Greenhouses today are installed not only on the territory of country houses, but also on sites within the city. A relatively new and inexpensive material for creating such structures is polycarbonate. This fact cannot be called an accident, because the material has a lot of advantages, and you can build a greenhouse from it yourself.
Why choose polycarbonate
If we compare polycarbonate with other types of plastic, then its cost is quite affordable, the material looks modern and attractive, and also has excellent ability to scatter light. Polycarbonate is very resistant to snow and wind loads, it is shockproof, not susceptible to ultraviolet, and therefore can become a material for a stationary greenhouse.
Having bought a ready-made arch kit, you can complete this design yourself. It will be important at the first stage only to decide on the dimensions in order to understand what parameters the foundation will have.
Before you assemble a greenhouse from polycarbonate with your own hands, you must determine what features it will have. On sale you can find the described material with sizes ranging from 2.1 to 6 m. If you bend the canvas, you will get a radius equal to 2 m. The height of the greenhouse will turn out just like that, while the width will be 4 m.
To create a typical design, you need three sheets, and the length of the greenhouse will be 6 m. The size of the greenhouse can be reduced or increased if desired. If you want to make the ceiling higher, you can achieve this by raising the greenhouse on the foundation.
As practice shows, the most convenient width for the greenhouse is a parameter equal to 2.5 m. This will allow placing inside the beds and making a spacious passage for the trolley. When building a greenhouse, it is better to choose a form in which flat areas will alternate with arched. In the first case, the effect of reflection of rays is minimized. If you choose an arch design, then the heat will be dissipated.
Preparation of tools and materials
Before you assemble a polycarbonate greenhouse with your own hands, you must take care of the availability of the following materials and tools:
- cellular polycarbonate;
- self-tapping screws;
- materials for the frame.
As for the covering material, its thickness may be equal to the limit of 4 to 6 mm. But the materials for the frame can serve as a galvanized profile, wood or steel pipes. When choosing drills, you should prefer those with a diameter of 4 mm.
If you are thinking about how to assemble a polycarbonate greenhouse with your own hands, you need to think about what foundation will be built. It is better to position the structure so that it is oriented from east to west. The foundation may be wooden, but its service life will not be too long. After 5 years, the foundation will have to be changed. In this case, a square beam with a side of 100 mm is used. It fits along the perimeter of the future greenhouse. It is necessary to treat the wood with an antiseptic, then it will last longer.
For a practical foundation, you can use blocks, bricks, as well as curbs. As for molded products, they can be based on gas or foam concrete. If the soil at the construction site is quite loose, then the laying is carried out around the perimeter.
In the presence of dense soil, you can limit yourself to individual columns, which are installed according to the level. The most durable solution, but also the most expensive, is a monolithic reinforced concrete foundation, which is laid around the perimeter. To do this, it is necessary to prepare a trench, lay the reinforcing cage and carry out concreting. The structure will not need to be repaired, it will not be tolerated and will last longer than the greenhouse itself.
Varieties of wireframes
Assembling an arched polycarbonate greenhouse is the most common. This design is convenient in winter, because the snow on the roof will not linger. Bearing elements in this case are relieved of overloads, the load on the base will also decrease.
Choosing the standard 6th sheet, you will get a greenhouse width equal to 3.8 m. At the same time, the height will be almost 2 m. An alternative solution is a greenhouse in the form of a house. The roof in this case will be gable, and the walls will be vertical. Choosing this option frame, you can make a greenhouse of any size. However, material consumption will increase.
Assembly and installation instructions: foundation and frame
Before you assemble a polycarbonate greenhouse with your own hands, you need to markup with pegs and a rope. Using a garden drill, you must make 4 holes along the length of the future greenhouse, deepening by 1.2 m. Two holes should be excavated to install the door.
The asbestos-cement pipe must be cut into separate pieces, each of which will be 1.3 m long. The blanks are installed in the holes, and the hollow space is covered with sand, which is well compacted. The bars should be cut, the length of each workpiece should be 1.5 m. One end of the piece is planed with an ax so that the diameter is equal to the diameter of the pipe.
After impregnating the pillars with a protective compound, they should be installed vertically to form a frame of boards. It will fix the pillars at the bottom. For the roof, you need to prepare the rafter frame, covering it with protective impregnation. To fix the pillars at the base, nail the bottom harness. For this, 25-cm galvanized iron is used. For cutting material, scissors for metal can be used.
For the roof, metal tapes should be prepared, the width of which will be 15 cm. With their help, you can create a skate. The reinforced polycarbonate greenhouse , the assembly of which is carried out according to the described scheme, will have ribbons in the area of the roof that are bent at an angle of 120 °. Use for this you need a mallet. Between the sheets should leave a gap for thermal expansion, which is closed by tape.
At the next stage, you can sheathe the walls with polycarbonate. If we are talking about a design with straight walls, then for their insulation over time, it is possible to cover with another layer of covering material. For the door, you should prepare boards that need to be cut in half and make the door by screwing hinges to them. The frame should be laid on polycarbonate and trimmed. As soon as the sheet is screwed to the door, we can assume that it is ready. It can be installed, put locks and handles, if any, will be the place to be.
If you will be assembling a polycarbonate greenhouse, the instructions must be read. From it you can find out that when using a non-galvanized profile it should be covered with paint to avoid corrosion. It is important to provide ventilation in the greenhouse. For this, the structure is supplied with vents on opposite sides of the structure.
For comfortable operation, the minimum width of the greenhouse should be 2.5 m. At the same time, the width of each bed at the edges will be equivalent to 0.8 m. For lighting, it is best to use energy-saving lamps that give white light. If there is a heating system, you can use an electric heater, heat generator, potbelly stove or water heating.
Brick foundation for a greenhouse 3x4 m
The assembly of a 3 by 4 greenhouse made of polycarbonate is most easily accomplished if a brick is used as the basis. This material will form the foundation of any size. To extend the life of the structure, the bricks should be laid on a pillow made of concrete or cement. Products are stacked in several rows, the amount of which will depend on the height of the structure. For the mentioned sizes, which are 3x4 m, about 3 rows will be enough.
Whatever foundation is used when assembling a polycarbonate country greenhouse , mounts for the frame should be mounted in it. They can be made of durable reinforcement or metal corners. A metal frame should be welded to them. If the latter is made of wood, then for fastening you can use a thick beam.
If you are a beginner, then the instructions for assembling a polycarbonate greenhouse presented above should help you. It is important to remember the standard size of polycarbonate when you decide what parameters the design will have.
Polycarbonate sheets are sold with dimensions equal to 2100x6000 mm. If you take this fact into account when drawing up a drawing, you can avoid unnecessary trimming. The assembly of a polycarbonate frame greenhouse may include the creation of a greenhouse with dimensions equal to 4200x1500 mm or 2100x500 mm. This is true if one sheet is cut into four separate canvases with dimensions equal to 2100x1500 mm. However, there are a lot of options.