If you love gardening, you should think about building your own greenhouse. It may sound intimidating, but it is actually not especially hard to design and construct a greenhouse from scratch. You’ll enjoy many benefits including a longer growing season, more control over your plants, and increased protection from bugs and bad weather.
It is crucial that you think carefully about your greenhouse design. Greenhouses need a strong structure, some kind of covering, a method for controlling the greenhouse climate, and any necessary permits from the government.
When you’re making your own greenhouse, wood is often the preferred option because it’s easy to get and put together. However, wood has problems with humidity, so you’ll need to take necessary precautions like properly sealing the wood. Aluminum, while it costs a bit more, is also pretty easy to put together and it’s more durable. Galvanized steel is even more durable, but is also the most expensive structure material and you need to have some basic metal-working know-how.
For coverings, you can use glass, plexiglass, or plastic film. In terms of price, plastic is the cheapest covering and has good insulation. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to replace your plastic covering in five years or so. Plexiglass is a bit more expensive, and is lightweight and strong. This material lasts about 10-15 years. If you want to go traditional, glass is your best bet, though it does break and can be expensive.
The last big step in greenhouse design is to find a way to control the climate. This includes ventilation, circulation, and humidity control. You will need to install vents and fans in your greenhouse so the air temperature isn’t split with hot air at the top of the greenhouse and cooler air at the bottom. For heating during the winter, you can use gas, propane, or electricity.
Before you start building, check with your local government about building permits. You should also be sure to check for pipes at your building site. For affordable building materials, consider searching for recycled windows, glass doors, lumber, and so on.