james_howitt

Toronto Ontario HFGH 10'x12'

James H
3 years ago

Hello everyone!

I picked up a HFGH a month ago and have stared the construction after many hours or reading up on the common issues with this greenhouse. Harbor freight is not in Canada so I drove over the boarded to pick it up. I am located in Toronto, Ontario so my zone is ok but not great. I bought this greenhouse in the hopes to extend my growing season. The build should take me a few weeks and I will be posting all my progress on here. I plan on installing a ground to air heating system with solar panels for the fans but I will get into that once I get the base completed. Enjoy!

Comments (15)

  • wyndyacre

    Have you found Mudhouse's blog on building and maintaining her HFG yet? It is the most complete and useful peice of information you will use! http://hfgh10x12.blogspot.ca/2007/08/this-is-greenhouse-we-bought-link-it.html

  • Matt

    looks great, thanks for the progress! I'm curious as to what you pid for it?? I had looked into one but wasn't going to the boarder to pick it up so I just built one that works really well.

  • mudhouse

    Thanks for your kindness, wyndyacre!

    Thanks for your post James, I will look forward to seeing your progress! My own HFGH is approaching ten years old, and I need to deal with the panel problem. Other than that, it's going strong, and I've enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm hoping some spring time weather will get me energized to tackle the work of writing the checks and replacing the panels!

    PS I gotta get a pink shovel like yours.

  • James H

    Mudhouse first I wanted to say thank you for the blog you put together. It has been a great reference for me to get started on the greenhouse. The pink shovel is my little helpers.

    Matt I purchased the greenhouse for $599 with a 20% off coupon. It took me about 3 hours to drive there and back. I did have to pay duty of $77 for it. So in the end I paid $770 Canadian approximately. I Will be spending another $500 or so before I am done getting it up and running. So for $1270 I will have 120sf of greenhouse space.

    The frost is out of the ground but it has been so rainy I can't pour the footings.

  • James H

    Big problem with the build... I took the metal base out to attach it to the 4x4 frame . I looked for the hardware and found the entire box of all the aluminum and hardware are not there. Thankfully it has not been over 90 days since I purchased it. Now I have to drive back over the boarder to get it. I hope they don't give me a hard time!

  • mudhouse

    Hi James, just following up. It has been so many years since we built our HFGH, I can't recall the packaging. Did you mean they neglected to send you any bolts at all? Sure sorry to hear about the many hours of driving back to the store. Were you able to call ahead to the store, to alert them about what you needed?

    I had my own HF frustration today; someone posted on my blog that HF told them the panel clips and replacement roof panels were no longer available for ordering. I finally verified these items are still for sale, but it took many long waits on hold. This has happened before; sometimes the HF phone reps share incorrect information (I'm sure by mistake.) I hope you have a good resolution for your missing parts.

    Also one note; most of us do attach the steel HF base to some sort of wooden foundation, but it's not really designed this way; HF actually intends for the base to be buried into the soil/gravel. So unless they have changed the kit design (always possible) you'll have to devise your own method of attaching the steel base to your wood 4x4 frame. We drilled holes about 18" apart (closer in the corners) and used bolts as shown in our blog.

  • James H

    Mudhouse, HF failed to include in the main box all the aluminum and bolts for the greenhouse. What was in the kit is all the plastic panels in one box and another small box with the base metal. After reviewing an online video I see there was to be another box almost the same size as the one with the panels in it. I cant believe I missed this! Or should I say I cant believe they missed it. My wife did call the store and they said I can come in and they will give me the missing box. It would not be so bad if I didn't have to cross the boarder.


    Installing the base to the 4x4 's will not be an issue. HF still says to bury it into the ground but with the frost here (2'-4') I can see it getting all bent out of shape. I will re-review your blog to see how you did it.



  • mudhouse

    Wow James, I've seen a lot of reports from people missing one or two parts, but never missing the entire aluminum frame! And bolts! That's a first. Really a bad deal since you have to drive so far to fix the problem.

    You're probably way ahead of me, but once you get the missing box, I always recommend checking all the frame parts against the parts list in the back of the manual. The parts should have numbered stickers so you can make sure they're all there. It's rare, but sometimes people get halfway through the build and find the kit is missing a critical piece of framing. The kicker is, HF usually only keeps parts like replacement panels and clips on hand for fairly quick shipping; other missing parts can take weeks (or months) to get shipped to you. One person I know waited six months for part of the door frame. In that case it's better to throw yourself at the mercy of the HF store manager, sometimes they'll crack open a kit and provide the part you need. (Sometimes not.) But hopefully you're overdue for better luck, and your box of frame parts will be complete (as I think most are.)

    Yeah, we live in the desert (warm/dry) but still didn't want to bury our base in the ground, either. I think most folks attach the base to a wooden or concrete foundation. With your climate and the frost concerns, I can sure see your point.

    The HF greenhouse really isn't built to withstand a lot of snow load; the centers of the roof studs are the weak points. If that's a concern for you, I can point you toward some threads with ideas for extra interior snow bracing, just let me know.

  • James H

    Mudhouse,


    Thanks for the help along the way. I picked up the missing box from HF yesterday without issue. The manager was very nice and understanding of our frustration. I just opened the package up fully today to go over the parts. The brackets for the base are not in the box! I know that I can make replacements easily (I should not have to do this).

    This is where I have had enough.... The manager gave us the booklet which was in the box he opened and it is a different version than the one that was in our box. I started to review the parts and sizes and they are all different form one booklet to the next. The plastic panels are different as well! So this means the panels are not compatible. This means I need to drive back to HF again!!!

    I have invested way to much time and money into this project due to HF poor products. I will be looking for a full refund or have them ship a complete greenhouse kit to my house. I don't know how this will go but I will report back to this forum.


    I have attached the pictures to show what I mean.

  • Matt

    WOW! James I would save the gas and just call them. but not just the manager, call head office in California I think it is. Get their info from the store in New York state and seriously complain. I can't imagine how frustrating that would be!

  • James H

    HaHa yea it has been a real pain to go through but the people at the store have been great. I ended up driving there again and the manager took everything I had back and gave me a good amount of money back on my credit card. I got another complete box with everything in it and drove back to Toronto. If I don't have all the pieces in the box I will just take it as a loss and move on lol.


    Beside all this HF problems that should be now behind me I will finally move on with the build this weekend. I will post some pictures next week on my progress.

  • mudhouse

    Sorry I missed your post on Monday James. I agree with Matt, and I really admire your good attitude about this whole crazy episode. I knew there were two versions of the 10x12 kit, but it just didn't occur to me that the store would have both...and would mix up the components for you. I feel bad I didn't think to alert you about that possibility (I probably could have saved you a trip if I had...I'm really sorry.)

    The older version is model 93358 (the one I have) and it's the only one shown on their website now. They introduced a newer version, model 69893, some years ago, and there are some differences in the kit. I have no idea why the newer version is no longer on their website.

    I've had contacts with folks with both versions, and I really don't think one is superior to the other; the differences aren't major. So as long as you don't have mixed up parts (and/or manuals!) you should be good to go!

    I have had folks get a kit with the wrong manual version enclosed in the box, so if the parts in your kit don't quite match the manual...just a heads up that's not outside the realm of possibility. I have both versions of the manual, and can share if it helps.

    Good luck on your build, looking forward to seeing your future posts. You have certainly earned smooth sailing from this point forward! We should give you a Patient Gardener of the Year award. Sending good thoughts your way.

  • James H

    So everything was included in this for me and it went together easily. I dug a long trench (45') and burred a 4" perforated pipe with two ends meeting at the front two corners of the greenhouse. I plan on pumping air through the pipe to help cool and heat the greenhouse to extend the growing season. I built a U shaped raised bed to be filled with soil. I will post more as I progress on this project.

  • mudhouse

    Great to see you making such good progress James. So pleased your hard work to secure a complete kit finally paid off. I like the idea of the U-shaped raised bed. My greenhouse is filled with benches for a collection of potted plants, but the idea of planting into the ground itself is very appealing to me. (Apparently I need two greenhouses...)

    I have only read a bit about the idea of ground to air heat exchange systems, so it will be interesting to see how that works for you.

    Thanks for posting photos of your progress!


  • Matt

    Very nice James, you're almost there! raised beds are a big help in our zone. As the natural ground soil not so workable and you can plant much sooner.. In my GH the temperature stayed around 80-95F daily highs from April to the beginning of Sept -vented& sometimes a fan. Any cool weather crops can be grown but much earlier then May. It's great having two totally different climates.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268