oraylawson

Help for 10 x 12 HFGH

oraylawson
14 years ago

Having assembled the Harbor Freight 10x 12Â greenhouse kit and finding the kit complete and all parts fabricated correctly, but finding the assembly instructions incomplete and difficult to follow, I would like to offer the following corrections and suggestions as a supplement to the instructions for those wishing to assemble this greenhouse. I will note all suggestions, as such, since they are not required for completion of the assembly. I will also note which page the comment applies to.

Page 5 of instructions.

(Suggestion) The included base frame assembly is made of mild steel and as such may not last for very long if in contact with the ground. The base frame should be attached to a decay resistant "foundation" which has been anchored to the ground. At a minimum it should be attached to a "foundation" frame constructed of 2"x4" decay resistant lumber which has been staked to the ground. If using pressure treated lumber, a barrier of rubber, vinyl, builders felt, or other suitable material should be installed between the base frame and "foundation" to prevent reaction between the steel and treated lumber.

Page 6 of instructions.

1) The parts list and drawing incorrectly shows parts #7a and #7b. All four corners are IDENTICAL. There will be four holes at the top, TWO sets of two offset holes in the center, and two holes at the bottom, with the holes being in the same location in all four corners All holes should be in the sides without the lipped edge and the sides with the holes will face the inside of the greenhouse. The lipped edge is designed to hold panel clips and looks just like the lip on the outside of the studs.

(Suggestion) To aid in assembly attach the diagonal corner braces, part #80, in place temporarily, to help support the corners as the corners will tend to fall over if only attached at the base. DonÂt tighten the nuts on the braces as they will need to be removed to install the wall studs.

Page 7 of instructions.

2) When assembling the back wall braces parts #31, and the stud connectors part # 48, the flat side of part #48 will be against the wall braces, and part #48 will be on the outside of the greenhouse. Part #48 will be used later to join part #18 and part#19 to the top of the center wall studs. Install the braces, part #31 with the arrows pointing toward the corners.

3) The front ceiling plates, parts #24 and #25 can not be connected together on their own. You must use part #27, the right door rail as a splice plate. Use the two holes near the center of the right door rail, part #27 to join the front ceiling plates. You can also attach the left door rail, part #26 at the same time. The front ceiling plates are attached to the OUTSIDE of the corners not inside as stated in the instructions.

Hint: When you look at the drawings of the ceiling plates and door rails in the parts list they are drawn in the same orientation that they will be installed. Looking at the profile drawing, the top of the part is at the top and the bottom of the part is at the bottom.

Page 8 of instructions.

4) At all three center side wall studs, part #14 (both sides), all three center roof studs, part #15 (both sides), and two center back wall studs, part #14, you will need to install FOUR long bolts in the slot in the studs between two short bolts. The short bolts will be used to attach the studs at the top and bottom and the four long bolts will be used later in the assembly to attach the horizontal wall braces, parts #30 and parts #31 and the horizontal roof braces parts #30 . The instructions incorrectly state only two long bolts between two short bolts.

5) When attaching the wall studs be sure to install the hold down connecters part #47 at the bottom of each stud. The instructions require that you go back and install the hold down connectors later and this is a step that you can save.

Page 9 of instructions.

6) When attaching the horizontal braces parts # 30 and #31 make sure that the arrows at the ends of the braces always point toward the corners.

Page 11 of instructions.

(Suggestion) To aid in assembly of the roof install the left handed crown beams part #9, and the right handed crown beams part #8 to the front and rear walls, then assemble the front and rear crown, parts #10 and #11 together and attach to the front and rear crown beams. Now you can install all the roof studs, parts #15 in place, on top of the greenhouse. There is no need to assemble the entire roof on the ground and then lift it into place.

With careful reading, study of the drawings, and study of the parts list profile drawings, all other steps in the assembly are relatively straightforward.

There are posts on the forum reguarding additional bracing, additional panel clips, taping panels, etc. but these are optional and can be adopted as you see fit.

I hope that you will find this helpful!!

Ray

Comments (23)

  • greginshasta
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Nice job Ray - it's good to have all of this in one place.

    Concerning this point:
    6) When attaching the horizontal braces parts # 30 and #31 make sure that the arrows at the ends of the braces always point toward the corners.

    In my assembly, when I had the arrows pointed toward the corners, that caused a problem with the #31 braces. The holes on mine were drilled such that until I reversed the direction of the arrows, the #48 brackets could not be aligned vertically - they ended up pointing diagonally.

    Once I reversed them, the placement of the holes in teh #31 braces allows vertical alignment of the #48 brackets.

    Maybe my stickers were simply on the wrong end...

  • gato_gordo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Excellent post. I have the following additional comments:

    1. Regarding step four. There appear to be two different versions of parts #79 and #80 as seen in pictures posted by oraylawson and {{gwi:295357}}. If your parts are flat, then you need to install a short screw between the two long screws. However, if parts #79 and #80 are rectangular in cross section like parts #30 and #31, you need to replace the short screw with a long screw.

    2. My wife and I installed the roof according to the instructions and I can't imagine anything easier. I assembled the roof on the ground, then my wife (5'3") picked it up (it is only a few pounds), climbed a step ladder, and held it in place while I (6'4") walked around and connected each of the roof studs into place. Total time to raise the roof was less than a minute. If you are going to do this, be sure that the bolts that slip into the slots in #15 are already installed in the side ceiling plates (#12 and #13)

  • gardenerwantabe
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I bought mine in January and they have changed a lot since then. The above suggestions would have never got mine together. Their was no way in hell to put it together until I re drilled the corner posts. I reinforced mine time will tell if those who choose to use it without bracing were right. I may have wasted $50.00 on materials that I didn't need but I"m confident that it will not blow apart. Last week we had a storm and blew tress down but my GH came through it with no problems
    Glad to see that so many are working around the poor instructions. Once you get it up it is pretty nice for the price.

  • oraylawson
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Please note in the post above.

    Page 8 of instructions.
    4) At all three center side wall studs, part #14 (both sides), all three center roof studs, part #15 (both sides), and two center back wall studs, part #14, you will need to install FOUR long bolts in the slot in the studs between two short bolts. The short bolts will be used to attach the studs at the top and bottom and the four long bolts will be used later in the assembly to attach the horizontal wall braces, parts #30 and parts #31 and the horizontal roof braces parts #30 . The instructions incorrectly state only two long bolts between two short bolts.

    Only TWO long bolts will be needed at the three center roof studs part #15 not four.

    Ray

  • greginshasta
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Does anyone have any notes or photos of the door assembly?

    We have everything else done except for doors and panels, and as usual, the instructions for the door is less than precise...

  • gato_gordo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Greg,

    I think the doors are another part that has changed along the way. In my kit the #64 panels fit into grooves in the cross braces #35, #36, and #37. To assemble the doors, we connected the top brace #35, three mid braces #36, and the bottom brace #37 to one side frame #33. Next, we slid four #64 panels into the grooves and finally attached the other #33 side frame to complete the door.

    If you look at our pictures, you will notice that we did not figure this out the first time as our frame pictures show the doors assembled without the #64 panels.

  • greginshasta
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yeah, I eventually worked it out. I'm going looking for a celebratory beer - the silly beast has been tamed, and assembly is mercifully complete.

    We built it on the driveway and it's going to be installed in the far corner of our acre. The next task is to go pick up 2x12 lumber for the footing, square that up, and get some friends to help carry the GH back to its new home. After that we will install the panels.

    What a geat feeling this is to have it behind me! Thanks to everyone that helped.

  • kasiec
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you so much to Gardenerwantabe and Oraylawson.

    Gardenerwantabe - your initial post got us interested in the HFGH. The picture of your completed HFGH was what made use go for it.

    Ray - your updated photos guide us through the assembling process. Seems like every time Gato goes up to the house to study your photos, he returns with a beer in hand.

    Again, thank you. I now have a big and wonderful 10 x 12 HFGH. I love it.

    Kasie

  • gardenerwantabe
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    When I bought mine in January and started the assembly I could not believe how many things needed changed.
    I spent so much time on the phone talking to Harbor Freight tech that my phone bill had $67.00 toll charges to HF. He E-Mailed all my suggestions to the manufacture so I think I may be somewhat responsible for all the changes that came so quick.
    Glad to see they are making the needed improvements and that you guy's are getting them put together in-spite of the poor instructions. Yesterday I installed 3/4 inch polystyrene insulation on the south wall and 4 foot high on the side walls. I think I will use bubble insulation on the roof and upper side walls.

  • greginshasta
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Ray, I have been studying your footing, and wonder if you could elaborate a bit on what you plan there.

    I see that you used it to level the GH on a bit of a slope, and I recall some mention concerning insulation that you installed. Do I also understand that you will fill the excavated area between the 2x12s with gravel?

    How about filling us in as to what you have planned here, and what might not be visible in this photo.

    {{gwi:295885}}

  • oraylawson
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Greg,

    There isnt a lot to show. Like a lot of you I am still a working stiff, have way to many spring chores, and havent had a lot of leftover time to work on the greenhouse.

    What I have done is install 1½" foam insulation on the inside of the foundation and protected the foam with heavy roofing felt. I built up the inside frame to equal the height of the steel base frame. I installed 1" of foam insulation inside the steel base by cutting the foam to fit, splitting it lengthwise leaving the plastic vapor barrier intact to hold it together, bend it along the split and force it into the frame. I then installed composite lumber (only because I had it laying around) over the insulation using screws installed from the outside of the frame. I will finish filling the raised beds with soil.

    I have started filling the center (floor) area with rocks and will fill it to within 2-3" of the top of the frame with gravel. It will contain approximately 16" of rock and gravel when complete which will hopefully work as a heat sink. That in addition to barrels of water along the north wall, which will be insulated, will be my only source of heat, at least for now.

    As you can see in the photo I have also installed motorized shutters in the rear wall. A fan and shutters has been installed above the front door.
    {{gwi:295887}}

  • greginshasta
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I take it you are in very cold weather since you went to such trouble to insulate the metal base AND the area below ground level?

    In the photo I posted, did you fill those boxes with gravel? soil?

    Where did the motorized shutters come from?

  • oraylawson
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Greg,

    The photo I posted shows the same boxes. Soil in outer and gravel in center.

    Shutters. fan. and thermostat were purchased as a package from International Greenhouse Supply.

  • eadaein
    14 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Wow, so we got half way through this GH when I thought wait, I bet the folks over at garden web have a post about this, and I bet their instructions are better than the destructions that came with the box (I should know at that price I paid for the part, not the instructions). This is a huge help, we were planning on picking up a second one of these next sale (man those 40% off coupons really made this worth it!). We very much appreciate all of the information on here and will be posting results of what worked for our parts (since it seems everyone gets different ones lol).

    Thank you ! This is a much needed FAQ

  • gardenut
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have been wanting to buy a greenhouse and now I am so excited that I can actually get one without spending thousands of dollars. I have a Harbor Freight in our neighborhood but have never gone in. IS this something that the store would carry or is it mail order only? And when does this 40% off coupon come out? I am too excited!!!

    Vicki

  • Grancru
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Where can I find one of the 40% off coupons? Please let me know I would like to get a HF very soon.

    Grancru - jtcrane@aol.com

  • gardenut
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I finally got my HFGH and my husband has called an excavator to come over and level out some land and run water and electricity. Now he is one of those people that worries about everything and needs to know exactly how big the base of the greenhouse is so I told him 10x12. But then I read that it isn't exactly 10x12 and I cannot find the directions without opening the box and I don't want to do that until it is ready to put up. Can anyone give me the measurements? We also were going to put some treated lumber in to attacth the structure to and so how wide and deep do you suggest we dig the ditch? We live in zone5/6 and the wind is sometimes a problem.

    Thanks!
    Vicki

  • mokevinb
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Vicki, tell your hubby not to be such a nitpicker. The guy who levels the area can go a little bit over sized, and then it can be taken care of when you back fill to the size of the foundation.

    As far as the need for a true foundation, it looks like to me that this GH does not really require it. My recommendation is, unless you want to put it onto a poured concrete or laid concrete block foundation (which might require you to have a building permit) just dig holes at the corners, and about every two to three feet along the sides (on the inside) and set treated wood posts at least three feet deep. Then attach your treated two by eight base frame to it.

    I don't have one of these GH's yet, but hopefully someone who does will send you the dimensions from thiers. If not, open the box and find the instruction sheet. (If worse comes to worse, you may have to measure your base plates. I've bought Harbor Freight stuff in the past, and know first hand how "good" thier instructions are.)

    Kevin

  • amigatec
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am about 1/3 of the way done with mine. I have the walls up and am busy installing the bracing, (I used chain link fence top rail, it's what I already had).

    As far as the base I used PT 4X4's and achored it with 3 foot tall fence posts, I drove these all the way in and used lag bolts to attach them to the 4X4's.

    http://s14.photobucket.com/albums/a318/amigatec/GreenHouse/

  • laserfan
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I think it would be risky for you to rely on any others' measurements of their base, since it's clear from the couple yrs of posts here that the specs/pieces have changed slightly on occasion. Just smooth out a little more than you need and go with it.

    I like my base construction so take a look--one of my concerns was that the 10X12 is tall already and I didn't want it sticking-up and into-the-wind any more than necessary either.

  • laserfan
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Oh, I should say too that if you use 4x4 timbers (yellawood) as I did, you can buy 10-footers for the width and 12-footers for the length and they will handle your base reliably ie. I had to cut them each down a few inches...

  • greenhouser
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    What is the mesh on your shelves called? That's exactly what we need but can't find it anyplace.

  • laserfan
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Here in TX it's called "cattle panel" and we can get it at Tractor Supply or any number of farm/ranch/fencing places. Here are links to where my shelves are discussed:

    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg1217005727330.html

    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg1109131729967.html