Selecting the Perfect Greenhouse Kit
When considering whether to invest in a greenhouse kit or embark on the journey of constructing a greenhouse from scratch, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons of each approach. Greenhouse kits offer convenience and professional designs but often come at a higher cost and with limited customization options. On the other hand, building a greenhouse yourself can be budget-friendly, provide full creative control, and a sense of accomplishment, but it may demand more time, expertise, and effort. In this decision-making process, it's crucial to align your priorities with your gardening goals and personal abilities to make the choice that best suits your needs.
Advantages of a Greenhouse Kit vs Building Your Own
Pros of a Greenhouse Kit
- Convenience: Greenhouse kits typically come with pre-cut and pre-drilled materials, making assembly easier and faster. They often do not require the expertise of a builder or contractor saving installation costs.
- Professional Design: Kits are designed by experts to ensure optimal light, ventilation, and insulation for plant growth.
- Warranty: Many kits come with warranties and customer support, providing peace of mind.
- Faster Setup: Kits often require less time for construction compared to building from scratch.
- Available in Various Sizes: Greenhouse kits come in a range of sizes to suit different needs.
- Included Components: Kits usually include essential components like frames, glazing materials, and hardware, reducing the need to source them separately.
- Quicker Start: You can start gardening sooner with a greenhouse kit because it's faster to set up compared to DIY construction.
Cons of a Greenhouse Kit:
- Cost: Greenhouse kits can be more expensive than DIY construction.
- Limited Customization: Kits offer less flexibility for customization in terms of size, layout, and materials.
- Assembly Challenges: While assembly is generally easier with a kit, it can still be challenging, especially for individuals with limited DIY skills.
The Top Greenhouse Kit Factors to Consider While Making a Buying Decision
Now that you've made the decision to purchase a greenhouse kit, it's time to determine which one is the ideal fit for your needs. While the internet offers a plethora of options, it deprives shoppers of the chance to physically inspect a greenhouse kit. A picture can certainly make a greenhouse look appealing, but it's essential to look beyond the surface to ensure that your greenhouse won't become a source of problems. When deciding on the right greenhouse kit, consider factors like the frame, style, covering, and the seller's track record in the greenhouse industry.
Common types of Greenhouse Kit Frames and Benefits:Aluminum Frames: Aluminum frames are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making them a popular choice. They can be painted and are often available with color options. Be aware that aluminum frames can vary greatly in quality. A cheap aluminum greenhouse is likely using a lower grade aluminum.
Composite Tubing: Composite tubing frames are constructed using a blend of materials, such as fiberglass and plastic. They offer unique advantages, including: high durability, low maintenance, and insulation.
Galvanized Steel Frames: Steel frames are exceptionally sturdy and provide excellent support for larger greenhouse structures. They are more durable but can be heavier. Steel frames are commonly used for commercial hoop greenhouse structures.
Wooden Frames: Wooden frames provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing look, often fitting well with garden settings. They offer good insulation properties and can be suitable for smaller greenhouses. The benefit of wooden frames lies in their visual appeal and insulation, but they may require more maintenance to prevent rot.
The most popular Greenhouse Kit Covering Options and Benefits:Polycarbonate Panels: Polycarbonate panels are known for their clarity and durability. These panels are available in single, double, or multi-wall designs, offering different levels of insulation and light diffusion. Expect plant leaf burning and poor insulation with greenhouse kits that use single-wall material.
Glass: Glass coverings are known for their longevity and aesthetics. They allow maximum light penetration and very little insulation. The benefit of glass lies in its durability and visual appeal, but it is heavier and more expensive.
Solexx: Solexx is a translucent twin-wall greenhouse covering that looks white in color compared to polycarbonate. This adds value to those seeking privacy in their greenhouse. Solexx is popular for its high insulation, ideal diffuse light, durability and longevity.
Polyethylene Film: Polyethylene film is a cost-effective covering option, but generally not an option on greenhouse kits. It provides good light transmission but offers very little insulation compared to twin-wall materials. The benefits include affordability and simplicity in replacement if damaged. However, it requires frequent replacement.
Read more about what makes a good greenhouse covering
Popular Greenhouse Kit Shapes:Gothic Greenhouse Kits:
Shape: Gothic greenhouses have a curved or arched roof design that resembles the shape of a Gothic cathedral. The roof arches upward and then curves downward, creating a pointed arch shape.
Benefits: Gothic greenhouses are popular for their aesthetic appeal and efficient snow and rain runoff. The curved design maximizes headroom and allows for better air circulation. It also enhances the visual impact of the greenhouse.
Gable Greenhouse Kits:
Shape: Gable greenhouses have a traditional roofline with two sloping sides that meet at a central ridge, forming a triangular shape. They are often rectangular or square in footprint.
Benefits: Gable greenhouses provide ample vertical space, making them ideal for tall plants or trellised crops. The gable roof allows for good ventilation and natural light penetration. These greenhouses are relatively easy to construct and provide a classic and timeless appearance.
Quonset Greenhouse Kits:
Shape: Quonset greenhouses feature a rounded, semi-circular design. The structure typically has no vertical sidewalls and consists of a series of arched ribs.
Benefits: Quonset greenhouses are known for their effective solar heat collection and wind resistance. The curved design enhances structural strength and helps shed snow and rain easily. They have a unique, modern appearance.
Lean-To Greenhouse Kits:
Shape: Lean-to greenhouses are attached to an existing structure, such as a house or a shed. They have a single sloping roof that rests against the supporting building.
Benefits: Lean-to greenhouses make efficient use of space and share a wall with another structure, which can help regulate temperature and reduce heating costs. They are a great option for gardeners with limited space or those looking for a convenient and accessible gardening environment.
Each of these popular greenhouse kit shapes offers unique advantages to suit different gardening needs and preferences. The choice of shape depends on factors like available space, aesthetic preferences, and the types of plants you plan to grow.
Greenhouse Kit Product Support:Product support is crucial when purchasing a greenhouse kit for several reasons:
Guidance and Instructions: Greenhouse kits may come with complex assembly instructions. Product support ensures you can seek help or clarification if you encounter difficulties during the installation process.
Warranty: Many greenhouse kits include warranties for their components. Product support helps you understand and fulfill warranty requirements and assists in addressing any issues covered under the warranty.
Repairs and Replacements: If any part of your greenhouse kit becomes damaged or needs replacement, having reliable product support ensures you can source the necessary components efficiently and with guidance on proper installation.
Troubleshooting: In case you encounter operational issues with your greenhouse, product support can offer troubleshooting advice to maintain an optimal growing environment for your plants.
In conclusion, when selecting a greenhouse kit, consider the frame material, covering type, and the availability of strong product support. These factors will impact the durability, performance, and ease of maintenance of your greenhouse, ensuring a successful and rewarding gardening experience.
Once you have chosen a greenhouse kit, make sure you follow these tips to prepare for your greenhouse kit .