imqtpi

HFGH 6x8 Question

imqtpi
13 years ago

Hi folks!

After 1-1/2 seasons with a cheesy poly-plastic / zipper-door "portable" GH (from HF, IIRC), I've decided I might as well take the plunge and buy something more substantial.

I figure I could continue to spend $100-150/yr to keep replacing the portable - or spend $300-400 ONCE and not have to hassle with put-it-up/break-it-down/store-it-all-summer. Duh!

Honestly, I don't *need* a permanent GH (I'm only over-wintering tropicals in a marginal climate, and possibly starting seeds in the spring) - but it seems to make more $ense to just break down and buy something permanent.

And, of course, @ $299, the 6x8 HFGH looks very intriguing! So I'm contemplating..........

I've just done an exhaustive search on GW - trying to find info on the 6x8 HFGH's. Yes, I got LOTS of "hits!" And I've been reading until my brain hurts!

The thing that's confusing to me is: I can't tell when the posts (particularly the "Painful" ones) are referencing the 6x8 or 10x12 model! I *think* most of the painful comments were for the 10x12. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part!!!

I definitely don't have space for the 10x12. We're on 1/4 acre, and most of the yard is landscaped in an overgrown Tropical-Resort theme - in the summer, anyway (the GH probably won't be used in summer since it's blazingly hot and sunny back there)!

I'm thinking I can give up some of my veggie-garden space: Tuck it away in a corner - behind the pool equipt. The site has access to electricity and water; It's semi-sheltered (wind-wise) - but we do get 25-30MPH gusts several times a year. I can have it properly oriented so the long wall is facing SE. Best of all: I'm sure I can fit a 6x8 structure there - and not have it detract, visually, from the general "vibe" of the yard...

Now for the "Reality Check:" I'm pretty 'handy' and hubbie is less-so. I'm pretty patient - and again, hubbie is less-so! And this is obviously going to be a 2-person job!

(...And as DIY-er's, we're probably better suited to an episode of Jerry Springer than HGTV!!!)

That said: How much "trouble" can I anticipate when ("IF") I purchase the 6x8 HFGH. How much "retro-fitting" is necessary? What are the "perils" I have to look out for? Obviously, first and foremost is "Check for all the parts the minute you get it" - but is there other stuff I need to watch out for / any extra stuff I need to buy beforehand?

And are there any websites (or threads) that address the construction of the 6x8 specifically? (I did d/l the pdf manual from HF's site)

I found this one from clw1:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg121339449284.html?8

(Very good info - Thanks!) I'll be doing something similar w/raising the base - for sure. Plus I'll be sinking concrete anchors at the corners. And I'll most-likely insulate the north wall as well (but that might be overkill in my climate).

Basically I want to make sure I have as much info as possible before we embark on this adventure...

Thanks for any info! (And sorry for starting yet ANOTHER thread on the HFGH - but I'm *really* interested in hearing from any 6x8 owners out there!!!)

Nancy / IMQTPI

Comments (5)

  • tominnh
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
  • imqtpi
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Yep. Read that one. And that's one of those "painful" stories relating to a 10x12 HFGH. Also - pretty high wind conditions (although we've had some humdinger windstorms here - but that would be highly unusual)

    Has this happened to the 6x8?

  • imqtpi
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Ooh! Found another good one (maybe somebody else is in the same boat as me right now - so it can't hurt to re-post/re-link, right?!)

    BTW - The "HFGH Disaster" thread (noted above) did have lots of useful Tips 'n Improvements. But my "impression" is that they apply more to the 10x12 than the smaller version. At least that's the "sense" I'm getting (and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong!!!).

    I'm not looking to recreate Fort Knox in my backyard - but I don't want my GH to completely implode, either!

    Anyhooooo... Dax's construction pics for the 6x8 HFGH are linked below. VERY good!

    I'm still trying to ascertain whether or not add'l reinforcements/retrofits are necessary for the 6x8 (sounds like "definitely yes" on the 10x12's. I'm still not sure on the 6x8's though).

    GW positively ROCKS as far as "info" is concerned. Unfortunately, with the HFGH's, it feels almost like "Information Overload" so it's kind of difficult to extract the "specific" info one is looking for........

    (Not a complaint! Merely an observation!!!).

    I'd still like to hear any add'l thoughts/opinions from 6x8 owners though!

    Thanks, all! And Happy New Years to everyone!!!

    -Nancy / aka IMQTPI

    Here is a link that might be useful: Dax's Harbor Freight (6x8) Assembly Instructions

  • agardenstateof_mind
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    You don't say how often you have to replace the portable, but if you're willing to dedicate the space to a more permanent structure, based on my experience in NJ, USDA zone 7, I think you'll find the 6x8 HFGH satisfactory.

    Ours is also somewhat sheltered (by a garden shed, large oak and bank of trees and understory shrubs) and has come safely through wind gusts well above the 25-30mph you mention. It sits on a foundation of 2"x10" treated lumber, and, with our winters, I do use a solar pool cover as well as north wall insulation.

    Definitely check all parts, and maybe we just were lucky, but we found nothing missing or damaged. My adult son and I worked on this, but he really did most of the work and it was completed in one November day. It did help that my adult daughter applied the aluminum tape to the ends of the glazing panels as we were finishing up the frame. I'd suggest reading through the directions from start to finish before you begin, and check out Conifers' thread (link below). If you're handy and careful and think it through, you should have very little, if any, trouble. We deviated a bit from the instructions at times. For example, we started the frame first, then measured it, constructed the foundation accordingly and squared but didn't secure it; carefully lifted the partially-built frame onto the foundation to be sure the dimensions were all correct and everything square and level, then set the frame aside, secured the foundation together and put the frame back and secured it to the foundation.

    Aside from the insulation, I've not found any retro-fitting necessary. You may not need to, but I added foam weather stipping tape around the perimeter of each panel. We also installed a hardware cloth barrier at the foundation, running under the gravel floor, to discourage burrowing mammals.

    Despite being in the shade of a large deciduous oak, ours does get very hot in the warmer months and I'd like to follow up on someone's idea of exchanging screen panels for the glazing. If I can keep the temperatures moderated, it is a good safe place for seedlings, cuttings and other plants that might require some coddling (we have very curious - and somewhat destructive - squirrels and crows here).

    You'll appreciate having both electricity and water close at hand!

    Good luck, have fun ... and please keep us posted.

    Diane

    Here is a link that might be useful: HFGH Assembly (6x8)

  • agardenstateof_mind
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Nancy, I guess we were composing our most recent posts at the same time. I see you already found Dax's great thread ... keep that handy during assembly!

    You're right, GW is a wealth of information, and there's lots on the HFGH ... so many great ideas from so many people.

    Just to be clear, we didn't find any structural reinforcement necessary in our 6x8. I've hung a few wire shelves from the walls and a rod for hanging plants from the "rafters" with no problems. The sliding door was a little trouble at first, the wheels frequently jumping the track, until we found we didn't have it aligned quite right; once we corrected that, operation improved significantly.

    A happy and healthy new year to you, too!

    Diane

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