Transition Putney and Post Oil Solutions
Greenhouse project

This 10’x12’ greenhouse was built as a result of a collaborative project between Transition Putney and Post-
Oil-Solutions on 2011-2012. It has been used during the winter of 2012, and all of 2013 with varying success.

The Greenhouse Project aims to show people that it is possible, with very little skill, to build an affordable, homestead size greenhouse using recycled or easily available materials.

If you decide to build a similar structure, individually or as a neighborhood, and therefore give yourself the opportunity to grow food almost year round, we hope this page helps.

Building the Greenhouse

– Level out a little patch of land slightly bigger than the greenhouse.

– Put the base frame together by connecting the two 10′ (2X4) to the two 12′ (2X4) with the lag screws

– With the pressure of the PVC pipes that we will set up later, the long side of the greenhouse (i.e. the 12′ 2X4) can tend to bow out a little. Therefore, at this point, we drive a couple stakes in the ground along the sides of the greenhouse to hold the frame in place.

– Screw the pipe clamps in the long side of the frame. It is better to have two clamps on each side. Use 11/2″ screws and do not get them to tightly in but leave them as little loose so that you can slide the pipes in during the next step.

– Slide each 10′ PVC pipe in the galvanized clips and tighten the screws as you go along.

With the hoops in place, the structure should start to look like a greenhouse. You just have to put some braces on to make things sturdier.

– With the help of another person, you are now going to install the hip board and the ridge board. At about hip height, about 4′, attach a 1X6 board to the hoops with some pipe clamps. You may want to make a mark every 2′ on the board to make sure that you are spacing the hoops properly. When you have secured the two hip boards on either side of the structure, do the some on the top ridge of the greenhouse.

– to make the structure sturdy, we now have to install some diagonal braces. First, let’s cut 6 (2X4) to a length of 8’9″. These 2X4 will brace the greenhouse sideways and you will have to adjust the cuts to secure the bottom of the brace to the base frame and the top of the brace to the ridge board. Figure 4 gives you an example of the cuts you could use.

There are 6 braces. Two are used at each end of the structure and two are used in the middle, along the 4th hoop.

– You now have a pretty sturdy skeleton and to finish it, you just have to add a door or two and put some clear plastic over it.

Once you have built the door and you are ready to put the plastic on, secure the plastic by using three 1X6 boards that you will screw into the hip and ridge boards.

That should be it. Good luck, have fun and if you have any questions, email me at


 List of Materials


2 (2X6) 12’

2 (2X6) 10’

6 (2X4) 10’

4 (2X4) 8’

6 (1X6) 12’

4 (1X6) 6’


PVC pipes for the hoops:

7 (1”) 20’ PVC pipes



50 (1”) metal clips for the PVC pipes (to get with the pipes at the plumbing supply)

8 (1/2 “) 3” long lag screws

100 (3/4”) wood screws

75 (1 ½”) coated decking screws

Hardware for the door:

screen door metal braces


Greenhouse illustrations PDF

Update: There were a couple of revisions to this basic and easy to build structure, for our second greenhouse;
1. Solid end walls and a solid door made of double wall plastic.
2. Doors in the end walls, and sealed side walls, which makes for a tighter structure that holds heat better.
3. No outer boards were used to secure plastic, it is just held in place at the bottom.
4. Thinner inner wood spars were used to allow more light
5. Inner floor path, guides made of 2×6

All wood was treated with Tounge Oil to preserve it.

Walls were framed with a door opening… then skinned.