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The Home Depot

Yard Guide to Greenhouse Installation

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > Yard Guide to Greenhouse Installation
Yard Guide to Greenhouse Installation

A greenhouse is a building where plants that need protection from colder climates are grown. Greenhouses can range in size from small sheds to big ones and can cost anywhere between $100 and $6,000. The structure usually has a glass or plastic roof and walls which make it easy for light to shine through while retaining the heat within the walls. The greenhouses found on private property or in backyards are usually known as "hobby greenhouses" and are used to cultivate vegetables and flowers by dedicated gardeners.

  1. 1.Starting Out Right

    The greenhouses found on private property or in backyards are usually known as "hobby greenhouses" and are used to cultivate vegetables and flowers by dedicated gardeners.

    If you are one such gardener and seeking to install a greenhouse on your property, there are a few things you should be aware of. In some areas, it is necessary to obtain a building permit before you can construct a greenhouse. So, you must first check with your local authorities before proceeding with the installation.


    Adequate planning is required before starting a greenhouse on your property. Firstly, you will need to find a suitable location. Next, you will have to decide on the type of greenhouse you will set up and your budget. You can opt for a pre-built one or a greenhouse kit depending on which one you are comfortable with.

  2. 2.Location

    If you do not place your greenhouse in the best possible location, you may not be able to grow certain types of plants. The best spot for a greenhouse is on the south or southeast side of the house where there is sufficient sunlight throughout the year. The next best spot would be in the east. If you can locate the greenhouse in a spot where it will receive some shade during the afternoon, this would be ideal. A greenhouse can be attached to the house or garage or even be a freestanding structure.

  3. 3.Designing a Greenhouse

    You will first have to decide on the size of the greenhouse. Here, you will have to calculate the required width, length, and height of the structure. While determining the width you will have to take into account where the benches and walkways will be. The width of the walkways will also have to be taken into account during this time. The length will depend on the number of plants proposed to be grown in the greenhouse. The formula for calculating the space is to multiply the number of plants by one square feet. The height of the greenhouse will again depend on the plants that will be grown. For low-growing plants, a height of about five feet to the eave will suffice. If you plan on having taller plants, you will have to raise the height accordingly.

  5. 4.Types of Greenhouses

    The greenhouse itself will be covered with glass, fiberglass, or polyethylene film. The framework will usually be of wood, aluminum, iron, and plastic. Glass is the traditional covering used in greenhouses while plastic is gaining popularity in recent times. Glass greenhouses can have slanted or straight sides, eaves, or curved eaves. One with an aluminum frame can be maintenance free and have pleasing lines which will also be weather tight, thus minimizing heating costs and helping retain humidity. Fiberglass greenhouses are known to be lightweight, strong, and hail proof. Only fiberglass of the clearest grade should be used because colored ones may reduce light penetration. Plastic greenhouses are the current favorites. The main reasons for their popularity are the affordability, no compromise on quality of plants grown in such greenhouses, and they attract lower taxes since they are not considered permanent structures.


    Any time you can defeat the tax man, who is growing by leaps and bounds every minute, is something to smile about.

  6. 5.Ventilation and Cooling

    TVentilation and cooling are crucial in maintaining a greenhouse well and systems must be put in to ensure this. Ventilation is a must in a greenhouse because without this the air temperature may become unbearably hot for the plants. This will ensure that the extra heat is let out periodically. One superlative option for you is to place exhaust fans irrespective of the size of the greenhouse. Putting in or installing an evaporative cooler is also a common option.

  7. 6.Planning Correctly

    These are some things to remember when fabricating a greenhouse. You can also choose to install automatic controls for several tasks such as switching the thermostat on and off, ventilation, watering, and misting. If you insist on doing your homework before you begin this evolution, this will increase the chances of you constructing a greenhouse that stands on its own and lives up to your expectations.

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