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Long story short, I have an attached greenhouse and I am in need of ideas. Let me know if you have any.

I attached images below of my attached greenhouse that I inherited from my previous owner. The greenhouse was in a terrible state when I inherited it. They had a flimsy tarp that blew off that I recently replaced. There are a lot of holes in the glass ceiling and the surrounding brick walls are pretty beat. Luckily the drain appears to work and I have been keeping water out of my basement.

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Rather than removing it, I would suggest covering it properly with greenhouse film (translucent plastic, UV-protected with typically 4 year guaranteed lifespan, typically 11-13 cents per square foot) rather than a blue tarp. With proper edge attachments it will be much more secure and weather tight, and far less unsightly as well.

You could also use (at greater cost) a twin-wall (like corrugated cardboard) rigid plastic sheet greenhouse glazing, which is available in polycarbonate or acrylic, and is much more difficult to break than glass. It looks suspiciously like your roof dumps stuff on the greenhouse roof, which is poor planning for the life of the greenhouse roof (particularly in glass) if ice falls from the house roof.

Both of the above approaches would be best served by removing at least all the broken glass, or all the glass, period. That would also be the first step in removing it, period.

Finally, you could repair the broken glass with new glass. But if the roof above dumps ice on this one, that won't be a satisfying solution.

With any of the above you could also repoint/repair the brick.

Your pictures are a bit vague, but if the "sliding glass doors" are down a set of steps from the greenhouse floor level you could simply remove the thing and place a normal basement bulkhead door over the stairs and doorway. Typically made of steel, those will take a pretty large ice impact in stride.

Bulkhead door

  • The problem with polycarbonate is it blocks most of the uv not so good for a green house. but it will hold up better than acrylic or glass. – Ed Beal Feb 19 '18 at 23:54
  • I don't know where you pulled that from Ed - virtually all greenhouse glazing blocks most of the UV. Quoth UMass: "Ultra-violet (UV) – bees need UV to navigate. If you are using bees to pollinate plants in the greenhouse, purchasing a film that allows some of the UV part of the light energy spectrum to pass through may be important. Otherwise, UV blocking film will reduce whiteflies, thrips, aphids and other insects. It can also control some fungal diseases." from ag.umass.edu/greenhouse-floriculture/fact-sheets/… – Ecnerwal Feb 20 '18 at 2:08
  • Well as a person who has worked on high power uv, visible and IR lasers I know poly is a Great UV shield. Glass not so much, acrilyc a bit more attenuation. Without broad light spectrum plants may not bloom, or grow enough to support a bloom... – Ed Beal Feb 20 '18 at 2:46
  • Yet many commercial greenhouses use polycarbonate glazing (and many more use polyethylene with a UV blocking coating) - i.e. you are inferring a problem that does not appear to be a problem in real life. If blocking UV caused plant growth problems, I hardly think a greenhouse film update from UMass Ag Extension would fail to mention it. – Ecnerwal Feb 20 '18 at 2:50

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