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Greenhouse Disaster HFGH 10x12

starfillybaby
11 years ago

So I finally got my husband to help work on the greenhouse last weekend (this has been a nearly year long issue because the GH is such a pain. But we made lots of progress until about 45 mins ago when a 40MPH wind gust just ripped the whole greenhouse up out of the ground- tumbled it about 5 times before the roof point dug into the ground and it tossed one last time landing into a flattened pile against the barn. OMG! I am so mad! I just came back in from trying to save the flopping panels and as it happened to land onto a flatbed trailer I tied it down as best as I could so the wind cant do too much more damage. I had all the panels screwed down so the walls remained mostly intact but the roof trusses are toast on the left side. You know how you squish boxes to throw away, that's exactly what the greenhouse did. I cried a few tears of frustration because I happed to be able to see it happen in slow motion from the bedroom and was actually about to follow it room to room as it made its way across the yard. However my husband says there is really nothing I could have done about it. Luckily it was empty!

I guess the good news is, this gives us the chance to re-evaluate the GH as a whole and rebuild instead of repair. I think I'm going to move it if I can convince my DH to put it on the south side of the barn so big brother can help stabilize the GH. Going to sink some 4x4 corner posts also to help anchor it as well. I'm just shaking my head and rolling my eyes at this point. We've spent too much money that we didn't have to spare anyway on this thing so I'm not just going to give up. It's just my goodness, this thing has been a pain in the but from day 1!

So! For anyone out there with a Harbor Freight 10x12 non squished greenhouse- If you had to start from scratch, What would you change or do to improve the HFGH?

I had already screwed the panels down, and had 3 of the tubing run from side to side and was planning on adding more anyway. Going to frame and install a storm door to replace the doors and I had screwed the vents down and was going to add a vent fan at the rear.

The roof took the brunt of the damage so I'm not sure yet what will happen there. At least half the roof is trash now and I've got an email into Harbor Freight to see what if any replacement parts are available.

Sadly,

Willa in Maryland

Comments (13)

  • buyorsell888
    11 years ago

    There are a ton of threads on building a foundation and strengthening them. Use the Search This Forum feature.

  • buyorsell888
    11 years ago

    To say I'm sorry for your disaster.

  • rosepedal
    11 years ago

    Oh Willa that is just awful. I am so sorry. They really are weak until you have them strengthend. I am glad you are able to use and rebuild what is left. Just think when you are done you will have even a better one...Smile Sending a big cyber hug to you. Barb

  • PRO
    Nell Jean
    11 years ago

    I'm so sorry for your disaster.

    We had a similar experience after we assembled our HFGH inside the tractor shed building, loaded it on a trailer and were pulling it a very, very short distance around to the permanent site. A single light gust of wind turned it upside down on the ground. Everything was still there, but the roof is slightly out of square to this day and we bought some aluminum pieces at the big box store to replace something that was bent on the wall.

    We anchored ours with T-bar fence posts driven into the ground. Lots of pounding with a sledge hammer, but effective. Do you have a sturdy foundation (2x10s, 4x4's or poured cement) for the GH to rest on and be attached?

    Here is a link that might be useful: How we Secured the HFGH

  • sissifriss
    11 years ago

    I am so sorry. While it pales in comparision I can slightly relate. My husband was frustrated as well with dealing with the greenhouse and we finally got it covered (hoop frame) and thought the worst was over and I came out two weeks later to see a large rip in the plastic. I had to replace the plastic (250.00, unexpected) then we got back on track and the heater that came with the greenhouse (used) did not work(it must have weighed 100 pounds and we had already mounted it which was awful, so the new one cost 650.00. The blower for the plastic also broke (also used) that was 65.00, Well we get the replacements in and call propane company to set tank and new thermostat 80 dollars was broken so had to get them to install a new one at another 80 dollars. So I have renamed my greenhouse the money pit at least for this year. So have hope (knock on wood) all is fine now in the greenhouse although some tears of frustration were also shed during this time. I will be thinking of you and hope for the best. I can tell you that we used steel rods driven in to the ground at all corners and every two hoops to help anchor the house as well as wood around the bottom as a foundation. So I will cross my fingers that this will stay put. Good Luck

  • mudhouse_gw
    11 years ago

    I'm so sorry to read about this...I can only imagine how upset you are, especially watching it happen. I'm glad it was empty (small comfort I know.) It's good you had the panels screwed down, at least they didn't end up in neighboring counties...

    I agree with foxesearth, a sturdy foundation and anchoring system is going to be critical when you rebuild. Here's my link too, so you can see how we anchored our foundation to the ground, and then anchored the GH to the foundation. Compared to some foundations you'll find in the archives, ours is very simple. (Do a search for HFGH 10x12 and you'll have tons of reading.) We feel confident we had quite a few 50mph wind gusts this spring, right on the doors of my GH (tightly clamped shut of course) and no problems at all. my HFGH blog

    I think you'll find Harbor Freight will order almost any part for you, but the problem is their awful record on shipping time. In spite of what they tell you when you order, many members here have had to wait a year (no kidding) for promised replacement parts to arrive. I've emailed Harbor Freight about this terrible record on shipping times, but did not receive much encouragement that they plan to do much about it. So, I'm guessing that might be a bit of a challenge, unfortunately. :-(

  • greenhouser2
    11 years ago

    I'm so sorry to hear of your GH tragedy. Before we started building our smaller HFGH we set and squared the 6X6" foundation pieces and anchored them into the ground with rebar going down as far as my husband could drive them. Then we started building the GH. So far so good. It's going on 3 yrs old and hasn't been damaged by any of the storms we've had yet but one never knows......

    The foundation for the Rion GH is set in concrete reinforced with rebar and rebar was also driven way down into the ground.

  • C Schaffner
    11 years ago

    I'm so sorry about your experience. Some day you will look back and laugh. I've had mine for a year now and it gets better every day. Once you get it all set up you won't know how you did without it. I have my plumerias all tucked in for the winter with lots of room left for my other tropical plants at the last minute.

  • watauga_lake
    11 years ago

    WIND DAMAGE! I too have experience wind problems with the 10x12 HFGH. I secured mine to the ground with 4 screw-in anchors - two on each side. These are the type sold to secure house trailers. I placed them so that two straps could be placed over the ridge (missing the windows). This has worked well. However, the winds litterally suck the panels out of the frame. The provided clips go flying.

    ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO BEST SECURE THE PANELS?

  • mudhouse_gw
    11 years ago

    Hi watauga lake,
    I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've had with losing panels. Most (if not all) of the HFGH owners here find that they have to secure the panels with screws, going through the poly panels and into the aluminum frame. That's what I did, in addition to ordering extra clips from Harbor Freight. With extra clips and screws on every panel, I haven't had any trouble, even though we have some pretty wicked winds here. Here's the section of my HFGH blog that shows how we secured the panels, and what kind of screws we used:
    Adding the Panels

    If you do a search in this forum for HFGH 10x12 you'll find many other posts dealing with the same problem. Some folks also use caulk to secure the panels (exterior silicone worked well for one HFGH owner I know) but I didn't want to do that because I'm often removing some of the panels for one thing or another. I hope this helps a bit.

  • eurotrash
    11 years ago

    Wow! I was just going to suggest Mudhouse's blog, but then she beat me to it. I used her technique of screws plus washers through the panes and into the aluminum cross members and we haven't lost a panel since then (and we've been through some big storms!). It works well.

  • tsmith2579
    11 years ago

    Willa, be sure to build a good foundation before starting again. My greenhouse is built on a 10 inch poured concrete foundation, an 8x16 inch block is set on top of that, a pressure treated 2x6 is on top of the concrete block and bolted down with foundation L bolts which are set into the block holes. My greenhouse has withstood a 12 inch wet snow (Friday, March 13, 1993), several very bad wind and hail storms, and 2 or 3 nearby tornadoes. A good foundation is the first step to stability.

  • bwright
    11 years ago

    I think anyone who owns the HFGH 10x12 can attest to some sort of wind related issues. I recall trying to put roof panels back in place last winter in 20 degree weather, they were screwed and clipped. Let's just say that the aluminum frame is awfully cold to the touch in those conditions and getting those clips to snap back in is impossible with gloves on. That being said I followed up by sealing every panel edge with 2" wide clear Poly Tape I purchased at Lowes which can be applied in cold temps. I'd like to say problem solved but I don't want to jinx myself, but it has been several windstorms and almost a year since the last panel blew out. The tape works well and can be removed if the panels need to be worked on.

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