Today polycarbonate is the most popular material for the construction of greenhouses and greenhouses. With it, they make both small structures that are great for installation in small areas, as well as greenhouses of impressive size. This popularity is due to this variety of characteristics and positive qualities. Consider how to make a greenhouse out of polycarbonate with your own hands and what to look for during the installation process.
Polycarbonate Greenhouse DIY: the advantages of using material
Polycarbonate greenhouse technology has many advantages over other materials that have been used for this purpose for many years. For example, the positive aspects of this choice include:
- polycarbonate has high strength. If you compare it with a plastic film or glass, it is several times stronger and more easily tolerates any external influences. This is very convenient if during the cold season you do not plan to dismantle the greenhouse, and it will have to face a serious load due to precipitation. Glass in such conditions often breaks, and the film does not withstand the pressure of snow cover;
- the presence of a protective layer against ultraviolet radiation, allows for optimal protection of plants. For example, ordinary glass does not have such a layer, which leads to the harmful effects of sunlight and often causes the death of young plants;
- Polycarbonate is a two-layer material, which significantly increases its thermal insulation capabilities. Due to this, the plants remain warm even at a rather low ambient temperature;
- this material is not sensitive to temperature changes and can easily tolerate serious drops from -50? С to + 60? С;
- working with polycarbonate is easy and convenient. Having a low weight, the material bends well. There are no problems with drilling, so it is quite possible to use it as a covering material for any, even very intricate designs;
- material sold in sheets of various sizes. Having selected the necessary parameters, you can cover the greenhouse with just a few sheets or, if necessary, easily cut them into pieces;
- The light transmission capacity of polycarbonate also deserves attention. On the one hand, it perfectly passes sunlight, providing the plants with the required amount. But at the same time, it has the ability to dissipate it, which does not allow the leaves to burn, even under direct exposure to the rays;
- Of course, we can not say about the cost of polycarbonate. Even the highest quality material will cost considerably less than the glass that would have been required to build a greenhouse.
Of course, polycarbonate, like other materials, has its own characteristics and drawbacks, which have to be considered. How large they are can be judged by considering each of them:
- the service life of polycarbonate is directly dependent on its quality, as well as operating conditions. One of the most common problems encountered is burnout of the material in the sun. Due to the constant exposure to sunlight, the strength of the covering material may decrease;
- Polycarbonate quality is another underwater rock. There is always the risk of purchasing products from an unscrupulous manufacturer;
- During the operation of a polycarbonate greenhouse there are some difficulties associated with the installation of a heating system. Of course, there is always a solution, but you have to make sure that the material does not melt.
Helpful advice! Approximate weight of a standard size polycarbonate sheet is 10 kg. It is highly recommended to carry out a weighing before buying, and if the weight is noticeably less, refuse to purchase material from this manufacturer. Otherwise, you run the risk of facing many difficulties associated with the low quality of the covering material.
In contrast to larger-scale greenhouse structures, greenhouses do not always require a foundation. You can often see that the frame is attached directly to the metal pins driven into the ground. This option is valid, but only for very small and light greenhouses. Among the risks faced in the absence of a foundation is the deformation of the frame under its own weight, damage caused by strong gusts of wind.
For this reason, before proceeding with the assembly of the frame, it is highly recommended to prepare one of the variants of the foundation:
- foundation on screw piles;
- the foundation of the timber.
The first three options are suitable for static structures that do not plan to disassemble for the winter. But the foundation of the timber – the perfect solution for installing a seasonal greenhouse. Preparation of this foundation will take only a few hours.
Another important aspect that must be taken into account before starting the installation of the foundation is the depth of the groundwater flow at the site selected for construction. If the water is deep, it is better to give preference to a reliable tape or brick base. If the groundwater is located close to the surface, the strip foundation will not work due to the risk of deformation and destruction.
If you had to face a high level of groundwater in the area, give preference to simpler options – a foundation of timber or screw piles.
Let us consider in more detail how to independently implement each of the proposed options, as well as the features and nuances of each solution.
If you want to provide a reliable and durable base for their greenhouse, the owners often choose the construction of the foundation of brick. Its service life, as well as resistance to the influence of various factors, is several times higher than the capacity of a bar. That is why we will consider how to independently make a brick foundation with a cement tape base.
In no case can one underestimate the importance of adhering to all technologies and recommendations in the process of work, since the strength of the foundation in the end depends on how well each stage of work will be carried out. So, the algorithm works as follows:
- It is necessary to begin with the marking, which can be done with the help of wooden pegs and rope.
- Then you need to dig a trench around the perimeter of the future greenhouse. Its depth should be 40-60 cm.
- At the bottom of the trench sandy “pillow” is poured.
- Concrete base is poured.
- On top of a series of bricks laid out.
- Lay a layer of roofing material, which will play the role of waterproofing.
- With the help of anchor bolts the bottom rail is attached.
Helpful advice! The larger and heavier the greenhouse is planned to be made, the more rows of bricks will need to be laid out in the process of laying the foundation.
In the event that the construction of a simple and light construction is planned, as an alternative to a complex and massive brick foundation, a foundation of timber can be prepared. This will require a wooden bar 50X50 mm in diameter, metal pegs of sufficient length to attach the bar to the ground, as well as linseed oil.
In this case, the main purpose of the varnish is to prevent the wood from decaying and neutralize all external factors that will affect the material: precipitation, condensate, etc.
Helpful advice! In order to prevent rapid deterioration of the material, it is better to fix the base not to the ground, but to the brick supports. Also, for this purpose you can use screw piles. Such a harness from a timber is the best option.
Despite the fact that polycarbonate has a low weight, it still requires a high-quality frame to which the covering material can be securely attached.
The following options are suitable for this purpose:
- wood (wooden beam);
- aluminum guides;
- metal pipes or corners.
It is worth noting that in order to make a greenhouse yourself, as a rule, they use the first option – wood. This material is familiar to everyone, it is quite easy to process and, in general, is perfect for this purpose. The disadvantages include only the instability of the material to the effects of moisture, as well as the complexity in the event that it is necessary to make a collapsible design. But this does not stop many, and the timber continues to be actively used.
As for the installation of a wooden frame on the foundation (in particular, if it is also made of wood), then everything is quite simple. The main thing is to have a certain experience with the ax and saw, but otherwise it will be enough to follow the instructions.
There are several ways to attach a wooden frame to the foundation of a timber: complete cutting, partial cutting and fastening with metal corners. The easiest way is the last one. Almost no skills are required here, and even a beginner may well cope with this.
But at the same time, the most reliable way is complete cutting. This method allows you to perfectly fasten the two elements together, however, its implementation will require certain skills and abilities that should be the key to a quality job.
Helpful advice! In order for the lower anchorages not to loosen up until the moment of completion of the assembly of the structure, it is necessary to make loops that will help relieve the load from the attachment points and fix them in the desired position until the upper strapping is made.
Metal is a durable and reliable material that it is quite possible to use to create a greenhouse with your own hands. But It is worth noting that in this case the installation has some peculiarities, and it is worthwhile to think in advance about the way with which the frame will be attached to the base.
Mini greenhouses are excellently suitable not only for growing vegetables, but also for planting cuttings of decorative flowers, which are quite demanding on air temperature.
Helpful advice! For the cultivation of rose bushes it is better to equip a special “kindergarten” in which the plants will feel as comfortable as possible. And you in this case do not have to transplant them as soon as they grow up.
As you can see, there are many different options for greenhouses, for which polycarbonate can be used as a covering material. So the owner of the site who wants to install such a structure in his country house, it remains only to choose the most suitable design and make a greenhouse of polycarbonate with his own hands, taking into account all the advice and recommendations of experts.