Dreaming Of A Greenhouse? Look Here For Ideas

Want to extend your growing season but aren’t willing to spend the big bucks on a pre-built option or DIY kit?

If you’re handy with a hammer (or know someone who is), here are a few projects that can help you get the job done. Each of them freely share the instructions and materials used and costs range on both sides of the scale.

Tips Before Getting Started:

  • For best results choose the location wisely. Place the structure where it will get several hours of sunlight.
  • Make sure the ground is nice and level before you start (you’ll appreciate this once you start building).
  • Also think about windy conditions and how to best secure the greenhouse so it won’t blow over (disaster!). I found some good recommendations on this page: HowToGarden.ie: Whether your greenhouse is plastic, glass or polyethylene you will need to secure it as they are both lightweight and ‘Sail-like’. This is a bad combination.

Although there are a few simple designs included in the collection below, you may want to also check out these cold frames. If greenhouses are too ambitious for you right now, these are a good option.

Cold frames are smaller and many times can be broken down and packed away until next season (so you don’t really need a lot of room for one). I find them very handy and use mine all the time.

Now on to the greenhouse tutorials…several different options to check out and they have plenty of inspiration to offer!

DIY Hoop House: A few materials used to build this: PVC plumbing pipe, fence posts, rebar and clear plastic. Nicely done, lots of pictures.

From Old Windows: Recycle and reuse with this project, round up some old windows and make this clever structure.

PVC Hoops: This can extend your warm-season gardening a month or more at both ends, and makes it possible for year-round gardeners to grow a wider variety of plants through the winter.

Lumber & Plastic: Details aren’t thorough but enough to guide an experienced builder. Made with lumber and plastic.

Storm Doors: Made with reused aluminum storm doors. Not very detailed instructions but might be enough for an experienced DIY-er to get the job done.

Lean-To Style: This one cost the DIYer less than $100; save on materials by using old windows and extra lumber on hand.

10×16 Plans: After assembling the frame & rafters, this is covered with translucent polyethylene foil / sheets.

Ventilation Feature: This has a wood-frame vent cover that can be propped open, door is weighted plastic that can be tied out of the way.

Plywood Sheeting: Framed in 2×4’s, bottom half finished with plywood sheeting, upper part is enclosed in 6 mil plastic.

Corrugated Panels: Plastic for the upper half, tin on the lower. After 6 years of use, it’s still sturdy as ever.

8×10 w/ Wide Door: Nice! This features a door wide enough for a wheelbarrow to get through. Stands 8′ 6″ at highest point.

More Resources:

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    • The Backyard Mentor

    Thank you for this post; a lot of my friends live in areas where it is difficult to grow what they want to grow. It’s either too hot or too cold. With a greenhouse, you would have more control. I am going to share this post with them so they can see how to do it. Thanks again.

    • Vickie

    I wish we hadn’t gotten rid of all those windows now this is amazing. Thanks 🙂

    • John1034

    Very nice site!

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