Rustic Greenhouse Made From Old Windows

Tour our version of a greenhouse made from old windows.  Building this shed turned greenhouse, we used mostly recycled materials, with old tin, salvaged wood, and free windows.  

We turned an old pavilion that was on our property into a greenhouse garden shed combo with the added inclusion of the pavilion being saved!  

Half Shed, Half Greenhouse

I supposed the pavilion is not a true shed in the sense that it has no walls, but it is serving the purpose for us right now as we build.  The greenhouse has a doorway directly into the covered shed portion as well as a door off the end right across from my new gardens.

Greenhouse Garden Shed

I plan on using this greenhouse as a shed greenhouse combo.

The proximity to my garden means it will be a handy place to keep my supplies and tools.   Building shelves and getting some sort of containers is high on my list of things to do.

It will serve as a greenhouse for my seed starting and I’ll be growing greens all winter long.  At least I hope so!  I had green survive out in the snow all winter so I’m hoping the greenhouse will let me grow them with enough growth that we can eat them as well.  

I’ll also be using it as a brooding house for my poultry.  It will be a perfect space with lots of light and electricity for heat at night until the poultry is old enough to go outside.

Who knows what else will end up in this space.  (likely a little reading relaxing room for me too!) 

Rustic Greenhouse; My Planty Shanty.

Rustic greenhouse made from old windows, and rustic is a great term for it!  It’s already been dubbed the Planty Shanty!   Almost everything used to build this has been recycled, obtained free, or almost free.   The only things purchased were the clear panels for the roof and a few supplies like screws. 

  • The tin on the walls comes from the tin we removed from the roof. 
  • The windows came free from marketplace or craigslist. (I can’t remember which)
  • The doors also came free or almost free.  
  • The wood walls came from a reclaimed shed. 
  • The tree supports came from our woods!
  • The wood used to fix the roof and frame out the walls were from trees on our property that my husband cut on his sawmill. 

Fun Stuff!

Build Your Own Greenhouse Made From Old Windows.

A few things to note if you are planning on using an old shed like this to build your own greenhouse.   The pavilion frame was not straight!  My Tim is a bit of a perfectionist and struggled to let that go at times.  You’ll need to accept that you’ll make things as straight as possible…. and let go of what you can’t fix.   It is not like starting from scratch.  In fact, starting from scratch is probably a bit easier.  

I’m super impressed with how Tim created this.  It wasn’t easy!  Careful measuring, plumb lines, levels, and a great exercise in patience were the order of operations.

Greenhouse Natural Character Tree Trunks

Tim used some small trees that he recently cut down in our woods to make some supports at the end of the pavilion.  I think they add character.  🙂

View from the inside showing the old windows and tree as the corner support.

Fitting the Old Windows

Fitting the old windows into this space took some maneuvering.  The side walls were the easiest.  We had enough windows of the same size that Tim just lined them up and framed it in.  Some of these windows Tim hinged so they would open and ventilate the area when needed. 

The peak portion of the end wall was a little more difficult.  We knew we didn’t want to just fill in with a wall as we did on the covered shed side.  Windows in the peak would allow the late afternoon and setting sun in. 

But finding windows to fit wasn’t happening.  We needed a smaller size.  We kept waiting and looking but couldn’t seem to find any available.  I didn’t want to buy new for this project.

We had some extra freebie windows so Tim decided to try cutting them in half!  He didn’t know if it would work, if the windows would break, or if the frame just falls apart.   All he could do is try it.


  • a 4 pane window turned into 2- 2 pane windows
  • a 6 pane window turned into 2- 3 pane windows. 

Yay!  No broken glass ensued. The frames held and it worked perfectly. We ended up with nice small windows for the peak area.

Old 3 pane window cut from a 6 pane original window.

Tim framed the split windows in the peak area and then filled in with more of the same reclaimed wood he used on the other side.  It worked great. 

Reclaimed Shed Wood for the Rustic Style of the End Walls

The wood for the inside wall that is under the covered shed section was recycled from an old shed that we tore down.  It was heavy nice wood but was rotted out on the bottom edge.  We simply tore the shed down, cut off the rotten sections, and had nice planks to use for this rustic look.  

View of the old wood plank wall, with old windows, a stepladder and interior door.

Reusing the Roofing Tin For the Wall

The metal tin from the roof was taken down and then simply wrapped around the building.   The sides were just the right size to fit the tin under the windows to the ground.  The end section was angled so a bit of trimming was needed there.

Reusing the tin pulled the same texture and color down to the shed portion and I think tied it into the rest of the pavilion. 

Clear Panels for the Greenhouse Roof

When Tim started pulling the tin off the roof he realized just how much the wood was rotted underneath.   He had to strengthen this by adding new support boards next to the ones already there.

View of the rotten boards that were exposed when the old tin was taken off the roof.

This enabled us to just add the clear panels to the roof so we could let that sunshine and truly get a greenhouse effect.  

Tim and I worked together on this part with me on the ground handing things up to him and helping line things up.  Because it didn’t fully line up (of course), we had to do some trimming when done.  But…. we beat the storm that was coming! 

Tim on the greenhouse roof installing clear panels to replace the old tin.

Facia Board

The final touch was the facia board.  That clear edge of the roof panels needed something to trim it out.  Adding the rough edge boards cut from our sawmill was perfect.  

End wall view of the greenhouse showing the lower wall of tin, rustic old windows and rough edge cut facia.

Not For Beginners

This greenhouse was a fun project, but not for the faint at heart.  I would not recommend it unless you’ve got some construction experience.  If you do have the experience…. I absolutely recommend it! 

So much fun and such character in my Planty Shanty. 

Pin this to find later!

Pinterest image with greenhouse images and text Rustic Greenhouse Made From Old Windows

Similar Posts


  1. I love your newsletter. I learn so much.

    I had one disappointment this spring with my mulberry tree. Normally I get a ton of mulberries and do a big canning with them. Well, this year, it leafed out like crazy and I get very few berries. I’m hoping it is just a resting year and it will come back next year. So, I can’t even get six cups at one time to can.

    It looks like my other fruit trees are doing just fine. If you have any insights, I’d love to hear them.

    Thanks again for your great newsletter

  2. Thank you Geri. 🙂 As far as the mulberries I have not had one of these trees so I don’t know for sure. Did it bloom and then get a frost? I know other fruit trees I’ve had freeze out and I get no fruit.

  3. We built our chicken coop with recycled windows, most of them courtesy of a neighbor who stacked them up next to her dumpster. The entrance from the henhouse to the pen is a fancy 6 over 6 house window, courtesy of a local door & window plant that went out of business – $200 window in a sample frame for $10. The henhouse stays nice and warm in the wintertime, at least 10 degrees warmer than the outside temps all the time. When the weather is warm, we just open a few windows to let in a good breeze. And yes, fellow chicken-keepers, we have hardware cloth behind all but the entrance window to predator-proof the structure.

Comments are closed.