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watches you sleep.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you already know I've been using the greenhouse at my new place as a shop. I would like to convert it fully into a shop and get rid of the glass panel roof and walls. I also made a thread on Cherokeeforum.com(also known as CF lol). I would like yalls help as well with figuring out how to do this. I am NOT just gonna tear the whole building down. Im way to far into the process of converting it so thats not an option. Im asking for help on converting it. If you cant get past that then you probably wont be much of a help. For everyone else, this is the post I made on the Cherokee forum:


I moved in with my Brother about 7 or 8 months ago when I could no longer afford my own place after being out of work and disabled from a bad motorcycle crash. It used to be my Grandparents house until they passed and my Parents left my oldest Brother in charge to live here and take care of the place. When the house was built in the 50's or 60's my Grandpa built a very nice aluminum and glass/plexiglass greenhouse for my Grandma. It's got a brick and concrete outline for a foundation that the perimeter of the building sits on, gravel floor, plumbing and 120/240v service run to it. Of course the electrical and plumbing hasnt worked in about 10 years but I'll be getting that fixed in the next year or two.

My Dad and I(mostly my Dad since I lost my leg and cant do much construction work) put down most of a plywood floor(its getting finished soon), we re-purposed the planting tables into 1 decent workbench and I've been using the newly, semi converted shop to continue to work on my motorcycles and other projects. That being said at the end of the day it was meant to be a greenhouse and because of that it gets very warm, and the glass and plexiglass walls and ceiling arent exactly ideal for someone who deals with very hard and heavy objects and whos been known to throw a wrench or two in frustration.

Anyways is I would like to completely convert this structure into a proper shop and that means having a proper roof and walls. My Dad and I have been talking about using the plasticish kind of shed roofing from Lowes or home Depot because the roof kinda leaks now and though the natural sunlight is kickass with the whole building being see through its still not the best shelter and it really needs more sufficient walls and roofing. As for the walls well...I really dont know. It really needs insulation because once I get juice to it again Im installing an A/C and an overhead heater. I have no idea what to use for the walls other than plywood.

The problem with using conventional building materials like this is the frame work on the greenhouse is aluminum and not really as sturdy as the framework in a house or a purpose built garage. Thats where I could really use some input from experienced builders here who can think outside the box on this but still come up with ideas that will work and be safe. We also plan on building a double door side entrance to more easily move the bikes in and out. I want it to come out from the side of the greenhouse a few feet almost like a hallway so I could possibly que a bike there to keep the rest of the shop open enough to work on another one. It will also be where whatever running and rideable motorcycle will stay so I dont have to weasel it out of the shop every time when I want to ride it. That part will be framed out with posts and wood framework just like a shed or a house. Were still not exactly sure how we will properly and safely connect it to the aluminum framework.

Anyone got some ideas? I'd like this to kind of be a think tank spitball kinda thread and will be updating it as we go. Here's some pics of the greenhouse when I first moved here and throughout the conversion up until the way it currently looks. Thanks in advance guys! I'm really looking forward to hearing your ideas.





 

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probly wreck it
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Pretty sweet space...if the aluminum and plastic cant support much weight, your options might be a bit limited...what kind of materials can you get for free?

I'd say some kind of removable, insulated tarp or canvas would be the best way to keep the natural light and atmosphere when weather is nice, while still allowing you to control the temperature when its too hot or cold. Something like this: http://www.eagleencl.com/insulatedtarps

Double them up or layer underneath with old carpet backing for extra insulation. Either that, or you're probly looking at building walls and rafters, which kinda defeats the original structure
 

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Newbie
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641 Posts
I say plywood the inside walls leave the top glass. I would love to have that much natural light coming in my garage. And with the wood on the inside that will keep the wood dry. Just replace the bad glass and reseal it. I would remodel the door. So it was a double swing and twice as wide.
 

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Registered
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I think the plywood on the inside of the walls is a good idea. You could also put window film on the glass, the tint would help with insulation as well.
Build like it is an internal wall; the aluminium frame instead of the steel stud of an internal wall. You could also use plasterboard instead of the plywood.
 

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Fast ZX-12R
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If your looking for light and cheap. Styrofoam insulation and put cheap paneling over it. cut the Styrofoam to fit the glass panels and use some kind of glue such as liquid nails to attach paneling to the frame.
 

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Why not leave it as is and add a heater/AC and a large exhaust fan and some overhead lights? Being a California native, I don't know how bad the temperature swings are in Virginia so maybe that would not work. Seems like a good exhaust fan would give good ventilation when the temperatures are bearable and the heater/AC would provide good air the rest of the time. Maybe put a tarp over the top or some of that radiant barrier stuff when it is really hot.

It seems like spending money on trying to turn a greenhouse into a garage would be almost as expensive as building a small pole barn.
 

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Rollin hard in Wiscompton
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3,717 Posts
It seems like spending money on trying to turn a greenhouse into a garage would be almost as expensive as building a small pole barn.
The problem with the pole barn is it requires space to build, and in most places, permits. Starting with an existing structure means the land is already there and you can do small things to it without bringing the attention of the locals.
 

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Whomadethatmanagunner?
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paint the interior of the glass along the ceiling and leave the side windows clear? That way it'll cut down on the direct sunlight in the middle of the day but still let in plenty of light.
 

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Premium Member
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The painting the glass isn't a half bad idea. You could also try some tinted window film on the glass too. It would cut down the heat and still let light in
 

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watches you sleep.
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9,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys. Ill try to reply in order of who posted, but I'm on a tablet here. So I was thinking on putting a tarp over the top because the rood leaks anyways and it'll cut down on direct sunlight. Mike that's a really good point about mold and I've kept that in mind through this whole concept stage so far.

I can't really just replace the panels with plywood. Plywood thin enough to fit the n the spaces will warp too bad and won't be held in secure enough. If I replace the panels the new stuff can't be much heavier or thicker than the clear paneling. Window tint is an excellent idea and one I've though about myself. I could fins something not limo dark, but dark enough to diffuse direct heat and light but light enough where it won't he pitch black inside.

Shotgun, Styrofoam sandwiched between the glass and new interior paneling is a good idea too, but that brings us back to a potential mold problem. I can't just add an a/c unit and heater because there's no power to the shop right now. That means I'd have to pay to have all the wiring done first just to cool Tue place off and don't have ture money for that yet. The power is gonna come later.

I'm not building ampole barn. I already have a great structure here and as I've already said I'm usingntue greenhouse and this thread is not about ideas for a new shop. This thread is solely for the purpose nor discussing how to convert the greenhouse into a better shop and as I stated in Tue first post, Im not going to debate this issue any further.

Painting the glass isn't a bad idea at all. I could always get model car paint or something like taillight lens paint so its still kinda see through and it would take probably less time and back ache tryingmto put up window TNT. I just don't want to pay nt the whole thing a solid color and black out the entire building. I still want to use some of the natural sunlight this thing has in abundance, especially because I can't just light up the whole thing with lamps right now. Again, it won't have power for a while but I still need some kind of light.

I should cover the entire fucking roof and some of the sides with solar panels. I know it gets plenty of direct sunlight there and it would not only keep it cooler but it would cut down on the power bill. I could use solar panels for the lighting and fans and 110 stuff, and later have 240v hooked up for an welder, compressor and other things that take a lot of power to run. What do y'all think about that?

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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hate us cuz they ainus
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you know...looking at the frame, it kinda reminds me of a carport with glass instead of aluminum panels. i wonder if you could buy just the panels and replace the glass entirely? should only take a box of self tapping screws and some time. as for the inside my first thought was pegboard. but the problem is theyre only coated on one side and made outta mdf so you would have to get something like kiltz and paint the backside and around all the edges of each piece.
 

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Is my bike ok?
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I'd R-max that beauty. The stuff is pretty cheap and weighs next to nothing so it wont weigh down your structure. You can easily hold a 4x8 in place with one hand .Its flexible, too, so it will easily conform the the curvy shape you have to deal with.

When you work your way up the the roof inside ( oh yeah, I'm talking about mounting this on the inside of your walls) just stop an inch shy on both sides. That will give you plenty of ventilation between your inner ( rmax) and outer ( existing) walls to prevent mold. When its cold outside you can stuff a strip of pipe insulation in there to seal it up for when you want to heat the place.

One side is reflective so, once it's all in place, your shop is basically a mirror inside. It'll reflect light like a mofo.

Last time I bought some a 4x8 sheet at 1/2" thickness was about $7-8 IIRC. The r value isn't very high on the sheets themselves, but since it will be creating a 2"(?) air gap between your inner and outer walks, you will in effect be gaining much more r value than what you might think. R value is all about the air gap. Some self tapping screws with some large head washers would put up a sheet in a minute or two. Then tape the seams to really seal it up.

That won't give you poo for interior walls to hand stuff on, but it will block out the sunlight, insulate, brighten up ( compared to painted walls ) seal up and people won't be able to look in. Many birds, one stone.

This shit is honestly so light we were carrying it like...15 or 20 sheets at a time. It'll blow away with a fart.

Your structure is super nice, but I'd be very careful about overloading it structurally. Once insulated it may not melt / shed snow like before, so be careful.


Oh, and R-max is waterproof. If a leak gets on it, fuck it, its fine. Just keep yo tools dry homie.

BTW, are your legs on 4' or 5' centers?
 

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I'm not building ampole barn. I already have a great structure here and as I've already said I'm usingntue greenhouse and this thread is not about ideas for a new shop. This thread is solely for the purpose nor discussing how to convert the greenhouse into a better shop and as I stated in Tue first post, Im not going to debate this issue any further.
The pole barn idea was just a suggestion, no need to get bent out of shape.
 

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watches you sleep.
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9,118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For the sake of saving some time Im gonna copy and paste the reply I made on the cherokee forum when they kept telling me how I SHOULD just do this or NEED OT do that when it wasnt at all what I asked about:

Im not doing that. Im not dealing with CL idiots asking arbitrary questions who are too lazy to read the ad so I know theyll be too lazy to take the greenhousse apart. Im gonna get lowballed, Im gonna get pissed, its not worth my time. Im ONLY looking for advice and ideas with turning this already standing structure with electrical and plumbing and a floor and ALL my bikes, tool and parts already in it into a better shop.

Im not trying to tear the structure down after dealing with finding a buyer for months and months just to have to turn around and spend 4 times that on paying other people to build another building and buying all the supplies. Seriously, Im only looking for help converting this. Everyone always brings up the obvious about how a conventional garage would be better. No ****, of course it would and in a perfect world Id already have that but I dont. I have a greenhouse. A greenhouse I want to CONVERT to a more practical workspace for motorcycles.

So here we are. Right back at the start. After doing all the explaining and justifying I thought I could for once, get away with not doing. So, anyone got any good ideas for a roof, insulation and siding?


Can we all move on now? Ive given this way more thought than anyone else and Im stubborn and know whats best for me in my specific situation. Im hopping around on one fuckin leg with a tight monthly budget. How am I gonna build a polebarn or pay someone else to do it?
 

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watches you sleep.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'd R-max that beauty. The stuff is pretty cheap and weighs next to nothing so it wont weigh down your structure. You can easily hold a 4x8 in place with one hand .Its flexible, too, so it will easily conform the the curvy shape you have to deal with.

When you work your way up the the roof inside ( oh yeah, I'm talking about mounting this on the inside of your walls) just stop an inch shy on both sides. That will give you plenty of ventilation between your inner ( rmax) and outer ( existing) walls to prevent mold. When its cold outside you can stuff a strip of pipe insulation in there to seal it up for when you want to heat the place.

One side is reflective so, once it's all in place, your shop is basically a mirror inside. It'll reflect light like a mofo.

Last time I bought some a 4x8 sheet at 1/2" thickness was about $7-8 IIRC. The r value isn't very high on the sheets themselves, but since it will be creating a 2"(?) air gap between your inner and outer walks, you will in effect be gaining much more r value than what you might think. R value is all about the air gap. Some self tapping screws with some large head washers would put up a sheet in a minute or two. Then tape the seams to really seal it up.

That won't give you poo for interior walls to hand stuff on, but it will block out the sunlight, insulate, brighten up ( compared to painted walls ) seal up and people won't be able to look in. Many birds, one stone.

This shit is honestly so light we were carrying it like...15 or 20 sheets at a time. It'll blow away with a fart.

Your structure is super nice, but I'd be very careful about overloading it structurally. Once insulated it may not melt / shed snow like before, so be careful.


Oh, and R-max is waterproof. If a leak gets on it, fuck it, its fine. Just keep yo tools dry homie.

BTW, are your legs on 4' or 5' centers?

R-max huh? Ill definitely look at that stuff. THANK YOU for posting these suggestions. THIS kind of input is what Im looking for.
 
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