Repurpose Your Shed Into a Greenhouse
Convert your backyard shed into a greenhouse, we will give you some great tips to make it your favorite DIY project. Greenhouses are a fantastic addition to your backyard gardening experience. If you’d like to increase your gardening output, a greenhouse will fill that need! A greenhouse will of course keep your plants warm in cold weather that could kill them off, but it will also protect plants from damaging wind and, if planned properly, even from too much direct sunlight.
You can use it to grow plants all year long or just to grow starter plants for the spring. If you have enough space, you can even start growing starter plants for your friends! Building a greenhouse from scratch can be daunting, but if you already have a shed in your backyard that doesn’t already have a purpose, you can easily remodel it into a partial greenhouse.
DIY Tips for Shed Conversion
The most important material for revamping your shed into a greenhouse is fiberglass panels. Fiberglass is durable, relatively inexpensive, and easier to work with than some building materials. Depending on the weather in your area, you might end up replacing some of your shed’s siding with fiberglass panels.
When you visit your local hardware store to purchase your fiberglass, make sure you get all the necessary tools for working with fiberglass. You will need to get a saw blade specifically made for cutting fiberglass, as well as special fiberglass screws or nails. Getting the right screws and/or nails is important for this project, as they are made to prevent you from crushing the fiberglass panel when installing and they will help keep moisture from entering the structure through screw and nail holes.
If you plan well, you might be able to skip some steps at home by having your hardware store precut your fiberglass panels for you. If replacing the siding of your shed with fiberglass is too intensive of a makeover than you are envisioning, you can still convert your shed into a partial greenhouse using large windows or roof fiberglass panels, and lots of them!
Checking Shed Structure
While you are doing your garden shed makeover, make sure that your existing shed structure is not suffering from any structural damage like rot or termites. Having a stable wooden structure with which to create your greenhouse is important for its longevity and performance. If the wood is rotting or damaged, moisture and heat will be able to get in and out of your greenhouse easily, which is not what you want! Not only will that continue to damage your shed, but your plants will suffer from the poor insulation.
Ideal Hybrid Structure
A greenhouse shed hybrid can be ideal for many gardeners as it can not only provide a place to grow plants, but also a workshop for doing other gardening work like potting. It can also be a great place for storing all of your gardening tools and supplies, as your existing shed is likely doing right now. If gardening is your favorite hobby, you can take this opportunity to turn the non-greenhouse part of your shed into a little greenhouse oasis, where you can just relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor,literally or spend valuable time working on your garden.
Designing Your Greenhouse Conversion
The size and shape of your existing shed will likely determine the location of your greenhouse for you. But, if you have flexibility in which part of your shed you make into your greenhouse, choose whichever part gets the most sunlight for as much of the year as possible.
The goal is not necessarily to choose the hottest part of the shed, because you don’t actually want your plants to be too hot, but to choose whichever part of the shed that sees the smallest change in temperature in all seasons. The part of the shed that you choose for your workshop, storage, or relaxation area should probably be the coolest or shadiest part, as you will want it to be bearable even on warm days!
Your Greenhouse Vision
Most people envision a greenhouse to have glass or fiberglass, in this case panels on all walls and the roof. This is a common design for greenhouses, but is really only meant for greenhouses in colder areas where there is not too much direct sunlight. For this project, we recommend keeping the roof of your existing shed intact. Your plants will still get plenty of indirect sunlight from the fiberglass siding, and they will be protected from too much direct sunlight.
Or keep your shed siding and install fiberglass panels for your new greenhouse roof. Especially if you live in a very hot area, even if it’s only super hot for part of the year, direct sunlight in your greenhouse can actually be very dangerous for your plants! Also, you will want to have normal wood siding and tile roofing at least on the shed part of your structure to keep it cool.
If your shed already has a concrete floor with a drain, that will be perfect for your hybrid greenhouse and gardening shed. This will facilitate easy washing of the area in case there is a soil spill and also proper drainage in the event of a water spill.
If you find yourself needing to redo the flooring, consider laying down gravel. Gravel can give you greenhouse a more natural look than concrete, and will also facilitate proper draining. Or if you want to keep the wood flooring, consider covering the wood floor with linoleum or rubber interlocking mats, like that are used in gyms.
Greenhouse Insulation & Finishing Touches
Insulation is very important in a greenhouse since you don’t want the warm air inside your greenhouse to escape. Ventilation, however, can be just as important! Unless you live in a very stable climate, where all seasons are very similar in terms of weather, like near the equator, you will need to employ lots of tricks to keep your greenhouse at a very moderate and stable temperature and humidity all year round.
You will need to put windows in your greenhouse, ideally on opposite walls, to provide proper ventilation in case it gets too warm. Air circulation is also very healthy for you, and your plants! Whatever windows you install should close tightly, fit the frame of the structure well and provide good insulation when shut.
Other temperature controlling tricks you will need to have on hand are a fan or multiple, depending on the size of your greenhouse, a space heater, and lights, most likely battery or solar operated. If you must use battery operated appliances in your greenhouse, be sure to observe all safety notices on the device, especially if you are using a space heater!
There will likely be times during the year when, despite all your best efforts in planning and building your greenhouse, it will be too cold, too hot, or too dark for your plants. Having these tools on hand will ensure that your plants are kept comfortable and able to grow happily in all weather conditions!
Shed Windows and More has skylights, shed vents, solar lighting and windows in the size you need for your shed being converted to a greenhouse.