Greenhouse Installation


These are the basic tools you will need to set up the greenhouse. You will also need a hammer or a small sledge hammer to pound in the anchors and to adjust any steel that may be crimped slightly.

FIRST!

  • Do NOT set your greenhouse level. It is not designed to be level. The ribs on the polycarbonate are horizontal and for proper drainage it must be higher on one side.
  • Think about if its higher in the back or the front and overlap your poly in a shingle fashion to keep the water runoff flowing correctly.
  • Some sizes are not exact. 16 foot for example is 15ft, 10inchs to allow the 8ft panels to overlap.


This is how your frame will arrive. In most cases 1-2 pallets will be what arrives. This is a small 10′ x 12′ model and it arrived on 1 pallet.



Here we are laying out the base rails. As you can see they just slip together.

If you have any trouble with them slipping together you may need to check and see if one side has a slight bend or crimp in the steel. If so, hit it with the hammer until it is strait and slides on easily.

NOTE: We sell many different lengths, so make sure you setup your base rails the same on both sides. There should be a upper support at both ends.


BELOW is the proper way to use the inserts and put them together. Make sure to screw one side in place before putting them together to insure no movement of the insert.

 

 



After you slip them together shoot 2 self tapping screws into the connection to hold it in place. We recommend that all screws are on the inside of your base rail.



Here you will see that we laid out the 2 base rails side by side. We do this to make sure all the arches are the same distance apart. This should be 46″ on center.



After we have verified every arch is the same distance apart on both rails we then moved the rails apart to where they will approximately go.



I have always found it easiest to get one side nice and strait. Then pin it in place with the anchors. I do not pin the other side into place until I have the arches up and have squared the building by measuring the diagonals. I only drive the anchors about 1/2 way in the ground right now in case I need to move it later for some unexpected reason. You can always hammer the anchors the rest of the way into the ground later after everything is in place and square.



Here is a shot of the anchors hammered about 1/2 way in.

We have had several customers decide to move the greenhouse after installation. The anchors we were using did not allow for any place to grab on to pull them out if later if needed. So now to allow for removal at a later date if needed we simply ship strait rebar and recommend hammering it over when it is about 6 inches from the top. This will hold it down just as well but also allow you a place to hook on to and pull it out later if needed.



Here we have laid out the basic arch pieces so you can see how they go



This is how you assemble the arches using the inserts.



Here is a completed truss. Most our our models will have some corner bracing already installed on the corners. We screw in the top of the bracing for you. We do not screw in the bottom of the bracing. This will allow you to plumb the walls level. Then you can shoot in a couple of screws on the bottom of the corner bracing to keep it plumb.

Don’t forget to shoot in a couple of screws at the bottom where it slips on to the base rail footer.

Before you raise up the arch to set it on the footer, check the inside of the leg opening and make sure it is square and not crimped. This may save you some aggravation later when you set it on top of the footer.



Then just continue to repeat your way down the line.





Nice and strait down the line. This is a good time to square up the building. Measure the inside of the opposite corners and slide the side of the greenhouse that is not yet anchored until the measurements on the diagonal are equal. Then double check the width from one side to the other and make sure it it still the proper width all the way down. Now you should have a square and strait building.


Now its time to make sure each arch is level. Use the boards supplied to do that. Make sure to start with one end and just move from one arch to the next.


Cut them at a 45 degree angle.


Now straighten the entire building. Measure from corner to corner and then between each truss to ensure perfect square.

Above should be how it all looks done.



Here you will see the basic breakdown of how the end wall is assembled. This happens to be a 12′ wide model so yours may differ slightly. What is important to note in this picture is how the door post looks at the bottom. Notice the “L” bracket. One slips into the door post that will stand up and the other slips into the base rail heading over to the side wall.

Once the front wall is assembled you can put your door in, should look like this:

NOTE: This customer added windows. This is very easy to do with the cross bracing. You can adjust your cross braces to accommodate different size windows.



Here you can see that we just shoot in a couple of screws on each connection.



Here is the end wall after the horizontal supports have been attached. These are not load bearing and are only to give the plastic something to attach to. So you may raise or lower them to accommodate any vents, fans or windows you may be adding.



Now it is time to attach the plastic.

Start in the middle on the lower side of the building. That way when you overlap the pieces the rain flows smoothly and not into the overlap.

If you need to do any trimming of the plastic that will be hidden behind the white finish trim. Leave about a 1/4 inch from the edge of the frame. Make sure it looks nice and straight running up the post and then attach it using ONLY (3/4 up to 1.5″) self tapping hex head screws with the rubber washer on it. If you use the ones without the washer it may leak when it rains.



Start with the peak and work your way down. Line up each piece looking down the center rib to make sure it is straight as you go. There is no need to put a screw right in the top or in any of the sharpest curves of the steel. Just use screws where the steel is flat. Also a reminder to not push really hard at first or the screw may crack the plastic. I usually put my drill where I want the screw to go in and slightly pull the trigger as it starts touching the plastic. This sort of gives a quick pre-drill to the plastic and then I start pushing hard on the steel while drilling in the screw.



Here is another shot looking down the center line to keep it straight.



You may place the screws anywhere you wish but normally we place them every couple of ribs. You do not need to cut the plastic ahead of time to fit the curve of the roof line. Go ahead and just stand up the 12′ sheet of plastic and attach it. Then when you are done you can simply grab your hand held grinder with the steel cutting disc in it and run along the roof line cutting off the excess.

The very first picture on this page shows the hand held grinder on the left. It works great because it literally melts the plastic as it is spinning. We have tried using a razor knife, tin snips and other ways to trim the plastic but the grinder seems to work the cleanest and the fastest.



Here you can see we have finished the peak and are now working our way down one side. Sliding each piece underneath the one above it 1 rib. Use the self tapping hex head screws with the rubber washers on them to make sure the rain stays out.

Also if you have a greenhouse with multiple sections of plastic be sure to run a bead of clear silicone between the layers overlapping as you go down. I normally use 1 screw every other rib, except where 2 pieces overlap and have caulking. In these areas I use 1 screw on every rib. When you reach the ground you may need to trim some off at the bottom or you can also just make a double or triple overlap above it if you have excess plastic. Just be sure to leave enough plastic to go at least part way down the base rail. This way you can shoot a few screws in along the bottom to keep the critters out.



Cut and trim the edges as needed. Each greenhouse varies as the lengths are different.


Now set the trim!

Here is one piece of trim set in position to show how you do it.

NOTE: We actually start at the peak now. Cut one slice in the middle and attach at peak then work our way down.

Obviously it is not yet finished in this shot but you can see easily how it goes on last when your all done with the clear plastic. You can start on the sides at the bottom or cut the front side of one piece in half and start at the peak as you see in our other shots on our website. Use 1.5″ self tapping hex head screws to attach this to the steel.


A few completed ones: