imqtpi

Got my HFGH (6x8)! Now I have questions!

imqtpi
13 years ago

Awhile back, I'd posted Q's about the HFGH's. Thanks to your AWESOME feedback, I decided to "take the plunge" and buy one (Actually DH bought it for me as a B-Day Gift! Yayyy!!!).

So, the box is outside, and I'm prepared to inventory the parts (and fight whatever battles I have to fight if pieces are missing!!!).

I've also printed out clw1's and Dax's pictorial instructions on how to assemble the beast. And I'll use clw1's advice on "raising" the height of the GH using 2x12's around the base (not sure I'll do the full-blown insulation on the inside though - our temps only drop below 30* a few nights/yr).

The GH site is level and has easy-access to water and electricity.

So I think I'm in good shape!

Questions I have:

I plan to orient the GH so it faces mostly SE on one of the "long" sides. Where should the ceiling vent be placed? On the cooler (NW - closer to the fence) side? Or on the "hot" (SE - wide-open) side? Ditto the Solar Fan. I'm guessing that should go on the more West-ish short side (closer to the fence). Solar fan hasn't been purchased yet - but I'm planning ahead!

Shade Covers: We just replaced our blue Solar Pool Cover, and I'm thinking I want to recycle the old Pool Cover. Will that be adequate for shading the GH? Or is there something better?

I'm open to any suggestions/ideas for my new GH! It probably won't be used much this summer (blazingly hot 'n sunny here!) - but it definitely will come in handy, come late fall!

Anyway, I think the more "errors" I can prevent - up front! - the better!!! So I'm wide open to any suggestions or helpful hints you can offer!

Thanks for any info!

-Lurker Nan

(aka IMQTPI)

Comments (31)

  • imqtpi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks! I think I'll stick w/flat white for the base pieces, but prob'ly gloss white for the aluminum framework.

    I would think that gloss vs flat would be a "miminal impact" since the framework really isn't a significant part of the structure - in terms of "overall area." Dark, gloss green is definitely the "prettiest" - but not very practical (chips, painting bolt-heads, yada yada - at least w/white, mismatches won't seem so "obvious!"). I'm curious to hear about "real-life experiences" w/HFGH-painting- if there ARE any!!!).

    I'm at least a week or two away from making that decision though (My "Solo-Building Efforts" are pretty slow-going!!! Sux getting old!!! ;-). *If* I choose to paint, it'll be before I assemble it, for sure!!!

    I'm attempting to capture the ordeal on my Garden Website (link below). I'll keep ya'all posted and add questions as they come up (and they will, I'm sure!!!).

    THANKS again!!!!

    -N

    Here is a link that might be useful: 2007 We bought a Greenhouse!

  • stressbaby
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Gloss white is not on this chart, but semi-gloss is...and flat white has greater reflectivity than semi-gloss...FWIW

    Here is a link that might be useful: Link with reflectivity chart

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  • agardenstateof_mind
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Well, mine's been up for 2.5 years now and looks to be about the same as the day I put it up, with nothing but routine rinsing and cleaning.

  • imqtpi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Okay... Time for yet ANOTHER question (Yeah, I think I'm becoming a pain!!!)

    GH base = flat white.

    Has anyone ever painted the aluminum frame of the HFGH? I'm thinking (since the thing's still totally disassembled now) I might want to paint it. Gloss white would probably be the "smart choice" for reflective qualities - but gloss-green looks AWESOME (as I'm drooling over the Charley's GH catalog!!!).

    Primer would be very important, I think. Rustoleum's got an aluminum primer (flat gray - or possibly silver - can't quite tell from the website). They've also got some Protective Enamels in various colors (I'm definitely leaning toward the "Hunter Green" - but I haven't completely ruled out "Boring White!")

    I'd like the GH to be "pretty" - and I'd like it to stay that way for a few years. I'm curious to know if anyone's done this - and what the [long-term] results were like...

    And if I were to leave it 'bare nekkid' - how long before it starts to oxidize and look all chalky-white???

    Thanks (for the bazillionth time!) for all the feedback!

    -N

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Flat white it is! Thanks!

    Solar fans: I'm not overly optimistic that they'll be sufficient, but the solar fans I've ordered are ventilation fans for a boat.

    They have solar panels which power inboard fans that "suck" the air out of boats that are stored long-term. I bought two solar fans - they're small and lightweight - and I'll put them on a SE facing panel, up near the top. And I also bought two "passive" vents that'll go along the bottom (redwood base) - on the side opposite from the solars.

    Each of the solar fans is supposed to move 150 CFM (and I'm guesstimating the GH at just slightly more than 300 cubic feet). My hope is that I can rely on these fans for year-round air circulation. And the self-opening window vent(s) should help with the heat load (along with some sorta shading material - TBD).

    If that isn't sufficient, I'll consider dropping the $200 for the Solar Fan that HF sells (I just can't afford it right now!)

    I honestly don't plan to use the GH during the summer. It'll be too much of a hassle to keep it cool. But I am concerned about autumn/spring (and possibly even winter) sunny days and the potential for overheating...

    Anyway, I posted some pictures on my (totally non-commercial but loaded w/pop-ups - Sorry!) website, if anyone is interested :-) I'll post updates as they occur!

    Thanks AGAIN!!!

    -Nancy

    Here is a link that might be useful: 2007 - We bought a Greenhouse!

  • stressbaby
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Paint flat white.

    Quoted from source below:

    The following table will illustrate the reflective value of the various materials available to the home gardener:

    Reflective Chart
    Material Reflectivity
    Black Less than 10%
    Aluminium Foil 55-70%
    Semi-gloss White Paint 60-70%
    White / Black / White Film 70-85%
    Flat White Paint 75-80%
    Polystyrene Foam Sheeting 75-85%
    Mylar Sheeting 90-92%

    What exactly do you mean by "solar fan?" Is it passive or active? I think people have a tendency to over estimate the efficiency of passive ventilation. With passive ventilation, you will be able to get your temps down to within 20-30F of outside temps.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Chart source

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I ALWAYS play nice (well, at least MOST of the time!!!)

    Okay, pictures have been taken - but not DL'd to computer yet (I'm surfing @ poolside via WiFi... Oh the SACRIFICES I have to make! ;-)

    I think I've been inspired to post an addendum to my "Garden Page" (you can get there from my webpage, linked below). I haven't done it yet, but I'll try to post my GH erection efforts "Step-By-Step." They won't be as good as conifers'/Dax's pictorial, but I'll do my best (Gotta "Give Back to the Community," right?!!)

    I think the wood-cutting is still a "hair" off, but the 'errors' will be put on the back-side (next to a fence, where no one will ever walk / have an opportunity to bend the aluminum base). Or maybe I'll add some skinny/lath/shim kinda material for the Too hot to dig up veggies right now, so I'll postpone that 'til early evening (or early tomorrow morning).

    I'll probably move my "boring observations" to the webpage (When I start it!). I'll just make note, on here, when I post updates - so I won't bore everyone with my long-winded commentary!!!

    Of course, I'm *sure* I'll have more questions as I go through this - and I *will* post those questions here!

    And I just thought of another Q: Should I paint the RW base before I assemble it? If so, white (for reflective qualities)? Or black (for heat-sinking)??? Or should I just hold off on that altogether (bearing in mind that it'll be easier to paint BEFORE I assemble it)???

    Any thoughts...???

    Thanks - AGAIN - for all the support, insight and advice! And thanks - in advance - for enduring my upcoming questions!!!

    You guys ROCK!!!

    -Nancy

    Here is a link that might be useful: IMQTPI's Garden Page (I'll update it soon!!!)

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Play nice, you two...;)

    Dave

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Dave,

    I couldn't agree more! I really don't anticipate that the GH will be used in summer (too freakin' hot - and the plants are much happier outside, anyway).

    Winter: I think I'll be fine w/the X-Mas lights (on at dusk) + electric outdoor heater on the thermostat. I think it kicks on @ 35* (and, even in The Tent, it rarely came on).

    My biggest challenge will be fall & spring. And - to a lesser extent - sunny winter days. Really, not much different than the challenges I faced with The Tent!

    At least I can add permanent solar fans (top) and passive vents (bottom opposite side) so there's some guaranteed air circulation. Circulation was a real problem w/the tent. And it was always so drippy wet inside, I really didn't like the idea of putting an electric fan out there.

    The solar window opener should help with "automation" at least a little. Turns out this GH does have two top windows, so I'll order another opener.

    Regardless, some sorta shading will be mandatory, I'm sure.

    There'll be a lot of "experimentation" going on (and tracking of temps) before I even *think* of putting a plant in there (and the first one in - will be one I'm willing to sacrifice!!!)

    ...But I'm getting ahead of myself (and very excited at the same time! I've been re-reading my GH books over-and-over!). First I gotta get this sucker UP!!!

    So with that thought... I'm heading outside to play with lumber (and snap some pictures)...

    -Nancy

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Oh I'm sure it will Nancy. But it sounds more like your problem will be heat gain in summer rather than heat loss in winter. You may not need to add extra insulation for heat retention but I would DEFINITELY add shading and some screens,, or maybe just an exhaust fan. Keep that air moving and you will be okay.

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    :::whew!:::

    Thanks Dave! They're standing upright in the sun now!

    And we're in South San Jose - appx 50 miles South of San Francisco.

    Hot, sunny and dry summers. And our backyard is a micro-climate unto itself - always 10* warmer than the front yard!

    Avg summer temps hover around the upper-80*'s, but triple-digits are also pretty common.

    Winter temps seem to be getting colder, over time. Nights can dip into the upper-20*'s, usually only for a handful of nights a year. Last winter, we had almost 2 solid weeks of Wherever possible, I keep my 'marginal' plants in pots now. Some of the 'supposed-to-be-hardy-here' plants (if I really love 'em) also live in pots for that very reason! They'll all be over-wintered in the new gh. (Plumerias, Cordylines, Dwarf bananas, Dracaenas, Pineapples - just to name a few...)

    There should be "just enough" room to accommodate 'em in this GH - but I can't add anything more to my collection now!!!

    I used to drag 'em all into the house, but we've really only got one good sunny window (East-facing sliding door that leads to the backyard). I've got too many plants for that spot now! Plus I had lots of problems w/spider mites.

    The 8x10 Portable GH ('white plastic tent') from HF (or Northern Tool??) did an OK job. Didn't have any fatalities, at least! But things didn't exactly "thrive" in there. It was starting to fall apart last year - and it was a real pain to regulate temps in it. So that prompted the purchase of the new, permament GH.

    I do think (hope!) that the new one will do a much better job!

    Thanks again!

    -N

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    yes on the moisture proofing, Nancy. It also keeps bugs out and creates a true dead air space in the channels. Just put them in the sun for a bit...they should dry out nicely. During my first year I had my doubts about the panels being warm enough in winter. But no matter when, or how cold it was the panels were always warm on the inside and cold on the exterior. So I have no fear of letting my plants touch the panels.

    Tell us Nancy, Where in CA are you and what are your temps like there? Oh yes, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Dave

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Status Update (in case you were wondering! ;-)

    No Scream-Fest today (Yay!), but we didn't make a whole lot of progress either!

    My fault (but - in the long run - probably a good thing!).

    We bought lumber yesterday. PT 2x4 and 2x6 for the base-base that'll almost rest on the ground (it'll be affixed to sunken concrete anchors). And 2x12 redwood that'll raise the height (a la clw1's post).

    Hubbie bought a new Skilsaw - and was eager to try it out this morning! (*After* the sun came out - and we were working in THE hottest, least-shaded part of the yard!!!). In spite of that, we managed to get "most" of the wood cut!

    DH was a bit concerned about the lack of detailed schematic drawings for my "Pre-retro-fitting" "Outside-the-box" and "Not part of the standard instructions" approach!

    Annnnnd... Well.... I kinda miscalculated the amt of lumber needed! Note: Just 'cuz they call it a 6'x8' doesn't mean it's *really* 6'x8' so "Buy a 12' length and cut it in half" doesn't really work - My Bad! (At that point, I'd only 'skimmed' the instructions so yeah, definitely My Bad!)

    ...Anyway, my attempts at creating 'detailed schematic drawings' were somewhat lacking!!! (Hey - I was only a few inches off!!!)

    But the "It's my birthday so you can't yell at me" rule seemed to work (I'm making him sound terrible - he really isn't!!! He's just an engineer [who appreciates 'exactness'] and I'm a bit [okay a LOT] more lackadaisical about such things...)

    ("Opposites attract," right?!!)

    So anyway... I'll be running to Home Depot first thing tomorrow morning to pick up another hunk of PT lumber!

    We did start to 'dry-fit' the lumber out on the patio, next to the pool, where it's nice and flat. So far, so good. I also laid the aluminum base pieces on top to verify lengths, so we're good there. The 2x12 redwood pieces are perfect - we're just missing one 6' (okay 75"!) length of PT "base" lumber...

    The Plan is: We'll cut the last of the PT wood tomorrow, and then I'll take over from there.

    As it turns out, I didn't really leave enough open space where the GH is s'posed to go (it's where my veggie garden lives - and I need to move some plants). Again, My Bad for merely 'eyeballing' the space - rather than measuring (Hey - I'm a Gemini!!!)

    Honestly, I prefer to tackle it a couple hours a night, on my own. Do as much as I can; then stop when I reach a point where I need an extra pair of hands; then resume...

    (I restored a sailboat that way and found it oddly therapeutic! Plus, when I tackle projects like this "solo," I feel like it makes it more "mine" for some inexplicable reason... I'm weird, I know!)

    I *do* have a lot of "grunt work" ahead of me next week: Clearing the Veggie Garden, sinking the concrete anchors, making sure the site is TRULY level... That sorta thing...

    The Good News (and Bummer) is: I've done SUCH a good job of improving the soil in that corner of the yard, digging really won't be all that difficult (most of the yard is cement-hard clay)! But the bummer part is: My veggie garden has to move - and I don't have any other place where the soil is THAT fantastic!!! (I'll undoubtedly be "moving" any soil that I excavate to a new location, though!!!).

    DH seems very happy with my preferred "solo" approach, as well - so that makes it a 'Win-Win!'

    Anyway, I'll try to snap and post some pictures of the "dry-fit procedure" tomorrow... (With more to follow!)

    Oh, and one more question: What is the purpose of the aluminum tape on the tops/bottoms of the panels? Is it meant to keep moisture out? If so - Oooops! When I opened the box, I moved the panels a little too close to a sprinkler and some moisture got in some of 'em. Any tips on drying them out (short of sitting there with a hair-dryer)???

    Thanks!!!

    -Nancy

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The self-tapping screws I used were hexhead and about 1/2 inch.you could add a washer to the outside of the panels, between the hex head and the panel as well, but I didn't bother. And don't forgt to remove the film from BOTH sides of the panels before taping. I understand it deteriorates if left on and makes a terrible mess. Here's my sequence:

    1. remove film from panels.

    2. tape both ends of the panel with aluminum tape.

    3. place the panel and clip in place.

    4. screw panel at top and bottom to add rigidity

    I would put the weatherstripping on the frame and not the panel.

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Okay... Saturday's my B-Day so "No Screaming Allowed!" That'll be the best day to tackle this, I think! ;-)

    (But I'll have a pitcher of margaritas handy - just in case!!!)

    I'm scribbling my HD "Shopping List" and plan to make a run tomorrow...

    Lumber: 2x4 pressure-treated lumber for the base-base (2 @ 8' lengths and 1 @ 12') - will be nailed into sunken concrete anchors. And 2x12 redwood for "raising the height" (same lengths as above). Is that good? Or should I just buy 4 @ 8' lengths of ea and trim 'em down as needed? (HD doesn't sell 6' lengths)

    Aluminum Tape - This is like the stuff one would put on ducting, yes? (But not "duct tape" - The Cure-All!)

    I've got some 1/4" x 1" hex-head bolts that are too big (I'll Dremel 'em down, if need be). I'm hopeful that Charley's'll come thru w/the T-Bolts...

    And I already have some foam weatherstripping tape (Might buy another couple-three packages to play it safe)

    Now for the self-tappers (for the tops/bottoms of the panels): How long should they be?

    Is there anything I'm missing???

    Thanks a MILLION for all the advice!!! (And yes, I'll post pics!!!)

    -Nancy (IMQTPI)
    B-Day Girl (Don't ask! But I definitely do remember "Erector Sets!!!!")

  • agardenstateof_mind
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I don't think anyone did say one person can't assemble, though it may be handy to have a little help at times, as Dave said.

    And I agree, Dave, one person can do it quite well; my son actually did most of it, with me on the side aligning parts and handing them to him as needed, providing any help he needed, as well as moral support.

    In a project like this, probably best to let one person take the lead, with anyone else assisting.

    I don't know about a mojito, but around here when my husband cracks open a beer, I know the job is getting serious.

    Di

  • amigatec
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Who says one person can't assembly a HFGH? I have a 10X12 that i am building by myself, it can be done, but it would be a lot better with 2 people.

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    WOW! Some great ideas, once again! It's what I like about this forum. That idea for drilling the tracks is awesome! Diane is right as far as the structure goes. It will appear wobbly at first but once it is bolted to the foundation and the panels added it will become more rigid.

    In one sense, though, you are not quite correct. It is a one person operation. I prebuilt my frame before measuring for the foundation The frame itself is not hard to construct. I only needed help when I added the ridge. And when I had to move the completed frame to the foundation. But remember, I built mine from 2 units attached end-to-end. If it turns into a screamfest?...it's time for a mojito! You have all summer to finish it.

    I would go with the weatherstripping tape and not bother with the caulking. Use the clips for the panels, they are fine. But also get some self-tapping screws and add one or two to the top and bottom center of each panel...that's the weakest point of the design. Because the panels are flexible if you only attach with the clips a strong wind can cause the panels to flex and blow them out. Also, I am finding that the aluminum tape does not adhere forever...so the panels should be removable for retaping. I don't think caulking in the panels would alow this, at least, not without a huge mess.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • agardenstateof_mind
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Not a pain at all.

    Below is a link to something similar to what I used - not the same brand, perhaps not even the same type of foam (don't have the package any more). Did not wrap it around the panel, just laid it flat on what would be the inside of the panel, nice and even with the edge, and pressed it down. Be careful you don't stretch it as you go. The clips still work fine, because the material compresses. You're going to put aluminum tape on the tops and bottoms of your panels, right? Do that before adding the weatherstripping tape.

    My dad was an engineer, and my oldest son has the makings of one, so I understand your situation. Things often do not come out exactly right the first time, 'cuz things aren't always what they should be ... that's just life ... and he knows that ... that's why he insisted on assembling and measuring the aluminum base *before* cutting the wood for the foundation and dontcha know, he was right: the printed measurements were just a tad off, not a lot, but just enough that there would have been a "lip" of aluminum sticking out along one end or the other, just waiting to be bent.

    Despite "measuring twice and cutting once" and checking for level and square more times than I can count, dropping little bits of hardware in the grass, and other such stuff, we (mostly he) completed the little thing in about six hours. Okay, my daughter helped by putting the foil on the panels; that did save a lot of time. Referring back to the tips, instructions and photos posted by other HFGH owners helped a lot, too.

    You might want to inventory those pieces as soon as possible, so that if a crucial part is missing you can replace it sooner rather than later. Our set was complete, but not everyone has been so fortunate.

    It's really just like a very large erector set (do they still make that toy or am I giving away my age?), so take your time and try to enjoy building. Maybe some music? If necesssary, it can be turned up so the neighbors don't hear any Jerry Springer style screaming :-) You're under no pressure, right? (We were building on a mild November day, but the cold moved in very shortly after it was completed.)

    Diane

    Here is a link that might be useful: Vinyl Foam Tape

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Apologies if this is a duplicate, but GW gave me a weird message when I tried to post this! (and "reloads" never showed my first attempt!)

    I have questions re: agardenstateofmind's post. You'd indicated that you used foam weatherstripping tape on the edges of your panels. Is this the "standard black foam stuff" from HD? Or something else? Did you fold it over the edges of the polycarbonate panels (so it ends up as double-thickness)? And do the HF-supplied Clippy Thingies still work OK with that?

    I'm wondering if I should do something similar w/my GH... ('cuz the less re-assembly I have to endure, the better!!!)

    Thanks - AGAIN - for the assistance, tips and insight!

    -Nancy (IMQTPI)
    (Hope I'm not being TOO much of a pain!!!! :-)

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Weenie Dog Midwife" Certification went well - Thanks!

    Five healthy puppies from a girl that - normally - weighs only 8 lbs!!! It had it's challenges, but all the babies came out fine!

    Thanks for the info on A) Grinding down the Hex-heads (Yes, we've got a Dremel! Great idea!!!); B) Drilling holes in the track - after the fact - to accommodate new hex-heads, if needed; and C) T-Bolts being install-able any time! That's a relief (I only ordered them today - so not sure if they'll arrive before next weekend).

    As far as "patience" goes: In my earlier (months-ago) post, I'd alluded to the fact that Hubbie and I, as DIY-ers, are probably more suited to an episode of Jerry Springer than HGTV!!!

    So I don't know if "patient" is quite the best adjective to describe me!!! ;-)

    Of course, I'm *very* eager to get the GH up! On the other hand, I'm kinda dreading the "scream-fest" that will accompany the construction!!! (Okay, "scream-fest" isn't quite accurate - but it's not TOO far off the mark!!!)

    ...Would that this could be a one-person job!!! It isn't!

    But I'll do as much prep-work (inventory-ing the pieces, leveling the site, sinking the concrete anchors, etc.) as I can - ahead of time - to minimize the "challenges!!!"

    (As an aside: Hubbie's an Engineer and "expects" everything to work *perfectly* the first time. I suspect that this won't be the case w/the HFGH!!!)

    Anyway.... Thanks AGAIN for all the feedback, ideas and suggestions!

    -Nancy (aka IMQTPI)
    (and Weenie Dog Midwife!)

  • agardenstateof_mind
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Unless your GH is in a very windy location, I don't think the frame will need any "beefing up" (the 10x12 is another story). Mine has come through some pretty hefty wind storms without a hitch; though it is somewhat protected, with a bank of trees and shrubs to the north, a huge oak to the west, and our garden shed to the east. The frame alone will seem pretty wobbly when you get it finished, but you'll be surprised at how much those polycarb panels will stabilize the structure.

    If the silicone caulk is going to adhere to the aluminum frame and the panels, then, yes, I would think it would prevent removal of those panels. I used foam weatherstripping tape around the edges of my panels and have been quite satisfied. In your Zone 9, I should think that would be adequate. I did use caulk to seal any gaps I could find in the frame.

    The head of the T bolt is shaped so that it can be added at any time after the structure is finished.

    Congratulations on earning your WDM; I trust all went well with the delivery? Must have been quite an experience.

    Hope you can get that greenhouse up soon ... I'm amazed at your patience!

  • amigatec
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If the hex headed bolts are to big, just take a grinder to the heads. That what I did on mine, When buyin the hex headed bolt buy 1/4". They will work fine.

    As far as adding bolts to it later, just use a 1/2" drill bit and carefully drill in to the channel just enough to slip the head of the bolt into. I would drill the hole someplace where you would never be adding anything else, like near the top or bottom.

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hey Guys!!!!

    THANKS!!!!

    Okay, I opened the darn box!!! That's about as far as I got, though! My 83 yr old mom needed a "midwife" handy, this weekend, when her dog had puppies. Seems I can add "Weenie-Dog-Midwife" to my resume now!!! ;-)

    Anyway, I hoofed it over to HD today (Memorial Day + Home Depot = Very Bad Idea!!!). I bought some hex-head bolts + nuts and discovered that the hex-heads were a hair too big (#$%^!!!). So T-Bolts are on order from Charleys GH.

    Q: Can T-Bolts be added "after the fact???" Or do I have to wait 'til the T-Bolts arrive before I put it together?

    (I'm still at least a week off from installation since we still haven't purchased the wood-base materials!)

    I've nixed the idea of the pool-cover as shade cloth. I actually did think that it'd be too hot - so thanks for the 4-1-1! Lath [or possibly bamboo fencing] for a shade-cover was a great suggestion (bamboo would at least keep with the "vibe" of the yard - but it doesn't really matter). But I like the idea, regardless!

    For Ventilation, at least initially: I found some solar vents for boats/dock-boxes @ SailorSams.com. They're small, but I figure if I put the solar vents (w/fans) at the top of the roof panels, and "passive vents" toward the bottom (on the opposite side from the solars), I can probably keep some pretty consistent air-flow going.... They're inexpensive (appx $27 @ for the 'solars' and I'm sure there'll be plenty of "experimentation" going on before I put actual plants in there - and, again, I'll post the outcomes!

    I'm still curious to know if there's add'l "Beefing up" needed when we put this thing up (i.e. add'l support for the framing)? Or will I be relatively happy with all the hardware, yada yada, that came with the beast?

    Also, I'm debating putting silicone caulk around the panels. If I do that, will that prevent me from building "screen" walls to put up during the summer (prob'ly won't happen *this* summer, but possibly in future years...)?

    Again, any "insight" would be much appreciated! (And, of course, all feedback rec'd, thus far really *has* been appreciated!!!).

    Thanks again!!!!

    -Nancy (aka IMQTPI)
    (Hopefully it'll go up next weekend!!!)

  • stressbaby
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Traditionally roof vents on any greenhouse are placed on the side away from your prevailing winds, for obvious reasons.

    I agree with MilwDave, I would not use the pool cover for shading.

    It is hard to understand before you build a GH how hot it can get in there. If you can't control the temp settings on the outlets, you may want to invest in some thermostats. You will want some fan(s) that run all the time for air movement, as well as an exhaust fan of some kind, controlled by a thermostat or thermostatic outlet. I doubt that, even with shading, you will be able to keep temps down adequately with passive ventilation. MilwDave has good ideas about screens.

    HTH

    SB

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    also...don't use the pool cover for shading...I think it will keep it too warm. I use plain wood lath that you can buy for a couple of bucks a bundle at HD. I lay them directly on the polycarb panels, one by one running the length of the rafters. The great thing about it is you can add or take away as many as you need, they are cheap but do deteriorate in a few years so need to be replaced. 2 bundles ought to cover the 6x8 with a few to spare....Add all you can..you can always remove them one by one if too much shade. But, DO add them to both sides of the roof.

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    NANCY! Open the darn BOX!!! hehehe

    Seriously though the length will depend on your use...you may only need 1/2 inch or you might need longer though I can't imagine why. But get one of the short aluminum bolts from the kit and take it when you go...you will have to match the thickness of the head and also the thicknes of the bolt itself so it will fit in the track....When it comes to this greenhouse make no assumptions,and take nothing for granted.

    As far as shading goes...shade it all. In summer the sun is high and makes for a very even burn zone...:) Trust me, there IS no hot SIDE. I have no advice to give on venting. I just added mine to the north side of the greenhouse. Now, I understand there are 2 vents instead of the one vent when I bought mine.

    One thing you might consider in the very near future is building some screens and replace some of the side panels with them over the summer. I used the aluminum screening supplies at HD and built a few for mine. They do help.

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • agardenstateof_mind
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Sounds like you've done your homework and are rarin' to go! Great! I agree, it's not as awful to assemble as it might seem; just keep those threads and your common sense handy, and take the time to do it right.

    I understand your pondering over which side to put the roof vent ... I did the same thing, then decided the best location would be the side facing our house (which happens to be the south side), so I could tell at a glance whether it was open or closed.

    Good luck with your assembly this weekend. Please keep us posted on your progress and, of course, we always like to see photos.

    Diane

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Dave,

    Thanks for the info! I think I'm gonna be limited to whatever I can purchase "on the fly" from Home Depot (just around the corner). So hex-heads'll probably be the way to go.

    How long should they be? And where should I plan on installing them? (Bearing in mind, I still haven't opened the box - that'll happen this weekend, I'm sure!). Are they mostly on the "sides" for shelf supports? Should any be installed along the "base?"

    I'd rather install too many and not need 'em - Rather than too few and "Oh crap, I wish I'd put some bolts 'there!'"

    Also - I'm still curious about the orientation of the self-opening vent. Is it better to have it on the "cooler" (NW) side of the GH (realizing that the entire "top" of it is probably gonna get pretty hot, regardless!)?

    I'm thinking in terms of putting some sort of shade cloth on it (be it 'cloth' or recycled pool cover). I'm thinkin' the shade material (whatever it is) should be more solid on the "hot" (SE) side of the GH - but I'm not sure if that's an accurate assumption!

    ...Since we'll prob'ly be installing the beast this weekend (or possibly next), that's probably something that needs to be "decided" ahead of time (I, sure as he**, don't want to disassemble the thing after-the-fact!!!).

    So ANY info in that regard would be MOST appreciated!

    Thanks again!!!

    -Nancy (aka IMQTPI)

  • milwdave
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Nancy;

    Captive bolts are added to the channels of some of the framework during assembly. The reason they are called "captive" is that they cannot be removed without partially disassembling the framework. Some use hex head bolts of the proper size and these have to be added during the assembly process. But there are also bolts called "T Bolts" which you can buy from Charley's and a few other suppliers that can be added after assembly to add things to the framework like shelving.

    The hex head bolts are definitely cheaper to add in the beginning, but I used the T bolts because I didn't plan to add shelving to the framework initially and I was in a hurry to get the house up for the season. But I think the T bolts are well worth the price because of their flexibility.

    Have fun with that greenhouse! They are not nearly as much trouble to build as they appear at first.:)

    Dave
    Milwaukee

  • imqtpi
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Addendum: I do have a wireless weather station w/alarms (which was used in my older HF "Plastic Tent" GH). So I'll definitely utilize that.

    I also have a couple of "temperature-regulated" AC outlets. One that kicks-on when the temp is too high (haven't used that one yet! But I'll probably hook it up to a fan of some sort), and one that kicks on when it's too cold. I have an electric outdoor heater that I'll hook-up to that one.

    And I have Xmas Lights that I used (on a timer) throughout winter.

    All of my Tropicals (overwintered in the old plastic tent) survived, so I'm hoping they'll do even better, this winter, in the new "Legit" GH!

    How important is a hygrometer?

    My main goal for the GH is to over-winter my "marginal" tropicals (We're actually "mediterranean"); Have fresh tomatoes for as long as possible (we had fresh tom's into late Dec last year!); And start seedlings in spring...

    Final "dumb" question: I keep reading about having extra "captive bolts" for setting up shelves/whatever. What the heck is a "captive bolt?!!" I'm sure I'd like to install shelves at some point - but I'm not sure what/where/how to "add-in" to the GH to make that easier when the time comes!

    Thanks again!!!

    -Nancy (IMQTPI)