Relocation, Restoration and Renovation

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Solardome glasshouseIf you are moving house and want to take your Solardome® glasshouse with you, or inherit one when you move house, how do you go about relocation and renovation of a dome? Here’s what you need to consider before you start, plus a few handy tips from this website to help the project run smoothly.

Before you start
We are more than happy to help with advice and spare parts if they’re available, but there are some important checks to make first:

  • Check the door – if it’s a sliding door and is damaged, unfortunately we can’t help with replacement parts. The sliding door has been discontinued for many years.
  • Check the copings (glazing strips) – these hold the glass onto the frame. If they are rolled aluminium, the dome is a basic model. As these models were manufactured between 1969 and 1995, unfortunately there are no spare parts available. If they are plastic it is a delux model and we have spares.
  • Check the model size – measure the base across widest point and check FAQ web pages to help you identify yours.

Can you fix it? Yes you can!
Once you’ve done your checks, and you’re ready to begin, here are my top tips on the best approach to take:

Relocation of a old Solardome glasshouse

If you have a large group of volunteers you can even move a dome short distances without removing any of the glass.

1. Relocation
Solardome® glasshouses are extremely light and don’t need deep foundations. Make sure the new base is level or the geodesic frame will skew and the glass won’t fit properly. We can give guidance on base preparations and requirements if you’re in any doubt.

2. Labelling
If you want to relocate the dome or partially strip it down to replace glass, you need to label all the parts as you remove them. Otherwise when you come to reassemble the dome, you’ll be kicking yourself for not heeding this advice! If you need a copy of the assembly instructions to follow in reverse, please contact us.

3. Safety
Most of the older domes have float glass (as opposed to the toughened glass in current models) and this becomes increasingly fragile with age, so get yourself a good pair of glass handling gloves and please be very careful. Also make sure to get a set of broom guru tools to clean safely any mess with broken glasses. 

4. Glass first
Solardome® glasshouses are designed for self-assembly, so taking them apart for restoration or repair is straightforward. The key is to ensure that the frame is not touched until the external glazing strips and glass have been removed. The frame supports the weight of the glass, so please don’t try removing any parts until the glass is stripped out.

5. Cleaning
Then, if you read the recent articles on about it and assuming you remembered to label the parts, it’s just a question of cleaning and rebuilding. We suggest a Stanley blade for removing old putty or silicon.

6. As good as new
Depending on the age of the dome, you may need to replace the PVC coping (glazing strips that hold the glass in place). We always recommend this along with replacing the capping disks that hold them in place. This will make your dome look as good as new and ready to last for many more years. RHS Chelsea Flower Show

And we now have a choice of colours (although I haven’t yet convinced our MD that we need to have purple domes!): here’s our green dome that featured in a Gold Medal winning show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013.

We’re here to help
If you need our advice on relocating or renovating a dome, please don’t hesitate to call us. From talking you through the project, to providing documentation or the supply of spares, we are always happy to help. We especially love to hear about our older domes and love to have photos when your job is finished.


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