Greenhouses from Old Windows and Doors

amazing greenhouses made from salvaged windows

Calling all used awning windows, bay windows, storm doors, and clerestories back to service.

1) Recycled Window Greenhouse, Minnesota

greenhouse made of old windows
Greenhouse made from recycled windows by Jan and Ed Vitse of New Look Floral (a garden and floral business) in Rochester, MN. This little gem, made from recycled windows was built in 2003. The structure is 12 feet long by 6 1/2  wide, and 10 1/2 feet tall.

2) Tinker House, Indiana

greenhouse made of old windows
Donna Reyne of Indiana built Tinker House from from reclaimed doors, windows and millwork from a home renovation. The doors are old pocketdoors on slides, slid open in this photo.

3) Recycled Window And Tile Greenhouse, Texas

greenhouse made of old windows
Old window greenhouse by Karla and Steve Ritchey of McKinney, Texas. Used Mexican roofing tiles from a mansion in Fort Worth frame the hydrangea and variegated liriope-filled flower bed.

4) Recycled Windows And Doors Greenhouse, Texas

recycled greenhouse
Re-purposed windows and doors. Linda J. of McKinney, Texas built this greenhouse using old windows and french doors. It has a chandelier inside and icicle lights that set it off at night.

5) Greenhouse With Materials From The Neighbors

greenhouse made of old windows
Old window greenhouse, using recycled windows from one neighbor who was replacing all the windows on her house, and a couple of old doors from another neighbor who was getting new ones installed.

6) Montana Greenhouse


Greenhouse from recycled materials by Montana Wildlife Gardener.

7) Old Window Greenhouse

greenhouse made of old windows
greenhouse made of old windows
Old window greenhouse by Lucy and Stephen Marr. Photos by Todd

8) Old Window Greenhouse, Asheville, NC

greenhouse made of old windows
Kathy of Moss & Twigs in Asheville built this greenhouse from old windows she’d collected over the years.

9) Greenhouse From Donated Windows

greenhouse made of old windows
Neighbors donated used windows for this greenhouse. It was built to fit the windows, without plans. It has 3 sliding windows for ventilation.

10) Salvaged Wood Greenhouse, San Francisco

greenhouse made of old windows
Greenhouse by Jesse Schlesinger at The General Store, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

11) Old Window Greenhouse, Ohio

greenhouse made of old windows
A mom in Northeast Ohio made this greenhouse from old windows.
greenhouse made of old windows

12) 45-Window Greenhouse, North Carolina

old windows greenhouse
Greenhouse built from 45 old windows from all different places. Some bought most donated. Wanted to keep the shabby chic, vintage look so added Mason jars lights with Edison bulbs inside. The owner/builders Eric and Elizabeth love garden veggies and wanted to be able to do it year round, and threw in flowers for pops of color. No plan, just started building and this is what it became. Lincolnton, NC.

greenhouse from old windows
During construction of the above greenhouse in NC. Greenhouse turned out to be 10′ x 15′. Interior shelves were built from pallets. Gutters collect rainwater runoff. By Eric and Elizabeth.

13) Asian-Influenced Greenhouse

greenhouse made of old windows
Tall greenhouse with an Asian influence, by

14) Recycled Window Home In Copenhagen

greenhouse made of old windows
Glass house Made from recycled windows in Copenhagen’s 40-year-old Freetown Christiania Commune. Considered “architecture without architects” there is a strong political will to tear the houses down—they are illegal, follow no building code, have no permit. Image by Seier + Seier via Flickr.

15) Salvaged Window And Door Greenhouse, Ontario

greenhouse made of old windows
A gardener in Ontario built this 10×16 greenhouse. She used salvaged windows for the glass, and salvaged doors. Half of the floor is an old deck, the other half is discounted paving stone.

16) Garden Shed

greenhouse made of old windows
Reclaimed window garden shed. Photo via

17) Small Greenhouse From Old Windows

greenhouse made of old windows
Old window cold frame. Photo via

18) Cold Frame From Old Windows, South Carolina

greenhouse made of old windows
Adina and Walter of Campobello, South Carolina designed and built this cold frame using an old window.

19) Small Greenhouse

greenhouse made of old windows
Small greenhouse from 3 storm windows exactly the same size. Love this! Instead of using her find of 3 old storm windows for a low cold frame, Anne decided to go upward.

20) Greenhouse From Salvaged Doors

greenhouse made of old doors
Old door greenhouse by Tara Dillard. Love this. Just attach old doors to a side of your home.

21) Lloyd Kahn Greenhouse, With Adobe Walls

greenhouse made of old windows
Greenhouse built by Lloyd Kahn with used windows. Says Lloyd: “The rear wall consists of stabilized adobe bricks made with a CinvaRam, a compression tool I learned about in the ’60s from the Whole Earth Catalog. There’s a solar-powered fan for cooling and a small solar-powered trickling fountain inside. Note: using old windows like this requires a lot of time puttying and/or painting.” Lloyd’s latest book is Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter. For more info, see:

22) Greenhouse Made From Leftover Building Materials

greenhouse made of old windows
Recycled window greenhouse by Holly Willgress and Fraser Koroluk of Bella Coola, B.C.. In the process of renovations with a new roof and third floor added onto their lodge, they had a lot of old and leftover building materials. They maintain a “no new stuff” theme to their backyard.

23) Asymmetrical Salvaged Wood And Window Greenhouse

greenhouse made of old windows
Recycled window greenhouse by artist Shannon Rankin and friend.

24) Tall Old Window Greenhouse, Washington State

greenhouse made of old windows
Old window greenhouse by Angela Davis of Washington State. Read more aboout it on her blog Gardening in My Rubber Boots.

25) Old Windows Frame A Clear-Awning Roof

greenhouse made of old windows
A clear-awning roof allows lots of light to enter this greenhouse made from lots of different old windows.

26) Greenhouse From Salvaged School Windows

greenhouse made of old windows
Sara of Davison, Illinois made this garden shed from windows salvaged from an old school.

How to Build an Old Window Greenhouse: Supplies

A few ideas on how to get the materials you’ll need.

  • Ask your neighbors. They may have old windows sitting in their garage they’d be happy to get rid of.
  • ReStores, a nationwide chain of used building material stores run
  • by Habitat for Humanity.
  • Architectural salvage stores
  • Salvage yards
  • Antique stores
  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle

How to Build an Old Window Greenhouse: Online Resources

The Best Greenhouse And Gardening Books

recycled greenhouse

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Author: keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building.

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I have been telling my husband for years this is something I'd like to do. He's more of they type that needs to see to understand.

My only fear is the mis-matched size & style & how that would look... I felt it could look really rusticly artistic with a nod towards modernism, and I was right. With them all painted the same color adds a more uniformity, but now I'm torn between doing that & keeping it more rustic.

Does anyone know how to heat them cheaply? I seen a program years ago using stone(or cement) floors & one wall a double cinderblock with loose stone between them with a vent & fan that flows air through them... the mass heat effect is supposidly super efficent... but I'm looking for other ideas?


Way cool greenhouses!


All so lovely


I want one! It's on my honey do list.

Backyard Greenhouses

Awesome greenhouses! excellent and creative use of scrap materials. I would like to have one mad e of windows salvaged at my place.


i wanted to put a flat roof on top of a sqare frame made from metal ( outdoor sukkah). what happens to rain drainage from a flat roof. doesnt it have to pitch? any thoughts?


If you look at the square building it has a shed roof. It is not totally flat, it angles to one side. The building only needs a slight pitch to drain. Blessings.


Love these houses, just replaced all my windows and so did my daughter. This was exactly what I needed to see.


I have been collecting windows and have hoped since last year to build a lean-to greenhouse. After viewing this website, I am inspired. This will be the 'Year of the Greenhouse'! Thank you all so much.


Where do you get all the windows?

How does habitat for humanity work?


I really like some of the designs that I have seen here and repurposing items that would otherwise be dumped in a landfill.


I replaced all my old style windows 25 years ago. these windows used weights, storms and half height screens for summer. Plus wood shutters for all 26 windows

so I have 52 1/2 height windows, 26 full height storms, 26 half height screens and 52 shutters plus an assortment of old screens doors and windows.. I just retired so link has inspired me to build a few things from these windows. sure glad I saved them. thanks for the ideas.


Just wonderful. I love them all!


wow love your blog! all these pictures are looking so awesome, great job..i have read many articles about this topic and every time i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work!

charlene wilson

I have lots of old windows that was replaced and Im looking to build greenhouse out of them just need to know how to start from bottom up these are all great going to use some of the ones here

Janice Halstead

Love your little houses i am sure going to try to build one have lots of odd lumber glass to i think windows and even an old door sitting out side next to a wood stack. Thanks a bunch


I have over 50 tempered glass doors. They were either shower doors or sliding doors. I cannot find anything on building a greenhouse with all doors, not windows. Can anyone help me?


I am very interested in building a greenhouse, however because i live in the islands where the weather is hot all year round, i would appreciate suggestions on how & what materials i should use for my dream greenhouse.

Thank you


Is the sun coming through the windows too hot and does it burn the plants?

Thank you


All depends on location and plant variety!


Do you think this could be done with doors and windows in Barrie? How effective a greenhouse is it? I mean, do the plants thrive in there? Where did you get your doors/windows?


I have a lot of glass from old greenhouses. How can I sell it?


Wonderful collection of houses.



wow.. no more to say.. its exactly what I was loking for.. thanks

great collection




These are amazing greenhouse, and so inspirational!


This is a great collection. My hat is off to the environmental, artist gardeners. Good job.

I just bought 40 insulated doors with large windows in them. I am concern that the glass in the doors will shield out the sun energy that is needed to grow plants and heat the inside of the greenhouse year round. Of course, I need to think about cooling and ventilation in the summer. Any cheap way to test the window before using them to build a structure?


I have six 4' x 8' raided beds, and several years ago I purchased 20 plus old window panes from a local restore. I have experienced quite a bit of pane breakage due to hail, etc., and would like to find an affordable resource of recycled window glass to repair these broken panes.


What an amazing sight to see so many hot houses built by people around the world. I built my first such green house in 1999, and I thought mine was great, until I saw all these.

Although the house then was sold years ago, I will now attempt to get a photo of our current summer house for the winter coffee breaks on your site,



I Love Love Love these ideas, thanks for sharing. I am definitely in the market for all materials needed to make one for me and my Mom.


Together with my neighbor, I built a similar small one, like the coldframes that are shown. Mine is made on a table, so I can work in it without having to kneel or bend, because I'm disabled by a degenerated spine. We bought the window (a glass door from a green childrens closet) and the table for a few bucks at a thriftshop, used old pallettes for the wood. I love working in it, and am so so happy that my friend made it for me!


I just saw the list and lo and behold, greenhouse #14 on your list is ours! We live in Raytown, Missouri. My wife and I collected windows from anywhere we could to construct this green house. It has served us well for over 15 years! Thanks for including us in your list! Kyle and Cyndi Bradley


My wife and I have been collecting old windows for a year now, we have enough now. We got some great ideas from your site. We cant wait to get started. Thanks for a great site.

Kenneth & Yvonne

barbara brandt

I have a rotting roof attached for a 1950's chicken house -- I have lots of old windows and insirationgreen has given me many good ideas of how to start saving this old building. Thanks so much.


wish i saw this before the guys took all the widows but owell




I'm working on one of these right now. Here's a tip on finding windows: Go visit replacement window contractors. I was able to get over 60 old wood windows of various sizes for free! They get so many that they end up throwing many of the old single pane windows away.


would love to share photos of my own....


would love to share photos of my own....


Beautiful and inspiring!


All of these have their own remarkable beauty; wish I knew someone who could build one for me; it is a dream of mine now for quite some time now. Thanks for posting so many nice ideas!


Have been collecting sliding glass door panels. Got any ideas?


you are not alone!


I built it myself. I got the refrigerator doors from a grocery store, so they open from the outside!


Love these houses and sheds made of old material. Recycle.

Stewart Campbell

I I built my first ever greenhouse using old store front window and old roofing from a home depo garden center. I also used leftover materials from the job site over the years. Can I send a photo of it?


Being a single Mom with limited resources, I was so determined to build a greenhouse out of old cheep or free windows. Has anyone else had a hard time finding them? Where I live, people price their old windows as if they are made of gold and so do thrift stores. I went to a few window replacement contractors and they all say that they don't have any because they break when they take them out. I drove by one business that does replacement windows and saw in the back that they have tons and tons of old windows ready to go to the dump. I got so excited that I called them. They told me that they won't sell or give any away and that they don't have any (sob). They said that they don't do that because it could be a liability. I'm sad :(. Anybody have any other good ideas? I'm determined 🙂


In my area there are Habitat Re-stores, with lots of used and some new windows and glass french doors, at very reasonable prices. Also check Craigslist for crews that rehab old houses and ask if they have any. Good luck.


33 windows were supposed to be left by contractors after they replaced ones in our home. None remained. In a year I have collected numerous windows & doors; some I have bought, most given to me. You just have to be 9 kay with putting the word out. Even stop by small town dumps & ask if they ever get some. At this point I probably have too many but have not fully designed my greenhouse yet bc I have to measure each & every window b4 I can make blueprint. If I end up with extras, I will repost. Good luck.


I mean this. I have wanted one of these for SO long but I don't know how to build. I want a greenhouse/art studio. what is the best way to learn how to build something that won't fall down? something solid?


I have ( 7 ) 26.5 x 48.5, ( 6 ) 18.5 x 37 ( 2 ) 22.5 x 58.5 & ( 1 ) 22.5 x 34.5 window's , but I don't know what dimension or how big my floor should start I'm thinking 5'x7'... Also don't know if I should use 4'x4' for corner post... Any ideas or help here to plan for building my greenhouse in spring of 2016....


Interesting post! It is very essential to reconstruct the house to maintain its longevity. To determine the effective solutions for home repair and replacements, considering the best and fixing homes with correct fixtures is highly acceptable in today's world. It's good to have home with energy efficient windows due to the hazardous nature of the environment. So to make homes more comfortable for living the survey says that, Miami, Palm beach and many more location deals with better windows and doors to establish a new and secured house.

William Hunter Duncan

Meanwhile the city of Minneapolis has fined me $1460 for the greenhouse I built out of old sliding glass doors and reclaimed lumber, and is forcing me to tear it down, and they don't want to know if it is sound and functional or not.


My historical greenhouse built in 2015/ Greenhouse consists of 63 windows that are 50-112 years old. I spent 5 months resorting greater than 230 panes of glass prior to construction. Lastly, as beautiful as it is on the outside, the same detail was completed on the inside. It was a passion project from day one, and I am so glad it will be a portion of our urban garden for years to come. Thank you for your blog!


Very interesting post. I really liked your idea of building a greenhouse with old door and old windows. I will use my old doors and windows in building my greenhouse. Thanks for sharing such a great idea." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">" rel="nofollow">" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">