Well I think from the picture you have already seen (Plus many more pictures below!!), I reckon you will have a good idea as how to make your greenhouse, however take a look here: http://www.reapscotland.org.uk/reports/greenhouse%20v1.pdfThere were certain points on the site that I didn’t like, so I adapted my construction a little different to theirs, since my first green house I have adapted even more. Also, I used only 1.5 liter water bottles that friends on the island collect for me, in 3 months I had collected over 7000 bottles, fortunately most had easy peeling labels, the rest are awful to peel, but hey! It’s all for a great cause.Did you know, it takes at least 450 years for a single plastic bottle to completely decay? It can even take some bottles 1000 years!
1)You need a terrific amount of storage space to keep your collected bottles, the greenhouse I made measures 2mtrs x 2mtrs and 1.9 high and took a little over 1000 bottles to make !
It will benefit you, if you put all the different types of bottles in separate sections, I do this as it’s easier to find the same type bottles to make the gaps between each bottle the same !
I find, sharp blades are the best for cutting the bottles, so you will need lots of blades and lots of band aids. (If you’re anything as clumsy as me) I use 2” x 2” timber for my frames (panels) and all the wood is treated (stained) before any bottles are fitted! (NOTE) never ever use nails, screw and glue all wood frame joints, because if you make an error, you will damage the wood trying to prise it apart ! Also make sure you start at the top of the panel and work downwards, otherwise later on when the greenhouse is outside, rain water will get into the cuts and may go mouldy! working from the top ensure all cuts are downward and rain won’t get in!
Clear Silicon (transparent glue). I squeeze a little dab of clear silicon in between each bottle when the full panel is finished, laid on the floor I run a soft sweeping brush over the finished panel, to make sure all the bottles are flat, then I squeeze in the silicon (glue) this gives greater strength!
When you have measured the diameter of your bottles, you can work out how wide your wood frame has to be, don’t guess or you will either be to short or too long, and the bottles will have big gaps in between them, “which looks awful” ( I did this on my 1st attempt, but learned very quick ) the height of your green house is entirely up to you, as you can cut the length of a bottle to any size, the width of your frame is important so that the bottles fit in nice and snug.
6) You must lay your wood frame flat on the floor and put thin pieces of wood underneath the frame to lift it up, this is so the centre of the bottles are centered to the middle of wood frame (otherwise your bottles will be proud on the other side) and won’t look nice.
7) When you see my pictures, you will notice I cut a bottle in half, and I screw the bottom of the bottle onto the inside top of the readymade frame, this will ensure they won’t move about or blow around when its windy (which is quite frustrating)!
8) I then cut about 1 inch off the bottom of every other bottle and insert the top of those bottles into the half cut bottles that I screwed to the wood, this is done all the way along the frame until you get close the bottom of the wood frame.
9) I then put full (uncut) bottles along the bottom of the wood frame, now you should have a gap from the full bottle and the last cut bottle, measure this gap and cut a bottle enough so it’s a tight snug fit, then push it into position, do this the full length of the wood frame until you have a full panel. Every 4th row of bottles will have a hole of 16mm (use a soldering iron to do this) the top on and the bottom one has this hole, and directly where that hole sits on the wood frame, a 16mm hole is drilled through the wood, then a 15mm bamboo or 15 mm steel bar can be threaded through one end of the frame and inside the bottles until it comes through the other end of the wood frame, (I cut the bamboo or steel a few mm short so I can hammer a nail underneath it to stop it falling out when you move the frame, without these, the panels will be weak).
10) If you make 3 wood panels all the same size you will be able to screw the wood frames together making a back and two sides’! The front, which will have the door, takes a little more working out, especially as you have to add more wood to take the doors hinges!
11) The roof will be made exactly the same width as the back and front panels, but will be made longer than the side panels; this is so it will over hang and allow rain to run off.
12) I then make a flap panel; this is for ventilation in very hot weather and saves having to keep the door open all the time. I make this flap panel exactly as the other panels, the same width as the roof panel, but only 18 inches long, this is hinged to one end of the roof panel.
13) When the roof is hinged to the flap panel and laid flat on the floor, dab each and every bottle with silicone (glue) then run a thin line of silicone (glue) along the wood frame ! Now take a big enough piece of heavy duty plastic sheeting (polythene) roll it up tightly and put the end of it on one end of the wood frame, gently roll out the plastic sheeting (polythene) right across the two panels, and when both are covered, staple the plastic sheeting (polythene) to the wood frame, now gently run over the top of the plastic sheeting ( polythene) with the soft brush, this will make the silicone (glue) stick the plastic sheeting ( polythene ).
Ok, now let’s presume you have moved your panels to the desired location and have erected the two side panels and the front and back panels! Take the two hinged roof panels and turn them over so that the plastic sheeting (polythene) is facing to the ground, with lots of helpers lift it up and sit it on top of the other panels, now, the amount of fall you want for your green house is entirely up to you, here is what I do, I make sure I have 1 foot (12 inches) over hang at the back, go to the front and lift the roof panel so that the flap panel slides upward, leaving approximately 6-8 inches overhang on the
front panel, (for not slot a piece of waste wood in the two ends to keep it in place).
Now carefully take the two roof panels away and make a simple wood frame from the top of the waste wood all the way to the back so it can be screwed to the back, fix it at the front with screws to the height the waste wood was, with help lift the roof panels back into position, remembering plastic sheeting (polythene) facing downwards, align the back over hang and fix to the simple frame work, this will trap the plastic sheeting (polythene) and will make it secure.
Unfortunately the roof sides cannot be filled with bottles due to the angle and decreasing backend, so I use the heavy duty plastic sheeting (polythene) and staple it to the sides, cutting away any oversize, I then cover that with thin strips of wood the same diameter as the woof frame, this hides the staples and makes a neater finish.
A simple catch or sliding bolt on each side of the flap panel will keep it open or closed!
Fixing in position You could use the method on the website I sent you, position your greenhouse, dig four deep holes at the corners and screw beams to the sides of the greenhouse, making sure at least you have 18 inches into the ground, the fill the holes with concrete. I sat my greenhouse next to a wall, and I made up steel brackets that fix to the greenhouse and
bolt to the wall, for the front bottom I drove steel bars into the earth as far as I could, cut to length and fixed to the sides of the greenhouse with overlapping brackets. We have had force 8 gales here recently and my greenhouse has not budged.
I really can’t think of anything else, if you feel I have missed something please let me know, and ill help as much as I can.
Enjoy your construction, I love working with the bottles and have made several things from them, don’t throw your bottles tops away, find a nice piece of flat board, paint one side with glue and stick the tops in the glue, keep them close together and work from the middle of the board until you reach the sides, get your jigsaw and cut around the edge tops, find a thin bendable 1 inch piece of wood and go all the way around the board, glue and pin it, then before the glue dries, sprinkle tiny beach pebbles into the gaps, you now have a cool fab table top, and all ya need do is make some legs!!
Please please take before and after pictures of your project, each and every step of the way take a picture, and let me see how you’re getting on.
Thanks ever so much for your interest in this, and remember, get your children involved like I do with Luci, but most of all, you’re doing your little bit for the Environment!!
Approx 1000, 1.5ltr Plastic Bottles!
Electric Drill (or Battery drill)!
26 x 2×2 rough sawn timber!
20 x 2 mar canes or 15mm steels!
1x 16mm wood Bit
2 Liters Wood Stain
1x 4mm wood Bit
Posy (+) screwdriver
screws (approx 100)!
Stanley Knife, (new blades)!
25mm pins (approx 100)!
25 meter 2x half rough sawn timber
1 x 2” paint brush,
3 x 75mm hinges (door)!
18 x 40mm screws (door)!
1x 100 mm sliding bolt,
Staple Gun, (Staples)
3 meters, thick polythene sheeting,
6 tubes Clear Silicone (gun)!
Above is a list of all the tools and materials I used to make my green houses, all materials available From B&Q or any decent Builders Yard.
Here are some awesome examples:
Shade tolerant plants? Or maybe this one’s just for kickin’ it