Are You Thinking About A Home Greenhouse?
Selecting a greenhouse for your garden can be very challenging if you’re not really sure what your options are. Making the wrong choice can be very expensive so you’ll want to know what your options are and what to look for. Here are some important details to consider when selecting the right kind of home greenhouse for your needs and for your budget.
What Will Your Home Greenhouse Be Used for?
Will you be growing vegetables and flowers all year around? If so, then you’ll want to select a very tightly sealed greenhouse design with excellent light and ventilation as well as heating. On the other hand, if you’re only going to be using it to germinate your seeds in early Spring, and winter the less hardy plants, then you may opt for a more simplistic plastic frame that has a light, inexpensive polythene covering.
Attached Or Freestanding?
This decision will be dependent on several factors. Attached greenhouses include those that are simplistic lean-to styled structures on the side of your home, or more costly sunroom styled that can take up an entire room in your home. The advantages here are that you’ll have different maintenance costs and running when you are already plugged into power in your home vs a freestanding style where you’ll have to run power to the greenhouse.
Of course, an attached model will be dependent on how the sun naturally hits that particular area of your home vs your placing the greenhouse where it will get plenty of sunlight. Your choice of plants may be limited to what will grow in the particular sun location that your greenhouse is in. You may also require a permit if you’re adding on to your home – check with Pikes Peak Regional Building Department in Colorado Springs if you’re not sure..
If, however, you opt for a freestanding style greenhouse, you may find that it’s a nice retreat from your home and that you can use it to take a much-needed break if you’re having a busy day. These are more costly on average and will require more heating in the colder months and more cooling during the hotter months of the year. You’ll have to factor in a way to get the electrical source to the greenhouse and a way to get water to your greenhouse as well especially during the cold months of winter.
What Size Greenhouse Will I Need?
Before you even start to consider what kind of greenhouse, you’ll want to determine the size of the greenhouse that you’re going to require. Typically, you’ll want a larger greenhouse within the year. Always go up a size from what you think you’re going to need because you’ll wind up using more space than you realize. Know what you plan to grow, how much you want to grow (will you supplement your food supply or plan to get a lot of your food supply here?).
Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard either. If space could present an issue, you may need to add to it with a lean-to style greenhouse on the side of your home as a solution. Typically, a mini greenhouse or a cold frame may be all that you require.
Regardless of the size that you select, you’ll want to determine if you’re going to need permits from your local authorities prior to what you select. This can save you a lot of time and money if you didn’t get a permit and have to remove it for building codes etc.
What Is The Best Framing Material?
There are a few good choices here. You can select from metal, PVC, or wood. An experienced hobbyist will tell you that they like a specific type, i.e. that wood is stronger and easier to use than others, etc.. Of course, there are many pros and cons with any type of material so you’ll want to consider your options. With wood, for example, you can use the wood part to hang hooks on and place your tools on. All that requires is a hammer and a hook. with aluminum, galvanized or other types you’ll have fewer options for hanging tools. Wood will require more maintenance than PVC or metal will.
Aluminum, steel that has been galvanized, and PVC are all pretty maintenance free. However, they may be more expensive to heat and cool. You’ll need to have to have the proper materials to attach the plastic siding and you’ll need to spend more money on them as you can’t choose just any plastic sheeting.
Do I Need a Roof Covering?
Now that you’ve considered these construction materials, what are you going to cover your greenhouse with? Traditional glass panes are expensive. There is no ideal covering so you’ll have a lot to choose from. You can choose what is within your budget as long as it works.
Plastic sheeting is inexpensive and you can see that it’s a frequent go-to option. However, it may not work in all situations. It can tear and begin to deteriorate within just one to five years if it’s not properly maintained. In Colorado Springs’ devastating hail storms, plastic sheeting won’t stand up to the abuse.
Many hobbyists choose opaque fiberglass as roof covering. It will allow a lot of light into the greenhouse and be very attractive. Of course, you’ll have to have a solid and sturdy frame for such a covering, especially if there are kids or pets nearby that may accidentally throw something at it or tree limbs that may fall on your greenhouse. Fiberglass may also pose more heating and cooling challenges as it’s a poor insulator.
Polycarbonate roofing is another option as it comes in sheets and is very lightweight. You can get polycarbonate sheets at Home Depot or Loew’s – it’s not very expensive and it’s durable.
Fiberglass roof panels work well and may give you more light than some of the other options. However, it’s not always as aesthetically pleasing and it may stain over the course of time.
Heating, Ventilation, And Light
Consider what you’re going to be using your greenhouse for. Will you require a lot of light or just an adequate amount of light? This will be determinate on your final decisions. You’ll want the best bang for your buck so choose carefully. Make sure that you’re going to have something that works for your needs.
If your greenhouse is attached to your home, you may have more options for heat and light than if your greenhouse is freestanding. Focus on your budget, how you’ll use your greenhouse, what you’re going to be growing in your greenhouse, and how much light and water you’ll be needing for what you plan to grow.
Will your greenhouse need to look like a work of art, or will it just need to do the task at hand and work efficiently for your needs?
How will you integrate your greenhouse into your existing landscaping?
After answering the above questions, you should be able to make a wise decision on what you’re needs are for your home greenhouse. You’ll be able to choose from your options and enjoy your greenhouse for the purpose that you’ve designed it for.
Carefully consider all of your options before you buy to save yourself some time and money. This will help you to make the best possible decision for your new home greenhouse.