building the HFGH 10x12 solo?

12 years ago

OK, well it's not completely come to this, but my handy man guy has disappeared....I had to postpone our last meeting so that I could get all the parts separated, review the manual and blogs etc. and get it all down...to ease the process....now I cant get ahold of him and he has not returned calls or emails...

SOOOOO, I'm about to the point of just putting the blooming thing together myself...at least as best as I can...if I appear desparate enough, I may be able to get a few reluctant volunteers....

Any words of encouragement? words of wisdom (as in dont try this at home alone) Bring it on, I'm ready!!!

Comments (50)

  • jbest123

    Rjinga, do you by any chance have a wireless laptop and webcam? If you did you could use one of the instant messaging services and get guidance from this forum. Im sure there are plenty of retirees or stay at home people that have erected a HFGH 10 X 12 and could give you some help. You may be able to arrange some shift work?


  • rjinga

    that's about one the coolest ideas...I could broadcast live the whole process....I do have a webcam and a laptop...it's not wireless though and the cam is probably a bit dusty... that might be boring or kinda weird for everyone to see ;) ...but that is definitely an interesting idea....I could host my own DIY exclusive program...ha ha....I'd be afraid it might turn out to be a how NOT to DIY

    I'll have to get back to you on that idea. It was most creative though....

  • pcan-z9

    I'm one of those "stay at home" people John was talkng about. I'd help any way I could. But first off, how far did you get?? Is the foundation in?? Good and solid?? Is the bottom frame (base) fixed to foundation. Are you ready to go up from there with that baby...LOL There's lots of info and pictures here and in blogs you could print. If nothing else you could take a photo of any problem areas you run into. It may take a little time for some of us to get back to you but at least SOMETHING would be happening.

  • rjinga

    the foundation is in, level and solid and the first layer of frame is also in. We started last time to put up the 2nd layer of the base (1-6) and corner pieces (7) but the wind was too strong and we didn't want to chance it.

    I have printed out all the pages of Mudhouse's blog as well as some posts/tips from others.

    I guess I just want to do what I can without compromising the integrity of the structure....I don't want to get started and then not be able to finish it. I'd like to at least get to a safe place where if left standing (and only partially done), would be solid and not vulnerable to the weather (wind). but not knowing what parts are dependent on other parts, I'd be just guessing as to where I could safely stop etc. if need be.

    I do have a few questions about when to put in the extra reinforecments...like for the corners to start with...is that a part that will be attached to the lower roof frame as well as the sides, so it would go in after the lower section of the roof is assembled?

  • pcan-z9

    My husband erected the whole frame, roof and all (no panals yet) so he could walk around and tug at it here and there looking for odvious weak points, but also the hidden ones. He then put in the extra reiforecments. So for us, thay came along later............

    OK....I would think if you can get the sides up and the lower roof frame attached to that - you would be OK (stoping point)as to the wind, BUT, at this point my husband took metal pipe and drove them into the ground(removed later) at the corners and afixed the corner frame to them to give them extra strength against the wind until he could get back to it. The frame alone won't stand against most any wind, it's going to twist. But it can be beefed up so it stands while you complete the other parts...I hope this helps.........

  • jbest123

    Double and triple check the distance between diagonal corners of the frame and make sure they are the same. With any kit be it a HF or Rion the comments made about parts not fitting or gaps in the poly/frame are because the base frame was not square or the foundation was not level when they thought it was. It may save you a lot of grief later. John

  • rjinga

    I'll do that now!!! I am pretty sure he made certain that it was level...but I cant say that he measured on the diagonal....

    I'm off now to see what I can do...more later

  • ole_dawg

    OK, Look, You can check for square if you have a large carpenters square or framing square. The diagonal measurements are a double check for people that don't know how to use a good square. It works for sure, but a good square is easier to move about. If you are determined to go it alone get some pieces of 1/2" EMT conduit. Take a hammer or big vice and flatten one end. Go to the other end and turn it 180 degrees and flatten that. Drill a hole in one of the flatten end. Your base is wood right? Get some screws an inch or 1 1/2 long that you can drive into the wood. Pick up a few or maybe 8 C clamps. 2" capicity will work for your purposes. They will be used to attach the EMT to your aluminum corner uprights. Use a piece of cardboard in between the jaws if you don't want to mark the aluminum.
    Those can be clamped to your corners about half way up and the other ends can be screwed into the wood frame to give you temp braces if you need it(The EMT comes in 10 foot lengths and you can cut them in half. Without seeing where you are now I can not say anymore. It would be good if you NOW TAKE some pics so that us wheelchair quarterbacks can see where you are AT. your braces don't have to be strong at this point, they just have to keep the weak aluminum from twisting left or right and collapsing the frame. Are we clear so far?

    Please outline NOW what in the way of tools you have on hand. Be complete.

    Can or will DH lend a hand. Does he know his way around a hammer? No insult intended please. Just the facts.

    My credentials(SP)

    When Hurricane Andrew waltzed thru my little portion of "Country Walk". My house was the only one out of about 25 in my little section that did not loose the double front entry doors or the Garage doors or any of the sliding glass doors and one of those was a 9 footer or any of the upstair windows EXCEPT the two on the north wall that I ran out of time and material to secure because I was help all the #P)&%_)&*# Yankees and others without experience and giving them my supplies. Next TIME they can just blow away.
    I know how to build it strong. They don't call me OK Longmire for nothing. OK = OVER KILL.

    Now, feed us some info so your A TEAM can go to work.

    NOTE: I have never built a HFGH, but I do know how to your hand tools and I do know how to think STRONG.

    1eyedJack and the DAwg

  • jbest123

    ole_dawg, many people think a carpenter square is good enough. But they are the first ones to complain about parts not fitting and the pollycarb having gaps. The following is from Charlies GHs My Rion manual as will as my HF manual said the same thing.

    Building Your Greenhouse Foundation
    A foundation is one of the most important parts of your greenhouse project. No matter where the foundation lies, it must be level and square. All of our greenhouses will have the "outside"dimensions listed. These dimensions are what the foundation must be built to, to ensure proper fitting of the walls. It is essential that you cross-measure the foundation from far corner to far corner (fig. 2). The measurement should be exactly identical each way.


  • rjinga

    There has been no progress since the post above...he put together the aluminum base and then built the wooden frame using 4x4 treated posts and reinforcing it's corners with the 4x4's, we leveled the wooden frame then laying the aluminum frame on top of it...we put in the thin insulating material between the wood frame and aluminum frame...that's all so far...

    we started on the next level up (parts #1-6 and the corner's #7) but it was too windy.

    I have laid out in order all the numbered parts.

    I did not get to measure the base today...had other projects to finish.

    I have the following tools: cordless drill, electric drill, miter saw, circular saw, levels, other basics, hammers etc, various screw drivers and hex shaped wrenches, clamps, 2x2 treated lumber, 2x4's of various lengths, not sure what else I will need...

  • greenhouser


    The gaps with the Rion aren't between the frame and the poly. They're at the joints where the roof comes down to meet the sides. Gaps your thumb can fit through so Rion provides a heavy foam to stuff in these gaps rather then fix the design where they meet. Also at the roof peaks. More foam to stuff in there as well, under the caps. The way the Rion is designed, if the foundation wasn't just about dead square it wouldn't go together at all.

  • ole_dawg

    Dear John,
    Don't just love the way that sounds?
    I stand corrected. The dia corner thingum should be more accurate. HOWEVER I also feel that a good square can do wonders IN THE RIGHT HANDS. Unfortunately many of the people don't have the right kind of hands
    So agreed, the corner thingum works works well

    IeyedJack and the Dawg

    PM me when you have a chance

  • jbest123


    When I sat the roof on the side walls and got the last upright started in the roof receiver, the roof SLAMED together with the wall. Had my thumb been in there it would have cut it off.

    For some reason I have two large carpenter squares and use one frequently. I also have a surveyors tripod and laser. When it comes to precut greenhouse kits I will use the diagonal measurement every time. Over the years I have built four greenhouses two from kits and two from scratch. One of each is still in use.


  • mudhouse_gw

    I guess the silver lining to losing your handyman is that you can proceed at the speed you want. If you havent been able to finish taping your panel ends, you can do that now. Has the foundation wooden foundation been anchored into the ground yet? Thats important to get done (somehow) before you go much further.

    Regarding when to put in the extra reinforcements, if you follow the steps in my blog, you'll see those are done after the kit frame is up.

    Regarding where you need to get to take a break (so the structure is stable)...I think it would be good if you could get it to this point before taking a long break. Once the vertical wall studs are in, the structure is much more stable.


    Regarding tools, you don't need many to get the frame up. Since the foundation is done, the main tool you'll use is a 10mm nut wrench, like the one below, to tighten the nuts on the bolts. A cordless drill/screwdriver might be nice when you put the screws in the panels.


    I agree with Jack and John about checking for squareness, and we used a tape measure to check the diagonal measurements of the frame. I have a few points listed in the blog where I suggest stopping to check for squareness. We also used a level to check the corner posts...you can tell if they are leaning one way or another by putting a level on them. The whole frame is pretty flexible, if we found a post was leaning, we wiggled things around to correct it before we moved on. The more pieces you add, the more "locked in" the shape gets, so keep checking it.

    Jack's suggestion for bracing the corner posts is a good one. You DO need to do that, especially when working alone. However, the kit comes with diagonal braces that you can use instead of making your own EMT braces for this purpose, so it's easy. Just find all the parts 79 and 80 in the kit, and when you put each corner post up, bolt these diagonals in place to hold up each corner post. I am borrowing a good pic from Amigatec's build showing this (I missed this good idea, so you won't find a pic of this in my blog. Thank you, Amigatec.)


    It doesn't matter what hole you stick the bolts in when you do this. It's just a temporary trick for supporting the corner posts. When you start putting up the vertical wall studs you will be taking these diagonal braces down again (they really go in place later, after the vertical wall studs are up.) So, just stick them in anywhere to hold the corner posts firm.

    This is like a big tinkertoy kit...you can bolt and unbolt the pieces as you need, easy as pie. That also means no worries about doing it "wrong"...if you find you bolted something in the wrong place, you just redo it.

    EMT is a great material for making the side-to-side wall braces that go at the ceiling height. It's cheap, rigid, and light. Those are pretty important braces, and so is the EMT brace that goes horizontally along the back wall (it's in my blog in the section on Additional Bracing.) You will need some type of a saw to cut the EMT, and the other tools depend on how you decide to fasten it. I am hoping your DH or a friend may be able to help you with the additional bracing. :-)

    I also think some help (friend? DH?) would be nice when it comes to putting the roof frame pieces in place, since the roof crown is over 10' in the air, and 12' long, which is pretty unwieldy...but I have read about folks doing that on their own with a clever use of ladders or wood bracing for temporary supports. You will definately need a tall stepladder for the roof part.

  • jba3fan

    There were allot of times that I wished I had some help putting this together, but did everything myself.

    My biggest tip would be not to tighten the bolts down tight until after you had the frame finished. It seemed like once you tightened down the bolts they dug in to the wall channels and made it hard to re adjust the walls for plumbness. The exceptions would be for the ridge, gutter and door rail.

    Defiantly connect the diagonal braces to the top of your corner post before you attach the corner posts to the greenhouse base. I'm glad nobody was around with a camera because I am sure I looked really goofy with the corner post wedged between my chin and left shoulder.. fumbling with the hooks and nuts and bolts....... then to try and reach for the diagonal braces that were just out of reach.

    After putting the wall rake boards(parts 8 and 9) I got out my 8' step ladder and set one end of the ridge on top of the step ladder and then loosely hooked up the back part of the ridge to the rake boards that were there and then it was easy to just climb the 8' step ladder and conncect the front of the ridge to the front rake boards.

    Old dog~ your want for using a framing square really shows your age... back in the mid 70's when I started framing houses that was something the old timers swore by.. then around umm early 80's Swanson made a "speed square" that fits in a tool belt allot easier then a big old framing square. Now you can't beat building stairs or laying out a rafter with a framing square.

    You know on the heal of a framing square where it has the 1" scale in 100ths of an inch??? I get that...What's that for question all the time... and my answer is its a pencil sharper ... finger nail file.

  • greenhouser


    The roof came down on the uprights "all the way" and were pinned in place. You can't pin them if they're not all the way in. The space was in front of the green uprights and the roof joint, the space Rion says to fill in with the thick gray foam they supply. You must have a different model Rion than we have as they were well aware of the gap when the upright was pinned to the roof beam. Again, if they're not snapped in place you can't pin them. At least that's how our Rion works.

  • amigatec

    I build mine by myself, but you have to be creative at times. There was a LOT of assembly disassembly, and reassembly. I wouldn't tighen any thing down until you are sure that is how it goes, and when finished go back and recheck EVERY bolt for tightness.

    I found several botls that I swore were tight, after you loosen and retighten the same bolts several times you forget which ones are tight.

  • jbest123

    Hello greenhouser, Rion must have modified some parts. I have the model GH44 in white. the spaces or gaps you speak of on mine are app. 1/8 in X 1/4 in. I elected not plug them because I use a gas heater and the GH was so tight otherwise I would need to provide some fresh air to the heater.

    I should not have mensioned Rion in this posting, It may distract from rjinga getting the help that she needs. John

  • rjinga

    UPDATE: I went out and measured the frame the guy securred to the wooden frame, measuring on the diagonal....and it's not even...
    One corner measures 184 1/2 inches, the other corner measures 185 1/2...how could this guy not measure this to make sure it was it was square!!! unbelievable...
    and to be honest with you, I"m not sure what to do with it now....I guess I have to take it all apart?
    what should I do?

    any suggestions on where to start backtracking? for the LEAST amount of undoing?

  • jbest123

    You will have to unscrew three of the sides from the base then slide the opposite side from the one festened down side to side until the diagonal measurements are the same and fasten it down. This part is critical. John

  • ole_dawg

    SEEEEEEEEEEEE what did I tell you, piece of cake. John even got it right about leaving one side screwed down. Dear John, why do you put up with me?

    1eyedJack and the Dawg

  • greenhouser


    OK, I see why you wouldn't plug them. Be aware there are also gaps at the roof peaks where the roof uprights meet. The caps don't plug those gaps. We plugged those with silicone and sponge. But silicone doesn't stick well to the Rion plastic. We're using electric heat so made it as tight as possible leaving one small "crack" at the bottom of one door for some fresh air to infiltrate. One fan will run all winter and there's a small heater at each end controlled by those portable thermostats. They keep the temp at 60 to 61. Ideal! Two of my orchids that refused to bloom in the sun-room are throwing up spikes. :)

  • jbest123

    Hey ole_dawg, by reading several posts, I figure you got me by about 20 Yrs. So I can probably learn something from youall. If you noticed though I said in the last reply "until the Diags are the same". Have a good evening, John

  • ole_dawg

    61 and counting down until SS. Going to take mine early. I was kidding you a little. I had an email convesation Ringa and one of the things I told her was she only had to loosen three sides.


    1eyedJack and the Dawg

  • jbest123

    ole_dawg as it turns out your just a puppy!!! I got you by 9 yrs.I retired in 1993, the best thing I ever did. John

  • rjinga

    John, you must have thought DAWG was a seriously old fart....if you thought he had 20 years on you (with you being 70) wow!! That's gotta sting some Jack ;)

    but with age comes great wisdom....or at least a few good ideas ;)

  • rjinga

    Another update....I have securred help AGAIN...they (2 guys) are coming Monday...one of them has worked for me before, so I feel good about him doing this..plus me mentioned that we worked on the AG/garden program or dept in college and put together GH for them...

    I have taped all but a few of my panels...they are not pretty but they are taped...and I did not have the tool like mudhouse used to put back some holes on the ends that are taped...I think I'll just let that part go....

    I have purchased EMT to use for supplental bracing throughout...

    So, Monday will be the day...I hope that between the 3 of us, we can get the majority of it done...I'll be happy if they just get the major stuff and the structural stuff done...and the roof too...

  • ole_dawg

    Dear John,
    I forgive you thinking I was older. I was raised by old people and just might take a different slant on life than the young whippersnappers. I can state with some assurance that I probably have at LEAST ANOTHER 20 years in me if I live as long as my family. My mother died at 91 plus 46 days. GF at 89, GGM at 93, GM at 76, but she fell down and broke her neck. Father at 76, but he died young from ALS. His father 86 GGF Longmire died in 1932, born in 1846 and served in the WAR OF NORTHERN AGRESSION.

    My GGM Ross lived until 94 and it is recorded that another family member once said to her "Granny Ross isn't it wonderful that you have lived so long/" Her reply "No, all of my friends died 20 years ago"

    80 or so will suit me fine unless I should marry a younger woman then all bets are off.

    1eyedJack and the Dawg

  • jbest123

    Ole_dawg, maybe it was the wisdom you display that made me think that. I hope you have at least 20 more years of happy gardening. I plan to be shot at the age of 90 by an irate husband. Just joking, Im very haply married.


  • ole_dawg

    John, I have already dodged the husband, he missed. LOL No, I live alone with my Dawg which is really a cat and only has three legged. Hopefully next will be a better one for the garden here in God's country. Do you hunt and fish?

    1eyedJack and the Dawg

  • fritchick

    thanks, ole dawg and friends. i began reading this thread because i have convinced dear husband that it's time for a greenhouse and knew where to head for research. and it's the coolest thing how i haven't been on GW for some time now (i have been a member since 2000/2001) and every time i come back i usually find the information i need, but more often then not, i realize how great most of the people are who exchange information. i'm a young one, i have at least 25 years to retirement and i laughed at the ribbing that went on good naturedly in this thread. thanks to all the people who take the time and make the effort and HELP one another. This truly is a remarkable thing we do, playing with the earth and the wonderful things we can grow. I'm a little intimidated by the prospect of the greenhouse now, but I will get there sooner than later. as with a good garden or a good soup: It's all about the base...

  • mudhouse_gw

    fritchick, I was also very intimidated by the apparent complexity of a greenhouse. Last year I told a friend I was not smart enough to operate one (the heating and cooling aspects especially.) And even after we purchased our kit, I had panic moments when I worried I'd overstepped and taken on more than I could handle.

    But as you know, there is a ton of great info here, and good folks. For each phase of the GH I just did a search of the old posts and read until my eyes glazed over... then posted questions to the group. Step by step, it is all possible.

    "as with a good garden or a good soup: It's all about the base..." That's perfect!

  • ole_dawg

    We should be hearing from rjinga soon. TODAY WAS THE BIG DAY. I hope that it went well and she is have a martunie right now. lots of olives and very little Vermouth.

    1eyedJack and the Dawg

  • ole_dawg

    Just received email from the girl. Progress was made. I leave the rest to her. She is tired and needs a martuni. I am not even sure if she drinks LOL
    OK, I'll drink it for her.

    1eyedJack and the Dawg

  • ladylotus


    I completely understand your statement 'there are times I would just panic'. I have to agree, at times this entire process has been overwhelming. In fact I am at that stage now with trying to research how I will bring water up to my faucet. I too have been reading every single post and all the old posts. There are so many things I can manipulate into working for my greenhouse. I can't imagine how many mistakes I would have made had I not read as much as I have on here. I've really learned a LOT!

    I've been waiting to hear how rjinga's progress is coming along.


  • mudhouse_gw

    Tj, I admire you for building your greenhouse from scratch, and doing it yourself. That would truly overwhelm me! I enjoy researching and learning too, but I doubt I could step up to the plate as you have. Even with the kit GH, and my DH helping, I had anxiety fits (what if I can't do this, what if I'm wasting money, is it too extravagant, what if I kill my plants, what makes me think I deserve something this nice for myself, etc.)

    But the feeling of accomplishment once we rounded the critical corner was great. Neither of us had any idea we could complete a greenhouse, even a small one. Now we both find we have more energy to pursue some needed improvements on our house. I guess the anxiety turns to confidence?

    Unless I kill all my plants in the first freeze. ;-)

    rjinga emailed me too, making progress but a long day. This thread is like the waiting room in the obstetrics wing of a hospital!

  • ladylotus


    You hit on my emotional roller coaster and explained it so well. With working full time and then working every evening until dark on this greenhouse it made my emotions a bit more volatile, perhaps liken to a taunt guitar string continuing to be wound and tightening with each glitch during the building. ha ha All I can say is there were so many tears that I had my own irrigation system happening at times. ha ha. But I wanted this dream so badly that I just could not quit. Google and I became well acquainted with this project.

    I am not yet feeling that sense of accomplishment. In fact I am so scared to put plants in the darn thing for fear of them freezing or my gh burning down with my electrical work as so many people have scared me with their remarks...(you did the electrical omg I hope it does not burn down). So, I've decided to keep plugging along getting things put together and keep track of my temperatures and only place a few plants in it this winter.

    If it were not for this forum, I would not have been able to keep going. One of the worst times for me was when I had the framework done and I was getting ready to decide on heat. Propane and electric were my only two options. I had just made a couple mistakes that had taken me a couple extra days to redo and I came in asked what kind of heat everyone would suggest. Reading those responses put me in sprinkler mode again. ha ha Don't get me wrong everyone was so helpful. I was just at the end of my rope and could not make up my mind....I guess I wanted someone here to make it up for me. ha ha Upon further research I found it would cost about the same for propane and electrical here and at times more for propane. So I opted for electric heating with a back up propane heater just in case the electricity goes out.

    I now only have the inside roof to close in, the plumbing to hook up, my cabinets to place, and figure out what I will use for shelving and a few other misc. things to finish. I can't wait until it's completed and I can play instead of work. ha ha.

    I'm glad you got an email from rjinga. I hope all is well and that she will get everything up before it gets too cold. I check this post a couple times a day in hopes of hearing her progress. I hope she will share photos....;)


  • rjinga

    Hi gang, sorry to keep you waiting :) I guess I needed to decompress before I could write something nice and uplifting about yesterday......well here is the run down.. this could end up being VERY long, so be warned :) and throughout the day yesterday, there may have been the occasional profanity (adult content) but no animals OR HUMAN's were harmed in the process.

    The HM (handy men plural) were scheduled to arrive at 9, they arrived at 11...so already I"m sweating it...thinking there is no way to get this done in what's left of the day...

    So I had been out finishing off the last of the panel taping, waiting, anxiety building...

    They jumped right in and got the frame square (they didn't have a square or a level and had to go borrow one from my neighbor)...and started the bottom layer of the frame...with me reading the directions and jumping in now and again to switch things around before they nailed em (not literally) down...they (being typical men..no offense to the males out there) BUT they did seem to be quick to think that they had it figured out (without the instructions) and that things should be put in place their way and not necessarily how the manual said....I had to fight a few times with them saying NO, the manual says this, and SHERI says this too and if SHERI says it, then I know it's been tried and proven...so we need to turn it this way....CUZ SHERI knows best ;)

    BUT with any well laid out plan...there has to be a hitch, snag, brief moments of swearing right? well there was....At around 1pm ish...things were not looking so rosy....after a few phone calls to the infamous HF 800 customer service and their tech dept...no one there had any kind of a clue. I asked the qualifying question to all I got on the phone..."HAVE YOU EVER PUT ONE OF THESE TOGETHER" and of course the answer was unanimously NO....One guy went as far as to tell me (you will love this) that the instructions were written initally in another language and translated, and lots (ya he has no idea) of people have had trouble with it. He offered to send me digital photos of the installation (which were useless, but just for fun I'll probably post them here)

    OK, well moving on....after the phone calls and a few frantic emails to mudhouse (my hero by the way) we FINALLY figured out the corner posts must be put in place with the side that has only one set of holes (2 holes total) at the bottom and the end with 2 sets of holes (or 4 holes total) must go at the top...We put them in wrong, and continued with the rest of the frame until the corner brackets and the back upper wall sections AND the front door overhead plate section, just really would fit right...so carefully they were unscrewed and flipped one by one...

    SO on we went again...oh wait, I forgot an important note...not long after the phone calls, emails and complete frustration with the corner posts (all the info I had was conflicting and the HM guy wanting to do what was "practical" seemed to go against all the rules...turns out he was right!! but still.....I was INCHES, SECONDS, ON THE VERGE OF JUST QUITTING...I even uttered the words, this is ridiculous and we should just stop....But they talked me out of it, and ON WE WENT....

    Oh wait, again I left something out...did I mention we had a perfectly calm, WINDLESS DAY? we did, it was sunny and perfect and then...TWISTER came up and whipped through the GH and it all went twisting into a big pile...it came so unexpected and fast, no one had time to even grab for the frame...I will tell you also that we had the #79 diagonal braces in place too and it didn't help...I think it was after this point that I actuall did say, let's just stop....

    But we went on....now the rest of what we got done yesterday seemed to flow pretty well after this earlier fiasco...but we did have another wind come up and again, it all started to go....one of the HM jumped so fast to catch a corner that was swaying, that he knocked over the ladder and it went smashing into the bottom frame putting a nice ding in it....but no major damage...

    So, how it ended yesterday...we got most all the lower level parts of the frame in place and ALL the #79 diagonal braces in place, I'll put in #80's today, and everything was perfectly square...



    Ladder ding here

    SHERI, will you look at this photo and see if you think that part #31 should be up any higher? from your photos I see only 2 holes in your corner bracket that seem to be above the frame in mine there are 3...the instructions did say to use the lower hole of the bracket???


    Have some gaps that are around the bottom that will need to filled in...



  • mudhouse_gw

    Oh my goodness, now I'm nervous, you do realize you're putting your faith in a blonde art major whose memory is failing? I bet those guys hate me.

    It looks great to me!

    Don't worry about the ladder ding. We had a smaller one too. That aluminum alloy is soft as butter. Take a pair of pliers with wide jaws and you can straighten that right out so it will not be noticeable.

    On your question about the left upper inside corner...you're fine there, you have the part 31 horizontal brace in the lowest hole on the part 49 corner bracket, and that is correct. My photo actually looks just like yours (maybe the angle is a little different.) The rear brace assembly (parts 31 and 48) has to go in the lowest hole on both corner brackets, left and right. It makes that rear brace assembly look unlevel on your back wall when it's done, but you have to do it that way. We tried putting part 31 in a higher hole to outsmart the kit, and it doesn't work! I hated that part and it looks like you have sailed right through it. You're good to go!

    I am really sorry about the confusion on the corner posts, and I'm making notes about anything that causes you grief (yes, I am using your pain.) I've now modified my blog to say "two holes TOTAL" on the bottom, and "four holes TOTAL" on the top, just as you did in your post. Hopefully that will be more clear and save others a few gray hairs.

    It's sadly hilarious that the people on the 800 support line at Harbor Freight have never assembled a greenhouse. Also the thing about the translation (from Chinese I'm sure) makes sense. I have heard that they will email digital photos to help people with questions, but I've never seen them.

    Rhonda, it all looks good to me. I'm really glad you hung in there, you're on the way now. You have quite a cheering section standing around here. Too bad we live so far apart, you'd have a yard full of people wanting to help! Keep us posted...

  • rjinga

    well I sure do appreciate EVERYONE's help and support and like lotuslady says, if it were not for this forum and the very generous and kind folks here, I may not have even gotten the bug to do it...I know for certain that I would NOT have been able to go into this project with the understanding of how to do it that I did have (however limited that really is) I dont think we would have gotten it done otherwise)...

    When I first set out to have a GH, I was out collecting old sliding glass doors I had seen some photos from others on here who had done that and they looked really good to me...My DH talked me out of it, I guess he figured that it would look like a hobo shack and the neighbors would complain...anyways, after yesterday, that thought actually came back into my head... Me: "you know a GH made from windows would have been SOOOOOOOOOOO much easier, why didn't I go forward with that plan...sigh"

    Well, I'll be back at it outside again soon, and I'll keep you updated....my goal is to get the roof assembled before the guys come back...maybe even the doors too :)

  • jba3fan

    Uggg. I am sure you won't want to hear what I have to say....

    Most of your bolts are going to need to be turned arround so the flat part of the bolt is on the outside and the nuts on the inside.....If you have to tighten any nuts from the outside of the greenhouse the nuts will be in the way of the PC panals

    It won't be too bad and I am sure you can do it without any of your handy men.


  • ladylotus


    You look like you have a great start. Great job! I feel terrible hearing of all your troubles. I hope things get easier while you begin assembling your panels. Good luck! Keep us posted. I've been eagerly waiting for your response on how things are going. I'm happy to see all that progress.

    It will all be worth it once it's completed and you are sipping coffee and strolling through all those wonderful plants while it's bitter cold and perhaps knee deep with snow outside. ha ha.


  • rosepedal

    Congrats Rjinga,

    Looks great! I knew you could do it. Nice free stuff by the way. The free stuff sure helps out by the time we build the gh's. Everyone is so wonderful and patient with us newbies. We could not do it without all of you here. Now time to get back to work argh more leaves. Barb

  • rjinga

    I gave it a once over, and did see a few bolts that were not going the right direction...and changed them around...now all the flat sides are facing out...the only exception to that is on the side top beams (#12,13) I believe that they are oriented this way because it would be almost impossible to tighten them from inside the gutter area....and I also don't believe that any polycarb panels will come in contact with that area...

    any one else have an opinion on this?

  • mudhouse_gw

    Good point John and good eyes!

    Our bolts joining parts 12 and 13 are installed so the flat head is facing outside...so it is possible to do it that way. However, you're right, the poly panels don't touch those bolts, so in that location I don't think it would hurt anything.

    The other bolts do need to be oriented with the flat heads outside the greenhouse though, so the panels will fit over them.

    It's handy to have access to the nut end of the bolt inside the greenhouse, in case you want to use that bolt to anchor anything else (slip off the nut, slip a wire around it, and replace the nut, for example.) As you start fiddling with stuff inside you will see how often your eyes search the walls for ways to attach stuff.

  • jba3fan

    rjinga, I took some pics for ya to help out. first this is from the outside looking up to the back left side(right form the outside lol) of the PC panals the bolt heads are hiden behind the tape tho but you can see everythingis sitting flush


    This pic is from the inside looking up to the back left corner. as long as you put your bolt and nut on the top holes of part #49 an the top hole of the corner post befor you add side wall diagnial part #80 everything will fit nice. By the way I added both parts 79 and 80 to my corner post and it really stiffened up the frame where I din't have to worie about the winds 10 - 20 mph for the next 2 days before I could get back to working on it


    Here is the camera up tight to the back panal looking up to the gutter and part #80 to the left. On the right side of the corner post you can see my weatherstriping and how there is no buldge. If I had turned that nut and bolt arround like you have in your 4th and 5th pics then it would be sticking out past the PC panal.


    I hope this helped.
    JBa3Fan ..... I'm Jim the other jbest123 is John lol .

  • jba3fan

    I got side tracked in the middle of that reply, rjinga you will need to have the nuts on the inside also like the corners.expecially in the top side of that connection the PC panals will be sitting tight to them there. and the same with the ridge. As muudhouse noted it helps later to use the bolts later to connect things to them Here is another pic just taken


  • mudhouse_gw

    Oops, sorry about the wrong name, Jim! Good catch on the bolts!

  • copgib

    I am trying to erect a HFGH myself and I noticed my kit only has 2-hold down connectors so the top base plate is secure. Can I drill and install some flat head metal screws to secure the top base plate instead of ordering more hold down connectors? Thanks Hugh copgib@earthlink.net

  • rjinga

    Wow, almost TEN YEARS later? what the...where has the time gone...Well, my HFGH is still standing and about to get re-commissioned! I have one missing panel that I will have to try to get ordered from HF, if it's not available, I'm sure I can improvise.

    It hasn't been used in about 5 years...but my business path has changed, and I'm no longer a store owner, so I've got my time back! and I plan to get her back in working order and use it again. So crazy looking at these old posts and pictures. I'll get some current pics just for fun as well as some when I have it back in order...10 years, isn't that crazy!!!

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