Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Forum rules
This area is for Reference and discussion of plant hardiness, overwintering methods and tips, and planr protection.
Post Reply
Linden
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 7:39 am
Location: High Wycombe

Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by Linden » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:01 pm

Hooray! With much soul-searching and discussion and use of tape-measure, Spitfire and I have finally managed to find room for a greenhouse! Now the problem is: do we go for a wooden or aluminium structure? Our one problem is that it will be built (the frame will cross) a manhole, so we may possibly one day have to take it apart. Any views people? icon_scratch


User avatar
dave2166
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Leyland, Lancashire

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by dave2166 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:00 pm

well having spent the past week and a bit building my aluminium greenhouse i am slightly biased, but you have a number of pro's and con's off both

there are widely differing qualities in each, you get what you pay for
wood is said to have better thermal qualities and doesn't suffer from temp fluctuations like metal
wood is poss a bit easier to work with in the longer term BUT will need some maintenance
you can get powder coated alu houses whicch look much nicer than plain shiny ones

with regards to future mods and/or taking apart if you move houses for instance, then cant answer as i've never taken one apart

both what ever you do.... GET A GOOD BASE its the only thing which will turn a good greenhouse bad quicker than you can blink


Linden
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 7:39 am
Location: High Wycombe

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by Linden » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:11 pm

That's helpful to know Dave. We're going to have to site it with one wall against the summerhouse where I work, and one side against the fence. Can you put it together from inside? We were thinking of a base of railway sleepers - seen it done and it worked, although it made it higher, not a problem, more room for those tall musas!


User avatar
Dave Brown
Site Admin
Posts: 19742
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:17 am
Location: Chalk, (Thames Estuary) Kent, England 51.5N 0.3E
Contact:

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:21 pm

I have neither, I've just bought this Polytunnel off ebay for £55. Easy to erect, the cover is taylored to fit, not just a flat sheet, is tearproof :wink: It needs a base to anchor it to, I am concreting short fence posts(40cm) into the ground and putting a rail and battons to hold it down. This has a ridge height of 2M (6'6") but on my base it will be 4" taller. :wink:
270909 Poly 05.jpg
It is not staying on the lawn, I just erected it there to check the foot spacings :DD
Best regards
Dave
icon_thumright
_________________________________________________
Roll on summer.....
http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk


User avatar
dave2166
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Leyland, Lancashire

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by dave2166 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:53 am

Linden wrote:That's helpful to know Dave. We're going to have to site it with one wall against the summerhouse where I work, and one side against the fence. Can you put it together from inside? We were thinking of a base of railway sleepers - seen it done and it worked, although it made it higher, not a problem, more room for those tall musas!
one side of mine is against a fence, but about 6 inches away, i glazed this first then pushed it into place. you can do 95% from inside , bolts etc,,, but the glass is the bit you might struggle with, depends on the glazing method and the size of each individual pane i guess..

sleepers sound like a viable option, i was surprised just how heavy the whole thing was when glazed, as a frame i could move it on my own but glazed... no way, and more concerned about the sound of cracking glass too.. so mines on a 8inch x 12 inch concrete strip foundation. i get wind problems !!


Linden
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 7:39 am
Location: High Wycombe

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by Linden » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:45 am

Re polytunnels, I already looked into that but i don't have anywhere in the garden for one where I could possibly make it windproof (I live high up in Wycombe and it's pretty breezy). The site for the greenhouse is next to where I work with clients, so needs to be a bit prettier ( and I need to see through it) so polytunnel no good there. The problem with the base if I use concrete is that it would have to go over the manhole - hence the sleeper idea as if necessary it can all be moved. Still puzzling over viability, but I think aluminium is the way to go icon_scratch


User avatar
dave2166
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Leyland, Lancashire

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by dave2166 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:55 am

Mines only 8x6 but you certainly wouldn't be able to slide it out of the way, for one thing the structure is rigid but will flex and move when twisted across the diagonals, and with the glass it makes it very difficult to lift, to take out one side for instance would be viable i guess in emergencies but you would prob have to remove glass to make it a safe proposition

also if you have clients nearby then temperred safety glass is a must to avoid nasty insurance claims


Linden
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 7:39 am
Location: High Wycombe

Re: Aluminium vs. wooden frame greenhouse

Post by Linden » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:25 am

Sorry Dave I didn't explain very well there - I meant we'd take it apart to move it if necessary for access to the manhole,hence timber base rather than concrete. We've now decided anyway to go for a smaller 6' x 6' to make access to the garden easier and safer, and tempered glass was definitely on the agenda from the start. Next step - any advice on heaters? I'm wondering if we'd get better air circulation if we get a more expensive one that we can hang from the roof? We can get power in easily enough from the summerhouse, there's already an outdoor socket there. I read that some plants can get scorched by a floor fan heater, and the fan goes off when the heater goes off. A better one will keep the fan on low all the time. Any hints gratefully received icon_salut
Last edited by Dave Brown on Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moderators: Heating posts have been moved to the Greenhouse Heating Topic to enable searches to find that information.


Post Reply