expense.
Before embarking on any journey, I like to know if our investment (time and money) will pay off, at least to the extent it pays for itself. If not, I'm less inclined to proceed forward. Because we just weren't sure if a greenhouse would work, much less pay for itself, we decided to start small.
We picked up two rolls of all weather duct tape, a 25' x 10' sheet of 4 mil plastic sheeting, and went to work with our dog run framework. Total investment to that point: $36.00. Figuring a failure would be far easier to stomach with a $36.00 investment vs. a $360.00 investment, we decided it was worth a try. If we can get the greenhouse through just one season, and prove to ourselves, one way or another, if a greenhouse is really a viable option for us, given our life-style, it would be time and money well spent.
As it turns out, it was pretty easy, and the way we went about covering it, we used all but about 14" of the 25' roll.
It took the both of us several hours, a bit of patience, and a nice, calm day, but our efforts were rewarded with a groovy little, temporary greenhouse. If reviews of the materials we used can be believed, our greenhouse should easily make it through one growing season, and possibly two. Good enough!
A fun, impromptu video, shot last night, can be found here. Feel free to take the 'tour'.
If it proves a viable option, we will build a more permanent, and more suitable greenhouse next fall, or, if the temporary one looks like it's got another year in it, we'll do it the following fall.
The shelving I was considering was on sale today at Lowe's ($34.88, down from $49.88), so I picked it up, and it was a perfect fit.
We found a groovy little thermometer at Restore for $2.00.
With a few 'friends' added: they are soaking up the steamy air, which is about 25 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature. With the door open, it cools off quite a bit, however, which is good to know.
All in all, a very successful, if temporary, project. Now it's a matter of seeing just how 'temporary' it will be. Next step: bubble wrap insulation. Yep, you heard right! =) We will need a little 'help' keeping it warmer from late February through to June. DIY'ers report interesting results insulating a greenhouse with the bubbly, and we have access to a steady supply. In the next month I suspect I will have collected enough to do the job. Stay tuned...