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Jan 24

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The Making Of Our Greenhouse For Under $400

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the mostly recycled greenhouse

So many people have posted and emailed me that they would love to have a greenhouse but simply cannot afford one at this point in their life etc….  The Viking in my life along with a little help from me built our greenhouse mostly out of recycled materials.

We should call it the “Recycled Greenhouse”.   I will warn you when you build a greenhouse this way you have to be extremely patient.  I know my good friend Katherine at Nerd In Flip Flops will agree that the making of a greenhouse is definitely a time-consuming occupation which involves lots of decision-making and planning.  I have other friends who have recently put in a greenhouse or they are in planning stages of putting in a greenhouse right now.  It is labor intensive but not impossible.

Our story was almost comical at first my husband toted around from house to house where we moved  a bunch of plate glass and plexi-glass it was quite a pile and we kept carrying it wherever we moved and storing it for he knew the greenhouse was coming even before I did.

We did have to purchase some lumber to frame out the greenhouse and of course the usual hardware to accomplish such a job that is where most of our expenses went.  My husband also recycled refrigerant containers and used them in a unique way;  he filled them with water to help the greenhouse to act as a heat synch.  They do indeed help to keep the greenhouse warm long after the sun goes down.

The first year we did not have a roof on the back we used some old insulation, tar paper, and a tarp to cover up the back of the roof.  Eventually we did finally spend some money on some metal roofing we found at the scrap yard for just a few dollars.  Most everything, the shelving were logs from the side of the road and or stuff my husband has found in his travels.  As you can see we just started out with a dirt floor but slowly collected flooring materials…..we found “Freecycled” piles of bricks to lay down for the center walkway and then a friend of mine from work was getting rid of all of the red rock from her garden so she said we could come and take as much as we wanted.  So we did and yes my husband sifted out all of the dirt from that red rock and laid it down as the rest of the flooring.  We had to make quite a few trips to her house actually 😉  Oh did I mention labor intensive…..

One thing that was funny was my family can never believe how my  husband finds things on the side of the road so we had priced up a metal roof fan for about $89.00 and we decided to wait on it.  So my Mom and Step Dad were in town and we were driving in our car and sure enough the exact same metal roof fan on the side of the road in a trash pile that we had been hunting down.  Seeing is believing!

Our greenhouse was built for somewhere around $300 to $400!  Yes it does involve planning, time, energy, and even some scrounging if you are on a tight budget.  Yet the rewards of having your own plants cozy and warm in the cold winter weather is worth it!

If you enjoyed this post check out my other blog posts about our greenhouse:

A Virtual Tour of Our Greenhouse in January ,  Talk About A Hot Bed, and The Hobby Greenhouse Tour Was Successful!

If you finally found a way to build a greenhouse or a cold frame please share in your comments. If you enjoyed this blog post make sure to check out her podcast on this very topic “The Making of Our Greenhouse” on The Survival Mom Radio Network!

I have also wanted to add some hoop houses but have not made that happen yet maybe this will be the year!  I will post again soon with pictures of our flooring and some close-ups of some of the other details!  So come on back and thanks for stopping in at our Lil’ Suburban Homestead!

Fondly,

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  1. Katherine Kelley

    Heh heh…. yeah. Lots and lots of work. That only really gets started when the building is up. But it is fun work. Handyman needs to finish my shelves stat, but he is building some kind of hive at the moment. He expects one of the hives to swarm by the end of next month if these temps keep up. The ladies were really flying today.

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      I would love for you to blog about your greenhouse journey one day. Interesting I think we are going to need a tour of the bee yard soon and you can bet I will bring some homemade goodies!

      1. Katherine Kelley

        I will. I would have to round up some pictures first though. We also have to sit down and have a serious conversation about what we are growing even if we have no idea what it is since we didn’t label it. 🙂 This weekend we are supposed to go and pick up some mulch from a friend near Jacksonville. I am expanding by a few feet. I also realized I haven’t ordered any tomatillo seeds so I need to get on that… So much to do and I’m afraid Spring is going to sneak up on me!

        1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

          I think no matter how hard we try Spring is going to sneak up on all of us this year!

  2. Kathy

    I made my husband look at this early this morning before work. I want one!

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      Kathy the great thing is that there are so many options out there….I can’t wait to find out what you decide to do or how you go about it.

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