At the bottom of this page we have included images and the clients reactions to builds to show just what can be achieved.
Timber garden buildings not only look appealing they are also both practical and cost eefective. A well constructed building will give many years of service but inevitably it will require some maintenance and repair.
Over the years we have built on a reputation for working on and restoring many garden structures, Most challenging of which are timber greenhouses. These buildings have a charm all of their own their mellow appearence sits beautifully within the garden with a more natural appearence that doesn't conflict with plants as perhaps the aluminium framed version does but of course this is a subjective.
Timber greenhouses are traditionally manufactured from Western red cedar or Redwood. More recently 'Thermoood' and pressure treated spruce has been used. The most common commercially made greenhouses tend to be The Alton Cedar Greenhouse, C H Whitehouse greenhouses and Edgell's greenhouses. All of these used western red cedar and there are many example that we have worked on that are over 50 years old and some 80 plus years old. Over the years the grade of timber used has tended to decline for commercial reasons, with very early buildings being of heartwood grade 1 timber but more common it is grade two. This grade is normally timber cut closer to the edge of the tree and the grade has an allowance for minor defects (often referred to as 'character') Many claims are made that cedar is 'rot resistant.' Sadly this is not true, Mother nature has evolved many ways to reabsorb just about anything. It is acually graded as 'extremely durable and high resistant to insect and fungal attack.' The cause for the greenhouse starting to fail is often simply that the timber has lost this natural resistance. However it can be restored......
Maybe you have an old greenhouse and the time has come for a decsion to be made, Maybe the condition of the greenhouse is less than ideal...
There are a couple of options available.
All of the above have merit. Perhaps a new buildings is required because it would be larger or smaller. equally minor repairs such as replacing broken glass can be made relatively easily. However as in the case of the greenhouse shown above some need a bit more work and restoring them will return themm back to the waythey were when first purchased.
Most Cedar greenhouses but also timber greenhouses in general need maintenance. Maintaining something like a shed is relatively simple but protecting the timber on a greenhouse is far more difficult. It is often out of reach even when working off steps. Also the damage is often occuring under the glass or around its edges in rebates and grooves out of site until too late. However even though there are issues the majority of the greenhouse is perfectly sound as is most of the glazing.
Timber frames used in greenhouse constructions are made up of numerous component parts and all these parts can be repaired or individual components can be replaced. Quite often an unsightly timber frame can be cleaned back to reveal beautiful well seasoned solid timber.
Cost wise a new 10ft by 8ft cedar greenhouse at time of writing retails for around £3000 to £3500 erected and of course you still have to get rid of the old one. We have worked on scores of old greenhouses and fully restored them for far less than this typically 30 to 40 perecnt less.
Equally restoring is better for the environment specially with regards to the glass panes. Timber from managed sources is very environmentally friendly, trees typically require 40 - 50 years to reach a stage where they can be harvested for lumber. In that time they absorb carbon monoxide from the environment which of course is a contributor to climate change. That co2 stays locked in the timber until it is burned or decomposes. Although another tree is planted in managed woodland ideally everything needs to last as long as possible before it is disposed of and recycled (which invariably means burning as bio-mass.) Although glass bottles are recycled most flat glass taken to waste handling sites is simply sent to landfill.
As part of our restoration we also look to improve on the original greenhouse. The bottom roof rail (eaves rail) always rots out, Cedar is a soft wood and although durable it will rot. We replace these hardworking key parts with colour matched hardwood that will last far longer than the original piece.
in our experience greenhouses start to show issues after 15 - 20 years so if the building can be restored back to its original condition it is not only good for you saving on the costs of a new building but also good for the environment.
Our approach is therefore to take your greenhouse back as much as possible to its original condition, Using as much as we can of the original. Repairing, replacing and treating the elements so that it can once again shine in your garden. The process is labour intensive typically over 100 hours of work but in most cases 60 -70 perecnt of the origianl frames are saved and 75 perecnt of the glass. If we have a large broken pane we often save it and cut it down to replcae a smaller broken pane.
The first step is to take the greenhouse down and return the frames to the workshop. Every frame is then stripped back to its component parts, cleaned and repaired or replaced.
every single metal fixing is removed and restored or replaced with new where appropriate. glass is cleaned and the timber frames coated in multiple coats of timber treatment to restore the original resistants to insect and wet rot.
Finally the frames are coated with a waterproof finish coloured if required and returned for reassembly.
Of course we wouldn't leave you without a greenhouse for those tender plants especially over winter. As part of the service we will erect a temporary greenhouse in place of the greenhouse being taken down.
for the duration of the Restoration (normally takes about 7 to 15 days depending on the size of the building)
We also offer advice on what can be done to maintain you buildings, Sometimes this is simple additions of guttering and quality timber treatments. Through to simple modifications on buildings to channel water away from vulnerable areas such as installing aluminium or rubber overlays at the most susceptible places. What you finish up with is a building that is often better than when it was first installed.
It still came back as good as new.
The clients reaction:
I recieved a phone call at work from my husband after you put the greenhouse back up. He said it was stunning, in all the years we have been married and all the work we have had done he has never done that. Believe me it is quite a complement from him.
Obviosly there are many factors in determining cost, Such as distance travelled, how much repair is required and if any changes are to be made. We always like to come and see the 'patient' and always give a fixed quotation. As a guilde here are just a few of the one we have done
Here are just a small selection of some of the greenhouses we have brought back to life and what the client made of the experience.
However it was restored back to its original condition and even relocated in the garden.
This very large Whitehouse greenhouse would cost over £7500 new, The building located 100 miles away was dismantled and restored before being returned and resited, The work included creating a raised platfom for it as the whole garden was on a steep slope. plus we restored two large all cedar Coldframes and fitted new guttering and drainage pipes. Total cost £5600
The Clients Reaction:
Everybody else said it was beyond repair, we are so glad we found you, just to go inside and feel the warmth and space is special and the smell is amazing.
From very large greenhouses to more common smaller builds we have not turned one away yet and most restored at far less than the cost of a new building.
This standard 10ft by 8ft Alton Amateur would have cost £2500 to replace but we restored for £1475
A tree bow had fallen on it breaking several frames and the ridge bar as well as a lot of the glass.
The clients reaction:
When you said it would look like new i thought that was a bold claim...
but it has to be said you lived up to that claim.
This is a typical example of a greenhouse inherited with a house purchase. The client had never even owned a greenhouse before and certainly not a timber one. It was rotting at the base and the glazing was seperating in the roof. She was having building work undertaken and was advised to knock it down.
Thankfully she called us and we were able to restore it back again.
She has since become an accomplished gardener and regularly holds open garden days.
This greenhouse was 25 years old and soil had collected against the rear and side completely rotting the lower 400mm (16 inches) of the frames such that it was only the glass buried in the soil that was holding it up.
New it would cost over £3800 to replace but was saved and fully restored for £1950
The Clients reaction:
You said it would look like new but i disagree... it actually looks better than when it was new.
This Very old greenhouse had stood at the edge of a wind swept field for years The glass gradually being stripped off by the wind. Destined for the waste tip.......could we save it?
Of course we did, plus The client wanted it to be moved into a new more exposed location and asked for a system that allowed them to easily change glass should it break. The solution was that we installed the glass with custom made hardwood blocks to clamp it in place these can be simply unscrewed to remove a pane of glass.
Here the client had thoughtfully collected glass from other greenhouses and also supplied reclaimed oak boards that were used in the base. Replacement cost £2995.00, restored cost £1570.00
Some would have simply walked away but you actually seemd to relish the challenge. Ity has been on this site since before our time and now will go on for many years to come. I actually have friends with 'greenhouse envy.'
Both these greenhouses would cost over £3000 and £4000 new but were restored for £1500 for the smaller one and £1900 for the larger one.
The clients reaction:
Who would have guessed that hidden in that derelict pile of wood was such a beautiful greenhouse.
We also restore larger greenhouses like this Victorian Lean to style.
The greenhouse had stood on this site for around 100 years and consisted of three linked spaces that allowed for different heating conditions. The on the roof was sliding off and the frame was starting to seperate from the wall. We completely restored the building and the wall which had several severe cracks. Then finished it with a new potting bench with integral water storage fed by the guttering outside. Replacement cost was £27500 but we restored it for £10439
the Clients reaction:
It is the attention to detail that marks you out. The care and considered approach to every aspects means that nothing is left to chance.
The Evergreen Workshop
134 Haslemere Road
Tel: 01428 722700
As we are often out during the day we encourage you to contact us by email or use the contact form.
Or use our contact form.
A lot of our work involves time on site. Although every effort is made to answer telephone calls we would alwys advise leaving an email or use the contact form as the best form of contact.