I purchased this after shopping around for over 2 years. We have a smaller one at the school where I teach gardening. It was a fantastic bargain and I have recommended it widely on FB this last week. There are a few things I wish I had know before starting: the fittings are super tight and had to be shaved a bit to start them into their adjoining pieces even with lubricant--nice tight fit but time consuming, some of the pictures did not make sense to me and there is no text at all explaining construction--sometimes too 3-4 attempts on fitting pieces to get it right. I did almost all of it myself and it took about 10 hours start to finish after creating a solid base. We were missing 2 pieces and had one mislabeled but customer service contacted me promptly and emailed me to get the exact part # and promised quick fix. It is very sturdy in the wind--25-30 MPH immediately after construction without issue. It held its temperature well at 10-12 degrees above ambient. Vent works well but I am tall (5'9") and it is a stretch to reach it.
In May 2013 I put a hot tub in the yard for my wife. Come October she said she wanted an enclosure around it for the winter. After much research I selected the Palram Silver 8x8-foot Snap and Grow Greenhouse and purchased it from Overstock.com. Shipment was quick and the package arrived in good shape. but note that it is heavy for one person. You may need help moving it around. I rated the quality as good. There was no lack or defect but you get what you pay for. There are much more expensive models out there that may be of a higher quality but at a much higher price. I rated value as excellent, judging it based on price and quality for the price. This is not a real cheapie piece of junk. This is a well designed product for the price. I made a base for the greenhouse out of 4" X 6" X10 foot pressure treated ties cut to the 96.5 X 96.5 inch specs in the plans. It is square and level, sits on my concrete block patio, and should provide a solid base for the greenhouse. I would not consider buying this greenhouse unless you plan to put it on a solid, rigid, square and level base. It is too light to just sit on the ground. Because we were building this around an existing hot tub it complicated the build just a little and may have taken us a bit longer. I would say allocate 8 hours and two people and you should have no trouble finishing the job in that time. If you have any experience with building stuff, two people can probably finish it in 4 hours. I am quite impressed with the design and engineering of the kit. Things go together well and the structure, is quite strong and rigid. Mine has only been up for a few days but we are getting 15 mph winds today and the building is not visibly flexing at all. The plastic panels flex and rattle a bit but that is to be expected. The fit of the doors is not quite right yet, but that may be due to a need for some adjustments. I think we will be able to improve it. While the assembly is not hard, I would not recommend it to a first timer to assembling a kit. At least one person needs to have some basic understanding of construction of kits and how things go together. My daughter helped me and we both characterize this as building Ikea furniture but on a bigger scale. If that sounds too hard for you, then get some help. Assembly requires a minimum of two people as there are times when one has to hold while the other places parts in place or puts them together. Or one needs to be up high and the other needs to hand parts. Definitely use silicone spray as recommended in the instructions as some parts are very tight fitting, which is good. On a few occasions we found a rubber mallet helpful to get that last little bit to go in and seat properly. And be sure to follow the sequence exactly as presented in the manual. All parts are well marked so you should have no trouble matching up pieces to the instructions. While not absolutely necessary I would recommend having a sheet metal seamer tool like this one. http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-jaw-straight-sheet-metal-seamer-98728.html. Some of the parts have thin edges and can get slightly dinged or slightly bent during shipping. Or, if you drop something, you can bend the edges making assembly nearly impossible. With this tool this was not a problem at all as this straightens them out quickly and easily. We did the build over two days of about 3 hours each, not including the building of the base. We stopped on the first day because the wind hit 22 mph and it started to rain. We got the frame up and the front and rear "glass". On the second day we got the rest of the panels in and finished the structure. Again, nothing hard if you have any building skills at all and you can follow the pictorial directions. As a greenhouse this should be an excellent product. However, because I am using at a hot tub enclosure I was not able to put in two braces that support the roof. Normally this would not be a problem but if I get a snow load on there the roof may be over stressed. So I am going to have to come up with a modification that will reinforce the roof. That is not a product defect or design defect. It is because I am using it for a purpose for which it was not intended. In areas where snow is not likely this might not even be an issue. I can't say how this will hold up over the years but based on my initial impressions I think it will do just fine. The plastic panels are quite tough and should hold up well to minor impacts like small branches or stuff being blown around by wind. We have already used the hot tub inside the greenhouse and it seems it is going to work very well.
We haven’t published a review prior to this because it took us quite awhile to complete assembly of the greenhouse — this isn’t as easy to assemble as some of the reviews reflect. Our application is a bit unusual…we first had to build a wooden frame on our increte deck as a foundation for this greenhouse (in order to avoid drilling into the increte itself, which is over a garage) The final product is good…I LOVE my greenhouse! It looks beautiful now, and I’m hopeful that it lasts. Keep in mind that— even with the doors propped open (with the bungee cords) and the vents open, it still gets quite hot, so the ideal use (during the summer anyway) would be for starting seedlings, etc. I have gotten some velcro strips to help tie up the shade cloth (it’s still very stiff) — I’m wondering if my plants will get adequate SUN if I have the shade cloths in place? The shade cloths certainly do help lower the temp and are a MUST HAVE in the summer months. I’ve asked my husband (engineer who’s built quite a number of things) to make a comprehensive list of pros and cons in order to help others who purchase this unit. That is below, and I’ll try to post a picture as well. 1) The automatic vent design is poor. This has been our biggest issue. When it’s closed, there is an air gap at the top on either side, and there should be a better way to fasten it to the ridge support…it appears that the top could easily blow loose in a strong wind. It you snap it on as it appears it should be, the vent won’t open at all. So it fits loosely along the top. We do still keep having an issue with one of the automatic vents opening askew and then not closing properly…we see that it is because the hinged lever arm isn’t exactly straight. That was our fault— it’s obvious that placement of the screw plate isn’t precisely lined up. It would be really helpful if they would provide a good fastening point —from the automatic opener attachment to the vent and to the pane below— maybe a metal piece? so that you don’t have to drill thru the plastic. At this point we’re trying to figure out how to correctly line this up without compromising the integrity of the plastic. Top of the vent (V-2) should be redesigned to allow the vent sides to be parallel and rest on the W-2 panel so that there will be no air gap at the top when the vent is closed 2) Quality control over the t-bolts — it would be so much easier if the threading on the t-bolts were consistent so that they could initially be hand tightened— especially in areas where you had to get two into a bracket at the same time. 3) The gutter drain circular opening is so high that the gutters would have to FILL before they start to drain. 4) Regarding the instruction booklet: page 39 step 9.4A: there are no spacers as mentioned in the instructions. It is impossible to install the S-6 screw without drilling out the hole. this screw should be installed BEFORE the vent is put in place and it does not appear the screw provides any benefit anyway On page 38, 9.2A and B: arm A and arm B are reversed from pictures in 9.1B and 9.1C 5) The attachment holes for the door handles on the door are drilled on 4” centers. The holes on the door handles vary between 4 1/8” and 4 3/16” They should match the holes in the doors. 6) The black paint was scratched from a lot of the members due to shipping. Lastly, customer service was great. They are really helpful and knowledgeable when you do reach them; a faster response time would have been better, however. WOULD WE PURCHASE THIS AGAIN? I have to say yes, and I’m hopeful — after a month of being AWAY from the process — that my husband would agree. The biggest issue to us is the poor vent design. Had that not been an issue, we would have rated this a 5 star!
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