Sunken Greenhouse Revival – Plans

Sunken Greenhouse Revival - Plans

Today I’m beginning the revival of the sunken greenhouse project after it was damaged in a hailstorm this past winter. I talk about my plans for repairing the damages caused by the hailstorm as well as the changes and improvements that I want to implement to make it even better than before!

Topics covered…. polycarbonate replacement, shade panels, hail protection, railing, removing the middle post, cooling tube ‘non-progress’, north side metal roofing, reinforcing the raw rock/dirt parts of the interior… and other little odds and ends.

Thanks for watching and let me know if you have any questions.


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Music sourced from the Youtube audio library and/or from… credits as follows….

never say no by Clarence Reed
via Epidemic Sound (license/subscription via partnership with Studio71)

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Tags: homesteadonomics, greenhouse, sunken greenhouse, walipini, gardening, polycarbonate, greenhouse panels, framing, underground, solar,




What do you think?


Written by Aleksandar

Video MakerContent AuthorYears Of Membership


  1. I was thinking you might want to try making the shade cloth like an awning. You could use PVC to make the arms and cross tube. Might take some experimentation to find the right pivot point.

  2. Joe, good video – nice work. Check out the Solexx products before you reroof. I have a 25 x 50 underground greenhouse that I covered with 5mm ~ It consistently maintains about 20 degrees above ambient without supplementary heat. Thankfully I haven't experienced golf ball sized hail but I'm pretty sure it would bounce off. All the best to you and yours, and Good Luck with your reno. Dave

  3. People always see a disaster as a total loss. I see it as an opportunity to improve. Should also consider flash floods or maybe even earthquake-proof the whole greenhouse. Just something to think about.

  4. I lived out as a child in southern New Mexico and I, along with my younger brothers, were always told to watch for areas that rattlesnakes would be drawn to. Are you concerned that your greenhouse might attractive them or is that not a real issues in your area?

  5. Was the Hail predicted….? If so I would put 4 metal poles 4ft high and 10ft 45 x degress from each corner…Then a loop on top and make a big heavy CANVAS fly sheet. You can rig it if thunder is predicted.

  6. Out of the box thought, would an RV awning system work for you? Having something you can press a button from inside to activate would seem ideal in hail that large. I imagine a little modification would make a nice cover but that is pure specualtion. 🙂

  7. Probably a bit too late, but when I built my tiny house here in OK (we often get large hail) we designed our roof pitch to be closer to 2:1 on our outdoor buildings to provide a better deflection angle, also don't have to worry about snow load during blizzards. So far just having the higher pitch made for everything surviving up to golf ball sized hail with zero damage. If you can.. I would suggest this change. Could use the extra space to use for a second level for growing maybe. Perhaps the extra surface area for sun would even make for a better greenhouse.

  8. What about using a system where you use wooden slat that opens and closes with a Manuel hand crank, or a timer to automatically open and close. Open day, closed at night on top of the poly carbonated roofing material

  9. I was looking at the angle of the sun in the sky and slats to let sun in during the moderate times of the year about a 35° angle and reflect during the summer when the sun is about a 80° angle. This would allow indirect sun when its baking the ground and everything else. Maybe aluminum foil on the side facing up?

  10. Have you considered using 1/4" hardware cloth panels over the polycarbon for large hale protection. And could support a shade cloth as the shade from the hardware cloth would be minimal.
    the old guy Bert

  11. Whatever you don't re-use that palruf panelling. I made mine out of that 2 years ago. Already breaking down, splitting and coming apart from UV. I even read this warning on a website but didn't heed it.

  12. Shade cloth idea…let it roll down on a roller from the top. Build rails to keep it off the poly like 2-3 inches so when it does hail it wont hit the poly. Guess I would call it a trampoline effect.

  13. On an earlier video, I comment on your discussion of the water retention system. Well my experience again in the USVI will address your interest in the shade cloth issue. You will be amazed at how much shade coth positively affect plant growing ability. Plants need shade more than you think. You can buy the cloth is increment 20 30 40 60 % shading. It is important that you give shade to your plants. To much sun and UV with have a detrimental effect. Its a very good idea and I am sure it will help with the hale. Blunting the force. Just sayin RC

  14. I just discovered your channel! I plan to have my own place someday with self sufficient facilities. Having this greenhouse for out of season crops would be amazing! Does this greenhouse have plans?

  15. I'd say the shade cloth should be more simple to install and provide more protection and probably be cheaper. Just make sure you have support to suspend it above the roof panels as the farther from the panel the more hail protection it will provide. You might want to consider using two pieces of cloth one UV resistant and one rip stop, unless you want to spend more money on a single strong yet UV resistant option.

  16. Considering the importance of a greenhouse and the cost of the panels. The addition of a wire cloth to help stop hail is a good idea going into the future.

  17. The metal roof area gives you a perfect out of the way storage space for the shade material. Can copy a garage door idea for a segmented section to get over the ridge from the metal roof side

    Rails for a cart to ride down the stairs can also be a good idea. Why carry things up and down the stairs when you can put rails off the sides of the steps out of the walk path a cart can be pushed on. As simple as 4 skateboard wheels on a section of angle iron riding on a steel pipe to keep the cart level down the steps as it can use normal wheels at the bottom and top of the stairs.

  18. Thanks for the video update. I suggest you do sun fabric with a roll-up side like on the side of the greenhouse. The weight of the pipe roller on the bottom should keep them tight and sluff off any hail that happens. Otherwise if the Hale builds up it'll push the fabric down on to the poly carbonate and you will lose that space that would soften the hail. Plus it would let you shade only the top part and protect from the hot midday sun

  19. Maybe for the shade you could use a poly mesh tarp and run two steel ropes through the eyelets to slide the tarp to the side when not in use. I use them all the time to cover mulch or brush on trailers and they hold up to strong winds on the highways by letting the air through. I have also used them as for shade canopy’s for my kids when We go to my farm.

  20. I watch your videos with admiration; creativity and skill, functional ideas. I live in Brazil a beautiful country, the tropical summer stays for about 11 months and the winter is mild, here we do not have these catastrophic phenomena of nature, (other than politics, which is currently finding the right way). I found some videos on the internet that might interest you (Gas for kitchen stove etc) and the manual Soon I will be making a request for a T-shirt, as we use different measurement systems, I need to see what parity measures. Congratulations and congratulations. Vejo teus videos com admiração; criatividade e habilidade, idéias funcionais. Moro no Brasil um lindo país, o verão tropical fica durante uns 11 meses e o inverno é ameno, aqui não temos estes fenômenos catastróficos da natureza, (à não ser a politica, que atualmente está encontrando o caminho certo). Achei uns videos na internet que talvez possa lhe interessar ( Gás para fogão de cozinha etc ) e o manual Em breve estarei fazendo um pedido de camiseta, como usamos sistemas de medidas diferente, preciso ver qual a paridade de medidas.Parabéns e felicidades.


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