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Reclaimed Window Greenhouse Part Two: Framing

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

This reclaimed window greenhouse was so fun to plan out. With the antique windows, doors, and the shed in the back and the loft above, it has been such a joy. In the first video of the Greenhouse Build series we showed you how we made the foundation.

In this second segment of our reclaimed window greenhouse build, we show the framing and some of the sheathing.

Framing the reclaimed window greenhouse.

Wall framing

We started by framing the back wall. Since this is a shed wall with no windows it was pretty simple. Our shed is a little over 10 feet wide and takes up the last 6 feet of the greenhouse. This will be the perfect place to store extra garden items when not in use. The 86-inch vertical boards are placed 2 feet on center with the first one placed on the end and the second one centered on the 24-inch mark. We placed individually measured blocking boards for extra stability alternating at the 3.5 and 4.5-foot marks between the vertical boards.

Blocking the framing for the reclaimed window greenhouse.

We also added a double plate to the top for added stability. We put this all together with the 3-inch nails using the nail gun.

We added a double top plate to the greenhouse framing.

The next wall we framed was the front wall. This was a little more complicated as it has 6 windows and a door. All of the framing and blocking for this wall had to be done to support those openings. We not only did a double top plate but we doubled up the blocking above the door to help with the large span it was covering. When putting in a window or door you need an opening that is 1/2 inch larger than the window and 2 inches larger than the door to allow for the door frame. We also knew we wanted porch lights so we left a small section around the door without windows so we had a place to put our wiring.

With the side walls, we made them mirror images of each other. They really have to be designed around the windows you have so this is where the planning is so important.

Framing the side wall of the greenhouse.

Once I got to the back portion where the shed was, I framed out one space for a window and supplied support blocking to the rest. We actually made our side walls in two sections so they would be easier to carry over to our construction site.

Framing the shed portion of the greenhouse.

Truss Framing

We made the trusses in an “A” shape using guide blocks and marking the center point to help us make them all the same. Our boards were 8 feet long and we cut the ends at a 40-degree angle and butted them up to each other. We also cut the opposite end at a 40-degree angle so the angled end fits a 1 x 4 board. In the center of the “A” we cut at 50-degree angles.

We then cut 5-inch strips of 1/2″ plywood and angled them to go over both sides of the center. This was then glued and screwed on. We made a 7-inch gusset over the top and glued/screwed it on as well. For the beginning and ending truss, you leave the plywood off the exterior side or it would get in the way of the siding. With the boards sandwiched in between the plywood, it greatly increases the strength.

Framing the reclaimed window greenhouse trusses.

When we went to install the walls on our foundation, we had to countersink holes in the bottom boards to allow room for the foundation nuts and bolts to stick up in.

Countersinking for the nuts and bolts in the foundation.

Constructing walls

We then connected all the walls to each other, quickly forming what looks like a structure.

At this point, we paused in the construction to paint everything white that was going to be visible. This makes it so much easier than trying to do it later. We used an oil-based, latex paint.

Putting up and painting the framed walls for the reclaimed window greenhouse.

Constructing Trusses for the Reclaimed Window Greenhouse

Before we put the trusses up we marked the 10.5-inch mark from the lower tips on each truss so we could more easily center them on the roof and ensure they were even. You wouldn’t think there would be much wiggle room in a project like this but it was amazing the variances we caught by doing it like this.

Mark the truss placement.

We also placed our Simpson strong ties up on the walls before lifting the trusses as this gave us our exact locations. These were placed 2 feet on center except for the second one which was 2 feet from the edge.

Use simpson strong ties on the trusses.

The trusses need blocking at the top of the wall, the top of the roof, and in the middle of the roof on each side. For the top of the roof the plywood uses up some of the space so the blocking needs to be a little smaller to account for that.

We added some 7/16 sheathing to the shed portion to increase the stability of our structure but waited to do all of it until after we got our loft put in. A few extra blocking boards needed to be placed at the beginning and ending trusses as well.

Install the trusses on the reclaimed window greenhouse.

Interior wall of the Reclaimed Window Greenhouse

Before we could put in the loft we had to build the interior wall separating the shed from the greenhouse. This just needed an opening for the door and some blocking.

Frame and install the greenhouse interior wall.

We added some corner braces to the interior and exterior corners for good measure.

Add corner braces.


Having the loft done will help us to be able to reach the roof portion better. The joist hangers went up easily and then we were able to construct our floor framing and add our floorboards both in the loft and shed areas. We used 19/32 pressboard for our floors.

Lay the loft floor.

Lay the shed floor.

Finishing the sheeting both on the shed portion and on the front of the greenhouse really increased the stability of our structure. We used basic 15/32 plywood for the front so we could paint it.

Install plywood on the front of the greenhouse.

The next step is roofing. (Watch for our next post.)

For helpful videos, check out our YouTube channel:

To see how to make a root cellar, follow this link:

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