A greenhouse can extend your growing season and provide flexibility for gardening and horticulture. From pre-fabricated kits to custom buildings, the size, styles, and features of greenhouses vary widely and will influence the expense of construction. The location of your structure is also an important factor, since the time, equipment, and skills needed for ground preparation and fitting special systems can affect project costs.
While the style and materials of your greenhouse and the skill level required for building or assembly are important considerations, the overall size of the structure can be a good indicator of job costs. Building expenses for small greenhouses average $482 for a 6’ x 8’ structure, $647 for an 8’ x 8’ building, and $808 for one 8’ x 10’. The added time and manpower needed to complete a larger project can bring costs to $1104 for an 8’ x 12’ greenhouse, $2037 for one 8’ x 16’, and $2418 for an 8’ x 20’ project.
Ground preparation and an adequate foundation are essential for the success of any building project. Preparation requirements may vary with greenhouse styles, since some prefabricated units can be assembled atop the ground, while other kits and custom buildings require traditional footings or foundations. Minimum requirements of a smooth, level surface may call for basic groundwork, while substantial labor and equipment may be needed for setting piers or pouring concrete footings or a slab. Though expenses are directly influenced by the features of your greenhouse, building on hard surfaces costs an average $807 for concrete and $933 for asphalt. Rates may vary widely depending on whether the structure can rest on the surface or if your contractor must first break up material to properly install a foundation. Since softer ground is more easily worked it may be less expensive to set foundations in an unpaved area, but preparing for a surface installation may still involve digging or leveling. A greenhouse build on dirt may cost $1114, compared to $1207 for working on a rock and $1049 on grass.
Special Greenhouse Features
The features incorporated in your greenhouse can maximize its usefulness by simplifying your work there and improving growing conditions. The cost of incorporating systems and equipment may depend on the building’s proximity to the plumbing and wiring of your home and the type of equipment, but it typically costs about $208 to incorporate lighting in a residential greenhouse, $513 for a full electrical installation, and $311 for irrigation. Even without the luxury of integrated lighting and plumbing, greenhouse benches are beneficial for growing conditions and efficient work areas. A greenhouse build complete with benches costs an average of $409, though styles vary from prefabricated plastic and metal units to custom built wood tables.
Planning Your Greenhouse Build
Residential greenhouses range from simple structures that can improve gardening preparation to traditional buildings that provide a controlled growing environment. A number of factors will contribute to the expense of your build, so consider the scale of your project when planning and budgeting for the job. Be sure to determine if a permit is required before construction begins and what skills are needed for the job. While a handyman may be qualified to assemble a prepared greenhouse or build a simple structure, a carpenter, electrician, plumber, glazier, or other specialists may be needed for a custom project. The expense of using skilled contractors may increase the cost of construction, so be sure to discuss the requirements of the job with your retailer, designer, or contractor.