Gothic Arch greenhouse

Step 5 : Building the Frame

assembling the arch raftersThe curved arches were constructed by the manufacturer and arrived already cut and shaped to the correct size.  As instructed, we assembled the curved sides on the ground using the supplied lumber.  Because of the length of our greenhouse, it was not possible to raise the entire side wall in one piece.  The horizontal purlin joints are staggered, however, so we built the side walls in three sections which were attached together on top of our foundation wall.

The wood supplied was precut to size and clearly labeled allowing for easy construction of the side walls.  The horizontal purlin joints simply slide thru the gaps in the arches.  We then used self driving screws to fasten the arches and purlins together, using the precut filler strips to ensure correct spacing of four feet between each arch.  The first set of arches shown here went up fairly easy with just the two of us at work.

raising the end wall

The middle section was much too large and heavy for two of us to handle and required assistance from a couple friends.  At this stage of construction we began to realize extra effort would be needed because of the additional height we added with our lowered foundation floor.

arched rafters in place and fastened to our wallOne of the problems we encountered was difficulty keeping the arches on top of the block wall when we tried to lift them up.  It was necessary for someone to hold the arch bottoms on top of the blocks so that the walls could be raised up to the ridge board along the top between them.  We found it easier to temporarily hold the ridge boards together with long velcro straps, eventually fastening them with 2" screws and 3/8" bolts as directed.  Once again, our greenhouse was harder to construct because we were not building on the ground and had to stand lower than normal on the inside floor. 

The end walls were constructed according to the directions but with some changes to accommodate the shuttered louvers in the front wall and the exhaust fan in the back.  Our finished back wall is shown below.  In this photo you can see the framing we built in the upper center to eventually support our exhaust fan.  It is necessary to purchase these items in advance, so that the walls can be built with the cutouts needed for adding these items later.

back wall showing framing for our exhaust fan

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