Garden  

DIY great Greenhouse for the balcony

This great mini greenhouse fits on the terrace or your balcony. It is chic and practical at the same time: at the end of the season it is simply dismantled and stored.

If you need space for other things, it’s very easy: unscrew the roof surfaces, the side walls and the side panels. This allows you to place or lay the frames flat against each other. You can protect the plexiglass panels from scratches with bubble wrap or scraps of fabric, for example.

Do you have a lot of space? Then here are tips for greenhouses.

You need this:
tools

Cordless drill with suitable drill bit (depending on the condition of the wall)
Cordless jigsaw with jigsaw blade BIM, T 102 BF
step drill
Metal or universal drill: 4.5 mm
Wood Drill: 7mm
Abrasive sponge or hand sandpaper with 180-220 grit
masking tape / adhesive tape
clamps
felt pen
paint roller
pencil
screw clamps
working gloves
carpenter’s angle
Meter rule, goggles
material list

5 frame timbers spruce/fir: 200 x 5.4 x 3.4 cm
4 frames spruce/fir: 200 x 3.4 x 3.4 cm
2 smooth-edged boards spruce/fir: 200 x 10 x 1.8 cm
1 glued spruce panel: 120 x 20 x 1.8 cm
Plexiglas, 3mm (D) (cut to size in hardware store)
approx. 30 wood screws 70 x 4.5mm
approx. 8 wood screws 50 x 3.5 mm
approx. 30 stainless steel screws 40 x 4.5 mm
200 pcs. stainless steel screws 25 x 3 mm
Piano hinge/plume hinge, stainless steel
15 x 10mm (L) machine screws, with washers and hex nuts
2 hinges: 30 x 40 x 6 mm
Storm hook, 50 mm
Wood paste, dark
wood preservative paint
wood glue and spatula
4 screw hooks, 30 x 2.6 mm
2m sisal rope 6mm

1.sawing strips


Use the drawing to get an overview of the required components and the construction: The greenhouse consists of three roof frames, a floor construction, a door and interior fittings as well as a swing. Start with the roof racks. To do this, you saw a total of six “rafters” (No. 1) from the frame wood.

Each rafter should be 22 inches long with a 25 degree angle at each end. Make sure both angles point in the same direction. Then fix the pieces of wood to a workbench with screw clamps, mark the angles with a carpenter’s square and cut them to length accordingly.
Tip: Saw a rafter to size first. You can then use this as a template.

Then you saw six upright struts (No. 2) with a length of 74 cm each. These only need an angle of 25 degrees on one side, they are cut straight to length at the lower end. Then sand all rough surfaces and sharp edges smooth.

2.Assemble the roof racks for the greenhouse
Now you build the three roof frames from the cut strips. The rafters are connected to each other with two screws (70 x 4.5 mm) and wood glue. When pre-drilling the screw holes, make sure that the holes are staggered to achieve greater stability.

Secure the rafters with screw clamps and first pre-drill the holes with a 3 mm wood drill bit. Then the drill hole is enlarged with a 4.5 mm universal drill so that the screw head does not protrude later. Coat the saw edges with wood glue, brace the components and screw them together. Wipe off excess glue immediately with a damp cloth.

The feet (No. 2) are now attached to the finished pairs of rafters. To do this, clamp the first pair of rafters and a 74 cm long strut to the workbench. You drill the holes vertically from above, i.e. through the rafters, in the strut. The second strut is screwed to the other side of the pair of rafters accordingly. In the end, there are three roof frames for the basic structure of the greenhouse.

3.Saw the middle struts and crossbars to size
In the next step, the middle struts (No. 3) are sawn to size. These serve to give the two outer roof frames more stability. Cut four pieces of wood with a length of 83 cm from the frame wood with the dimensions 200 x 3.4 x 3.4 cm. These, like the outer struts, also get a 25 degree angle at one end.

Now you make the crossbars. To determine the exact length, place one of the finished roof rack frames on a level surface and place the middle feet on the left and right in their later position. The distance from the outer edge of the frame to the outer edge of the middle brace should be 25 cm measured perpendicularly. Then measure the distance between the upright struts to determine the length of the cross bar. For us it was 46.5 cm. Saw the cross bar to the determined length – the frame for the back also gets a cross bar. So do the same there.

4.Attach cross bar
Now connect the two middle struts (No. 3) with the cross bar (No. 4). To do this, place a mark on both struts at a height of 71 cm. Pre-drill the holes and screw the timbers together by inserting the screws from the outside through the struts into the cross bar. Do the same for the back.

Now place the resulting “H” in the marked position on the frame of the roof frame and mark the position for the screw connection in the middle. The hole is made from above through the frame into the strut. Then you also connect the rear frame and the middle frame. The basic structure of the greenhouse is now complete!

5.Manufacture the floor frame
Now it’s time to build the floor frame. To do this, first measure the overall width of the front roof frame from outer edge to outer edge. Since the frame is mitred, you then add twice the material thickness of the smooth-edged boards used of 18 mm to the measured width.

Then miter both sides of the two boards (#5) that will become the front and back panels. Do the same for the rear panel. The smooth-edged boards for the side panels (No. 6) are also mitred. However, you don’t have to measure it here. Simply saw the two boards to 53.6 cm outside dimensions, so that the greenhouse has an inside dimension of 50 cm.

6.build door
For the door, first measure the frame wood (no. 7 + 8). So that the hinges have space and the door can be opened without any problems, there should be a gap of around 6 millimeters between the door and the struts. Therefore you saw the frame wood (No. 7) to a length of 60 cm. Then you determine the measurement between the middle struts (No. 3) and subtract 6 mm from it twice. The result corresponds to the width of the door. Now you saw the frame wood (No. 8) – with a miter of 45 degrees – to this length.

Then you put the parts together. Pre-drill the screw holes with a 2 mm wood drill and screw the wood together with the 3.5 x 50 mm screws.
Tip: Lay the individual parts on a level surface as a frame and clamp them with screw clamps. Connect the corners with painter’s tape. This prevents the individual pieces of wood from slipping when drilling and screwing.

Now all the components for the greenhouse are assembled. For a perfect look, fill all the screw holes and paint the frame with a paint of your choice that is suitable for outdoors. Alternatively, you can simply paint over the screws.

7.Connect floor frame to roof frames
Now the panels of the floor frame (item 5) are screwed to the front and back of the greenhouse. The best way to do this is to secure the panel with a clamp on all four struts on the front.

Line up the fascia boards so that the inside edges of the miter are flush with the outside edge of the brace (see photo). The middle struts are then each at a distance of 25 cm from the outer edge of the panel. Now screw the two covers from the outside with two stainless steel screws (40 x 4.5 mm) to the front and rear roof frame. Don’t forget to pre-drill and countersink!

Then all three frames are connected to each other by screwing the side panel (No. 6) to the upright struts. You should not fill these screws if you later want to disassemble the greenhouse for storage.

Now the hinges can be attached directly. To do this, mark 10 cm from the top and bottom edge of the door frame, place the hinge and fix it with screws.

8.Attach the plexiglass cover
The plexiglass is precisely adapted to the greenhouse. Since the paneling should butt against the side walls at the back and front, add 3 millimeters of material thickness per side. The two roof surfaces protrude 1 cm at the front and rear as well as at the side eaves.

For the front you need a total of four plexiglass sheets: for the door itself, the section above it and one each on the right and left of it. You also need a plexiglass sheet for the sides and for the back wall as well as two surfaces for the roof.
It is best to measure the sizes exactly and have the boards sawn to size directly at the hardware store. You have to cut the slopes yourself: use the wooden frame as a template for the gables.

Protect yourself with safety goggles and gloves when you work on the panels and fix them with screw clamps.
Tip: If you are sawing and drilling Plexiglas panels, only remove the protective film on the panels afterwards. This will prevent the panels from scratching while you work. The film is only removed directly before it is attached to the house.

Now you mark the drill holes at regular intervals on the Plexiglas, fix the plates, drill and countersink them. Then you first assemble the sides, then you attach the back and then the three parts of the front and the pane of the door frame.

9.attach door
For assembly, position the door on the hinges at a 180-degree angle. This means that it is completely unfolded. Place a 6 mm thick spacer between the door and the floor frame so that the door does not rub later. You can then screw the hinges tight. To lock the door, mount the small hook on the door – the counterpart, an eyelet, is attached to a strut.

10.finish the roof


One side of the roof should be hinged so that you can ventilate the greenhouse later. Therefore, the plexiglass plate is attached to the roof with a piano hinge.

Align the two panels on the roof surface so that they just touch each other at the ridge and fix them with clamps. Then put on the piano tape and mark the drill holes. Since only the right roof panel is attached and the other side can be opened, the markings for the screw connection in the wood only have to be marked on the right panel. You can then drill and countersink the holes in the panels.

The piano hinge is now attached to both Plexiglas plates with the machine screws and the nuts with washers. Then you put both on the roof and screw the right side tight. The left side can now be opened completely and placed on the right roof surface.

11.build a swing


For even more vegetables, a swing that can be removed or hung up as required should be attached in the greenhouse, on which you can bring additional young plants. To do this, cut the glued wooden board to a length of 84 cm. Now drill a total of four holes in the corners, 3 cm apart from the front and 2.5 cm apart from the back, using a 7 mm drill bit. To be able to hang up the swing, screw four hooks into the two rear pairs of rafters. Then cut two ropes, each about 100 cm long, one for each side.

Thread one end of the first rope through the front left hole and tie a knot from underneath. The other end comes through the back drill hole, you also tie a knot here. The second rope goes to the right side of the board. This creates a loop on each side. These loops must be the same length so that the swing does not hang askew. Hang the swing on the hooks.

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