If you own a greenhouse or flower business, you may be thinking about erecting a new greenhouse. If you have an old 20-foot shipping container, you may want to consider repurposing it by using it to build your new structure. Below are three tips to give you ideas on how to do this.
Remove The Top
In order to have enough sunlight for your plants to grow, the top of the container needs to be removed. You will need a ladder, a screwdriver, and a strong pair of sheet metal snips to do this. When it comes time to actually remove the top, you will also need an extra pair of hands.
Starting at one corner of the top, remove every sheet metal screw and bracket. Save all of the screws you remove for use when installing the plastic top. If there are any brackets that refuse to budge, cut them off using the metal snips. Continue around the top until nothing is securing the top.
Once the top is no longer attached, set up a ladder on each end of one of the longest sides with you on one and your assistant on the other. Push the top away from you a little at a time until it falls off the other side, making sure no one is in harm's way.
Install A New Plastic Top
Once you have removed the metal top, you can install a new roof using a thick roll of plastic. The plastic will let in the light while protecting your plants from excessive rainfall. It will also be thick enough to trap the heat in.
Starting at one of the narrow ends, unroll the plastic about six feet. Let a foot of it hang over the edge. Reinsert the sheet metal screws to hold the plastic in place. Continue unrolling the plastic and inserting the screws until you have replaced all of the screws and a foot of plastic is hanging off the sides.
Cut Small Vents For Air Flow
Along with plenty of sunlight, your greenhouse also needs air flow for your plants to thrive. Cutting small vents around the sides of the container allows sufficient air, as well as keeps the temperature from getting too high.
The easiest way to make your vents is by using power sheet metal snips. Because you need one vent for every square foot, these snips make the job of cutting through the metal go faster. You will also need a marker and yardstick.
- Starting at one of the bottom corners, measure a foot away from the edges and mark the spot. Then, draw a six-inch line to mark the location of the vent. Measure a foot away from this mark to find the location of your next vent. Continue until both long sides are completely marked.
- Once you have marked the locations of your vents, start cutting along the line of the first one. Then, cut an inch at the ends of both sides and a line to connect the tops. Using your gloved hands, poke the metal to pop out the new vent. If you meet resistance, use the snips on the area that is still attached.
- Continue cutting out each vent as described above until you have completed both sides. Then, go inside the container and collect the pieces. You can either save them for other projects or throw them away.
Once the structure has air and light, you can add shelving for your plants. If you do not have an old container to use for this project, you may want to contact a local shipping business that deals with freight. They may have old 20-foot shipping containers they are looking to sell to make way for newer models. For more information, check out a website like http://www.azstoragerental.com.