Build Your Own Greenhouse and Save Money (and Have Fun, Too!)

Think it would be tough to build your own greenhouse? Not so much!

If you’re just moderately handy at using simple tools, a DIY greenhouse project can be a great way to start greenhouse gardening.

If you’re interested in greenhouse gardening, building your own greenhouse certainly isn't the only way to get started.

If you want a greenhouse, obviously you could hire a company to build you a beautiful and elegant greenhouse. That would certainly be the easiest way to get a greenhouse. But it would also be the most expensive way.

Do it yourself greenhouses, on the other hand, allow you to trade a bit of time and elbow grease for a cheaper start on gardening with a greenhouse.

A Few Things to Consider if You Want to Build Your Own Greenhouse…

Hydroponic lettuce growing in our home-designed, home-built greenhouse

If you’re interested in a do it yourself greenhouse, you’ll find yourself faced with a wide array of choices.

That’s a good thing, of course. It’s always better to have lots of options to choose from. The only downside, though, is that it makes the ‘getting started’ process a bit more complicated. All of those options have to be sorted through before you can decide what’s best for you.

In fact, if you decide to build your own greenhouse, you might actually find the decision making process to be the most difficult part of the whole project.

Decisions,  Decisions...

For example: Do you want to build your own greenhouse from scratch, or would you prefer to purchase a greenhouse kit? The cheapest route, of course, would be to build from scratch. But you can get a very nice, easy-to-assemble kit for quite a reasonable cost. A greenhouse kit can offer a nice compromise between cost and convenience.

And then once you’ve decided between scratch-built vs. greenhouse kit, there will be lots of additional decisions to make.

You’ll need to decide upon the style of greenhouse you want, the size, the complexity – and if you’re buying a kit, you might even have to decide upon a color!

If you’re going to build your own greenhouse from scratch, what type of material will the framework be – wood, steel pipe, aluminum? Did you know that you could even build a greenhouse out of plastic pipe?

And More Decisions!

Once you’ve waded through all those decisions, then you’ll need to decide how to equip the greenhouse. Will you need exhaust fans, and if so, what size? What about constant air circulation fans? How about benches, misters, light sensors and all the other gadgets and gizmos that can be part of greenhouse growing. These all add to the expense, of course – AND to the fun!

You might want to have nothing more complicated than a simple structure that will allow you to grow plants directly in the ground, with ventilation consisting of nothing more than rolled-up sides and open door flaps. You might be surprised at how cheaply you can get started that way.

But you might want to go whole hog with a hydroponics system and automated climate controls. Careful, though. You might be surprised at how much you can spend when you start assembling that wish list!

What Are Your Greenhouse Gardening Goals?

Yep, more decisions!

What would you like to grow in your greenhouse? How much of it? Do you want a year-round greenhouse, or just a wintertime greenhouse?

Even though you may be planning on building just a small greenhouse in your backyard, don’t rule out the possibility of making a bit of money from your hobby. That’s very doable if you’re interested in going that route. (I can assure you, people will pay a pretty penny for homegrown, garden quality tomatoes and other produce in the dead of winter.)

Or perhaps you have a really large backyard, or maybe even a small acreage, and you’re considering a large-scale greenhouse project.

All of these choices will dictate other decisions, and the whole thing becomes sort of an interwoven mesh (I said m-e-s-h, not m-e-s-s, though by now you may be thinking it seems more like the latter!).

I’ll Help You Sort Through the Choices

As you can see, a big part of building your own greenhouse has to do with choices. Facing them and making them. Before ever a hammer is swung or a purlin is strung, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve made decisions that will best work to accomplish your greenhouse gardening goals (once you’ve figured out what those are, of course!).

But don’t let that bewildering array of choices deter you from getting started. Don’t fall victim to ‘paralysis by analysis.’ I’ll try to help you by providing lots of solid information so that you’ll be making informed decisions. (I’ll frequently be adding more, so check back often.)

And in reality, the decision-making is really a fun part of the process; kind of like browsing through a thick seed catalog on a cold winter’s day. Yes, there certainly are lots of decisions to make. But oh, the possibilities, and the wonderful dreams they inspire!


More Information About Building Your Own Greenhouse:

Greenhouse Frames

Greenhouse frames can be constructed of several different types of materials. If you’re going to build your own greenhouse, choosing which type of frame to use will be one of your first decisions.


Greenhouse Glazing

Greenhouse glazing makes the greenhouse. It’s the glazing that lets sunlight in while trapping warmth inside. Greenhouse poly film, polycarbonate panels and glass panes are popular forms of glazing.

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