How to Build a DIY Greenhouse Using PVC

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PVC Schedule 40 pipe can be cut with any kind of saw but I recommend purchasing a PVC tubing cutter because these tools assure you of making a square cut and a perfectly square cut is necessary for a proper fit and strong joint. A ratcheting PVC cutter can be had for under $25 at most home centers and its a good investment because you will be cutting and fitting many pieces of PVC. The old carpenters adage about measuring twice and cutting once applies to building PVC greenhouses too. The Schedule 40 PVC that you will be using isnt all that expensive, a 10-foot length of 1 Schedule 40 PVC pipe costs less then $4.00, but in todays economy who can afford to waste even $4.00 by making a wrong cut. Dry fit everything first before making the joint permanent with PVC Cement. PVC joints made with PVC Cement are exactly that-permanent. This cement sets up in a matter of seconds so there is no room for error. A word of caution is in order here. PVC pipe cleaner and PVC pipe cement are flammable and toxic. Do not use them near and open flame and do not inhale their fumes. Wear protective gloves and goggles. Do not get any on your skin, any in your eyes, and do not get any in your mouth. If you do get any in your eyes flush them out with plenty of water and seek a doctors attention immediately. If swallowed, go directly to the emergency room. These chemicals are used everyday by DIYers but you know what they say about a little knowledge-it can be a dangerous thing. I strongly recommend reading the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on any chemicals that you use before using them. Here are links for the PDF files for these sheets for the pipe cleaner and thepipe cement. The cleaner/primer is necessary to remove dirt and to break the glossy finish of the pipe. Read the instructions on the can. After applying the cement to the prepared fitting and pipe, hold in position for fifteen to thirty seconds to allow the pieces to chemic ally weld together properly. These chemicals have a wide application temperature range but you should avoid using them when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or rises above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Building a DIY greenhouse using PVC

Building a greenhouse using Schedule 40 PVC plastic pipe is a project that even a moderately skilled DIYer can accomplish successfully. Rank beginners can even build some of the simpler designs successfully. These greenhouses come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of complexity, so Im not going to attempt to give you systematic directions on how to build any one design in this brief article. What I am going to do is to provide you with some useful information on working with Schedule 40 PVC pipe and a few useful links for some free greenhouse plans. There are actually two approaches to building a DIY greenhouse using PVC. The first approach is to build one from scratch using the plans you have downloaded, or, for the more advanced DIYer, drawn up yourself. All the components that you would need to build one from scratch can be purchased at most home centers like Lowes and/or Home Depot. The second approach is to buy a kit from one of the many online suppliers of DIY PVC greenhouse kits, plans, and supplies. An excellent one-stop source for all your greenhouse building needs is the Greenhouse Mega Store online. If you want to take the first approach, here is some links to sources of free greenhouse plans. Here is the link for a printable PDF plan for a simple greenhouse that any DIYer can build. One of my favorites but not one that I would recommend for the first time builder is the domed greenhouse. I dont recommend a domed design unless you have experience bending PVC pipe and are prepared to rent or buy the heater necessary to bend the PVC.

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Jerry Walch
Gardening  > 

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