Monday, April 4, 2011

Cold Frame

I've had an old storm door stored in my garage for at least five years now with the intention of building a cold frame. Well, I think it is finally time. I have the door, and thanks to a deck removal, a large supply of scrap wood. The benefit of a cold frame is that you can get a jump on the growing season. I know, I have a heated greenhouse but there is never enough space! A cold frame also has the benefit of being a passive system that shouldn't cost anything to operate!

Free lumber is always good! I have lots of plans for this pile of wood. At least that is what I keep telling code enforcement!
Designing the angled sides is the most difficult part. Be sure your angled edge is not wider than the width of your door. Some of these cuts were a bit tough with a circular saw. It would have been nice to have some more equipment. But as you see here I got it done.
I made the legs to extend one foot into the ground. This helps to support the weight of the door. Mine is really heavy. It might be wise to go with something lighter if you have a choice.
Once the angled pieces are complete, you can assemble the rest in the field. I used lag screws to attach the boards. Once again, make sure this assembled measurement does not exceed the total length of your door.
Base complete. Be sure to angle your frame to the south for the best sun exposure. The intent is to capture as much sun as possible during the day.
I attached the door with door hinges. It still needs and additional board and some sealing to efficiently hold heat but for the most part, it is done. I will put some new top soil and compost inside and will definitely use it to harden off plants this spring. I had hoped to use it a bit more this spring but as my husband reminded me, its done. Its ready for fall use and is no longer taking up space in the garage! The cost to build can be summed in the total cost of the lag screws(about .35ea). The rest was recycled. Let me know if you have questions.

1 comment:

  1. very cool! I would love to see updates (pics) on how you use it and any other tips :) habitat restore always has supplies like this handy and cheap.