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Could you take a look at this greenhouse I plan to build in the next couple of weeks, please? This will be my very first attempt at building anything but everyone seems to think it's easy enough.

http://ana-white.com/2012/05/plans/barn-greenhouse

My question is about the gussets. I see she just whipped up a few with some scrap wood lying around, but I'm not there yet. I looked online for gussets and I've found these.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_95807-72913..._product_qty_sales_dollar|1&page=2&facetInfo=

Will this work? I guess as I get the wood cut and start putting it up I'll understand better how they work, but I have seen them in the store as well as in action in barns here and there. Or do I need to buy metal gussets like the wooden ones she made in the video?

Thanks!
 

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Do a search for 'truss plates'. You want ones with actual nail holes in them which are better than the ones you have posted. Simpson Strong Tie comes to mind.
 

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PP,
I think for this particular project you would be better off to use some cdx grade plywood, 1/2 or 5/8 thick. CDX stands for how the plywood is graded. Tell the local lumber store what you are doing and they should be able to help. The plates in the link from Lowe's are actually meant to be applied by a hydraulic press. Some people think you can just hammer them on but that is not correct. You won't have a heavy load on the roof so the plywood gussets will be plenty strong. The gussets will hold the "trusses" together until you have the roof panels on. I would then add 2x4 blocking as Tyler mentioned for additional support until the roof is complete.
I sure wish I was there to help. I have been in construction one way or the other for over 25 years and I still get excited when people talk about their projects.

P.S. If you are using screws for any part of the project, make sure they are not drywall screws. They are meant for holding drywall but can be very brittle when using on wood. Use deck screws for wood to wood and then the same roofing screws that she recommends in the plan for the roof panels. Post us some pics and happy building.
 

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Hey Shannon,

Depending on the dimensions (span particularly) of the greenhouse you want to build and the possible snow loads where you are, I'd say either cut your plywood gussets at the ridge where they extent down your rafters a fair amount to prevent any sagging or pushing out of the exterior walls, or else setting the rafters (with a birds mouth) atop a beam rather than butting a ridge board so the force of any excessive weight is directed straight down rather than out, then run 2x4 blocks beneath the beam tying the two rafters off.

I tend to over build things just a bit as you might guess.

Good luck!

Pop
 

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I hate and loathe plans like the one shown, plans that were designed by some yuppie greenie with no real-world experience or common sense, who was sitting in a chair designing for a magazine and a "following."

Let's start by noting that there is no ability to vent the place. You have a hot car sitting in the sun and it is illegal to leave a baby in it - why? - because it gets too blessed hot for survival! So why do you build a greenhouse that has even MORE solar gain, and neglect to install some sort of window, automatic vent, or automatic fan? Either because you are an flaming idiot who has no clue how to design an outhouse or because you enjoy seeing the look on people's faces when they go out to their greenhouses and find their broccoli already steamed and ready to eat!

Then, because it looks nifty in the drawing and is easy to work with, you design your greenhouse with the ridges on your plastic going sideways instead of up and down. Ever notice how metal roofing is installed so the water and debris wash down the surface, and standing seams are made vertical instead of horizontal? Build that greenhouse as designed and you can plan on spending hours on a ladder cleaning out leaves, pine needles, soot, and other drek from those ridges.

Now, if you are the perverse designer, when designing the applying of plastic to such a structure, you want to make sure to forget that plastic gets weaker as it gets older and doesn't play well with tiny fasteners and use screws without washers and/or rubber that would spread the load so that the plastic can break and fly off in the wind.

Of course you would also conveniently completely forget that greenhouses are moist inside, so you would specify untreated dimension wood for the frame so that it can properly biodegrade quickly and free the panels to fly off even earlier. You would also make the frame with dirt collecting crannies so that you can't properly spray it down with sterilizing spray if the plants get a disease.

Now I get to the real reason I hate plans like this. They look nice at first, and they cost a fair amount of money to build, and a lot of completely trusting and innocent people get suckered into building them or designing offshoot plans, only to then find the end product COMPLETELY unusable. This wasting of time, money and effort should be billable to the designer of such a defective product.

Other than that, it looks nice (for now).
 

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Oh, come on Harry, tell us how you REALLY feel, ROFL! :D

I haven't built much myself, but I always try to think of how to make it to last as long as possible, work the most efficiently, be the easiest to repair if necessary, and to need the least maintenance possible. Unfortunately, this fails on all points.

I'd really hate to see you waste your time and money on this PP. If you need a step by step plan, maybe you could find a better one than this. There are tons of free plans on the internet, but it would even be worth buying one to save yourself a lot of grief down the road. :)
 

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LOL! When you see me wielding words like that, it is purpose driven. Sometimes it takes a shock to break the spell of an entrancement - and that little greenhouse DOES look pretty at first glance, just like that slick little sportscar that can't carry more than a pair of skin-tight jeans but has a great paint job and sleek lines.

Take the same basic sheathing materials. If the plastic roof was a shed roof and the south (or southeast) facing wall and it made with the corrugated plastic, with the corrugations vertical, it could nicely drain into rain barrels with the simple addition of a single gutter. Rain water can be better for plants because of the slight acidity, slight nitrogen content, and lack of chlorine or other material.

Insulate the north facing wall and put water drums along it, and they can temper the temperature inside and hold some heat for the overnight hours. Using metal along the base is smart, but laying using pavers as a foundation might be an idea to limit rodent burrowing and pest insect intrusion. A thermostatically operated (solar powered?) fan or at least a passive over-temperature vent could prevent cooking of the plants.

Provision for shade cloth might be a good addition (perhaps a roll-up awning design?), provision for a fold-over or sliding insulated top to limit heat loss overnight might increase usefulness, which brings up an important point:

A greenhouse that is only used in the spring to start seedlings and in the fall to extend harvest for a couple of weeks has different requirements than a greenhouse used throughout the year. Design accordingly.

The grandfather of your greenhouse is shown here - but notice the vents!
http://books.google.com/books?id=4t...ed=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=greenhouse&f=false

Here is a greenhouse that was intelligently designed -back in 1950:
http://books.google.com/books?id=yd...ed=0CD4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=greenhouse&f=false Note that it calls for redwood or cypress for the wood with white pine only as an alternate.

Here is one for the committed gardener. http://books.google.com/books?id=7-...ed=0CE4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=greenhouse&f=false

Note how it uses the tempering effect of the soil by digging down and creating a full foundation and has a heater. It was designed in 1932.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
:(

I can't afford one of those fancy plastic looking panel greenhouses and I don't want a tunnel. And I don't have ANY building experience ... and I can't pay someone else to do it. The thing I liked about this is how it's designed for people like me who don't know what they are doing.

Notice there is no door? Can't that just be the vent? It doesn't snow enough to speak of so I am not worried about that. And I don't mind cleaning it. I clean grunge and grime off the porches and the barn and the tops of the chicken coops every so often. I can clean another structure !
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Anybody outside of Charlotte want to trade your skills for homegrown bacon? I have 60lbs of bacon from my very own hogs and I will share. But keep in mind the quantity becomes less by at least one pound every day. ;)
 

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AZ is a three day ride from Charlotte so that takes it down to 57 lbs. lol

Harry makes some valid points but it's my assumption that you are not trying to build a structure for a nursery that is intended to serve a tri-state area. Use plywood for the gussets, use the left over plywood to make the door. You could use a bathroom fart fan for ventilation and make Harry feel better. :)

For what the unit is intended, I think it will serve you quite well. Harry, meet me there and we'll split the bacon. That takes me down to 28.5 lbs of bacon for my share. Maybe we could talk her into throwing in a plate of eggs, sunny side down.
 

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Here is a site for a greenhouse shed that is a little more practical (although it is overbuilt):
https://www.icreatables.com/sheds/10x12-GH-greenhouse-plans.html

A gambrel roof is possible for a beginner to make, but the cuts need to be fairly exact. A shed style roof is much more forgiving.

Question - do you have to worry about building codes or permits on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
AZ is a three day ride from Charlotte so that takes it down to 57 lbs. lol

Harry makes some valid points but it's my assumption that you are not trying to build a structure for a nursery that is intended to serve a tri-state area. Use plywood for the gussets, use the left over plywood to make the door. You could use a bathroom fart fan for ventilation and make Harry feel better. :)

For what the unit is intended, I think it will serve you quite well. Harry, meet me there and we'll split the bacon. That takes me down to 28.5 lbs of bacon for my share. Maybe we could talk her into throwing in a plate of eggs, sunny side down.

Nosedirt, you are correct. This is a small, starter greenhouse.

Get on the road. I'll set you bacon aside. ;)
 

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I'd have to agree with Harry.....the lack of ventilation will cook your plants in that thing. No, door alone will NOT provide enough. At the very least, you'll need a large vent in the back wall, and probably a fan to move the air. Neighbor of mine bought one of those Harbor Freight pcs of junk, and found exactly the above.

Also, be sure to anchor it well if you get much wind....that is a pretty light weight structure.

As for gusset plates, I always cut mine out of plywood. Salt treated plywood (along with the rest of the wood inside) in the case of a greenhouse.





 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't have a slope. If I did have a slope I'd have a cheese cave/root cellar. I have a hump -and from what I can tell that's a decently good thing for drainage. :)
 
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