Building a greenhouse foundation

Constructing a greenhouse is not just raising the structure, even if it’s greenhouse kit. For those of you who are at their first attempt to build a greenhouse, you should know that you should evaluate a series of factors, such as the foundation of the greenhouse. There are two main options each with its advantages and drawbacks.

Option no.1: Wood Foundation

You have solutions here. You can either make a platform by fastening spaced 2×4’s to a base of 4×4’s, or you can go for a floor of railroad ties with a narrow space between them, but no wider than 1 inch. The upside of these solutions is that you’ll have great drainage, the downside is that it’s highly probable for weed and mold to grow between the boards.

Option no.2 Concrete Foundation

This is a more challenging option, requiring a little experience in pouring, handling and smoothing the concrete.The upside of this solution is that you won’t have problems with weed and mold.

No matter what option you choose, each requires adequate equipment, tools and materials.

If you go for the second option you’ll the basic tools, equipment and material for the job, but if you have no experience in working with concrete, you’ll find yourself working with materials unfamiliar to you, such as concrete surface hardener, rebar, conduit, etc.

Here’s a list of the basic tools and materials you’ll need for the concrete option:

  • Screed
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Trowels
  • 16 penny nails
  • Water hose
  • Water
  • 2×4’s (for forms)
  • 1″ x 4″ x 12″ wood pieces
  • 1″ x 2″ x 12″ wood stakes
  • Concrete mix
  • Square mouth shovel

4 Steps in Building the Concrete Foundation

  1. Plan
  2. Lay out the conduit and rebar systems
  3. Build the concrete forms
  4. Pour the concrete

If you plan on constructing a big greenhouse, you might need the help of a contractor or electrician to lay out the conduits for telephone or electric line you need embedded in the floor. If it’s a small structure you can mix your own concrete, if it’s larger you should for some premixed concrete to be delivered to you.

Depending on the tools, floor surface and the help you can get, it will take you two or three weekends to complete the foundation.

The forms should be easy to make. The problems arises in finishing and conserving the concrete, but you shouldn’t have any problems in handling the concrete as long as the surface of the floor is, let’s say, no bigger then a two-car garage. If the surface is larger, it is recommended that you seek help from experts.

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