Building a kit is one of the fastest ways to get a functional greenhouse up and running. The Palram Glory series of greenhouses yields a strong robust greenhouse that looks good and works as expected. it is relatively easy to construct by two people with some home renovation experience.
Motivation for Purchase
Given that we have been planning our farm for twenty years now, Robin and I are a little impatient to get things moving now that we are back in Canada full-time. Building a greenhouse this summer to allow us to start our gardens early in 2018 was a key goal for us.
Our plan called for situating the greenhouse in the northeast corner of the what we are calling the west garden. This position yields the most sunlight while keeping the greenhouse close to the workshop as part of our overall permaculture zone 1 design.
Evaluation of Options
We explored a number of options from building the greenhouse from scratch to buying a kit. In the end, we decided to buy a kit as the quickest way to get an operating greenhouse. We looked at a number of Canadian-based companies on the internet, but found they all were reselling the same two manufacturers (Palram and Rion). We then focused our search on what model to buy. The Palram Glory series has rated with some of the highest resistances for both wind (100 km/hr) and snow (100 kg/m2). We felt that these properties were important in our situation on the farm.
Having chosen the model, the final choice was price. We leveraged our Costco membership and purchased the 8′ x 16′ version via the Costco website.
First of all, be prepared to handle some large, very huge boxes. The basic 8’x’8′ greenhouse comes in two boxes, and each extension kit comes in its own box.
Our kit arrived one rainy day in the back of an UPS truck. The truck driver felt uncomfortable backing his panel truck onto the farm proper so we backed our F150 pickup truck out to the road and shifted the boxes on to our truck. We drove the 100 feet to our workshop and then carefully lowered each of the boxes to ground level. You will need two people at least; a third person would be very helpful.
The kit sat boxed up in the workshop until September when we finally signed a contract with a local company to have a concrete pad poured for the foundation. Once the pad dried, it took Robin and I a day and a half to complete the greenhouse. The kit went together very well and overall I was impressed with the quality of the components.
- Unpack and lay out all of the components on a large flat surface if possible before starting. We spent a couple of hours one evening unpacking and sorting all the parts. As a result, we knew that we had all of the necessary parts.
- At a number of points during construction, the plans indicate that you should pre-install fasteners in the slots of the aluminum frame for use at later steps. It is easy to overlook these steps; we did in a couple places and had to disassemble the peaked ends to add the fasteners back in.
- If you chose a greenhouse design bigger than 8’x8′, then the extra length is added by one or more extension kits. Each extension kit adds 4′ of length so our 8’x16′ greenhouse came with two extension kits. The instructions show that the extension kits should be used all at one end of the greenhouse. This places all of the joints in the long horizontal direction in the same area, potentially weakening it. We chose the following pattern to distribute the joints through the length of the greenhouse. Everything still lined up properly with these changes and I felt the overall structure was better aligned and stronger for doing it this way.
- Step 3:
Ground-level sill (north): 8′ connected to 4′ connected to 4′
Ground-level sill (south): 4′ connected to 4′ connected to 8′
- Step 7:
Upper-level eave (north): 4′ connected to 4′ connected to 8′
Upper-level eave (south): 8′ connected to 4′ connected to 4′
- Step 29:
Ridge board: 4′ connected to 8′ connected to 4′
- Step 3:
- If you do not own a large concrete hammer drill, it is well worth the money to rent one for a day to install the anchoring bolts into the concrete pad.
Greenhouse In Use
The completed greenhouse looks very attractive. The finish on the aluminum frames complements the polycarbonate panels very well.
Tuning the automatic vents to hold the temperature in the greenhouse at night took only a few days. This required nothing more than a few turns each on the adjustment screws each day until we noticed the vent windows closed in the morning.
We have also experienced several storms and the greenhouse stands up well in gusty winds. There are almost no rattles and the door in particular is strong and robust.
In summary, we are very happy with our selection of the Palram Glory greenhouse. Now we just need to build and install some tables and benches to be ready for the 2018 planting season.
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Note that Amazon does not have the Palram Glory listed on their site. The link below is for a similar Palram greenhouse with a slightly lower snow and wind resistance.