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Nanna Stærmose

08 Sep 2020 14:33

DIY: Calle and Helle Hannibal have built their dream greenhouse from recycled materials

 

By Nanna Stærmose

 

In five years Calle Hannibal had thought about building his dream greenhouse. All through one winter he sketched and designed the perfect outline that today is a unique greenhouse build solely from recycled materials.

“The bricks in the gable I got from a house that was demolished. Most of the other materials are leftovers from constructions sites” says Calle Hannibal. 

It has been a long but fun time. We cut the first sod last year in Easter and the base was then dug. Even though Calle Hannibal with his carpentry training has experience with the process, he had to admit he sometimes struggled to keep up the spirit. Consequently, the ambitious project stopped in some periods.

“It is a big project and I haven’t made it easy,” says Calle Hannibal. The house has several angles and takes finesse, and he has spent a lot of time both designing and building it. Now the splendour is finished, and Calle is happy with the result. 

“We enjoy the greenhouse so much, but for me, the joy was the process of building it and to see if I could manage the task. The materials have been collected through the years, so it’s been a long time coming” says Calle Hannibal.

 

The greenhouse is built in continuation of the house. You can access the greenhouse through the garage. The greenhouse is approximately 215 square feet and the base has been dug in the ground, so it is 6 feet tall without being too dominant. Calle Hannibal has deliberately turned the long side of the greenhouse to the east. In this way, the greenhouse will get warmed up by the morning sun. When the sun is the hottest at noon it shines at the gable, so the greenhouse won’t get too warm.

Photo: Calle Hannibal


Calle has walled up the gable from 1200 recycled bricks he got from a demolished house in the neighbourhood. Both his daughters have helped clean the bricks – it’s a project that takes both elbow grease and patience. Besides the gable, he has used the bricks for the base and flooring inside the greenhouse, which links it all. 

Photo: Calle Hannibal

 

The roof is carried by two pillars. The brick gable does not support the wood, it’s fastened with angle irons to the pillars.

Photo: Calle Hannibal



Helle Hannibal, Calle’s wife has decorated the greenhouse. There is room for both animals and plants. This year the couple has planted tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon trees and chilli in the greenhouse, and a vine to provide shade.

Photo: Calle Hannibal



The wood stove they found on Facebook for 12 pounds. It didn’t have any legs, but Calle Hannibal found some elsewhere.   

Photo: Calle Hannibal



One window opens with a regular automatic window opener. He has attached a piece of steel wire to make the other window open at the same time.

Photo: Calle Hannibal


The greenhouse is made of wood. The glass is held by a rubber strip under the aluminium profiles that are screwed into the wood.

Photo: Calle Hannibal

 

The sky is high in the Hannibal greenhouse – exactly 9 feet to the ridge.

Photo: Calle Hannibal



There’s access to the garage from the greenhouse

Photo: Calle Hannibal



The old beautiful porcelain sink is used to fix and irrigate pots and plants. The water comes from a storm water tank.

Photo: Calle Hannibal

 

The beautiful double door is from a local “for sale” site. It is made out of mahogany and has bevelled windows. The house is adjusted to the height of the door.

Photo: Calle Hannibal


This is the happy greenhouse owners. Helle and Calle have slogged away to get their dream greenhouse. While Calle has designed and build, Helle has painted all the woodwork, planted and decorated.

 

Photo: Calle Hannibal

 

Here are five tips from Calle Hannibal – he adds that he would not do it again, but he will gladly share his experience, which The Greenhouse Forum is happy about.

 

  1. Consider your skills as a carpenter. It is challenging to build your own greenhouse from the bottom.
  2. How big should the greenhouse be? Think about what you are going to use it for. Is it for planting or is it a place to hang out?
  3. Sort out the technical details. Calle has, for example, a 30-degree roof pitch which is perfect for the leaves to slide off. It’s then easier to clean.
  4. Consider how the greenhouse should turn based on the corners of the world and if it should stay clear from the house or attached to the house.
  5. Don’t set a deadline that’s too strict. It is an extensive project and it can be difficult to keep up the spirit. Take into account that you might not be working on it every day.



 

 

Om Nanna Stærmose

Nanna Stærmose
Nanna is the Danish writer of many of the articles in the Greenhouse Forum.
Nanna visits happy greenhouse owners and tells their stories about basic cultivation, but also those stories that are more oblique.

Get to know Nanna Stærmose