The Greenhouse Project: I Need Braces

The Greenhouse Project: I Need Braces

We managed to accomplish a little more on the greenhouse project this week. We ran into a small roadblock when we botched putting together the roofline and had to take the rafters down to reattach them to the center beam. I was trying to do things in a simple and easy way which turned out to be complicated and difficult, figures! That’s been corrected now and things are back on track. 
The next few days won’t be good work days due to the rainy weather and Saturday is Halloween (I’ll be Trick-or-Treating with a Kitty Cat and a Princess) so the greenhouse project will be on hold through the weekend but I’m still happy with the progress we’ve made so far. I think Thanksgiving is a good target date for completion of this project. I have a tendency to underestimate the amount of time needed for completing projects so I’m trying to be generous!
The next step in building this greenhouse is to add braces. We attached metal brackets to the edges of the framing to aid with getting the roof up but they won’t hold the weight they need to for this roof to stay up. Having the roof stay up is very important don’t you think? The brackets did help to align the rafters and give us a temporary way to hold the rafters while we attached them to the center beam. The ridge line is held up by a post in the back, in the middle attached to a center beam, and in the front above the door headers. The braces we need to add will attach to 12′ beams that come across the structure and will connect the rafters that hold up the roof.
After bracing we’ll finally be able to add roofing material which will be very exciting! I need to fit a couple windows on one side of the roof to catch more light and heat. The roof will be mostly covered with normal roofing materials but having a couple windows on the western side will help add more afternoon light in the winter. The peak of the roof would ideally be higher to catch more light but we didn’t want too tall of a structure in the backyard.
I’m still trying to figure out the heat extremes that I’ll have to deal with this winter. The need for supplemental heat will be determined by the daytime temperature and heat loss overnight. I’ll insulate the areas of the greenhouse structure that will be without windows which will help reduce some heat loss. There are all kinds of passive heating methods that will help with heat retention and I may need to use them to keep this greenhouse warm for seed starting in late winter. What are the winter temperatures in your greenhouse and what do you use to keep your greenhouse warm on a cold and dark winter eve?
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Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. That looks beautiful, Dave! We tried building a passive solar greenhouse, with wood and straw storage aginst the north wall for added insulation, black 55-gallon barrels full of water for solar gain under the high bench, and white walls to reflect more light into the interior of the greenhouse. But our Pennsylvanai winters were just too cold at night for the plants. We finally added electricity, and now have fluorescent lights over the bench and water garden and a greenhouse heater set at 50 so nobody freezes at night! You'll have to see how it goes down there in TN!

  2. OFB,

    Those Pennsylvania winters are much colder and much longer than those here in TN. I would love to completely avoid the heater thing but if I have to (come February) I'll do what must be done! The passive solar heat is so appealing due to that whole low cost thing!

  3. What fun it is to watch it all take shape. I remember you posting about that stack of windows you scored. And now it all looks very professional and greenhousey. You likely know all about our greenhouse envy out here in the Blogosphere.

  4. Dave,

    Have you installed hurricane clips? They are small brackets that mechanically attach the rafters to the top of the walls. Whenever I build something like this I put one on each rafter with 10 teco nails in each.

  5. Sadly the shed I had built to house my plants in winter is full of everything else. So most time I just sit the pots up next to the house on the South side & so far that helps a lot. If it gets too cold I cover them with an old sheet. I will be using another method with my whiskey barrels this yr. Testing to see if the method works.

  6. Helen,

    I've been there with the greenhouse envy! I'm still there really since I'm not done yet. I really won't feel like I've accomplished anything until those windows are upright and attached!


    I didn't realize they were called hurricane clips but I did attach them. I had to Google the term! I still need to attach more ties to some spots, I ran out of the first batch.


    You can find 6 mil plastic fairly cheaply at the home improvement stores and could put together a lean-to style greenhouse along the side of your shed. I may end up doing that one day if my plant propagation efforts expand too much!

  7. Dave, This is exciting to watch! I can already imagine your cuttings and seedlings happily growing! We're talking about building a work shed in the back for a home office for M. Adding heating, electricity and a/c makes sheds etc. so much more complicated. gail

  8. I wish we had space for a greenhouse. Yours looks like it will be quite sturdy. I love the wood you are using.

  9. It's coming along so well! I love it!

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