Wood Frame Greenhouse Concepts
We mentioned the feasibility of using structural glue-lams as a viable alternative to aluminum and other types of structural materials mostly due to cost and aesthetics. No one can say that a wooden post and beam greenhouse does not look absolutely stunning when completed.
Personally speaking, the beauty and feel of wood truly can enhance any home regardless of the homes style and design. Wood just fits well into any setting.
Building a wood frame greenhouse with structural glue-lams can be achieved and designed by a professional greenhouse and sunroom builder or a DIY person who has good carpentry building skills. A DIY greenhouse does in many ways save dollars. The labor factor alone accounts for about 40 – 50 % of any greenhouse project. So when planning a greenhouse project, that is a consideration that may weigh in significantly towards moving ahead and making that decision today or later on when you feel the time and investment is just right for you.
Let us not lose site of the purpose of a greenhouse, regardless of what is used for construction, there are key components that will make your greenhouse garden truly a successful venture.
Without those key components you will either wind up with a greenhouse that gets too hot or gets too cold and in some cases in may turn into a catch all much like a storage shed. Was that the original purpose? Unlikely results can occur without the right planning.
Preparing a wood frame Greenhouse
A wood frame greenhouse can be stick built with conventional 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s but this will lead to an unstable structure since plain old wood will deteriorate, twist and check and only time will tell how long it will last. However, if you take the time to stain and seal your structural wood components, you’ll be amazed how much longer your wood frame will last.
Many backyard greenhouses are made from wood, or PVC tubing with plastic sheathing and some are aluminum kit structures with polycarbonate panels. These types of greenhouses are basically seasonal and unless you heat them, you will not be able to grow all year long. Aluminum frame polycarbonate greenhouses are very affordable and will extend your growing season.
Greenhouses in high country, however, where the growing season is short should always have a solid insulated north wall. If you notice in some of the pictures on this site the roofs are either all insulated or partially insulted with a sloping offset roof and a southern exposure. These types of greenhouses will always hold their heat better than an all translucent structure.
Wood frame Greenhouses Components
Other components in a wood frame greenhouse that are equally important are ventilation passages; a partially insulated roof should always have operable skylights. Manually operated skylights are always cheaper than automated ones. Operable windows and ventilated doors, by this, I mean doors with an operable window and or a screen combination glass door.
More on heat sources in another chapter.
Having a heat sink as well as insulated foundation walls are the next best thing to a heat source, mostly because it is cheap radiant heat but without an insulted north wall much of that stored up heat will escape, unless you have a heater.
Greenhouse plans are essential to a successful greenhouse, much like an eco house or with green built construction methods; you will always obtain the most yields from wood frame greenhouse if it is built right.
If you build it, your plants will grow!
Custom Wood Frame Greenhouse