cugal

6 x 8 HF Greenhouse Question

cugal
7 years ago

DH has agreed to set up my new Harbor Freight 6'x 8' greenhouse & wants to put the frame together in his shop, then move it to the foundation he's building. Is this OK?

Comments (25)

  • MichiganFarmer
    7 years ago

    I would not see a problem with that. I would highly recommend extra help to prevent it from twisting though. 1 person on each corner could save a lot of back breaking work and distorting. Best of luck. Mike's Plans

  • gltrap54
    7 years ago

    Thanks Michigan Farmer! Please stand by GW members, I get the feeling more questions will follow! LOL

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  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    We were surprised that the aluminum in the Harbor Freight kits is a softer alloy than the aluminum stock you can buy, for example, in the box stores. So, I completely agree with MichiganFarmer's advice to have plenty of help supporting it on moving day. It might be easier than you'd think to twist things a bit out of shape.

    I remember one thread a long time ago about some folks who built their Harbor Freight in their garage, then loaded it onto a trailer to move to the foundation. They also installed the panels before loading it on to the trailer, so it had plenty of wind resistance. The wind caught it and tumbled it off the trailer, even though they were only going a short distance. I don't think it did much damage, but I'm sure it was exciting.

    An untethered Harbor Freight greenhouse with the panels installed is rather like a giant box kite, so your plan to move just the frame (without panels installed) sounds wise to me.

  • cugal
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Thanks mudhouse! Yeah, our household seems to live by Murphy's Law......... LOL!! DH just felt it would be easier to assemble the frame in a controlled environment (ie, his shop). We plan to put the (siliconed) panels in place once the frame is on the foundation as well as laying a heavy bead of silicone caulking on the foundation before attaching the frame.

    We've assembled a wooden foundation from treated 2 x 12s & 4 x 6s, as suggested in the instructions. This thing is so heavy that we'll need to use our Kubota's FEL & recovery straps to position it on the level pad site....... Paid $240 for the GH & the foundation (with galvanized hardware) has already exceeded the cost of the GH........ LOL!

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    That sounds great. I think your expenses are understandable (and lumber seems so expensive these days.) I have a lot more money in my greenhouse "additional expenses" (foundation, benches, electric, fans, water, shadecloth, thermostats etc) than I paid for the kit too. But one good way to look at it is, those costs would be close to the same no matter what brand of greenhouse you use, and if you can make the HF greenhouse work for you, it will save you money you can use to pay for the other goodies.

    Please forgive me for being a broken record, but in case you haven't already read it elsewhere, consider adding at least one self-tapping metal screw through the poly panel and into the metal frame. Siliconing in the panels should be extra insurance too, against panel loss in a bad wind, but I'm not sure what happens to the strength of silicone after years of exposure to heat, sun, and cold...?

    Panel loss (which often leads to frame damage) is probably the biggest problem these HF kits have, if only built per the confusing manual, so I tend to get a little naggy/worried. ;-)

    Best of luck and keep us posted on how things go!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Building our Harbor Freight 10x12 Greenhouse

  • cugal
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    I've been checking out your blog & I like the idea of using screws in the panels......

    Looks like it's going to take both my DH & I to put this thing together.... It's a bit awkward for one person. I'd like to get it done this week end. We got 12" of snow today here in NE Kansas..... Thank God for heated shops!

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    I have a HFGH 6X8 still in it's box. I was wondering if there are peices missing, like hardware etc. I bought it in Dec or Jan on sale and with a coupon, I couldn't pass up the price. I will be putting it together as soon as the weather is more favorable. Besides a confusing installation guide, and adding a slightly raised bit of foundation on the edges, for a higher roof and incorporating a bench to stabilize the walls, what else is helpful? Any parts need added which are not in the kit? I have read about adding some 6 mil film to the clear panels.

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    poaky1, it's not a bad idea to pull out the manual and systematically check each part in the box against the parts list shown in the back of the manual. I know it's tedious, but if you're missing a part that should be in there, the sooner you find out the better. You could do this while the weather is still unfavorable for building. Also, it helps you get a little more familiar with the parts, which might help when it comes to building time.

    It doesn't happen often, but I have known folks whose kits were missing a critical part. It can take a long time (like, months) for Harbor Freight to send you a missing part, if it's not a common part they stock for quick shipping.

    My blog deals with the 10 x 12, which requires a little extra bracing due to be very sturdy in winds. I also recommend the addition of self-piercing screws to anchor each panel to the frame, but these supplies are easily purchased at any big box store.

    Some folks find extra panel clips are helpful to secure the panels for the 10x12 (I did.) I'm not sure if extra clips are needed for the 6x8, and maybe somebody who has built the 6x8 will chime in.

    If you do need extra panel clips, you can order them through the 800 number on the manual, and those ship quickly.

    Another thing you can do, while you're waiting for spring, is to seal the ends of the wall and roof poly panels with tape. Some folks do this, some don't. The idea is to prevent dust, spiders, bugs, mildew, and green goo from forming in the open channels at the ends of the panels. I used aluminum tape from Lowes on mine (shown in blog below.) It lasted a few years before peeling off in my climate, and then I replaced it with clear duct tape. Charley's Greenhouse Supply sells panel tape specifically made for this purpose, and if you look around on the internet you may find other products.

    My climate is very dry so I don't have problems with mildew or green stuff growing in the channels, but I do get teeny spider webs which catch dirt in the last few inches of the panel, if I don't seal them. So, just a thought, if you're looking for things to do. ;-)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Building our Harbor Freight 10x12 Greenhouse

  • saturn3600
    7 years ago

    Hi Poaky1 I have built a 6 x 8 and can tell you that extra clips are nessecary along with silicone caulk. I live on the strait of Juan de Fuca in WA, we get really High winds. I caulked most of the panels but ran out and I lost that panel. I looked for 5 blocks around and never did find it. if you are thinking of getting 50 xtra clips, get100, you wont regret having more, just having less. There are lots of great tips, use them. I love my greenhouse and hope to add on to it this year. I am relandscaping my yard, and am starting most from seed. Good luck with your build,

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    Thanx mudhouse and Saturn. I will not be opening the Greenhouse kit until at least the end of March or beginning of April. It is too unpredictable til then. You may get a warm day but it won't be predictably warm til April or May. April will be okay in a greenhouse I guess, but May will be the soonest without the protection of a greenhouse.

  • hartford
    7 years ago

    poaky1,

    I bought a used 6X8 HFGH and moved it with no problems. Right now its in my garage waiting for the weather to break.
    {{gwi:291359}}

    Here is some more information I found on making it more secure.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Solving 6 X 8 HFGH problems

  • rodco
    7 years ago

    I recently purchased the 6x8 greenhouse for $199.00 and installed it in my backyard. The best thing to do is to build a foundation for it with pressure treated 2x6's . I then build the four corners with 2x4's and made shelving using the same 2x4's. The unit is very sturdy now.
    Here are some photos:
    {{gwi:291360}}

    {{gwi:291361}}

    {{gwi:291362}}

    {{gwi:291363}}

    {{gwi:291364}}

    {{gwi:291365}}

    {{gwi:291366}}

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    rodco, that looks great. It's fun to see the progression of your photos, as it changes. I know it's been a lot of hard work, but you certainly have a nice setting for your new greenhouse.

    I hope you enjoy it!

  • eastpenna
    7 years ago

    Cugal, any updates or photos of your build?

    Rodco, nice job, did you use anything to keep the aluminum from coming in contact with the pressure treated lumber? Also, is that a urinal?

  • Textea
    7 years ago

    Rodco, Fine looking greenhouse. Have one sitting in the box. Hope to get it up soon. A couple of questions, what is the height with the 2x6 added, and what are the plastic squares used on top of your shelfing/

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    I have gotten someone to put together the 6X8, but not for a week. In the mean time how to obtain extra clips? Well, I may not NEED extra clips. But, How many silicone caulk tubes are needed? The poster who recommended extra clips was in Wash, state (Straight?) of Juan de Fuka? Is that more windy than usual? I may seem Niave but the other posts are from other climate situations.

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    Me again from the last post. I know I need some clear silicone. I have the 6X8 Harbor Freight GH. Where cahn I get extra Clips? Do I really NEED THEM ?

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    Hi poaky1, I definately, absolutely needed extra clips for my HF 10x12 greenhouse, as well as screws through the panels into the frame. I can positively state that my greenhouse would not be standing today if I had not taken these steps.

    I did not caulk my panels in place, because I like to be able to remove them if needed. So, my solution was extra clips and screws, but Saturn3600 (above) used both extra clips and caulk, on his or her 6x8 greenhouse.

    There used to be more frequent threads around here, years ago, about Harbor Freight disasters, back before people knew to take a few extra steps to make the panels and foundation more secure. Here's one, for example.
    Greenhouse Disaster HFGH 10x12

    You're the only one who can decide if it's worth the extra $9.99 plus shipping, for a package of 72 clips. To me, a little extra insurance seems like a no-brainer. Even if I lived in a climate that did not have uniformly high winds, I would not want to risk the loss of my greenhouse, or plants, but that's just me. An unusual gust of wind or errant windstorm can happen anywhere, even if it's not the norm.

    You can order extra clips by calling the 1-800 number on your Harbor Freight manual. For the 6x8 greenhouse, Harbor Freight uses the part number 46 for the panel clips. The SKU number is SKU number 27339, for a set of 72 clips, $9.99.

    Hope this helps, I know some of these decisions can be confusing. I sleep better if I err on the side of stability and safety (I really hate surprises.)

    I think they usually ship the clips pretty quickly.

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    I just got my 6X8 put together a few days ago. I got the answers to the questions I asked above after reading one of Mudhouses previous posts. I paid 2 guys to put it together. They did a good job, but 2 panels blew off the day after installation. I found them. I will be siliconing them in and adding thick clear sheeting around the sides and back. The roof will have to be covered with clear sheeting in winter if I overwinter anything that can be cold but needs a little protection. The clips look like they don't help much. I need to look at them closer but they look like they are useless. I paid these 2 guys more to put it together than I paid for the greenhouse. They were not very happy with the directions, as people had mentioned that the directions are no help. I think if I want another greenhouse in addition to this one I'll just make a hoophouse.

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    Hi poaky1,
    The clips aren't useless, they do hold the edges of the panels tightly against the frame, which is what you need. But you may need to order extra clips, as we discussed above. (I don't know if you did that?)

    If you didn't use any extra clips, and if you did not secure the panels with at least one screw into the aluminum frame of the greenhouse...I have to say, I'm really not surprised that you lost some panels in a wind. This is a weakness of the kit, as countless posts here have stated.

    The reason the screws help is they secure the center of the panel to the frame. The clips hold the edges, and a single screw in each panel will make a big difference in making sure your panels don't come out in a big wind. It would take a tremendous force to pull a screw out of the metal.

    If it helps, here is a link to the section of my blog that shows the types of screws we bought (at Lowes) to secure the panels. It really doesn't take long to do.
    Adding The Panels

    I haven't caulked my panels in place, but I know some folks do, with good results. I'm just making sure you know about the alternative of using screws. After reading posts here for about 7 years, I'm convinced you simply have to do one or the other...caulk or screws...and extra clips.

    Congratulations on getting your greenhouse built, I hope soon you will be able to start enjoying using it.

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    Well, Mudhouse, I actually am using it tonight. We are supposed to go down to 30 F tonight. I put my perennials in it that I haven't transplanted from pots yet. I went on the Harbor freight webpage and can't figure out how to order extra clips. When I typed in greenhouse supplies it showed a refuse bag holder and something else I can't recall, but no extra clips. If they have them in the store I can drive and pick them up in person. I went and replaced the panels that blew off today and understand how they work now, and can see how extra clips are a good investment. They look frail and crappy, but I can see what you mean that they help. I hadn't been involved in the building of the greenhouse and just looking at the clips being so thin, I didn't think they helped much. I will get more clips and silicone them in when the temps here get consistent. We were baking a couple days ago, now we're freezing. Usually after Mothers day we can figure it will be warm til fall.

  • saturn3600
    7 years ago

    I called harbor freight. I got the part # from the parts list
    Included in the assembly instructions in the back.
    They are cheap compared to replacing a panel or greenhouse!
    The danger is if the wind blows out a panel it can blow
    The greenhouse part from the inside like a tornado.
    I say buy a couple bags. Better too many and not need
    Them then need them and not have them

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    Poaky1, I'm not sure how you missed it, but three posts above your last post I told you how to order the clips, by phone, from Harbor Freight. They do not have them in the stores. They do not have them on the website. You have to call the number on your Harbor Freight manual, and place a phone order, as saturn3600 did.

    Here is the info again, and this time I filled in the 800 number for you, from my Harbor Freight manual:

    You can order extra clips by calling the number on your Harbor Freight manual, 1-800-444-3353. For the 6x8 greenhouse, Harbor Freight uses the part number 46 for the panel clips. The Harbor Freight SKU number is 27339, for a set of 72 clips, $9.99 plus shipping.

    Hope the weather warms up for you soon.

  • poaky1
    7 years ago

    I will use the info in the last post. Sorry for the scramblebrained inability to see the obvious in your posts.

  • mudhouse_gw
    7 years ago

    No problem!

    Hopefully they will send them to you quickly, in my experience they do.