How to Frame a Greenhouse Roof
The quality of a greenhouse largely depends on its roofing, as a good greenhouse roof can provide a number of benefits in the form of minimized heat loss, reduced heating cost, effective heat retention at night, and enhanced yield of your plants. In fact, when you build a greenhouse, its roofing as well as framing must be given the top priority. Since it serves as the base for insulation purposes, a greenhouse roof’s frame must be both functional and durable. Read on to learn some important tips that helps you to effectively frame your greenhouse roof.
Tools and Materials Needed
• Tape measure
• Slate cutter
• Seaming pliers
• Hip runner
Step 1: Selecting Materials to Frame Your Greenhouse Roof
A variety of materials are now available in the market for greenhouse framing purposes. However, the selection of appropriate materials to frame your greenhouse structure depends on a variety of factors, such as its intended purpose, the size of the greenhouse, its location, and the climate. For instance, opting for materials such as galvanized steel will be an excellent choice if you want to construct a durable greenhouse. If it is for commercial gardening purposes, materials like aluminum will be a perfect alternative. Aluminum is also a great choice if you want to build low-cost and long lasting greenhouse frames. Another common material that is used for greenhouse roof framing is wood, which is not only easy to construct but also provides an attractive appearance. Most popular among the woods that are used for roof framing are Black Locust, Red Cedar, and Red Wood. Other materials that are used for greenhouse roof framing purposes are PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), plastic, resin, and Solexx composite, which is a blend of PVC, composite tubing, and steel.
Step 2: Determining the Appropriate Design for Framing the Greenhouse Roof
Equally important for framing the greenhouse roof is selecting the right design. Greenhouse roofs are usually framed using any of the following basic designs, such as gable, gambrel, mansard, and Dutch light, each with its own specialties. For example, gable and gambrel designs are perfect for the construction of greenhouses in snowy regions. Likewise, to grow plants that require plenty of winter light, mansard will be a great choice. In addition, Dutch light will be useful for breeding low-growing plants like lettuces.
Step 3: Framing the Greenhouse Roof
This step should be carefully carried out, as it determines the quality and success of your entire greenhouse. For instance, if you use lumber for framing purposes, it will be a good option to paint it with a top quality white latex paint for best results. For framing a greenhouse roof, it usually requires 2x4 rafters. However, if it is to be used for roofing greenhouses in snowy regions, large rafters, measuring 2x6, may be required. These rafters should be nailed atop the plates as well as the ridge board at the crest of the roof. However, prior to framing the roof, make sure that each rafter has been cut in such a way to suit the plan as well as dimensions.