Sacramento Sun Catcher!

-Submitted by Greg; Sacramento, CA:

Greenhouse in Sacramento, CA“Hi Shane,

I really enjoy your page, I would like to share the pictures of the greenhouse I just finished a couple of months ago.

The greenhouse is free standing and built from tempered glass that was once sliding doors all over Sacramento. I don’t know if Sacramento is really the climate that needs a greenhouse, but I wanted one.

My first plans were to build a 10′x 12′ greenhouse. Knowing myself and the availability of free glass, the house turned out to be 10′x 21′. This is all the room I have left in the back yard that is available to use.

The glass was given to me by a local remodeler that was only interested in keeping the aluminum. The glass came in three widths, 24″, 34″and 46″, the common size is 34″ wide and all was 74″ to 76″ long.

The glass size dictated the design of the greenhouse. I used the 46″ pieces for the long walls and 2, 34″ pieces and one 24″ piece for the ends. The glass was set in schedule 40 pvc pipe that I cut a slice out of. This was done so the glass would have the edges protected, as tempered glass explodes when hit on the raw edge.

I considered building a pointed roof but this would have made the roof peak too high. The roof I ended up with is 10′ wide with a 76″ flat top and 34″ sides that are slanted in to make a trapezoid shape.

I just happened to have two pieces of 18″x 60″ glass that filled in each end of the greenhouse. With a old window sash weight and a pulley I can open each end of the greenhouse for ventilation.

To support the glass and keep it up in high wind, I decided to use concrete blocks for the corners and stanchions. I filled each of these with steel and concrete. This part of the construction took the most time as I dug large footings and had to make sure everything was level and square. The blocks do block some light but they have turned out to be very handy for supporting the shelves.

The center shelf is 0″ wide and 12′ long. It’s supported from the roof trusses with chains. This I did for two reasons. The first is that it gives me shaded room below the shelf that I can use for whatever without legs in the way. The other reason was to help control crawling insects.

I haven’t yet decided what to grow in the greenhouse, but there’s enough planted in there now to get the warm damp smell that makes just being in there worth all the work.”

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