It's not greenhouses but I thought it might be interesting to show what I got up to at the weekend - a 24 hour, non-stop solo running race starting down by the beach on the North Wales coast of Prestatyn and following the hills of the Offa's Dyke path as far south as you can until the time is up. It started at 12midday Saturday and the tracker position is logged until 12 midday the following day.
It was a really hot day - trying to stay hydrated was hard, especially on the exposed hills. I'd worn the wrong shoes which didn't allow my feet room to swell in the heat - I ended up with blisters on all sides and lost 4 toenails. However, I kept running until I reached the final checkpoint, even going right through the night. I've already bought my ticket to have another go next year.
The weather was amazing all week - such a different experience to my last visit sliding around in mud and heavy rain. This is a "Mark" greenhouse in Accoya finished in Green Smoke coloured paint.
Building the base for a "Mark" in Lincolnshire.
That was a tough week. There were so many extra challenges for me to overcome. The first problem was that the site was inaccessible for the delivery wagon so I spent the whole first day driving to and from the builder merchants to get the 5 tonne of material to site - 600 bricks, 35 solid concrete block, 35 bags of sand, 20 bags aggregate, 18 bags gravel, 28 paving slabs, 15 bags cement.
The next challenge was finding the soil to be heavy clay - it was so sticky it wouldn't come off the shovel and kept wrapping itself around the wheelbarrow's wheel causing it to lock up. I had to excavate a few tonne of soil from the area to get everything level. Finally, heavy rain kept coming through the whole week.
My solution was to keep on working as long as possible. I sleep in the van and it's a remote area so I could get up early and work late. I ended up working from 5:30am until 9pm but I managed to get it all finished by Friday.
It is amazing and up to our dreams!
As you probably saw, we have already started to fill it with plenty of seedlings.
Having bought an old house, we have had to deal with lots of builders and other contractors, for better or for worse. You surely have already been told it many times, but you are a real professional and it has been a real pleasure to ask for your service.
Many Thanks again.
Matthieu & Anna.
I don't normally build sheds but I was asked by some great customers I built a greenhouse for last year - and this isn't just a normal shed. It has Thermowood cladding (guaranteed 30 years without treatement) double glazed windows, fully insulated, roof in EPDM (over 40 year life expectancy). The space is also really tight - and that's an interesting challenge.
I added shelving - the lower tier of which serves as a bench for sitting and enjoying the views or perhaps reading in the warm comfort of this insulated building.
One of my first jobs, once I'd put the structure up, was doing all the leadwork where the greenhouse abuts the brick wall - no chance of doing this once glass goes in. I used Code 4 lead which should last forever, treated with patination oil to prevent staining.
This whole greenhouse is made from accoya. It won't warp or twist, shrink or swell in weather and has a guarantee of 50 years. It's also beautifully smooth and uniform whilst having the beautiful grain and feel that wood has.
I built all the shelving and added a moveable workbench. The bricklayer had made the walls very thick, which meant I had to increase the width of my wallplates, but it's really nice having the extra width inside - for pots or even sitting.
This week I'm up in Cumbria building the base for a "Jill" greenhouse. We're quite high up (I can see Scarfel Pyke in the distance) so this greenhouse will get a lot of weather. I'm building this one from accoya - guaranteed for 50 years with no protection at all - although I'm painting 3 good coats of Profilan paint in Green Smoke colour which should last 10 years before any touching up is needed anyway.
My customer asked me to design a lean-to against a new wall to be constructed at his property. However, after some further thought and discussion with other contractors the plans changed again.....
...and we ended up with a porch greenhouse which connects to a tall wall at one gable end. There is no cost to how many plans you have and no problem at all about trying different ideas out. What matters is getting the greenhouse exactly as you want it and it's much better doing that at the planning stage, than changing mind once construction has started.
This greenhouse has very tall sides - the guttering is over 2m high - but it really works because it's in proportion to the brick shed which forms the rest of the structure.
I made a short visit to check the final dimensions and bed the wallplates on to the walls the other contractors had laid before returning to complete building the greenhouse.
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