What is the Best Greenhouse to Buy?

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Best greenhouse to buy for your green thumb.

Whether you’re gifted with the so-called green thumb or you just love being surrounded by plants, there are many reasons why you would want to have a greenhouse.

Having a greenhouse in the yard can let you propagate your plants, or simply serve as a peaceful retreat after a tiring week.

But since a greenhouse can cost a lot of money, you should put a lot of effort in researching about the best greenhouse available today.

In the United States, building a greenhouse can cost anywhere from 7k to 25k.

The expenses will vary depending on factors like the size of the greenhouse, materials used, excavation, and permits, among others.

With the money involved in this project, you would really want to take your time in studying your options.

Best Greenhouse Kit

Best Greenhouse Kit
Best Greenhouse Kit

You don’t need to be an expert handyman or be gifted with excellent construction skills in order to build your own greenhouse.

You can buy a greenhouse kit that lets you build from scratch.

You also don’t need much building experience with a greenhouse kit, although having a DIY attitude certainly helps.

The right greenhouse kit will extend your growing season.

Aside from sparing you the hassle of building your own greenhouse, opting for a greenhouse kit has other advantages as well, even as a hobby greenhouse.

One is that you it is more time-saving.

You may be tempted to build your greenhouse by purchasing wood locally, but think about the hours you will spend cutting wood and putting them together.

With a greenhouse kit, you will have everything you need for your greenhouse.

In choosing a greenhouse kit, you should consider certain factors such as the frame and the glazing type.

In terms of frames, greenhouse kits are made either of aluminum or wood.

There are pros and cons of each frame type.

Wood is a bit more difficult to construct although it is more attractive than aluminum frames.

Aluminum frames, however, are maintenance-free and can last forever.

But an aluminum frame is less energy efficient compared to wood.

You can also opt for a hoop house frame made from a series of pipe hoops.

It is covered with plastic that is fastened to baseboards.

It is easy to build, but the problem is that it isn’t as durable as aluminum or wood greenhouse frames.

The glazing type is another factor that you will have to look into. Glazing pertains to the exterior covering of the greenhouse.

There are many glazing options like polyethylene which is available as sheet film or woven plastic.

Polyethylene is cheap although it doesn’t offer enough insulation.

You can also opt for glass, which is the most durable of all glazing although it is more difficult to cut and handle compared to plastic glazing.

Fiberglass is another option, preferred for its strength and ease in cutting and handling.

There are other factors that you have to consider.

If you live in a windy area, you will have to buy a strong glazing type.

Polyethylene and hoop houses aren’t ideal in this regard as it is very susceptible to wind damage.

You’d want fiberglass or multi layer polycarbonate instead.

Greenhouse windows are a great option for growing
Greenhouse Lights for proper plant growth

Best Greenhouse Design

But what if you are skilled in carpentry and an expert DIYer? How can you construct your own greenhouse?

The best greenhouse design would depend on factors such as your skill level, space in the backyard, budget, and availability of materials.

Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes

Best Greenhouse Design
Best Greenhouse Design

If you have a large yard, you may want to build a traditional greenhouse with a rectangular shape, metal frame, and a pitched roof.

It offers lots of growing space for your plants aside from maximizing light.

Moreover, the traditional greenhouse has a classic design that blends well with its surroundings.

You can also opt for a barn which has a similar shape to that of the traditional greenhouse but has higher headroom.

It is thus more appropriate for growing taller plants as well as vines and climbers.

It also doesn’t require any base, which makes it easier to build than the traditional greenhouse.

Another type of greenhouse design that you may want to build is the heptagonal greenhouse.

It is best suited for smaller gardens because it takes up minimal floor space while still giving a place to nourish your plants.

If you don’t really have enough space for a traditional greenhouse, you can try to build window-mounted greenhouse or go with a highly recommended mini-greenhouse.

As the name suggests, it is attached outside the window.

Ideally, it should be on the south or east side.

The challenge however is to maintain a uniform temperature in this type of greenhouse.


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Best Greenhouse Base

The base of the greenhouse can be made of wood, concrete, galvanized steel, or aluminum.

There are a lot of considerations in choosing a greenhouse base, like insulation, drainage, and sturdy construction.

Best Greenhouse Base - Hobby Greenhouse
Best Greenhouse Base – Hobby Greenhouse

Wood is an excellent base for a greenhouse because first, it is strong enough to support a hefty structure.

In terms of cost, it is also cheaper compared to steel or concrete. But it can be prone to rotting.

You don’t want to use treated woods for the greenhouse base because it can release harmful chemicals to the soil that can hamper the growth of your plants.

Instead, look for naturally resistant wood types like redwood, cedar, and cypress.

Concrete is the best material if you are to have a permanent greenhouse.

It can last for a long time, and need not be replaced or repaired. It is sturdy and can support heavy materials ranging from wood to glass.

The downside is that it is obviously a lot more expensive compared to wood, and doesn’t allow for contact with the ground.

Concrete slab foundation would also need drains to be installed so as to prevent water build up which can result to mosquitoes thriving in the greenhouse.

Another problem with concrete is that it can require hard labor.

As there is a need to dig a level area aside from adding gravel and sub-floor materials.

Concrete base isn’t exactly ideal if you have limited DIY skills.

Galvanized steel is like concrete as it is high in strength.

It is also similar to wood as far as price is concerned as it is very cheap.

Most greenhouse kits have frames made of galvanized steel.

It is durable and long lasting.

Moreover, it requires less frameworks that results to less shadows.

The only concern here is that the polyethylene film will wear off and rust.

Aluminum is also strong, but not in the same level as steel and concrete.

It’s slightly more expensive than wood.

But it is easy to maintain and perhaps the longest-lasting base material because it won’t rot nor rust.

It won’t also break down from UV rays.

Best Greenhouse Material

The good news for backyard gardeners is that there’s an ever-expanding list of materials that can be used for the greenhouse covering.

There’s the conventional glass, as well as other materials such as polycarbonate, polyethylene plastic film, fiberglass, acrylic, and vinyl.

Glass is considered the most traditional greenhouse material.

It is sturdy and durable enough to last for at least 30 years. And glass facilitates good light transmission.

The problem however with glass is that it is very costly and two, it is a poor insulator.

Moreover, it is difficult to replace if it is broken.

Greenhouse Material Polycarbonate Greenhouse
Greenhouse Material Polycarbonate Greenhouse

Polycarbonate is a material that has proven to be a good alternative to glass.

It can last for at least 10 years.

Polycarbonate greenhouse coverings also have UV treatments to prevent deterioration from sunlight exposure.

It is lightweight, too.

Some of the more popular brand names of polycarbonate panels are Sun-tuf, Zeluk, Tuffak, Lexan, and Dynaglas.

Moreover, polycarbonate is way cheaper than glass.

It would be a lot cheaper to use polycarbonate panels for the covering of a small A-frame greenhouse, with 16mm triple wall panels.

Acrylic is also another option if you’re looking for a sturdy and durable greenhouse covering material.

It’s a good choice if you live in an area where strong winds and snow occur.

It may be quite expensive but it can last for at least 20 years.

If you are looking for the cheapest greenhouse frame covering, then it’s polyethylene that you need.

A 12×25 feet roll that is enough to cover a 5×10 feet A-frame greenhouse can cost you just $10.

Fiberglass panels are translucent, yet like glass, allows much light into the greenhouse.

Most manufacturers say that fiberglass panels can last for 10 to 15 years without yellowing or damage caused by UV rays.

But compared to acrylic or polycarbonate, it is more expensive.

A 5×10 feet A-frame house would need six fiberglass panels.

Lastly, vinyl has a nice, showroom-quality look.

It can give you  a nice and clear view of your greenhouse.

But it won’t last too long, as a clear vinyl siding can last for only 5 years.

Now that you have an idea on the best design, frame, and material for your greenhouse, it would be easier for you to determine how to go build your own greenhouse.

But buying a greenhouse kit isn’t a bad choice either, as you can have your own hothouse in the backyard almost instantaneously.

Plastic Greenhouses Are an Inexpensive Option

One of the inexpensive greenhouse gardens are plastic greenhouses.

Plastic greenhouses can be constructed in very limited time, and can comfortably be dismantled in an even very limited time.

These Cheap plastic greenhouses make perfect temporary greenhouse structures that can be install in early spring to enable plant’s sprouts to get started early and then bring down after the threat of cold has passed to enable the plants and vegetables to grow in the sun.

They are most often constructed by PVC fittings and pipes then wrapped in a clear, thick plastic sheet, often polycarbonate, polyurethane.

Some plastic is clear enabling optimum light transmission, however, it’ll yellow over time.

Other panels or coverings are white that provides uniform sun light transmission, making certain no plant gets afflicted from excessive sun.

Plastic structures do not last approximate as long as a glass structure, but they are just a fraction of the investment.

The materials of greenhouse will have to be replaced every two years.

Therefore if a long term structure is envisioned a plastic structure may not be the perfect idea, but they both perform in the same manner.

There are two types of plastic structures on the market: polyethylene covers and polycarbonate panels.

Each has its own quality and pros and cons, can vary between the two types of greenhouse materials.

If you decide to purchase a structure with polyethylene panel, it’s essential to cinch the greenhouse material down strongly over the frame.

If the panel isn’t cinched down strongly, the wind will typically beat the plastic material to death, reducing the life of the structure.

Since the panel is always the prime factor to wear out on these structures, you may need to inquire if panels can be purchased at a later date.

Good alternative may be to purchase one complete structure unit and an additional cover up front, therefore you’ll have it on your hand when you will need it.

Plastic Greenhouses
Plastic Greenhouses

Plastic Greenhouses

Once you planned to buy a greenhouse, you will certainly reach a way, where you should decide whether you need a glass or a plastic greenhouse.

A greenhouse plastic is the more economical way than glass greenhouses to build a greenhouse.

There is not a big difference in glass and plastic in general, the price ought to become the decisive approach in anyone’s eyes.

Plastic greenhouse is light, so it can be connected to any frame, even the ground and the side of a wall.

Most often this is used for temporary base greenhouse structures that are created in early spring to get an initial start on the growing season.

Moreover, a research suggests, that a properly constructed and sealed plastic greenhouse offers less unmanageable energy loss.

The researches claim that a greenhouse plastic is up to 40 percent more energy accomplished than a glass greenhouse.

In terms of prices, you can find good savings when using a greenhouse plastic covering or film.

The common type of plastic greenhouse is 4 millimeters poly covering which can be comfortably cut to any layered and shape for more insulation properties.

6 millimeters is also a good thickness and lasts for about three years.

It can yellow with age and can cause further issues and looking cheap and bad.

Greenhouse plastic covering is easier to fit; saving you frustration and time once you start setting your structure up.

These type greenhouses are secured to the frame and secured with special poly patching tape.

Also, Bubble wrap is used like an insulating layer in greenhouse plastic and is also secured in similar manners but blocks more sunlight than without it.

Greenhouse plastic is fragile, animals can damage the film and steal plants and foods at night and children can accidentally put a leg or arm during the activities.

Fiberglass Greenhouses

One of the most crucial elements of a greenhouse structure is the covering or glazing, used as it requirements to let in lots of light while insulating the vegetables, plants, or fruits and providing tenability.

An array of options exists for covering or glazing, including vinyl, glass, fiberglass, acrylic, polycarbonate, and polyethylene.

Fiberglass material is very popular and its pros include giving good insulation and good diffused light.

It is also comfortable to perform with, and fairly affordable.

The criticisms with a fiberglass greenhouse are that is hard to clean and become easily discolored.

The surface becomes yellowed and etched, and debris and dirt can collect in the corners.

The fiberglass greenhouse typically comes in corrugated rolls or sheets.

It’s transparent and provides well-diffused light.

It’s heat transmission more adroitly than glass.

Fiberglass greenhouses cost varies widely, but less than glass and won’t break when the ground shifts or shatter in a storm.

Polycarbonate and fiberglass panels are both more effective heat retainers.

Glass also needs a more intricate superstructure.

The types of greenhouses that are made with low-quality of fiberglass are ultraviolet gel protective coating.

This coating protects the fiberglass in about six years and causes a yellowing right away.

Extreme caution ought to always be considered when cutting fiberglass, but, because the tiny fiber glasses can be irritate the lungs and exposed skin.

Long sleeves, gloves, and breathing masks ought to always be worn when you cutting the glass.

Whatever covering material you buy ought to be made peculiarly to withstand the sun light over several years without losing purity.

There are many good points and bad points to consider in choosing the right glazing or covering.

Best for you is decided by your needs and your budget.

Whatever material you choose, make sure to read a copy of the guarantee or warranty before you purchase.

PVC Greenhouse

Today with the introduction of the polyvinyl chloride or more commonly referred to as PVC in the construction industry.

It has become easy for people to build structures with frames made of PVC in place of wooden or steel frames there were generally used earlier.

The use of the PVC frames in building greenhouses has made it portable and durable besides making it affordable.

The PVC Greenhouse is covered with a sheet made of polyethylene film that is not only lightweight but allows for easy installation process too.

Temporary greenhouses are best built with these types of materials that are easy to handle and dismantle especially if the need for relocation arises.

If you are interested in building your own greenhouse you need to first chart out PVC Greenhouse Plans that includes all the details of the place, the materials to be used and the kind of structural design you want to put up.

Planning the interior design of the PVC Greenhouse and the plants you want to place inside is important, so that you know the best place for a particular plant with regards to ventilation, heat and light.

Depending on the geographical and climatic of the regions, you can choose the kind of plants you want to grow within the greenhouse.

Since there are different types of PVC Greenhouse Kits available in the market, building a PVC Greenhouse is not very difficult as you can decide on one of the designs based on your PVC Greenhouse Plans.

Moreover, you can also create your own PVC Greenhouse Plans with help from the internet as there are many plans available.

Adding your own ideas  according to your need and availability of space, you too can also generate a well designed PVC Greenhouse.

Low maintenance, simple installation and easy cleaning process are some of the most prominent features of the PVC Greenhouse.

Greenhouse Plastic Sheeting

Plastic in all its various forms has greatly replaced glass in the greenhouse.

Not just is it safer, but it has superior thermal properties and often transmits more energy and sunlight.

The advantage of plastic materials is that the same garden technology can be applied greatly in the greenhouse structure.

You may use plastic greenhouse in a temporary greenhouse structure.

Equally you can use greenhouse plastic to create a permanent greenhouse.

The most widely used greenhouse plastics are polyethylene, copolymers and PVC.

Each of these has its own uses and properties.

They all be cut comfortably and do not become desolate which used to be the issue with glass in the garden.

Greenhouse Plastic Sheeting used on nurseries or greenhouses is a poly film or covering.

This type of material is cheap and is easy to use.

The covering can be easily cut to fit and it can be secured a lot of ways.

The greenhouse plastic sheeting is not very stable but can be comfortably replaced.

It lets in a great amount of sunlight, but it doesn’t retain heat and acrylic panels.

This covering is perfect used on Mini Greenhouses or portable greenhouses.

Plastic sheeting on a greenhouse can also be used to disassemble an existing greenhouse.

Greenhouse owners can be typically seen installing a layer or polyethylene covering inside the structure in the fall to brace the potted plants or flowers for the colder season ahead.

When choosing greenhouse plastic sheet it is crucial to opt for a high quality material.

Poor quality plastic will become increasingly opaque and contort when exposed to the environment.

The greenhouse plastic used must transmit light well.

A plenty of plastics may requires to be replaced after one year.

Therefore go for a greenhouse plastic that is specifically designed for garden or greenhouse use.

It will last for long time.