backyard attached greenhouse adventure

yellowthumb(5a Ontario)October 21, 2012


I have been thinking put up an attached greenhouse. My yard is south facing with plenty of sunshine.

After a bit research, I located cross country greenhouse, a great product designed and manufactured in Ontario. Before long, I realized the real obstacles, the paper work. Since anything and everything that attaches to your house needs a permit, I expressed my ideas to city hall permit department. To my surprise, those guys looked at me like an alien. Seems nobody has dealt with greenhouse before. A senior guy, both in age and experience, showed up and admitted he has dealt with three greenhouses in his whole career. Of course, some was turned down, others approved with great effort and lengthy procedure.

Quite puzzled, and wondering I am the first customer ever since. I talked to the greenhouse vendor, the vendor admitted that it's my personal choice, a permit or no permit. With permit, I need to purchase a 1100 dollars engineered drawing, she admitted that she has never sold a drawing before. It's kind of indicating to me that greenhouse is really a gray zone that nobody wants to touch, so everybody just do it.

Another shock is that to get a permit, I need to upgrade the snow load. City asks for 60 pound per sql foot. The standard is 32. Since it's a greenhouse with steep slope and slippery material. Sixty sounds way too over engineered, then it comes with the price tag, 5000 dollars more. All price together, I need to pay an extra 7000 dollars, plus 13% HST in total, just for the sake of a permit.

What's your experiences and opinions?

Thank you


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Something doesn't make sense. Your vendor should be able to readily provide a schematic drawing of the greenhouse. I'd think that it would come with the kit! You'll probably need to take a copy of your home, too.

In this country, whenever you attach something to the primary structure, a permit is required. It will have to meet certain building codes, and be subject to inspection. If a person doesn't follow the appropriate steps, even for a simple greenhouse, the whole addition might have to be removed.

Is that enormous cost for bringing your kit 'up to code '? It seems to me that your vendor AND your city's department of permits and inspections could provide a great deal more information.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 6:30PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

No, they don't. I don't understand it neither. They told me basically every kit is a customization because of the backyard layout and window layout, they have to customize their supporting frame that is close to the attaching wall.

The kit is conforming to the code, but requires upgrade to the snow load, since the snow load varies for each city. The cost for the snow load upgrade will cost a whooping 5000 dollars. I never know that aluminum frame costs so much.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 10:58PM
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Another good reason to live in the country, instead of a city where you get a threatening H.O.A. letter if the child's bike was left on the front lawn overnight......Control Freaks....

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:40AM
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