Key Considerations for Greenhouse Construction: 5 Essential Factors
If you're contemplating the construction of a greenhouse, here are five fundamental aspects to keep in mind as you embark on the process:
1. Determine the Ideal Environment for Your Plants
Consider the specific needs of your plants. Are you germinating seeds or sheltering plants during the winter? For basic needs, a greenhouse with benches and heat-emanating grow mats may suffice. However, if you plan to nurture tropical plants or cultivate tomatoes year-round, you'll require a more energy-efficient structure equipped with lights and heating. Growing delicate orchids? In addition to heat and humidity, opt for light-diffusing glazing and a framework that can support numerous hanging plants. If your greenhouse serves multiple purposes, tailor the structure to accommodate the most demanding plants.
2. Select the Optimal Location
Choose the location of your greenhouse carefully. It should be easily accessible, especially in inclement weather, and harmonize with your landscape. Ample sunlight exposure is essential. A southeasterly orientation is ideal, with east, south, and west orientations as secondary options. Are you contemplating a free-standing or house-attached greenhouse? Attached greenhouses offer convenience, energy efficiency, and a seamless extension of your living space. However, factors like the height of the attachment wall, roof snow accumulation, and icicle formation must be considered.
3. Determine the Right Size
Keep in mind that plants grow! Aim to construct a greenhouse as spacious as your site and budget allow. Beyond the greenhouse's footprint, ensure adequate height, which is vital for both your comfort and the accommodation of tall and hanging plants.
4. Choose the Suitable Frame Material
When it comes to the greenhouse frame, you have several material options, including wood, aluminum, and plastic. Plastic is typically suitable for short-term greenhouses, while aluminum, when appropriately finished, offers durability but lacks environmental-friendliness. Wood, on the other hand, is a renewable resource, particularly when sourced sustainably. It can be left in its natural state or painted and stained to match your home. A wooden greenhouse frame boasts superior heat efficiency compared to aluminum (1400 times better). Additionally, it easily accommodates accessories like shelves, hooks, hanging bars, and light fixtures.
5. Opt for the Right Glazing Material
Greenhouse glazing options include glass and various plastics. Traditional greenhouse glazing employs glass due to its economic, aesthetic, and durable characteristics. When breakage risk is high or safety glazing is desired, tempered glass or twin-wall polycarbonate can be used, especially for the roof. Twin-wall polycarbonate offers energy efficiency and gentle light diffusion, making it ideal for light-sensitive plants.
This concise guide serves to kickstart your greenhouse planning process, and we hope it proves helpful in your endeavors.