Building Your Own Greenhouse

by April Reinhardt
(last updated March 23, 2016)

If you want to grow plants or vegetables in quantity, for home use or commercial sale, then you need to have a greenhouse. Made of fiberglass, plastic, or glass, a greenhouse helps to cultivate plants by providing the correct combination of shelter, moisture, and sunlight.

Careful planning is important before a home greenhouse project is started. Building a greenhouse does not need to be expensive or time-consuming. The final choice of the type of greenhouse will depend on the growing space desired, home architecture, available sites, and costs. The greenhouse must, however, provide the proper environment for growing plants. Follow these steps when building your own greenhouse:

  1. Decide the purpose for building your greenhouse. Will you grow plants to sell, or as a hobby and for your own use?
  2. Check with local authorities to see if you need a building permit.
  3. Determine the type and size of your greenhouse. Will you choose an attached or freestanding building? Sizes of greenhouses range from 8 to 48 feet. What size will suit your purpose?
  4. Establish how much money you want to spend. The types of materials you use will determine how much money you spend.
  5. Choose a site for your greenhouse. You want sufficient sunlight for your plants, but you also want to provide partial shade.
  6. Organize a plan. Carefully detail the measurements of walls and windows, as well as the length of water pipes, and frames for the base, roof, and sidewalls.
  7. Work your plan. Gather your materials online or at your local Home Depot, making sure that you have everything before you begin the actual construction of the greenhouse.
  8. Prepare the site. Level the ground, remove shrubs, leaves, excess dirt, and tree stumps. You want the ground as level as it can be. Use a bubble level to ensure the plane is flat.
  9. Construct your base first, then add three sidewalls. Affix your roof to the three sidewalls. Build the fourth sidewall to contain your door and window, and join to the other sidewalls and roof.
  10. Cover your greenhouse, including the door and window, with UV-resistant film.
  11. Install racks for plants, shelves for gardening supplies, electrical fittings and outlets, and perhaps a sink and water pipes, if those items were in your budget.

If you've always dreamed of having a greenhouse, but have postponed building one because of cost, it's time to rethink that dream. Building your own greenhouse is a satisfying experience, and doesn't have to cost a lot of money. More importantly, growing your own plants at home whenever you want, can turn a hobby into a small business.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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