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Dismantling old style greenhouse?

Hi all,

Can I ask anyone on advice on what is the safest way to dismantle an older, fixed greenhouse?

Most of the articles I can find mention clips and such for more temporary structures so have not been of much use as the panes have been puttied in. Given the age of the greenhouses the putty has now gone like concrete so I am not even sure a putty knife would shift any.

Someone visiting mentioned spreading a tarpaulin internally then smashing the panes inwards to gather for disposal, however we have small kids and I am worried we will miss some shards.

Any advice gratefully received.


  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 3,591
    A putty knife is really for putting the new stuff on not removing the old when it has gone hard. I would try an old wood chisel or a stiff bladed knife. It might be good to put a sheet inside but only to catch any accidental drops. I certainly would not deliberately smash the glass. Work slowly & carefully do not be in a rush, wear good gloves & some eye protection too.  Once you get a start on it the old putty will break away in lumps.
    Good luck!
    AB Still learning

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,009
    If the inside is soil I would still tape a tarpaulin inside up to just past the height of the brick course because you may find even being careful with the chisel, you may break some panes. And it all depends on how much time you have. Chiselling will take forever...…..
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,064
    It sounds counter intuitive but I think that the safest way would be to break the glass because it will be very brittle any way and the chance of removing the putty without it breaking very slim. Gloves and eye protection and sheets of plastic on the ground try to break it into big pieces and have a bin or some large container to put the pieces in as you remove them.
  • Thanks all, will try a few panes this weekend and report back.

    What a pane!
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 5,108
    I am very jealous are you sure you want to dismantle it!!
  • granmagranma Posts: 1,907
     I'm debating whether to buy one like this , I wouldn't mind yours ! Where did you say you live?????
    Joking aside ,think carefully .the green house is a fantastic  size  .id drool over it if it was mine,I really would.

    One wouldn't be cheap that size and it looks in pretty good nick.
    Seriously, I wish it was mine . Id not be out looking for one at this very moment if I'd one of that size.! :)
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 17,206
    It looks nice, but with the bricks at the bottom it’s not practical.
    With an all glass one you can use growing space right down to the floor level, with brick it’s too dark.
    if it were mine I would just use it for fully grown plants, just for show, there’s one like it at Heligan full with Pelargoniums. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,907
    Wouldn't it be warmer Lyn ?,would it make all that much difference?
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,952
    I reckon that putty could chip off in lumps if you have patience with it. Once you've got an easy section out of the way you can try to chip it out with a hammer and chisel. You could cover the glass both sides in sticky back plastic to stop most of the shards if it does break though. It would be easier and safer to remove the putty without broken glass everywhere too. I had a piece of greenhouse glass stuck in my finger for years so be very careful :#
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 17,206
    granma said:
    Wouldn't it be warmer Lyn ?,would it make all that much difference?
    Maybe, you can always line a GH with bubble wrap, I used to, now I sow seeds at the right time and over winter hardy plants so don't need any warmth.  I miss the bubble wrap more in the summer as it’s a good shade, insulation works  both ways. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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