Building a Greenhouse
Many do-it-yourself handymen find building a greenhouse to be a fun and rewarding project. Over the years, we have helped advise hundreds of people with their custom greenhouse projects. The most successful endeavors have been those that are carefully thought out and planned. Building a greenhouse does not only take good construction skills, but it is also important to research the best materials to make a strong, efficient, and healthy structure for your plants.
Before beginning construction, you should do plenty of research on how to build a greenhouse. Be sure to speak with other greenhouse gardeners and your local nursery employees to get their input and suggestions, and also consult many of the relevant greenhouse construction and planning books available. Some important points to consider are the best location to build a greenhouse, as well as the greenhouse construction materials and the general greenhouse design you want.
CONSIDER YOUR REGION
Many people must also deal with the challenges of windy areas when building a greenhouse. In this case, it is important to choose sturdy greenhouse building materials and design your greenhouse with a shape that will allow wind to pass over the structure. (Rounded styles often work well for high-wind areas.) Once the greenhouse is built, make sure to secure it to the ground or a foundation to ensure it will not blow away.
PREPARING YOUR GREENHOUSE SITE
Once you have found the perfect location, you will need to prepare the ground. We recommend that you simply level the ground and then pour a few inches of gravel over the dirt where you want to put the greenhouse. This allows for much better drainage, which helps to keep the greenhouse clean and disease-free. It also makes it possible to easily move the greenhouse if necessary and is much less expensive than pouring a concrete foundation.
GREENHOUSE FRAMING AND COVERING
One advantage of building a greenhouse yourself is that you can configure the inside to best fit your growing needs. Left over greenhouse framing material can be used to create a basic bench frame structure for the shelving. It is best that you use shelving made with some kind of wire instead of a solid material. This allows for better drainage and also permits necessary fresh air to flow to the roots of your greenhouse plants. Also make sure the shelving material is strong enough to hold your heavy plants and allow room for both small and tall plants. For extra space, it may be possible to add hanging rods if your greenhouse framing material is strong enough to support the weight.
TIP: Make economical bench tops using 3 slats of wood (4x1's work well, cut to the length of the bench frame) and chicken wire. Spread the wood so a piece sits on the front, middle and back of the bench frame. Lay the chicken wire over the top and cut to fit. Attach it to the wood with a staple gun or nails.
With all of this said, it is important to make one more important note about building a greenhouse. Once you have figured out the time and costs involved, it is a good idea to compare that amount with the cost of a pre-fabricated greenhouse kit. After considering the cost of the materials when purchased individually as well as extra materials for errors, you may actually spend less money and be more satisfied purchasing a greenhouse kit than building a greenhouse yourself. Even if you think that you will still end up building a greenhouse, we highly recommend looking into the greenhouse kits available. You may be surprised to find one that will work well for you and, if nothing else, these greenhouse kits will give you further ideas about building a greenhouse of your own.Greenhouse covering materials
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