Polycarbonate greenhouse: types, advantages and features of its manufacture, preparation of the base and technology of installation of the structure. The polycarbonate greenhouse is a closed transparent structure of increased strength, designed for plant life in the cold season. You will learn about the features and methods of manufacturing such structures by reading our today's material.
Varieties of polycarbonate greenhouses
Polycarbonate, which is used today for the construction of greenhouses, has a fine-meshed structure - honeycombs. They are filled with air, which retains heat well. In addition, the material transmits sunlight into the greenhouse as well as traditional plastic wrap and is lightweight. The flexibility of polycarbonate makes installation simple and comfortable. This transparent material can be easily cut with an electric jigsaw, drilled, glued and even welded. When installing a polycarbonate greenhouse, it is easy to equip it with vents.
Currently, there are three main types of such greenhouses:
- Single slope greenhouses … They are very reliable, since when installing such structures, the wall of the house is used as a load-bearing element. It is easier to equip a single-slope greenhouse with additional elements due to its close location to the water supply, electricity and heating of the building. The absence of one transparent wall makes it necessary for additional lighting.
- Gable greenhouses … They have two inclined walls on the sides and two straight from the ends. For the manufacture of a gable greenhouse, flat sheets of transparent polycarbonate and straight profiles made of polyvinyl chloride or galvanized metal are used. The construction of such a greenhouse does not require a lot of labor. However, the shape of its roof can help trap air at the bottom of the structure. Without proper ventilation, this phenomenon sometimes leads to the appearance of fungus.
- Arched greenhouses … They are by far the most popular. The space inside such greenhouses has even lighting, the structure itself is easy to install, resistant to precipitation, wind and has a minimum number of seams.
Based on the fact that the air inside the greenhouse is humid, you should choose the right material for making the frame: a metal profile is the most convenient, and when choosing wood, you will need to pre-treat lumber with antiseptics.
Advantages and disadvantages of polycarbonate greenhouses
Compared to greenhouses made of traditional glass or polyethylene, polycarbonate construction has the main advantage - durability. She can serve in a suburban area faithfully for decades. In addition, you can install it yourself without the help of specialists. An extensive range of prices for polycarbonate greenhouses allows any owner to choose a structure within his pocket.
The main technical advantages of such greenhouses include the following:
- Polycarbonate has the highest possible transmission of sunlight.
- Greenhouses made of this material are extremely durable, and due to its plasticity, the structure can be given a curved shape in the form of an arch, etc.
- Polycarbonate greenhouses perfectly tolerate the effects of water and steam, without losing the attractiveness of their appearance.
Against the background of the listed advantages, some disadvantages of these structures seem insignificant:
- Polycarbonate is flammable, so the greenhouse material will melt when exposed to an open flame.
- Polycarbonate greenhouses are expensive compared to similar structures made using other materials.
Polycarbonate greenhouse construction technology
Self-construction of a structure is cheaper than buying a finished structure. The total cost of installation is primarily influenced by the size of the polycarbonate greenhouse. For example, a structure with a length of 4.5 m with its height and width of 3.5 m will cost about 50,000 rubles. A six-meter long greenhouse will cost about 65 thousand rubles, and an eight-meter greenhouse - about 80 thousand. Another factor that determines the price of a polycarbonate construction is the quality of the material chosen.
Selection of materials for the greenhouse
When choosing polycarbonate for building a greenhouse, you need to pay attention to its thickness and color. The larger the first parameter of the material, the better the whole structure will be. A two-layer greenhouse covering would be generally ideal.
Polycarbonate has good characteristics, which has a special layer that prevents condensation inside the greenhouse on its walls. As for the second parameter, it also has a certain meaning and depends on the type of plant for which the structure is intended.
If you plan to grow vegetables in a wide range, you should not choose colored polycarbonate. A transparent white material is more suitable for this purpose.
It is equally important, before making a polycarbonate greenhouse, to choose the right material for its frame:
- Metal corner frame … Not strong enough. In case of heavy snowfall, it may not withstand the load, therefore, in winter, such a structure needs the installation of supports that can be made of wood.
- Frame made of metal shaped pipes … It has high strength and durability. When installing it, it is necessary to correctly calculate the distance between the arcs. In this case, the greenhouse can easily withstand a high snow load.
- Frame made of flexible metal-plastic pipes … Easy to install and economical enough. However, its wind resistance is low, so when installing such a frame, the ends of the pipes must be firmly attached to the foundation of the greenhouse.
- Wooden frame … Differs in low cost and easy installation. Its elements can be easily replaced if necessary. However, the service life of such a frame is short - 5 years.
Important! When making a greenhouse, you need to take into account some of the features of this process: its internal space should be optimally organized, polycarbonate sheets should be used rationally, minimizing the amount of waste, the foundation for the greenhouse should be built in accordance with its dimensions.
Installation of a base for installing a greenhouse made of polycarbonate
The greenhouse is recommended to be located on a flat and well-lit area of a suburban area. The structure should be oriented in length from east to west. The foundation is used as a support for the greenhouse. There may be several options for its arrangement:
- Base made of wooden beams … This is a lightweight version of the foundation, which, if necessary, can be transferred from one place to another. The structure can be located in the ground or on its surface with supports pre-installed on the level. During installation, they must be hammered into the soil or attached to metal corners, dug vertically into the ground. For strapping, a beam with a section of 100x100 mm is used, which should be installed around the perimeter of the future greenhouse. The wood of the base for the greenhouse should be impregnated with an antiseptic, and if the structure is deepened, a roll waterproofing material should be placed under it. However, despite these measures, such a foundation will not last more than five years.
- Monolithic strip foundation … It is the most expensive, but the most durable. The reinforced concrete structure will not need to be repaired, and its stability will avoid distortions during the installation of the greenhouse. The solid foundation foundation is excellent for year-round greenhouses and provides excellent protection against frost and rodents. It should be installed after making a drawing of a polycarbonate greenhouse and marking its perimeter on the ground. Work on the construction of a reinforced concrete foundation is reduced to digging a trench, installing formwork and reinforcing cages in it, pouring concrete and waterproofing the finished structure after polymerisation of the binder material.
- Block concrete base … In the course of its construction, FBS blocks for foundations or concrete curbs are used. All of them fit into a trench previously prepared according to the marking on a sandy or crushed stone pillow. Concrete products must be connected to each other with knitting wire and mortar. If necessary, the resulting base can be extended with brickwork.
- Monolithic concrete base … It is recommended to arrange it only on soft soils. According to the markings made for the greenhouse, you first need to dig a shallow pit. Then its bottom must be covered alternately with a layer of sand and gravel. Each of the layers must be well tamped. After that, a metal reinforcing mesh should be laid on the crushed stone pillow, and a solid plank formwork should be installed around the perimeter of the pit. As a result of pouring this structure with concrete, a monolithic slab will be obtained. To organize the drainage flow through the base of this plate, you need to bring out a vertical pipe with an inlet pipe at the end and a filter mesh. A finished base on a large area will reliably isolate any greenhouse from the ground and perfectly hold its frame.
- Pile foundation … It is indispensable for greenhouses on wet soils. For its installation, screw piles are used, which are screwed into the ground with a gate. Then, after trimming them, intermediate power elements are installed. The pile foundation can be made without prior leveling the site.
Polycarbonate greenhouse installation instructions
Before assembling a polycarbonate greenhouse, it is necessary to prepare all materials and tools. For work, you will need: profiles, pipes or lumber for the manufacture of the frame, polycarbonate sheets 4-6 mm thick, a screwdriver, an electric jigsaw, screws for fastening the sheathing.
Greenhouse installation should be carried out in the following sequence:
- First of all, it is necessary to install its end side. To do this, the upper structure unit must be connected to a pair of long sidewalls. This operation should be carried out using the special fasteners and screws included in the greenhouse kit. A screwdriver will help speed up the work.
- After that, the end arch must be installed on the foundation and fixed in position with clamps.
- Then you need to measure the length of each of the sidewalls, divide it in two and put the appropriate mark on the profile with a marker. On both sides of the end arch, two-meter profiles must be attached horizontally, and in the center of the arc in its upper part, a cross member of the same length. Greenhouse stiffeners should be at the same level. The horizontality of all mounted frame elements should be constantly monitored by the building level.
- After installing the guide profiles, you can attach the arcs to them using roofing screws. For such an operation, an assistant is required, since it is rather difficult to connect and simultaneously hold structural parts. The assembled arch must be installed strictly perpendicular to the foundation and secured. The correct installation should be monitored with a square or plumb line.
- According to the above algorithm, it is necessary to install all other arcs and guide profiles. In the process of work, it is recommended to use a tape measure and a level.
- After assembling the frame, tighten and install the base of the openings according to the instructions. When checking their installation, spontaneous door opening is unacceptable. If the dimensions of the openings turned out to be violated, it is necessary to determine how smoothly the greenhouse frame is installed and whether all arcs are perpendicularly fixed on the foundation. If necessary, it is recommended to correct the errors and check again the operation of the doors and vents of the greenhouse.
- The final part of the work is the installation of polycarbonate on the greenhouse frame. The sheet material must be unrolled and laid on a flat, flat surface. After that, the protective film should be removed from the inside of the sheets. For installation, each sheet must be supported on the base, and then, with an assistant, toss it over, laying it on the frame. Polycarbonate is very lightweight and should be held on both sides especially in windy conditions. After correctly laying the sheet, it must be attached to the frame with self-tapping screws, placing the fasteners in increments of 40-60 cm.
- The second and all subsequent sheets should be laid in the same way, but with an overlap of 2-3 cm. In this case, material gaps should be left on the end sides of the polycarbonate. After covering the greenhouse "tunnel", the protective film on the outside of the cover can be removed.
- To cover the end sides of the greenhouse, the polycarbonate sheet must be cut in half with a sharp knife. Then half of the sheet should be applied to the end and fixed on the side guides of the frame with a slight overlap. As a result, the side of the greenhouse should be completely covered with a sheet. But the sheet is rectangular and the greenhouse is oval. Therefore, the excess parts of the polycarbonate have to be cut.
- Then, using the vertical guides as a guide, it is necessary to cut the material for the doors from the sheet. The cut piece must be secured to the door frame. After that, the finished door should be installed in the end of the greenhouse. With transoms and the opposite side of the structure, you must do the same. If you do not need another greenhouse door, you do not need to cut it out.
Features of heating polycarbonate greenhouses
The zealous owners who work with seedlings in March, in order to get a fresh harvest in June, need to take care of high-quality heating of the new greenhouse. An ideal option for this purpose would be technical heating, combined with the use of biofuel, which can be compost placed in greenhouse boxes. When overcooked, it gives off heat.
For the organization of technical heating, you can lay communications to the greenhouse from the heating system of the house. In this case, convectors are recommended to be placed along the walls of the building and be sure to loop around each other.
If the manufacture of such heating is impossible for one reason or another, to heat the greenhouse, you can install a simple stove and lay pipes from it around the perimeter of the structure under the shelves with a branch to the street.
How to make a polycarbonate greenhouse - watch the video:
So, if you decide to make a polycarbonate greenhouse with your own hands, this is very correct. This approach to business will make it possible to save almost 5,000 rubles on attracting specialists. And money in a family is never superfluous. We really hope that our instructions will help you set up a beautiful and reliable greenhouse in one working day. Good luck!