Few things are as satisfying as making something with your own hands. When the project you’re tackling is where you live, that satisfaction can reach a whole new level.

In the home improvement world, nothing is better than taking a worn and dated object and turning it into something new and improved. Sure, you could always leave your old stuff by the curb and go shopping for a replacement, but newer doesn’t always mean better.

This builder in particular took “upcycling” to new heights. When you see what he made out of a bunch of old, unused windows he acquired on Craigslist, you won’t believe your eyes…

A homeowner in Pennsylvania had a big DIY project planned for his house. But before he could begin his project, he had to gather the appropriate materials, which would’ve been really expensive. Luckily, he came across these windows on Craigslist. They’d be perfect for his DIY masterpiece: a greenhouse!

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Next, he sketched out what he wanted to make. In the old days, designers used to draw their plans by hand. Now, modern 3D design and rendering programs have made it easier than ever to detail your designs and make adjustments before you even get to work.

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The first wall of the greenhouse was constructed using four columns of three windows. The homeowner had a little bit of experience with building his own garden sheds and the like, but he had never tackled anything like this before…

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He decided to set up the framework for his southern-facing wall at an angle. Even with just the wood framing in place, the angle of this structure was striking in this natural setting. This would be a pretty intriguing greenhouse, to say the least!


Next came the rest of the frame, which was easier said than done. While he managed to build the first stages in just an hour or so, the total framing time on the rest of this structure took him all day to complete.

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Next, the homeowner made sure he insulated the southern half of the frame with clear plastic. When you’re building a shack or a tool shed, you often don’t have to bother with insulation, but for this structure—and for anything more sturdy—insulation was essential.

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He wanted to add a little bit of character to his greenhouse, so he opted for some cute, ornamental woodworking. One of the perks of handling your own building projects is that you get the chance to personalize them. Talk about literally putting your mark on it!

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This piece in particular was built for the roof and would add a little flair to his blossoming creation. It almost looked more like something you’d find on top of a castle than in someone’s backyard, didn’t it?

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Next, it was time to add more windows, which were essential to this project. In fact, rather than simply being decorative, they were going to serve a critical role in the finished design. It was no wonder he wanted to place them so carefully.

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To secure them to the frame, the homeowner used screws and silicone caulk. When installing windows in a structure this size, it’s important to make sure that they’re not only secure, but that there is enough give so they don’t shatter in inclement weather.

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This wasn’t a flashy build, so the homeowner used a simple, white color for the frame. If anything, the contents of the greenhouse itself were going to provide the color for this structure. Using something like white paint only served to highlight the natural environment!

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Though he wasn’t finished just yet, he took a minute to admire his work so far. Can you blame him? This project might not have been at its completion point yet, but that didn’t mean that it was any less awesome to look at!

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Now it was time to bring in the dirt! With the framing complete, the windows installed, and the paint dry, this backyard greenhouse could finally be used for its intended purpose. That said, this was going to be a greenhouse that was unlike any other you’d ever seen before…

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Instead of custom-cutting glass, which would’ve been heavy and expensive, the homeowner used plywood to cover the rest of the frame. Although you might not realize it, the cost of custom-cut glass can really add up—and this DIY project had a specific budget.

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Next, the greenhouse was ready for a little decoration! Just look at the way the setting sun illuminated this greenhouse with its soft, golden glow. The positioning of the structure wasn’t accidental: south-facing windows get a lot of sun in the northern hemisphere.

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With the outside done, it was time to focus on the interior. First, the homeowner placed some stone on top of the dirt floor. Even though there would only be plants inside of the greenhouse, he wanted his new retreat to have a sleek professional feel.

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Also, the stone would help retain heat, which was essential to making sure the plants would thrive. Not only that, but it looked pretty darn special, too! The rustic aesthetic of the stone made for a nice contrast with the outer structure’s streamlined design.

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Once the floor was finished, the homeowner added some shelves that surrounded the interior. These shelves would provide him with ample space for storage and for the plants he planned to grow inside of his beautiful, bespoke greenhouse.

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And there it was: a perfectly sustainable greenhouse! Check out how awesome the finished product looks. That’s the kind of place you wouldn’t mind whiling away the afternoon inside as you cultivated your favorite greenery.

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With everything in full bloom, it was time to add the finishing touches and make it his family’s perfect hangout spot! Check out the finished product below. Doesn’t it look more like something out a fairytale than your average garden greenhouse?

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What an amazing—and inexpensive—way to upgrade to your backyard. It looks absolutely stunning!

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