top of page


Buena Vista Sunrooms is proud to be an exclusive distributor of the original Lord & Burnham line of greenhouses and parts, manufactured for us by Under Glass Manufacturing Corporation.


Under Glass Mfg. Corp. is the exclusive manufacturer of the original Lord & Burnham greenhouses and solariums. They were established in 1989 after acquiring the Lord & Burnham product line.


The Lord & Burnham line of greenhouses has been continually manufactured since 1849. Frederick A. Lord and his son-in-law, William A. Burnham formed a partnership and incorporated in 1883 as Lord's Horticultural manufacturing Company. In 1890 the name was changed to Lord & Burnham Company.


Early greenhouses were made of cypress wood and iron or steel. Experimentation with aluminum as a material for greenhouse construction was started as early as 1932 when the U.S. Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C. were built. However, it was not until 1955 that greenhouses with exterior members of aluminum had reached a point where they were competitive with wood construction.


The Orlyt line of hobby greenhouses was introduced in wood in 1939 and redesigned in 1954 with aluminum. Under Glass continues to manufacture this line of hobby greenhouses, and Buena Vista distributes them nationally. Over the years some modifications have been made, but the basic design and quality remain the same.


National Greenhouse Company offers two basic types of greenhouses: lean-to models which attach to an existing structure, and freestanding models.


Lean-to Models:

  • Are attached to a home or garage, etc.

  • Can be accessed from outside or directly through the home.


Freestanding Models:

  • Can be placed anywhere.

  • Can be positioned for optimal lighting.

  • Can be butted against a house for easy access.

What are the features & benefits of a Buena Vista Greenhouse?


Both models consist of an all aluminum frame with extrusions designed to hold standard single panes of tempered glass or twin wall polycarbonate. The design may be curved eave with curved panes of glass, or straight eave featuring flat glass or twin wall polycarbonate. The greenhouses may be "glazed to the ground" with panes of glass or twin wall polycarbonate all the way to the ground, or "wall models" with glass or twin wall polycarbonate stopping on top of a foundation wall.


Other standard features include:


  • Bronze or white extruded aluminum frame.

  • 1 3/4" thick all-aluminum door, lock set, closer, and wind chain. Door frame, header, and jamb, are all aluminum construction.

  • Door is provided with a self storing screen.

  • Anchor bolts to secure the house firmly to its foundation.

  • "T" bolt construction for easy assembly.

  • Continuous row of screened, motorized, automatic roof vents.


Greenhouse Foundation Considerations:


Hobby greenhouse foundations may be either a concrete slab or a block wall. The foundation must be level and square if the greenhouse walls and roof are to fit properly.


The type of foundation required depends on the greenhouse style and the climate. Glazed to the ground models may be built on a slab or grade beam. If the greenhouse is constructed in areas where the ground freezes during the winter, and the greenhouse is covered with glass, a foundation that reaches below the frost line is required. That depth may range from as little as eight inches to as much as four to five feet below ground. If the footing is too shallow the ground below may freeze and heave, cracking both the footing and the glass.


The greenhouse's foundation (also called knee walls) extends from the top of the footing to 28" above finish grade, and the frame for the greenhouse sits on top of the wall.


The general rule is that the footing should be twice the width of the wall. Since our greenhouses require a minimum of eight inch concrete (block or cast) for a foundation, the footing must be at least 16 inches wide.


Nationals Construction Features: Quality, Quality, Quality!


The quality considerations built into every National Greenhouse are features you may never even notice, but they make an immeasurable difference in the greenhouse's function, durability and value.


  • To allow complete vent opening and a tight seal when closed, all vent sashes are equipped with socket hinges. (Competitor models, when they have vents, use hook hinges.)

  • For structural integrity, galvanized steel bolts are used at all connection points.

  • To reduce air leakage, vent headers are built to accommodate extruded rubber weather stripping.

  • To keep glass securely in place, National uses butyl rope. This rope is outstanding for sealing, resiliency, and durability.

  • To prevent glass sagging and to protect against heat loss due to air leakage, each lite of glass at the header is held firmly in place by a continuous aluminum glass stop and a vinyl glazing channel.

  • To prevent glass breakage and provide flexibility, National builds in an extra-large channel in the glass seat to accommodate a much larger putty cushion.

  • To hold the glazing firmly in place, aluminum bar caps are extruded rather than stamped. An extruded cap provides the holding power to prevent glass or twin wall polycarbonate slippage. Competitors often use clips to hold the covering.


Where's the best location for my greenhouse?


  • Lean-to: That will depend a lot on the design of your home and where a greenhouse will look best and fit appropriately. A lean-to can be attached to any outside wall, but for growing plants, you'll want to consider exposure to sunlight. The preferred exposure is southern, followed by southeastern, southwestern, eastern and western. Northern exposure is generally too shady, unless you'll be focusing on plants that require relatively low light levels (orchids, African violets, foliage, or other tropical plants).

  • Freestanding Freestanding models are not as affected by directional exposure - all walls are clear! However, it is helpful to have a natural windbreak on the north side to reduce heating costs, and strategically located deciduous trees on the south can provide some necessary shading in the summer and allow full sunlight in the winter.

bottom of page