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Conservatory & Garden Building Centre at Buckland, near Reigate in Surrey

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Cedar and the Alton 10 Year Guarantee

Alton Greenhouses are made from best grade Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) that is Guaranteed for 10 Years whether or not you apply a timber treatment

This is possible because cedar is saturated in a natural preserving oil that not only gives the timber a distinctive odour and resistance to moths, insects and vermin but also it's famed resistance to decay and extraordinary durability

The greenhouses are dip treated at the factory in a 'Golden Honey' preservative which combines with the natural colour variation of the white cedar sapwood and dark reddish brown of the cedar heartwood to produce shades of natural colour

As it weathers, the colour of the wood changes to silver - similar to hardwood garden furniture - but if you prefer to keep the original colour or change it you can apply a timber stain

Cedar is very stable which means that it will not shrink or warp excessively when exposed to the British weather and so will continue to look good in your garden for many years

All the cedar used in Alton Greenhouses comes from FSC/PEFC/CSA certified sources

What Size Greenhouse

Always buy the biggest greenhouse that space and budget will alllow - you can always fill them up!

If room in the garden is limited and you have a convenient garage or house wall, consider a lean-to style greenhouse (check the height though as they are relatively high)

Always bear in mind that you are better off choosing a wider greenhouse as the Alton Amateur and Traditional Greenhouses can be extended in length later on

Positioning your Greenhouse

The best location is normally as near as possible to your house without falling into it's shadow

Avoid siting your greenhouse near trees, in the shadow of buildings, walls etc. or in extremely exposed positions

Ideally you should site a freestanding greenhouse with it's ridge running from west to east as this gives better light penetration to the south side in the winter when the sun is low in the sky

Do consider other things such as water or electricity supply if you plan to heat the greenhouse

A lean-to greenhouse should ideally be sited against a south facing wall
Greenhouse Bases

Alton greenhouses, unlike any other greenhouse, are supplied with their own concrete base kerbs

These kerbs are extremely heavy, have built in anchor points to attach the greenhouse and do not extend across the greenhouse doorway so there is no step

The kerbs must be sited on a firm level site - this could be the earth although it is better to either dig a perimeter trench and fill it with a concrete dry mix to form a perimeter footing or to lay a paving slab or concrete base over the whole area

This second method is probably preferrable as an overall base is easier to keep clean, stops weeds and grass from growing up inside the greenhouse and provides a safe, firm path

This type of base can be larger than the greenhouse - so no cutting if you are using slabs

If you want to grow from ground rather than using grow bags or pots just leave some slabs out or form a growing bed in the concrete

The gap between the kerbs can be pointed in if required

Greenhouse Installation

Alton Greenhouses are probably the easiest greenhouse to erect although it is a two person job

The walls and roof are built using a modular system of 5'0 and 2'6 wide panels

The panels are supplied pre-glazed and the gable ends come in 1 or 2 pieces

The panels are dry glazed with cedar glazing beads so there is no putty which makes replacing broken glass a piece of cake

Alton Octagonal greenhouses are a bit more involved as although the wall panels are supplied pre-glazed you have to construct the roof before it can be glazed

All the necessary fixings and silicon are supplied with your kit

All the sections are supplied securely shrink wrapped but should a piece of glass be broken you are asked to buy a replacement locally and then we will reimburse you

Greenhouse Ventilation

Good ventilation is critical in a greenhouse in order to promote healthy growth and to avoid diseases such as 'grey mould'

Just opening the door is insufficient as you need to create a good circulation of fresh, mild air to exhaust the hot air

Alton Octagonal, Amateur and Alton Traditional Greenhouses have excellent ventilation

Fitted as standard to the Amatuer and Traditional models are 'ventaccess' or low level sliding windows that allow cool air in from ground level and roof vents with the option of automatic openers that allow the hot air to escape so creating a circulation of fresh air

Octagonal greenhouse don't have 'ventaccess' windows but do have the option of low level louvres that fit into the timber base panels

You can also add louvre vents with optional automatic openers to promote ventilation at the staging level