My Experience Assembling an EasyGrow Greenhouse - Days 2 and 3
This is page 2 of a multi page write up. You can find page 1 here.
Our Story So Far
When we last quit we had assembled the front and back walls, as well as the 2 front doors. We have also cut and leveled the pad where the greenhouse is going to be assembled.
Today we started off by putting together the side walls. Snapping the pieces together that form the side walls and the benches was my favorite part of the entire assembly. It involved the most use of click connectors and it was surprisingly fun to click all those connectors together. The side walls went together in about an hour.
At this point we skipped ahead in the instructions and assembled the roof gables so that we could get them done in the shop and not in the field.
The instructions recommend leaning the back wall against an existing structure while you snap on the left sidewall. We didn't have an existing structure so this step required help. The instructions don't mention needing help on this step, but it certainly made it a lot easier. Clicking the side walls on to the back and then the front was also fun, and took about another hour. We're up to about 6 hours at this point in time.
We also realized that we needed more sand and got another ton to put around the greenhouse. This makes 2 tons of sand, or about 2 cubic yards, for the project. If you are going to use sand as a base, use this number as a starting point.
Here you can see that we have attached the roof gables. The instructions do mention needing assistance on this step, and it was indeed very helpful, but strangely not as helpful as on the previous step. If you can only get help once and you are tall, get your help to assist you attaching the side walls and not the roof gables. They were a breeze.
Here you can see that we have installed the roof vents and the front vent, as well as the cable bracings on the side walls. The Easygrow 8x12 comes with one manual roof vent and one automatic roof vent. They are straightforward to assemble and install. We'll show a detail of both vents.
The cables add a tremendous amount of rigidity in the forward-backward direction, but there is still some give in the left-right direction. Installing the cable keepers in the aluminum channel was difficult at first, but after a while you get the hang of it.
Here you can see the automatic roof vent. It is temperature adjustable and pneumatically driven. It seems to work fine so far, but I wish it closed a little tighter. The area around the roof vent is going to be the biggest heat loss in the winter.
It also has a front vent that opens and closes by turning a handle on the inside. It works pretty good, unless you open it too far, then the flaps fall out of place and don't want to close. It is equipped with a screen to keep rodents out, which is a nice touch.
That's all that we got done on day 2. It took us about 3 hours of working on the kit for a total of 7, and another hour or so of working on sand and other site prep that I will not count in the kit assembly time.
Today we put all the polycarbonate side panels and roof panels in. The most time consuming part about this was removing the plastic protective layers from both sides of the panels. It wasn't awful, but it did take a while. The panels just slide in to place until you add the weather stripping later. They have a strong static electric charge and become dirt magnets, which is why ours look so dusty. Installing the panels took about an hour.
Next we dug the holes for the concrete and put in the hold downs. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it still took 3 hours to complete. We used sand to build a dam and really push the concrete up under the bottom channel to add support in case our sand washes away. You can fill the hole from the outside, then come inside and shape the concrete with your hands, drive the pin in place, and bury the concrete in sand. In this picture the concrete is mostly buried.
We used a 60 pound bag of Sakrete for each hole, and the instructions recommend 10 holes, so plan on getting at least 10 bags of concrete. Premix in a wheel barrow and transfer to the hole with a spade shovel.
With the 7 hours from the previous 2 days we are up to 10 hours of assembly time and not quite done yet. However, the kit is going together very nicely, and we should be able to get it done tomorrow.
Continue on to Day 4