Purchasing a greenhouse can be a difficult and sometimes overwhelming process. The first factors you should consider are location, foundation and of course your budget. All foundations should be level and square. A square and level foundation will eliminate challenges later when installing your greenhouse. A raised foundation or knee wall is a good option if you prefer to add height to your greenhouse. Knee walls are commonly 12-48 inches high and can be made of various materials. If you would like a knee wall with your Sunglo greenhouse kit please notify us at 800-647-0606 to add a door drop kit to your order.
Concrete is a great option for a greenhouse foundation and often chosen among consumers because is it convenient. To attach your greenhouse to a concrete base we recommend attaching quality treated wood to the base of the greenhouse, commonly called a wood sill plate. 2 x 4’s will do. If you choose to use pressure treated wood make sure to install a barrier between the wood and aluminum, such as gasket material, as the treated wood can cause the aluminum to rust. Sunglo includes a barrier called a “boot” with each greenhouse kit.
Measure twice before cutting your wood to ensure proper dimensions. We suggest allowing a 1” border around the inside and outside of the entire greenhouse. Sunglo adds 2″ to each greenhouse size for the foundation measurements.
This is designed to allow a safe margin for irregularities in the wood sill plate. After the concrete has been poured and is level and square, a small drain should be placed in the center of the slab where water run off can drain into a gravel pit or piping that leads to a drainage area. Then your greenhouse can be bolted to the foundation. Water and electricity should be ran to the greenhouse site before the foundation is built.
Building a wood base is easy and inexpensive. Cedar and redwood are commonly used. Pressure treated wood is also a great option but make sure to put a barrier between the wood and aluminum, such as gasket material, as the treated wood can cause the aluminum to rust. The size of your base will depend on the size of your greenhouse again allowing a 1” border around the inside and outside of the greenhouse. After assembling the base and making sure your ground is level lay down a weed barrier. This allows the water to drain through but does not allow weeds to come up through the floor boards.
Pack the natural earth over the excess barrier. After your base is finished and the weed barrier is set underneath, you need to cover it. Start laying down your wood planks to make the floor. Now it’s time to attach the greenhouse frame to the base – Make sure it is level and square again by measuring from corner to corner. For added insulation, we suggest you caulk the bottom of the aluminum framing (caulk the wood then attach the frame – making sure there is a barrier between the aluminum and wood) where it meets the base with a waterproof sealant – If you are using pressure treated it is still a good idea to caulk between the base and wood. This will add extra protection to the greenhouse and keep cold air from entering and warm air from escaping in the colder months. If you are using pressure treated wood make sure the aluminum does not come into direct contact. Sunglo includes a plastic “boot” that attaches to the base rails with all our kits, so you don’t have to worry! As with all foundations please consider whether you will need water and electricity ran to the greenhouse site. Wood foundations are natural and beautiful looking! The only down side is you might have to replace the wood every 8-10 years.
If you are planning on purchasing a lean-to style greenhouse or even a small free-standing but only have room on your deck, that’s no problem! Before attaching the greenhouse base to pressure treated wood lay down a thick rubber, insulated mat that is the dimension of the floor of your greenhouse.
There are various mats you can purchase that have designs or just plain old black. Insulating underneath and around the base is a good idea also. To attach the greenhouse base to the deck we recommend contacting your hardware store representative and explaining the project. Decks are made of different materials and you wouldn’t want to ruin your deck in the process. Now insulation will be an issue as well. Depending on your style of deck please take this into consideration and do your research on what type of insulation, if any, you should use. Water and electricity can be easily ran to a greenhouse on a deck foundation as it is usually attached to a house or a building.
There is lots of info on the web about different foundations and step by step instructions on how to build them. I hope this gave you an idea of what you want to do with your foundation!
NOTE: If you choose to create a foundation that is NOT concrete we highly recommend giving the wood base a few days to settle. After 24 hours re-measure for square and level. In some cases the foundation will settle and become uneven affecting the assembly of the greenhouse. And you dont want that to happen because it can make installation very difficult!
Sunglo offers a greenhouse foundations guide that shows how to build a easy, affordable and effective foundation base. To request a free-standing or lean-to foundation guide call us at 800-647-0606.
To view a large gallery of pictures visit our Facebook albums page.
For more advice about greenhouse foundations or general questions leave a comment below or please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-647-0606.
Here are a few energy saving tips:
Reduce air leakage from the greenhouse –
Small cracks and loose glazing materials can cause unwanted air to enter or escape from your greenhouse. Obviously both will affect the efficiency of any heating system you have in place. But fixing areas around the doors and vents that are not air tight can help stop unwanted air flow. Caulking holes or lining parts of the frame and weather stripping around the door can make a big difference. Shutting your fans off during the winter and covering them with a thick plastic will help keep your greenhouse regulated in the winter months. And always fix any holes or broken panels as soon as possible. If you have a Sunglo you can call 1-800-647-0606 for any replacement parts!
Use a double layer glazing system –
Double layered glazing material can be beneficial, if it is done the correct way. Our greenhouses have an inner corrugated panel that creates a 1.5” dead air space keeping it exceptionally insulated. To see how Sunglo’s unique glazing system works click here.
Install windbreaks –
Windbreaks are important in high wind areas because it prevents the cold wind from hitting the greenhouse therefore cooling it down. Building a mini fence or even planting shrubbery around the base of your greenhouse is effective. Some gardener’s plant small trees around their greenhouse, it not only looks pretty but will help keep the wind at bay. Whatever you decide to use make sure it stands mid-level to your greenhouse so it doesn’t block the sun. If you already have some tree cover in your yard or near the greenhouse than your in luck! No planting for you!
Use a shade cloth –
Shade cloths are wonderful for high temperature areas. They are used during the hottest time of the day to reduce thermal solar radiation. Sunglo carries a wide variety of sizes and they can be mixed and matched to perfectly fit your greenhouse. For more information on shade cloths click here.
Use your heat wisely –
To calculate what type of heater you’ll need for your greenhouse there is a simple formula. Take the temperature you want the greenhouse to stay at (let’s say 50) and the average winter temperature in your area (how about 20) and subtract them (equals 30). Next you multiply the temperature difference by the surface area of your greenhouse (8×10 greenhouse is 276 X 30 = 8280). Now you multiply your answer by your greenhouse materials U value. For a Sunglo you would multiply 8280 X .75 = 6210 BTU’s(.75 is Sunglo’s U value). This means you need to find a heater that has exactly or over 6210 BTU’s to efficiently heat your greenhouse. Using the correct heater will ensure thriving plants and not use unwanted electricity. To see this formula again and more in depth information on BTU requirements check out this post. Click here.
For more information on saving energy visit PSE.com
We received a customer testimonial from Connecticut this week where Hurricane Sandy recently made a terrible mess of things.
My wife and I are just your everyday home owners, maybe a bit handier than some, but less than others…certainly not professional trades’ people. We bought the SunGlo kit thinking we’d try to build it ourselves as a fun project to do together. Well, we built 90% of it in one weekend and had a blast doing it. The manual and the DVD were more than clear enough to guide us through the process, and despite some sore muscles Monday, we were proud of the results.
The following weekend we knew Hurricane Sandy was coming so we finished up the project, closed the door and went about securing the rest of the house. Northwest CT recorded wind gusts of over 65 MPH for almost 2 days, with horizontal wind, trees, leaves, and branches flying everywhere. Our power was out for 2 and 1/2 days. The SunGlo greenhouse was just fine!
The next week we got hit with a Nor’easter that dumped nearly a foot of snow in near blizzard conditions- again the SunGlo came through just fine. Our cool weather seedlings and other houseplants in the greenhouse are all doing very well.
Thanks for making such a quality product here in the States.
It just goes to show that, be it Solanaceae or Asteraceae, nothing protects your family like a Sunglo.