Ignorable Details: End Walls
Here is everything you wanted to know (or didn't!) about framing the end walls on the east and west faces of our geothermal greenhouse. Feel free to ignore this post and go to this more general summary post instead (or at least read that post first, which links back to this page)!
The greenhouse kit includes several lengths of steel tubing for framing the end walls, but leaves the design up to the owner, since each greenhouse is different.
Our site naturally slopes west to east -- our excavator, Andrew, had to cut down the west end slightly and build up the east end considerably to level the site. This meant that, according to plan, with ground-level entrances, we would need stairs to reach our east-end entrance.
Instead, we decided to enter below grade, closer to the lower bed level. This meant that we will need a taller east end wall. Our west wall enters at grade, with a ~7' peak and would need a small door. Our east wall enters a couple of feet below grade, with a ~9' peak, and could fit a full-sized door.
We went to Habitat ReStore in Albuquerque to see what we could thrift. We found two perfect doors! For the west side, we found a 6-panel exterior wood door that was only 24" wide, with wide top and bottom boards so we'll be able to cut it down in height. For the east side we found oversized double exterior doors with full glass, so we'll be able to open wide to admit garden carts, or even a Ditch Witch or power cultivator, if Chip feels the need! They are 6' wide and 8' tall.
On a bitter cold day we nicked out to take refuge in Albuquerque to run errands, which is when we picked up the doors. Then on a snow-in day, we occupied our time by sketching out the framing to get our heads around that task.
Chip happily took on the task, and I happily let him. He built the door jambs and metal-framed the walls for door installation. After we get windows we'll do that part of the framing, and then add any other studs we need (in wood or metal) to support the siding.
Hm. I guess I forgot to take a picture after Chip finished the metal frame on the east end...
Once both ends had their metal framing in place, I rejoined the task and we embedded the vertical posts in Quickcrete. We still have some work to do on these walls, but now we have