Chris and Jennifer Oswald share strate­gies for build­ing a green­house in a timely, af­ford­able man­ner.

Do It Yourself - - MAKE IT -

GATHER WIN­DOWS. Search Craigslist, visit sal­vage stores, and ask friends to keep an eye out for dis­carded win­dows. Opt for wood­frame win­dows when­ever pos­si­ble, as they are eas­i­est to con­nect. Check wood win­dows for dry rot, which can cause leak­ing and af­fect longevity.

MAKE IT WA­TER­TIGHT. Reglaze glass panes and caulk win­dow frames on both the front and back. Cover roof seams, peaks, and edges with metal flash­ing and flash­ing caps, left.

MEA­SURE TWICE! With win­dow and door sizes in mind, draw a blue­print that puz­zles the el­e­ments into a sturdy struc­ture. Em­ploy ply­wood foun­da­tion pan­els and gables and 2×4s to round out your de­sign.

KEEP IT SIM­PLE. Use 1½-inch ex­te­rior gal­va­nized screws to at­tach win­dows atop the frame­work, in­stead of set­ting them inside a frame as you would when build­ing a reg­u­lar house.

LAY A GRAVEL FLOOR. The gravel can be spread across the ground, so you don’t have to dis­turb tree roots. It drains eas­ily and is easy to level, Jennifer says.

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