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The Dreamhouse is a Greenhouse

Building a hobby greenhouse can be "blissfully complicated," says Dorian Winslow of Womanswork. Watch as her dreamhouse becomes reality!

Dorian Winslow of Womanswork is in the process of making her dream of an attached greenhouse a reality. Here's an update on her progress, and you can stay abreast of the construction (and the fun!) on her blog.

Building a Greenhouse Foundation

We are trying to get the greenhouse foundation wall completed and the cement slab poured before winter sets in. My stepdaughter Eve and I have been donning our work gloves and shoveling in topsoil around the wall to make it easier for our mason to continue his work. The actual construction of the greenhouse will probably not take place until next spring when temperatures permit outdoor work again. Where we are living (Dutchess County, NY), it will start to get cold by mid-November, maybe earlier. It won’t warm up until early April.

Planning a Greenhouse Can be Blissfully Complicated

Call it part of my charm, but my idea of a greenhouse is extremely involved. And well thought out, I might add. First, we enlisted a talented architect friend up the road, Eduardo Faxas, to help design the greenhouse so it will look like it belongs to the house, since it will be visible from the front. Then we made the decision to bring in the local building inspector and build a cement foundation ‘to code’ just in case we ever want to dismantle the greenhouse and create a real room with insulation and flooring, etc. (With a lesser foundation we would not have that option down the road). It is also better for resale value because a greenhouse could be seen as undesirable by prospective buyers.

Last spring we did some interior renovations in my Womanswork home office and while the office was torn apart for that, we had the doorway to the future greenhouse installed. We call it the ‘door to nowhere.’ For now.

Building a Hobby Greenhouse

“What’s that noise,” my husband asked. “Oh that? It’s just the cement truck backing up in the yard,” I answered. Last week it was the jack hammer digging the hole in our yard.

When I said I wanted to build a greenhouse I did not mean the kind you pick out of a greenhouse catalog and construct in a weekend if you are a “handy do it yourselfer.” I meant the kind that is virtually an addition onto your house, and the kind that you can walk into from your house on a cold snowy day in winter to pick lemons from your lemon tree.


Go to Dorian's blogfor regular updates on the greenhouse.