Just purchased HF 10x12 Greenhouse

11 years ago

Purchased on ebay for $400 from a customer returns company! One brace has a bend and a 3/4" crack, but states that the brace can still be used.

Will pick it up tomorrow or Friday so am looking for any information that I need to know before DH starts building.

Anything you would have done different or have added since your purchase would be very helpful.

See that some of you have added bracing,etc. Also is it best to purchase and install a fan or auto vent openers now?

We've been planning on building one ourselves out of windows but plans changed.

This is my 25th wedding present from DH.(a month late but that's my fault for waiting to find a price that I was happy with.)



Comments (33)

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    I just bought my greenhouse too. My husband used Mudhouse's blog to go by for a lot of the building portion.....then we braced heavily with Treated 2x4 ( I think it's 2x4) lol.

    I will take some pictures tomorrow and add them to my flickr so you can see what we ( mostly he) did to my greenhouse.

    It's good to have a lot of idea's...then use those to do your own thing. hehe

    I have to say however, the big door clamp thing I borrowed from Mudhouse really does work pretty good! My doors have a gap just like everyone else's.

    Type in the search box HFGH, and you will pull up tons of info!

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Canna I'd love to see pix of your greenhouse!

    I did find info from Mudhouse and others and have the links bookmarked to show to DH because he will be doing most of the work.

    Now that this is purchased, just maybe I can have a greenhouse built by this winter! (hoping)

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Congrats you both on your new toys hmmm gh's..You will love them...

    Might I make a suggestion..:) Dont use treated lumber where it is exposed to the aluminum they dont get along...We used cedar after learning this info on here...

    Goodluck and if you need help there are enough of us here to answer questions for you...I know Sherrie is still checking in too...Barb

  • mudhouse_gw
    11 years ago

    Howdy bonniein and cannadoit, and welcome! Bonniein, my blog has photos of how we installed our exhaust fan (it wasn't hard.) I haven't installed automatic vent openers, but one word of caution...the inexpensive ones that Harbor Freight sells don't seem to have a good reputation here in the forum.

    Sounds like you've already located lots of the good info in this forum, but just in case, here's a list I've saved of some good photos others have been kind enough to post here, in case it saves you some hunting:

    My blog: Building the HFGH 10x12 Greenhouse

    Gardenerwantabe's thread on HFGH modifications:
    A Guide to the Modifications of 10x12 HFGH
    ...and a link to his photos:
    Gardenerwantabe's HFGH photos

    Laserfan's thread, with links to his photos:
    HFGH 10x12 Lessons Learned

    Oraylawson's thread, with links to his photos:
    10x12 HFGH

    Troykd's site:
    Building our Greenhouse, an Adventure in Pain

    FoxesearthÂs blog:
    HF Greenhouse in Progress

    Amigatec's site:
    How I Built My 10x12 Harbor Freight Greenhouse

    Joe Urda's site:
    Harbor Freight Greenhouse

    Web4debÂs site:
    Building the Harbor Freight 10x12 Greenhouse
    Âand his impressive YouTube video (astonishing what a technologically capable person can accomplish!)
    Aquaponics Greenhouse Tour

    I totally agree with's great to see what others have done, then modify the ideas to fit your own needs and preferences. Have fun! I still love my greenhouse to pieces.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago


    My husband might actually throttle me if I ask him to take anything down at this point...he has put ( A LOT) of hours into building the greenhouse almost entirely on his own.
    He wouldn't let me help with the assembly because it was very sunny, and I'm a pale redhead....he is weird like that..but, he wouldn't let me help. I think secretly...he wanted to satisfaction of saying he did it on his own. lol

    I think he said today that where the wood met the metal he was going to buy some foamy stuff or something...but, he did mention that.
    He is a pretty smart cookie. hehe

    I'll take some pictures today so you can see if you like...please keep in mind it's only about half finished....and we are still figuring out what we are going to be doing to the roof.......and he is planning on later today screwing even more screws into each panel....oh... and it's been raining so all our caulking isn't finished. lol

    I kinda feel like it's an unending list of things...but, I couldn't be more thrilled with my new GH! lol

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Lol Canna I am a pale red head too..:) Rock on red heads..:)

    I am sure you will be okay..I am no expert though..Just a hobby person that likes to sweat in the gh..hahahha good diet program for me...:)

    Yes Pictures please...We love seeing others here on teh forum.... I learned so much from so many here...Sheri is our pro when it comes to the HFGH..:)

    I dont know what I would have done without her and the hubby helping us and her blog...We built ours together...

    Funnylady is the expert if you add another one...Hers is fab!

    Stressbaby is another expert to learn just about gh's...He has wonderful knowledge....

    Post your pics when you get a chance....Barb

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    oops Birdwidow too...Another one with great info...Sorry Birdwidow I wasnt thinking..:)))

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Well I just got home from picking mine up! :)
    By the size of the box it looks like there wouldn't even be enough parts there to build a 4x4 greenhouse, most likely a 10x12!(praying all the parts are in the box)

    Rosepedal, thank you for your help and I will look up those members!:)
    As far as the treated lumber, I did read some posts about it but was thinking about using something between the aluminum and wood which I believe mudhouse did?
    I assume this will take care of that problem along with added insulation?

    Mudhouse thank you for the links. Luckily I had all of them but one but the more help the better!
    I would like to thank you for taking the time for your wonderful blog. I know already it will be alot of help!

    Canna, how sweet of your DH to worry about you in the heat!
    And yes I'm sure everyone would love to see pix, even those that already have a GH!

    Did anyone else use foam insulation under all the panels like web4Deb, would be worth the small cost involved?

    I'll have a pond (approx.300 G) with titanium heaters to overwinter my tropical waterlilies so that will help add to the heating factor.
    As far as the floor, I'm wondering if concrete will make any difference in the winter vs. a block/brick floor?
    I know that I just can't afford heating the greenhouse other than be able to overwinter some tender perennials and hopefully tropical plants such as hibiscus, coleus, etc.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    I hope this link works...photobucket was acting kinda weird for me when I tired to get the link.

    I didn't get many batteries died in the camera because my kids like to swap out their dying batteries from the xbox controllers into my camera and take mine...without telling me. lol

    I think greenhouses are a work in progress no matter what kind you get...or what you have done to them.

    It's kinda messy also, I'll warn you ahead of time. lol

    Bonnie... I thought that the box was kinda small too, but it did have enough to build the beast in it! hehe

    I can't wait to see your greenhouse!

    Rosepetal, you're really sweet....I like nice folks! lol

    Here is a link that might be useful: Greenhouse pics 7/9/09

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Canna Neat! I love the shelves you made into the wall...Waaaaaa I want one....:)

    Look at that Epi? It is huge I just got a couple myself....

    What are you up to with the red rock on the floors? Inquiry minds want to know...Lol Barb

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Canna it looks wonderful, your DH did a fantastic job!

    I also love the shelves!

    Your doors look like they close together well unlike some which say they don't. Did your DH have any problems with them?

    Thanks for sharing!

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Rosepetal... the lava rock was going to be what I filled in the floor with....til I realized I would have to have 80+ bags to fill it at 3.79 a bag. lol

    I found a listing on craigslist for river rock for $10.00/ it's getting filled up with river rock.

    My doors do not close either, I have a rather large gap at the bottom. So I clamp the doors closed like Mudhouse does. hehe

    I think my husband has a plan for that...but, we have talked about doing so many things to the greenhouse...which thing we talked about for the doors i've forgotten. lol

    Rosepetal, if you would like a cutting of the epi I'm more than happy to share. It's a hybrid called " Day in Spring".

    I am addicted to Hoya and Epiphyllum....although I'm still learning about the best ways to take care of them...I think I might be doing something right. hehe

    I have a big "trocadaro" and "strictum"....all the rest of mine are 1 year old or so cuttings.

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Canna, you'll probably be happier with river rock in the long run anyway.. forget lava rock at that price!

    Someone modified their doors by framing them with lumber and making them swing open intead of sliding. Too many links to recall which link has the info but it's a good idea.
    I can hear DH grumbling already, why did you buy this if we have to do so many things to make it right?
    So, I'm going to be sure and let him know beforehand and show him pix and prices so he can see in the long run this GH will still be as good or better than one that is alot more $$$

    Canna, you probably don't have to worry about a heater being in zone 7/8 do you?

    Barb, do you have any pix of your GH on here?
    Do you heat thru the winter? I'm in a cold zone 6.

  • mudhouse_gw
    11 years ago

    Cannadoit, that looks wonderful! And you are SO right, I think any greenhouse is a work in progress, almost all the time...thank goodness they are so much fun!

    Bonniein asked: Did anyone else use foam insulation under all the panels like web4Deb, would be worth the small cost involved?

    I used foam weatherstripping underneath all four outer edges of the panels and I do like how it improves the snug fit of the panels. I didnÂt want to caulk my panels in place since I like to be able to remove some of them for ventilation, so this way I have a good snug fit without the permanence of caulk. I found a seller on eBay selling ¾" wide foam weatherstripping at about 1/3 the price of the weatherstripping in local stores, and cut it in half with scissors lengthwise to get to a final width of 3/8". (Yep it took a while but I am cheap and stubborn.)

    For me the time hurt more than the money, since it slowed down the installation of each panel to stick the foam in place on the frame first. To be honest it's sort of fussy. There are some places on the frame that arenÂt really flat enough to easily stick the foam stripping in place, and in some spots I had to put two thicknesses together to get a nice seal under the panel (at the tops and bottoms of each panel, since the gap is larger there to start with.) There are photos in my blog on the section Adding the Panels.

    I did not screw in the tops and bottoms of my panels...just the centers where the panels cross the braces. I found it tough to get a screw through the panel and through the foam weatherstripping without having the weatherstripping wrap madly around the screw, resulting in bad words and flinging of cordless drills. ;-)

    IÂm sure itÂs not worth the extra time/effort for everyone, but I would do it again, being a cheap and stubborn fussbudget. :-) I keep my greenhouse at 40-45°F during the winter for my cacti and succulents.

    By the way I always thought I'd replace that clamp on the doors with something classier, but it's so darn simple and effective I've come to love that gaudy orange thing. If they are predicting west winds at 50mph I even use two!

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Bonnie... you are right...I do like the river rock a little better than the lava rock....I have to admit...I just thought the lava rock looked really neat. lol

    With the river rock I have the added pleasure of my greenhouse smelling like a fishtank til the smell goes away. LOL

    I will still have to heat in the winter here in good old South Carolina....but, It won't be an everyday thing by any means. USUALLY...we only have one real snow if we are lucky...and it's only maybe a couple of inches at best...although it still closes down town, as we are not at all prepared here in Nascar country for snow on the road. lol

    If I recall correctly...of the last three Christmas vacations we have had 70 degree weather it won't be something I'll have to really stress out over for months and months. I want to try and keep it around 50-60 all winter, that will be the new home for my Epi's and Hoya...along with scented geraniums and whatever else I can fit in there.

    Are you going to add a unit that actually stays in your greenhouse to heat with?

    We are gonna run power out there.. and I am thinking about using a ceramic heater to heat with. We have a kerosene heater, but leaving it unattended scares the bejeezuz out of me....not to mention the fumes make me instantly sick to my stomach. If they make me feel like that...I would think my plants wouldn't like the fumes either.

    Mudhouse.... I think I kinda like my clamps too....if I didn't have a fenced in yard I might reconsider using them...but, I don't think I have anything to worry about around where I live.
    My neighbors have all passed on to a better place I don't have to worry about them.

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Goodmorning everyone....

    Bonnie yes there are tons of photos from me on here... Camera I like the river rock too easier on the feet when you have lots of potting up to do..:)

    I followed sheri on the foam insulation under the panels..It really tightens cracks up and saves big money on the heating bill...Especialy for my zone 4/5... It cant get quite cold...

    Our friend stopped over yesterday and helped carry our old fireplace out to the gh...We are going to use it out there for the really cold nights... Need to save money on heating..:)

    Canna yes would love to set up a trade with you..I have quite a few of scented geraniums I can take cuttings from and named coleus too all sort of good stuff...

    Canna check out the Round Robin. We are doing a rr called catus and other plants..You get paired up with a partner off your want list and they send you a big fat box of plants cuttings etc...We have been doing this RR since winter....Everyone check it out! It is a great way to meet others with our interests and we love sharing our plants with each other.....

    We use a kerosene back up heater in there...Thank goodness I went out there one morning in winter and one of my windows flew away lol the backup was chugging along keeping it warm..Had to fix the window...I dont care for their windows but for the price I am quite happy...

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Rosepedal... I'd love to trade! I am still updating my list, but I pretty much have all my Epi and Geranium listed if you are interested in any of those.
    I love trading...but, for right now I think i'm gonna stick to one on one trades...atleast until I get my greenhouse finished...and, my garden beds how I want them...and the kids are all in school during the day. lol
    Mostly the latter part of that. It will be nice to concentrate on something...and not have to play 20 questions or non-stop cartoons for a little bit in the morning. hehe I love all my babies...but, even the best moms need a little break every now and again...I haven't had a complete break with no kids in about 5 years...I'm over due!

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago are you coming along on your greenhouse?

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Well... the box just got unloaded out of the truck this evening!
    This will be the norm for quite awhile because DH works so much in the summer. (I believe 30 hrs OT this past week)

    I'm not happy right now because the guy that I bought it from said there was one brace that was damaged (but useable) but as soon as we opened the box, we see 4 bent pieces.
    We didn't have time to go thru more of it but I'm just hoping more pieces aren't damaged.

    Barb, I found many pix of your greenhouse on here and it looks FAB!

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Depenind on which pieces it is you have that are husband didn't use a bunch of the side braces....and I wouldn't mind sharing with you if you are going to use them.
    They are just going to get thrown away hubby said that he thought they were kinda crappy..and wood was better for our greenhouse. lol

    I'm not sure how much it would cost to mail them...but, by all means, if you need them I can go out and tell you which pieces they are.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Update on my greenhouse....I have the back benches up...WOOT! lol
    I took my hoya out, i think it was getting a little to warm in there for them...we are having an unusually kinda cooler summer than usual...but, it usually doesn't start to really crank up in temps til next if it's getting a little too hot month would surely kill them in there.

    I found some old screens the past owners had out in one of the storage buildings. I took the sreens out of the frames and nailed them up along the bottom of the frame of the top bench along the back shelves.
    It's now home to my epi's....they like the shade ( I doubled up the screens when I nailed them up so it would be very shady).
    I am still trying to figure out what i'm going to put along my roof to insulate during the winter, and shade during the summer. I am also concerned about the failing panels ( i've been following that thread too)so I put up a tarp to cover the top for now. The bottom side is brown and the top side is silver. It doesn't cover the whole roof...I'll have to get another one, but for the rest of the week it is doing a fine job. lol
    I left enough room to be able to open the vents...although i'm not sure how much good it will do with a tarp running across them...but, I did it anyway.

    I was reading in the latest "Garden Gate" magazine a tip on shading the sunny west side of your greenhouse.
    They suggested getting screen and sewing a pocket on the top to fit a tension rod into, and then fitting the tension rods into the panels of your greenhouse and pulling down the shades kinda like a projection movie screen or on a window.
    They have theirs on the inside.....I'm gonna use what I have not only as shade, but also protection for my i'm trying to come up with a similar idea to use on the outside of my west wall.
    I like the idea of having them permanently attached to the frame somehow...and being able to pull down just what I need...or have them all the way up and not in use at all.

    I'll add some pics later today so you can see what I've done so far.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Here are some pics from last night that I took while I was out admiring my moon flower. lol

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    The spare parts I have are all part number #30.

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    How nice of you Canna, we are going to take everything out of the box this weekend so if you will hold onto your parts for me please.

    I'm 'thinking' of using foam sheets or bubble wrap on part of the greenhouse for the winter.
    I don't recall the person's name so can't give them credit but liked the shelves and the idea of the roll up blind but after thinking further, it would benefit more to have the roll up blind so it will shade the plants correct?

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    They are here waiting for you. :O)

    I am curious about the way this blind being on the inside portion of the shelves is benefitial for this person plants. Perhaps it doesn't get nearly as sunny or hot as it does for me for them.

    Right now everyday when I go out at about noon to check and make sure everything is okay in my greenhouse the outside air temp is around 80-85 degrees....but, in the greenhouse is is 100-110. I have to go in every morning and ramp up the fans......hose down the gravel.....mist my plants.....and make sure that any plants I carted in there for whatever reason are on the east side of the greenhouse...because anything over on the west side will totally bake in the sun and heat of the evening.
    I am going to figure out a way to attach a double layer of just regular old screen that you would put in screen doors on my west and back wall.

    I oriented my greenhouse to be out in the middle of my backyard so it would receive full sun on the west side so I could start veggie and plant seeds in the winter.
    Granted, where I placed it is in a narrower portion of my it still has a little protection from wind...even with the extra bracing/caulking.ect, I still felt more comfortable having it closer to the house.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago are you? :)

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Hi Canna, As of today everything is still in boxes in the garage. I expect it will be this way for awhile.

    My part number #30 are all good and thanks anyway for the offer but luckily I won't need to use your extra parts.
    which btw, isn't this usually a MAN thing? (spare parts)

    The seller took an extra $75 off so I ended up paying $325 for this greenhouse so I hope that I didn't make a mistake because 2 of the 4 pieces are pretty beat up.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Spare parts is totally a man thing! lol

    I'd say for $ can make anything work!
    Depending on which pieces you are talking about...surely there is something you can use to either replace them...or reinforce them.
    You made out on that purchase! I wish I had been able to find something like that...than I'd have 2 greenhouses! lol

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Hi Bonnie and Canna!

    Bonnie what parts are you looking for? I have some in the garage... Nice to see you both...Barb

  • bonniein
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Canna, yes for $325 we'll figure something out hopefully!
    If you're experiencing summer temps like alot of us now, I'm assuming your GH is pretty hot?

    Hi Barb, Thanks for the offer #'s 7 and 2a are the questionable pieces but what I can tell these are parts that one wouldn't have extras of.

    We're still not within any planning stages and the GH sits in the garage which I knew this when I purchased.
    The building location hasn't even been discussed other than ?somewhere? near our pole barn/garage but DH did mention last weekend about getting some crushed concrete chippings from work to put down before he "pours" the floor of my greenhouse so I'm assuming that I will be getting a concrete floor? :)
    Bless his heart at least he plans on building this 'sometime'.

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    Hey Barb and Bonnie!!!
    Whew....It has been hot, has it not? lol
    It's been in the high 90's recently....and, out in the greenhouse it's been around 100-110.
    Right now all I have in there are Epis, Hoya, some tomato cuttings, and a few odds and ends.
    I have one galaxy fan for the main part of my greenhouse on full blast...and one small fan for my epi cuttings because they have to have constant air movement.
    They have all been thriving in there...tons of new growth!

    Right now, my problem is mosquitoes....they have taken up residence in the gravel....I don't like them much at all either!

    A concrete floor...Go Bonnie!lol

    I am going to be building in another bench on my western wall....I found out today i'm going to be the garden lady for my kids school...I'm so excited! :O)
    My husband..not so much ( because the school isn't going to be providing much in the way of plant material) so he's not happy....but, i'm not going to let him bring me down. lol

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Hi Bonnia and Canna

    Al looked yesterday..No we dont have them.. Bonnie I hope you can get him motivated soon... Winter is coming... We poured our slab for the fireplace and it is now in its happy home in the gh.. We are adding another screen door at the opposite end due to the snow and ice do not mix with the doors..We found it for free...I love free stuff...

    Congrats Canna How exciting to teach the future generation.. You must be so happy... I hope you cool down some..That is hot! lol

  • cannadoit
    11 years ago

    I am pretty excited! I am walking up with my munchkin to the school tommorow to talk with them.
    It has bee pretty hot...but, the weather here is kind weird.....round about the second or third week of september it just starts raining all the time...which will cool things down to around 70ish til October...then that last week in October one day you won't be expecting it and night they will call for a frost...then it will be just fine again for a few weeks. lol
    Then it's on and off til about the end of March.This past April we were able to keep our windows open and no heat or air...our power bill was less than 50 bucks....I'm hoping we can do that again along come October.