Greenhouse from window frames: how to find a new application for old windows?

Old wooden windows that have served their age and have given way to plastic ones are usually sent for recycling. But such material may be suitable for summer residents to create a temporary or stationary greenhouse. There is not always enough money for factory structures made of polycarbonate, but here - free, solid and very beneficial material for plants. Glass transmits light well and has high strength. So your greenhouse from window frames will withstand any rainfall and let in most of the ultraviolet rays needed for plant growth.

From the window frames, you can create a temporary collapsible version of a mini-greenhouse for growing seedlings, as well as a large stationary structure. It all depends on the crops that are planned to be grown there, and the local climate. If the weather is warm in summer and most plants survive well in open ground, then it makes sense to limit yourself to a few greenhouses, which after transplanting seedlings will go to the barn until next spring. But in a cold climate, it will be necessary to build a greenhouse “for centuries” so that neither wind nor snow spoils it in winter, and floods do not wash in the spring.

Regardless of which greenhouse building you choose, window frames need to be prepared for the new function. The whole metal arsenal - latches, hooks, handles and under. they are not needed in the greenhouse, so they are dismantled.

To make it more convenient to fix the frames to the frame, it is better to remove the glasses and fold them to the side, marking the numbers with a marker (so that they can then be inserted exactly into the same frame). So it will be easier for you to manage the installation, and the glass will not crack during operation. Replace cracked rails and rusty glazing beads if necessary.

Since the windows were in use, the paint in them, of course, peeled off. All layers of varnish and paints must be cleaned, because the tree needs protection from moisture. The climate of the greenhouse is unfavorable for wood, and so that it does not rot in a year, the frames must be treated with an antiseptic.

It’s good to paint on top with a layer of white paint. The sun will heat the frame less and shorten its life. However, this is not necessary for the boy.

Creating a mini-greenhouse for growing seedlings

While the frames are dry, take care of the design itself. To begin with, you can practice creating a mini-greenhouse, and only then decide on a large, non-separable.

Marking and preparation of material

In greenhouses, window frames usually serve as a roof, which is mounted on a wooden base. On the day, the roof is ajar, allowing the seedlings to ventilate. Therefore, estimate the size of the mini-greenhouse so that its width coincides with the width of the frame. The length is calculated based on the number of windows that the roof will be laid out. Most often there are 2-3 of them.

For the frame, you need boards and 4 beams. The bars are dug in the corners of the future greenhouse, and shields are knocked out of the boards. Since the greenhouse must have a sloping roof for rolling rain and maximum sunlight, the front shield is knocked out of 3 boards, the back shield is made of 4, and the side boards are also used 4, but the top board is cut off at an angle so as to create the desired transition height from front shield to rear. Prepared panels are fixed to the bars using self-tapping screws.

For a greenhouse, usually they don’t make a foundation, but if the soil is swampy, then you can put a row of a single brick under the bottom

Creating a roof from window frames

Since the greenhouse is easy to assemble, glass from frames is usually not removed. Therefore, they proceed immediately to the installation.

  • Frames are laid across the length of the greenhouse and fixed to the rear (highest) wall of the frame. To do this, use window hinges.
  • It is best to leave all windows mobile, not fastening together, but only tightly joining. Then for ventilation and care of seedlings it will be possible to slightly open any part of the roof.
  • For reliability, each frame is fixed on the short side of the frame with a door hook, and handles are screwed on top to make it easier to lift windows.
  • Stuff the bar from the inside of the front shield, dropping it 2-3 cm below the edge of the top board. It will become a support for a stick or bar, which lifts the roof for ventilation.

Handles are fixed on the edge of each frame with self-tapping screws to make it easier to open one part of the roof for ventilation of seedlings

Installation technology for a stationary greenhouse

If the greenhouse is not enough or the climatic conditions do not allow you to grow plants in open ground, you can create a more durable structure that will not be disassembled for the winter and will last 3-5 seasons. But the stationary greenhouse from the old window frames is the hardest of all the options for such structures. Therefore, it requires a well-fortified foundation.

Foundation work: options and pouring technology

The need for the foundation for the greenhouse is also due to the fact that the height of the window frames does not exceed 1.5 meters. This is an inconvenient size for normal movement inside. Ideally, if the height of the walls is 1.7-1.8 m, because the plants are looked after mainly by women. Therefore, the missing centimeters must be "built up" with the help of the foundation. Another plus is that the tree will get rid of direct contact with the ground, which means that it will rot less.

The height of the aerial part of the foundation is calculated based on the total height of the structure, so that the frames together with concrete create walls, inside which you can move without bending

The most profitable is the strip foundation of concrete. Make it as follows:

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  1. The site is broken down so that the greenhouse stands from north to south (with this arrangement, the plants will be all day under the sun). Pegs are driven into the corners, the twine is pulled.
  2. They dig a trench with a width of 15-20 cm, a depth of up to half a meter. If the freezing level in your area is deeper, then dig up to 70 cm. This will make the greenhouse impermeable and allow plants to be planted very early, in early spring.
  3. To strengthen the base, a layer of gravel and 10 cm of sand are covered.
  4. Sand is poured with a layer of concrete, stones are cast, and the remaining space to the surface of the earth is poured with concrete.
  5. The next day they put the formwork to raise the foundation above the ground. The height of the formwork depends on what final size of the height of the greenhouse you want to receive. Usually pour 15-25 cm.
  6. They fill it with concrete, reinforcing it with stones or reinforcement, and leave it to complete exhaustion.

Some owners do without formwork, laying the aerial part of the foundation with a beam of 15X15 cm. To get 30 cm of height, the bars are laid in pairs, on top of each other. Thus, you will need 8 wooden bars, which are pre-lubricated with an antiseptic or used engine oil. They are tied together with brackets, and the edges are strengthened with metal corners. Between the timber and the concrete part of the foundation, it is necessary to lay waterproofing from roofing material.

For a small greenhouse, it is enough to dig a trench 30 cm, cover it with gravel, and then sand and immediately lay the timber on it. True, such a design can freeze.

Frame mounting technology

At least 2 weeks must elapse between pouring the foundation and installing the frame, so that the concrete finally cools and settles in the ground. Therefore, calculate the terms for building a greenhouse from window frames in advance in order to have time to mount it for planting seedlings.

The frame is a rack, as well as the upper and lower trim. They can be done in two ways: either from boards and beams, or from metal corners.

If you use metal corners, then the lower harness is created at the stage of pouring the aerial part of the foundation to adhere the metal to the base. Side racks from the same corners are welded or bolted to the bottom. The upper trim must be very accurately calculated in height so that the window frames are not above or below the frame line.

If you use wood, you will need a 10X10 cm beam that is placed on the foundation, 8 planks for tying (thickness - 4 cm), 4 side racks of timber (5X5 cm) and intermediate, the number of which is calculated based on the number of frames that will be installed . For example, if 4 frames are installed in length and 2 in width, then 3 racks on one side, 3 on the other, and one on the side will be needed. A door will be placed from the second end, which we will talk about later.

When mounting the frame, metal corners and screws are used.

The bars are interconnected by metal corners, pre-drilling holes for bolts, and all metal parts are treated with an anti-corrosion compound


  1. We attach the top ten timber to the foundation using anchor bolts.
  2. We put the side posts, controlling the vertical level.
  3. We nail boards of the lower harness, using a half-tree cut and nails. You can also fasten with furniture corners taken on self-tapping screws.
  4. We install intermediate racks in the frame with a step equal to the width of one window.
  5. Nail the top trim boards.

It is advisable to mount side racks made of timber with the use of a building level and, for better preservation of the tree, cover it with an antiseptic composition

The gable roof frame is best brought down on the ground, and then installed on the structure. He is also shot down from a bar. For the central risers, a tree is taken thicker, and the rafters, the ridge and the intermediate rafter legs can be made of 5X5 cm timber.

It is more convenient to assemble the roof frame on the ground, as there is a support and screwing screws into the ridge and rafters is much easier

What is better to cover the roof?

During the construction of greenhouses from window frames, the roof is usually covered with a film or polycarbonate. Window frames are used less often, because the weight of the structure is too large, and it is difficult to fix the glass in an inclined position. In addition, film or plastic for the winter can be removed. Nobody dismantles the windows, and in winter they will collect snow caps on themselves, reducing the life of the greenhouse.

Intermediate rafter legs can be made not from a bar, but from a narrow thick board. Their step is usually equal to the width of the window frames.

It is better to pull the film together, from different sides. This makes it easier to control the level of tension. Fix the polyethylene to the roof frame using wooden planks and small studs.

If the pediments of the roof are not upholstered with a film, but with a breathing material, such as a building mesh, then you can use window frames without windows

Fixing frames in the frame

After they made the frame and the roof, proceed to install the window frames.

  • They are fixed with screws on the outside of the frame.
  • The cracks between the windows are foamed with mounting foam, and on top they are closed with thin strips for complete tightness.
  • Glass is inserted, fixing not only with glazing beads, but also lubricating the edges with sealant to prevent air movement.
  • Check to see if the windows are squinting.
  • They hook the hooks that will keep the vents closed and think through the locking elements so that they do not hang open.

Each window must be equipped with not only a hook that will keep it closed, but also think that it does not hang in the open

Door installation

The last step will be the installation of doors in the end of the greenhouse. If the design is narrow, then this end is generally not recommended to be sewn with frames, because they simply do not fit. The easiest way to cover the entire space between the door frame and the frame is with a film.

The door frame is made of timber. For hanging the door leaf, you can use accessories taken out of the windows. It remains to fill the floor of the greenhouse with fertile soil, to break the beds - and you can start planting the plants.


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