Greenhouse Materials - What are the options?

There are many items that can be used as Greenhouse Materials. The decision of which to use in a build can be simplified if they are broken down into the following categories:

  • Frame
  • Glazing
  • Foundation

    Even with breaking it down into these three groups there are still a lot of options to choose from in completing the construction.

    Frame:

    A frame is only used to support the glazing. These frames can be purchased as a kit in aluminum, as a hoop house using galvanized steel tubing, or erected with wood as a simple shed frame. There are a lot of plans available to view on the internet.

    Depending on the type of sheeting that has been chosen to cover the greenhouse, the frame needs to be able to safely support the weight of the covering used.

    Glazing:

    This item is probably the most important item, and there are quite a few options to choose from.

    This is probably the most specialized of all of the items needed for the build, as care should be taken that they are UV resistant.

    If not UV treated they will likely yellow and become brittle in as quickly as just one growing season. Many that are made for growing are rated for 4 years or more. It may be and usually is worth the initial higher investment.

    For Instance -

    • Glass
    • Polyurethane Films (Used for Poly Tunnels and Wood erected Frames)
    • Polycarbonate Sheeting
    • Plexiglass

    Each one of these coverings come with there own set of pros and cons that should be taken into consideration when the decision, of which one to use, is being made.

    Foundation:

    This comes down to which style of growing is going to be used. If growing in the ground usually a simple 2 x 6 wood frame can be used as in the build of a Hoop House.

    The foundation must be able to support the structure or greenhouse that it will be hosting.

    The foundation will likely need to be level and sturdy, made out of landscaping ties, brick or stone blocks and able to support the structure without wavering, especially if the glazing used is glass. For safety reasons.

    Decisions, Decisions:

    It is all of these options that make the idea of purchasing a kit so appealing. In a kit all of the greenhouse materials may be included. However, building the foundation is usually up to the ingenuity of the purchaser.

    The other option, if going the DIY or do it yourself route is to find a very detailed, and illustrated, set of plans that actually include a list of all of the greenhouse materials that are needed to complete the build.

    When there is a list, or a good plan is in place the next thing to figure out is where to source them.

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