F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
Does Sunshine GardenHouse have a Customer Service Department?
Our customer service department is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5 P.M Pacific Time. Our toll free telephone number is (888) 590-8657
What are the features and benefits of the Sunshine GardenHouse Kits?
- The GardenHouse combines top quality components and functional design.
- An Attractive and Durable Redwood Frame, which is naturally resistant to insect and moisture damage. Only second growth redwood is used, preserving old-growth redwood.
- Double-Wall Polycarbonate Panels will not crack or shatter, retain heat in the winter, diffuse light for even plant growth, and block 98% of the harmful UV rays. The impact strength of polycarbonate is 30 times greater than acrylic, and 200 times greater than glass.
- Assembles Easily and Quickly . The major components of the GardenHouse Kit are panelized for an easy sure fit. And each Kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions, and a convenient product assembly video.
- Patented Rigid Tie connectors make the structure rigid and strong.
- The GardenHouse was tested by an independent lab, and withstood their maximum wind load capacity of 85 mph with no damage.
- The 45 degree roof slope transmits low angle sun in the winter, and reflects high angle sun in summer. This increases heat in the winter and reduces it in the summer. It also provides ample headroom and plant-hanging space. The steep roof slope sheds show in the winter, and can withstand a snow load of 18 lbs. per square foot.
- Automatic solar-powered vent operators on the roof and the base of the GardenHouse contain a paraffin (wax) cylinder that expands when the temperature reaches about 65 degrees F., pushing the vent open to its fully opened position at about 85 degrees F. As the temperature cools and the paraffin contracts, the vent operators springs draw each vent closed. It is also easily detachable for manual operation. A circulating chimney effect is created as cool air is drawn in from the base vent, and warmer air is allowed to escape from the hottest point at the roof ridge.
- A convenient Dutch Door Entry provides additional ventilation control and access.
- The frame base of the GardenHouse is a durable plastic with the authentic look, color and texture of redwood, but with the consistent properties of plastic, making it resistant to insect and moisture damage.
- A foundation is not required. It is only necessary to prepare a flat surface of gravel, wood, cement, or other material as indicated.
Do you offer a video?
- We include an assembly video with each Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier model shipped.
What are the various sizes of GardenHouse Kits?
- Patio GardenHouse Great for gardeners with limited space but need more than a cold frame. It is 3’ deep 4’wide and 5’6”tall in the back. It comes with four wire shelves which can be adjusted for different growing needs. Comes with a back wall so it does not require attaching to a wall like other lean too type greenhouses
- 6′ x 4′ Mt. Hood GardenHouse Contains the same features and height as the 6′x 8′ size; This model is one-half the size of the 6′ x 8′ size.
- 6′ x 8′ Mt. Hood GardenHouse Is surprisingly spacious due to its 8’6″ height. It comes complete with automatically operated roof and base vents, and a convenient Dutch door entry.
- 6′x 12′ Mt.Hood GardenHouse Contains the same features and height as the 6′x 8′ size, but includes 50% more space.
- 8’x8’ Mt. Rainier GardenHouse Our newest size has one roof vent and two back wall vents each with an automatic opener. It is 10 feet tall at the peak.
- 8′ x 12′ Mt.Rainier GardenHouse Our most popular size GardenHouse has a roof height of 10 feet at the peak. This size affords plenty of space for plants and even outdoor furniture. Expanded ventilation includes two automatic roof ridge vents, and two automatic base vents on the back wall.
- 8’x16’ Mt. Rainier GardenHouse Our largest size GardenHouse the same features as the 8’x12’ but four feet longer.
- 4′ x 8′ GardenHouse This lean-to structure fills the need for gardening in limited space. It is designed to attach to a smooth vertical wall, and has two doors, one at each end. Automatic ventilation is not built into this unit.
Why are the GardenHouses made out of Redwood?
- We use redwood for its dimensional stability. Wood acts like a sponge; when it absorbs moisture it swells and when it loses moisture it shrinks. Redwood (shown below on the left) has thinner cell walls which shrink and swell less than other woods, so redwood is less likely to warp, split, cup or check.
Why should a person buy a GardenHouse made out of redwood?
- There are many reasons including it’s natural beauty and durability. Redwood heartwood is naturally resistant to decay and insects. Redwood is an excellent choice because it is easy to paint, stain and glue, and no other softwood holds paints, stains and other coatings better than redwood.
Do I need to finish exterior redwood?
- Though redwood will perform better than most other woods if left without a finish, it will look better and last longer if a protective finish is applied and maintained.
How do I keep my new redwood GardenHouse looking new and natural?
- Clear water repellent finishes containing mildewcides help preserve the natural appearance of redwood siding. They may not, however, prevent the natural color changes associated with the weathering process. Clear water repellents or water repellent preservatives are the most natural types of finishes, but they are also the least durable. They require reapplication every one to two years. These finishes can be used on decks, fences, siding or other exterior projects.
What type of finish is more durable than clear water repellent but still retains a natural appearance?
- Transparent and semitransparent stains may last from three to four years. These finishes contain pigments which protect the wood from the degrading effects of solar radiation. The best products contain water repellents, mildewcides and ultraviolet light blockers or absorbers. When selecting a pigmented stain, CRA recommends testing finishes on a small area to be sure the desired color effect is achieved. Transparent stains contain less pigment than semitransparent stains and provide a more natural look. These finishes can be used on decks, fences, siding or other exterior projects.
What finish should I use on the interior of my redwood GardenHouse?
- A wide variety of finishes can be used on interior redwood, including the option of using no coating at all. Areas, such as kitchens and baths, which are subject to moisture need the most protective finishes. Alkyd resin or polyurethane sealers and varnishes are appropriate for these areas. Elsewhere, wax finishes, penetrating oils, stains and paints may be used.
Are there any special precautions I should take when painting redwood?
- Redwood takes and holds paint better than most woods. It is important, however, to select and correctly apply the right primer. Use oil- or alkyd-based primers or water-born stain-blocking primers on redwood. These primers are available from many paint manufacturers and are formulated especially for redwood, cedar and other wood with a high extractive content. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application closely. The best finishes will not perform if they are applied incorrectly. High quality acrylic latex top coats provide the best durability.
Are there different types of redwood?
- There are three redwood species. The Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and the Sierra Redwood (Sequoiadendron gigantea) are native to California. The Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia) grows in China. The Coast Redwood is used to make redwood lumber and is the subject of this website.
Is the Coast Redwood an endangered species?
- No. Redwood is not an endangered species. There are more redwoods today than when man first harvested the trees.
Where is redwood harvested?
- Redwood lumber is harvested almost entirely from private lands. These lands are zoned for timber production.
Is it necessary to acquire special tools to assemble a Sunshine GardenHouse Kit?
- The major components of the GardenHouse Kits are panelized to ensure an easy and sure fit. The panelized sections are joined by screws. A power screwdriver, a 6 foot stepladder, and a tape measure are all that is needed for easy assembly.
Do you offer a product video to assist customers in the assembly of the Sunshine GardenHouse?
- We include an assembly video with each shipped 6′ x 8′ and 8′x 12′ GardenHouse Kit. Additional videos may be ordered separately for $10.00 each.
How long does it take to assemble a Sunshine GardenHouse Kit?
- The ease of assembly is one of the outstanding features of the Sunshine GardenHouse Kit. We offer easy-to-follow assembly instructions with photographs, and an accompanying assembly video to assist our GardenHouse customers. The 6′ x 8′ model takes approximately 4-6 hours to assemble. The 8′x 12′ models takes less than a day for the “non-builder” to complete.
- The major components of the GardenHouse Kits are panelized to ensure an easy and sure fit. The panelized sections are joined by screws. A power screwdriver, a 6 foot stepladder, an Easy Grip hand vise and a tape measure are all that is needed for easy assembly.
Does the Sunshine GardenHouse require a heater during the cooler months of the year?
- The GardenHouse can easily be equipped with a heater for winter use. The heat retention of the double-wall polycarbonate panels is 40% more efficient than single pane glass. As an example, for a 6′x 8′ GardenHouse, when the outside temperature is 10 degrees F, and a 55 degree F temperature is desired inside the GardenHouse, only 6,615 BTU’s per hour of heat would be required. Details are available in the GardenHouse Operation Guide included in each kit.
Do you recommend applying a shade cloth to the GardenHouse during the warmest months of the year?
- When the outdoor temperature reaches a consistent daytime reading of 75 degrees, it may be necessary to apply shading to lower the temperature inside the greenhouse. Although temperature is scattered by the ribs between the polycarbonate walls, one may also want to consider the addition of a shade cloth. It is important to remember, however, that shading may slow the growth of some vegetables and flowering plants.
Does the GardenHouse have good ventilation and thorough air circulation?
- The roof vent allows air to escape at the hottest point, the roof ridge. Cooler air enters the base vent, creating a chimney effect, and thus circulating cool fresh air throughout the GardenHouse. The convenient Dutch door provides additional ventilation control and easy access. Automatic solar-powered vent operators on the roof and base vents contain a paraffin (wax) cylinder that expands when the temperature reaches 65 degrees F, pushing the vent open to its fully opened position at about 85 degrees F. As it cools, the paraffin contracts, and the operator’s spring draws each vent closed. It is easily detachable for manual operation.
Are automatic solar-powered vent operators available through Sunshine GardenHouse?
- We offer an automatic solar-powered vent operator that contains a paraffin (wax) cylinder that expands when the temperature reaches 65 degrees F, pushing the vent open to its fully opened position at about 85 degrees F. As it cools, the paraffin contracts, and the operator’s spring draws each vent closed. It is easily detachable for manual operation.
Is the Sunshine GardenHouse able to withstand High Winds without damage?
- The GardenHouse has been tested by an independent lab, and has
withstood their maximum wind load capacity of 85 miles per hour without damage.
Can the Sunshine GardenHouse withstand a heavy snow load?
- The optimum 45 degree roof slope sheds snow in the winter, and can withstand a snow load of 18 pounds per square foot.
- The heating requirements for your GardenHouse depend on the target temperature, the severity of your local winter, and the size of your GardenHouse. For help in choosing the right size heater for your exact use, try our handy BTU calculator. Generally, for a 6′ x 8′ GardenHouse, a 5,000 BTU electric heater will provide sufficient heat to avoid plant loss except during power outages (a backup propane heater can provide protection against power failure). A natural gas or propane heater uses less expensive fuel in some geographic regions.
- Many plants and vegetables need about 10-12 hours of light, while plants that produce fruit or flowers show improvement with up to 16 hours of light.
High Pressure Sodium Lamps
- HPS Lamps are red/orange in the spectrum and are the best lamps available for greenhouse lighting (used in conjunction with natural sunlight). This type of light promotes flowering/budding in plants.
- Fluorescent light is perfect for starts and seedlings but is a poor light source for growth and budding primarily because of low lumen output.
Are Redwood Bench Kits available for use with the GardenHouse?
- Specially designed matching redwood benches are available that run the full length of the GardenHouse. Benches are 21″deep for all models except the 8′ x 12′ model, which are 32″deep. They can be stacked to provide additional growing surface.
Do you recommend a guidebook on greenhouse gardening?
We recommend the Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion by Shane Smith, which is a comprehensive 500+ page guide to successfully choosing and using a greenhouse. It is available for sale through Sunshine GardenHouse.
Do you offer a product warranty on the Sunshine GardenHouse Kits?
- All Sunshine GardenHouse Kits are guaranteed to be free from defects in material and workmanship for five years from the date of purchase.
- The polycarbonate glazing is fully warranted against excessive discoloration for the first five years, and has a prorated warranty the second five years. Polycarbonate has been used in European greenhouses for more than 30 years with no discoloration. Additionally, defective parts will be replaced by us directly to the consumer.
Do you accept product returns?
- Any product authorized for return and refund will be charged a 25% restocking charge. No credit is given for products returned without prior authorization.
How is the GardenHouse Packaged for Shipping?
- The 6′ x 8′ kit is packaged in four boxes (Weight 338#).
- The 6′ x 12′ kit is packaged in five boxes (Weight 438#).
- The 8′ x 12′ kit is packaged in seven boxes (Weight 587#).
*The maximum weight of any box is 85 pounds, and any one of our kits will fit into a standard-size pickup truck..