Detailed EasyGrow Greenhouse Review
I recently purchased an 8x12 EasyGrow Greenhouse from LittleGreenhouse.com. I chose the EasyGrow kit mostly because of cost. I did a lot of research into polycarbonate panels, and was unable to purchase enough clear panels to stick frame a greenhouse and save money versus the EasyGrow kit. Shipping on the panels was over $200 alone due to freight and crating charges. Plus with the EasyGrow kit you get aluminum framing which should resist rot and decay much better than wood. All things considered, the EasyGrow kit seemed like a good way to get a greenhouse built for minimal cost.
LittleGreenhouse offers free shipping on their greenhouses, and mine arrived by UPS in about 7 days. The boxes were badly beat up by UPS, but the parts inside seemed to be Ok. My UPS guy didn't like waiting around while I checked for damages, but I told him it was really important to me. He assured me that if it was damaged he could come back and pick it up later. Thankfully that wasn't the case. These greenhouses are packaged moderately well, so shipping damage should be unlikely.
UPDATE: When I got to the end of assembly I realized that the trim pieces that were bent at a 30 degree angle were supposed to be flat. There are 4 trim pieces that are 6 feet long each, and all 4 of them were badly bent out of shape. I'm contacting the manufacturer now to see about getting replacements shipped. Fortunatly I don't need the trim pieces to start using the greenhouse.
What's In the Boxes
My EasyGrow 8x12 arrived in 3 boxes. Two of them were full of aluminum tubing and parts, and the 3rd was full of just polycarbonate panels. The first thing I did was open all of the boxes in my shop and start laying out the pieces.
In the picture above you get a good idea of what is in the boxes. Here are some detail photos of the aluminum framing members.
Above are the shorter framing pieces, layed out with the plastic removed.
Here are the ends of some of the longer pieces layed out with their numbers exposed to make finding them easier.
Hardware, Click Connectors and Screws
There are quite a few click connectors in the box. They are made of extruded aluminum with spring steel "click" makers. Once clicked in place they can be removed.
The click connectors are pretty nice. Here is a close up detail of one.
Don't be fooled by the click connectors, though. There are still 270 screws that need to be installed. An electric drill with a P2 bit is necessary!
The most surprising thing in the box is the 20 pounds of weather stripping. This is going to take a long time to install.
There are lots of pieces of black ABS for the shelves. They seem to be very rigid.
It is important to start with a level site. The EasyGrow kit recommends not only a level site, but also concrete to be poured in 10 locations around the perimeter of the structure. The concrete is supposed to be 12" deep. Strangely, the advise you to pour it after assembling the kit so that you can sink some provided hold downs in to the concrete while it is wet. I'm not looking forward to that part.
UPDATE: It wasn't that bad. Read on!
I started assembly today, and worked on it for about 4 hours. Here is an hour by hour of my progress.
After about 1 hour I had the back wall mostly framed. I spent about half that time just unpacking the boxes.
At about 2 hours in the back wall was done. The instructions recommend assembling it on it's back. Once put together it is very light and can be moved by one person quite easily. I carried it around in the shop without a problem.
Another hour in and I had the 2 doors completed.
At the end of hour 4 I finished the front wall, which is also assembled laying down.
Here is a summary of everything that I managed to get assembled on the first day, and it took about 4 hours.
Continue on to Day 2