Lean-To Greenhouse from Old Doors and Windows

After 6 years of using my baby greenhouse that was built from 3 old storm windows, it became apparent this year that it just wasn't big enough for my needs anymore. The biggest issue I deal with is the late spring frosts and early fall frosts that we are prone to at an elevation of 3700 ft (1125 m). What I need is a place where I can keep 2 full grown tomato plants all summer long and not have to worry about them getting killed by frost.  This new greenhouse also gives me plenty of room to store my planters in the early spring to keep them from overnight temps that could kill them.


Last year I built a potting shed from old doors and windows and I also built a lean-to awning structure against my workshop to keep the snow from landing at the base of the foundation, thawing and then seeping inside.  During the summer months, I noticed how much sun that awning got and decided it was the perfect structure to become my new greenhouse.

Here's how the workshop looked a few years ago, you can see how sunny it is around that window.

So I began by adding a bracket on one side of the window and then discovered that there wasn't enough support in the wall of the workshop to tie into as the window had not been properly installed. I apologize for the mess in this photo, those are all the scrap pieces of wood I used for the potting shed and awning project.

 With the amount of snow that potentially could be sitting on the roof of this awning, I had to build much more support into the structure than I had planned.  This is how it looked at the end of 2015

I attached a 2x6 ledger board to support the roof across the back top which also sits on 2x4s screwed into the studs of the workshop walls.  I screwed right through the siding, probably not my finest moment...  Then I added the old doors and extra 2x4s to frame them in. The two old doors on either end of the roof and the 2x4s give the roof the support required.  A double 2x4 header runs across the top front to complete the structure. It sits on the 2x4s that you can see on the outer side of the two doors.  I used 3/4" plywood for sheathing, tarpaper and metal roofing all of which I had on hand.  

Now all I needed to do was to seal up the structure with some old windows.  I pieced together old storm windows and odds and ends of lumber to create the right height and width for the opening.  D Lawless Hardware kindly supplied the hinges for this project.  They have loads of hinges for all purposes at really great prices.  

I also cut back the pallet that I'm using as the floor of the greenhouse (it's completely separate from the greenhouse and can be removed if needed) as the wood that stuck out farther than the doors was wicking moisture into the structure whenever it rained.  The lattice will be covered inside with a storm window as soon as I find one that will fit. Unfortunately, the one I had cracked when I tried to install it. Sigh...

So now the potting shed and greenhouse look like this:

I couldn't be more pleased!  Everything needs a coat of paint, I was only able to get a primer coat on since it's already getting cold here, but it's all set to go for spring.  I can't wait!!

Have a great week!

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!


  1. Another amazing "Anne". I call the great creations Betsy of My Salvaged Treasures "betsies". It only seems fitting that your awesome projects get the title of "Amazing Anne's.

  2. You've done it once again, my friend! WELL done!

    Golly could you please please please send a little of your cooler weather to mid Ohio? It's been unbearably hot for months - still almost 90 and very humid and just sogawdawfulicannotevenstandit!

    Anyway, great job with your latest project. I love the metal roof on that building, too - sooooo farmhouse style! : - )


  3. OMG Anne another beautiful creation by you. I am swooning over this one. Love your grown up greenhouse!
    So pretty.

  4. Oh my word, I love love this greenhouse. So awesome and I want one. LOL, you are so talented Anne. I love you and so happy you shared this great post at Dishing it and Digging it link party. It's so great having you. Have a great week.

  5. What a sweet little greenhouse and you made it yourself! You are such an inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to share your projects.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  6. Your new greenhouse looks beautiful ♥


  7. You have done it again my friend!....you turn a problem into a most wonderful and beautiful solution with your talent and creativity!
    Love, love, love!!!....Happy Fall Anne...Already cold there?...I am happy that our temps are going to be in the mid 70's here!

  8. You are so clever with a hammer, some nails, and few scraps of wood! I love that spot so much! More of that cottage feel. :-)

    It's getting chilly here too. I'm loving this weather!


  9. I just signed up for your blog and I'm very impressed with what you do, with so little. What a neat greenhouse. Love it.

    1. Thank you so much Laurie, and welcome!!

  10. Very clever idea and it looks so cute. I want one - I need one, or the same reasons you built yours. Pinning to share and bookmark. Marie from The Interior Frugalista

  11. I like how you piece things together and make it all work. Too bad about your broken window, hope you find one for that spot. Cool here today the last few days... boo!

  12. Anne, you rocked this our for sure. It's amazing how you are one to take on any project. Beautiful again!


  13. This is an amazing project and the greenhouse has so much charm!

  14. Thanks for the great inspiration Anne! A greenhouse is high on my wish list. Our springs here always seem to have wild temperature dips along with the odd hot day. I think a greenhouse will make growing annuals so much easier.

  15. Wow, girl, you are amazing! I guess it's true: "where ther's a will, there's a way!!!

  16. Very impressed Anne. Looks great. I don't think there is any challenge that you can't meet.
    Audrey Z.

  17. Anne, we are going to have to build some out buildings against the garage, as well. Yours will be referenced many times when we eventually add ours. We are having the same issue with rain. I'm so glad you shared these. The windows and doors make them sooo charming!!

  18. Anne I don't know how I missed this post.
    You've done it again. You cease to amaze me. You rock!!

  19. This is awesome!! You always have a beautiful solution to any need that arises!! Great job as always!!!!! Have a great day Anne!


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