Building a greenhouse

A year and a half ago, shortly after moving into our house in Newton Mearns, we decided to buy a lean-to greenhouse.

I found one on B&Q’s website at a reasonable price. I didn’t say anything about assembly, so I presumed it probably was reasonably easy.

It arrived at seven big bunches of aluminium sticks and three packets of toughened glass.

All I could do at the time was to check that all the packets looked unbroken.

The next time I had a weekend available, I started building it.

I knew I had to build some kind of foundation, but the instructions for that were too confusing without actually having a greenhouse frame to measure.

It took a long time – the instructions were hard to follow, but at least each bit of aluminium had a number engraved that were matched somewhere in the instructions, so it was just a case of persevering.

However, when I had almost completed the frame, I realised I couldn’t proceed without building the foundations, because some of the bits had to be screwed directly into the foundation or the wall.

It was a rainy day, however, and the foundation involved pouring concrete into holes in the ground, so I had to wait till the weather improved.

In the meantime, we had some very strong winds, and the frame started blowing apart.

To rescue it, I had to disassemble it into sections and wait for better weather.

Some months later, I finally got round to building the foundation and reassembling the frame, but by then it was too late to grow tomatoes and chilies, so I decided to put in the panes at some later date.

A few months ago, I then finally got round to putting in the panes together with Phyllis.

It was quite puzzling, however: Whereas the metal bits had been numbered, the glass was not, so we had to spread them all over the lawn, measure them and match them with a number in the instructions (I’ve scanned in the relevant page; note how the instructions on the left are for the illustrations on the previous page, just to confuse you).

Because it was a sunny day, that process burnt huge holes in our lawn, but what could we do?

Doing this, we discovered that two panes were missing completely (they had delivered 2 panes of size 10132 instead of 4). Not broken, just missing!

I therefore filled out the form to inform Halls. The form did say you were supposed to do that within 7 days of delivery, but how was I supposed to do that when the packets were intact? Should I have spread out all the panes onto the lawn for a year?

I got a phone call a few days later.

It turned out Halls had been taken over by another company, Eden (now called Eden Halls), and after a fairly long and pleading conversations, they agreed to send the missing bits free of charge.

They arrived yesterday, and the greenhouse is finally complete!

Next time I’ll either buy a polytunnel instead, or I’ll get somebody to assemble it for me.