After completing Cassandra’s bench, the next project at her house was a greenhouse. Cassandra is converting her entire backyard, even the blacktop driveway into a urban garden oasis. She had planned to buy a greenhouse, but I pointed out that she could build one cheaper. My 4×8 Lean-to shed only cost approximately $500 in materials, a fourth of what she had planned to pay. She asked if I would help her and I said yes. Since I had successfully built my shed, by myself, I told her to check out the greenhouse plans at Plans Design, where I bought mine. Their greenhouses were similar to my lean-to, so I thought the learning curve would be eliminated.
She didn’t like their plans, but found one she did like. It called for setting nine 4×4 post in the ground. That seemed like an odd approach and I knew making nine holes, especially in the location of her yard that she wanted would be difficult, but once past that it seemed like a simple plan. While weather did play a small part in slowing down progress this project took six weeks to complete, way to long. I don’t know the final cost of all the material, but I’m sure it was over $1,000. The plans did not call for a floor, we added one. The plan didn’t have windows, we added one and another is planned. This build tested my resolve, stamina, ingenuity, and patience.
Now that the greenhouse is complete I really question the design choice of using 4×4 post for the structure. The person that designed it lives in Canada, so perhaps this is standard for sheds in that country. It called for pressure treated (PT) wood. Traditional wall framing with regular 2x4s would have cost far less and the project could have been completed much faster. I was ready to throw in the towel after digging the first hole because we hit so many tree roots. For that reason I’m not going to list where she bought the plans as I wouldn’t recommend them. Too much of the build was left for you to figure out; they were not complete or concise and now she has a structure that can never be moved even though its size made it moveable. The plastic sheeting was easy to work with and it does provide a visual airiness. If you have no concerns about security, I could see making my lean-to shed with traditional framing but covering it with this plastic; perhaps even a combination of wood and plastic siding.