Greenhouse Design Guide for the Perfect Greenhouse

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Trying to choose the perfect greenhouse design? There are a number of things to consider when making your greenhouse system efficient and low maintenance. These days, there are so many unique types of greenhouse design options to choose from.

If you’re new to setting up greenhouses, it can be hard to begin understanding the many choices available. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right greenhouse design. There are a few crucial tips to help you choose the best greenhouse design.

Good greenhouse designs

Having a good greenhouse design can boost the yield of your crops by maintaining year-round temperature and humidity levels. Efficient greenhouse designs also provide value for money. Before choosing the type of greenhouse design, you will need to know the purpose of your greenhouse. Decide whether you want to grow perennials, herbs, tree seedlings, nursery stock, or other specialized crops. 

Whether it’s a hobby greenhouse or a commercial one, the design requirements will vary according to the purpose. Once you know why you want to garden, you can decide the type of greenhouse you want, depending on the crops you wish to grow and area you live in.

Next, you’ll have to plan for the heating, ventilation and shade of the greenhouse. Greenhouse designs are considerably affected by these three factors. Good designs can promote internal heating without extra electricity. Also, if you optimize the height of the greenhouse well, you can plan for better climate control inside it.

Laying a sturdy foundation and building with the right materials can lengthen the lifespan of your greenhouse. Ultimately, a decent appearance can improve the aesthetics of the structure. Well-planned greenhouse designs have a balanced amalgamation of all these factors.

Choose a structure for your greenhouse design

There are a number of elements that together help build the right structure of your greenhouse. Being a good judge of these three elements can help you make the right choice of investment. Erecting a good greenhouse begins with knowing its:

  • Purpose
  • Capacity and whether you want a large greenhouse or a small greenhouse
  • Requirements

Greenhouse design hack#1 — Define your greenhouse’s purpose

The first thing you need to know for sure before you begin to design your greenhouse is its purpose. The type of greenhouse equipment and accessories, frames and plants you grow will vary widely based on the purpose of your greenhouse.

You’ll have to decide whether you are setting up your greenhouse for:

For a one-time event, you do not need an elaborate greenhouse, while for commercial production, you will have to plan for massive soil rotation, space and storage. If your greenhouse is only for decoration, then it needs good aesthetics over functionality. Garden furniture and benches will play a big part in a decorative greenhouse.

greenhouse design
A good greenhouse design

Greenhouse design hack#2 — Decide what type of greenhouse you want

Secondly, you’ll need to decide what type of greenhouse you want. There are a few greenhouse structures that are most commonly found across the world. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Below are a few of the main greenhouse types with their essential features:

Gable greenhouses

A gable greenhouse is a type of greenhouse that is usually attached to a wall or garage. It is similar to sun rooms and is decorated not just with plants, but with furniture as well. It can serve as a place for family get together. One need not exit the house to reach it, thereby it becomes like another room of the house.

Gable greenhouses also typically feature flat roof panels and vertical sidewalls that are slightly sloped. They come in materials like steel, glass and wood and are aesthetically pleasing.

Barn-style greenhouse

A barn-style greenhouse is exactly like it sounds. These greenhouses are similar in appearance to a traditional barn. The greenhouse features a slightly domed roof along with shorter interior walls. This style is often used in a country setting. It can be an excellent choice if you’re going for a rustic-styled look. These greenhouses can also be easily assembled with greenhouse kits by hand as all they need are pieces of lumber, covering material and screws.

Dome greenhouses

Another popular type of greenhouse often considered to be among the best greenhouse designs is the dome-shaped greenhouse. It is spherical and free standing. It often won’t feature typical side walls. This type of greenhouse structure can be a bit more expensive than other styles. This is due to the different types of glazing pieces that are needed for the design. Dome greenhouses are good for organic farming in harsh climates.

Gothic design greenhouses

A gothic greenhouse can be either freestanding or attached to another wall or structure. Gothic greenhouses are, as you would expect, influenced by historic gothic architecture. The walls and roof of this design are created with a continuous form that allows snow to easily fall down the sides during the winter.

By maintaining warm temperatures, you can grow summer crops and vegetables all throughout the colder months in it.

Hoop greenhouses

A hoop greenhouse structure includes an enclosed plastic covering along with a metal pipe or PVC which forms a hoop shape. This type of greenhouse uses either lightweight weatherproof aluminum or sometimes wood or galvanized steel. While it can be very cost effective to create a hoop greenhouse, the structure can require a lot of maintenance and may cost more in the long run.

Greenhouse design hack#3 — Remember greenhouse ventilation

Proper ventilation is an important feature of any greenhouse. While accounting for your greenhouse design, you will need to plan out where to place the ventilation. Ventilation helps to maintain and control temperature while also protecting against airborne diseases.

Ventilation is especially crucial in tropical regions and warmer climates. It’s important to have not just one or two, but multiple vents, to make sure that the ventilation is adequate throughout the year. In addition to natural ventilation, some cooling and ventilation areas to consider are

  • Exhaust fans in end wall
  • Pressure fans in end wall
  • Mist cooling
  • Evaporative cooling

Greenhouse design hack#4 — Cast some shade on your greenhouse

In addition to needing ventilation, an efficient greenhouse design should have adequate shading as well. If you’re planning to use your greenhouse year-round, shading is especially important during the spring and summer months, especially if you live in a hot climate such as hardiness zone 9b.

For the best results, you should utilize external shading rather than internal shading. Internal shading will do a great job at reducing light in a greenhouse, but will noticeably fall short when reducing temperature build-up.

Greenhouse design hack#5 — Optimize greenhouse roof pitch and height for temperature and heat

Having a greenhouse design with plenty of height and an adequate roof pitch is essential. This will help with maintaining a flexible growing environment and in controlling temperature. The roof should be pretty steep.

An angle of at least 25 degrees or greater from the horizontal is needed for the best results. Roof pitch will also give you additional working height above the staging of the greenhouse.

Additionally, adequate roof pitch will create a chimney effect, allowing warm air to rise and escape through the vents. Air frost, on the other hand, will take longer to descend and this will allow more protection for unheated plants. Read how to manage internal temperatures with the best greenhouse heater in our review of them. 

In many areas, greenhouses must be heated in order to grow crops year-round. A good heating system should provide uniform temperature control without releasing any materials harmful to the plants. Natural gas, LP gas, and fuel oil are suitable energy sources. Wood and electricity can also be used. Cost and availability will vary. 

It’s important to consider operating costs and convenience as well. It may be worth it to install a more expensive heating system with automatic controls versus one you adjust manually.

Greenhouse design hack#6 — Build a strong greenhouse foundation

You also need to give some thought to the design of the greenhouse foundation. The foundation is the base of where your greenhouse will sit. Its requirements will be decided by the type of greenhouse, local building codes and personal preferences.

Greenhouse bases can be made out of wood, concrete, galvanized steel, aluminum or other materials. Greenhouses attached to the house will usually have different requirements than freestanding structures. Local building codes vary, so you will need to find out the specific requirements for your area. One of the most important parts of a foundation is the footing.

The part of the foundation where the greenhouse structure meets the soil. Footers are usually cement and are determined by local codes as well as frost levels in the location. Footers aren’t always necessary, particularly for hobby greenhouses.

Greenhouse design hack#7 — Choose the right greenhouse materials

Several materials can go into a greenhouse design. As an alternative to glass, you can use polycarbonate, polyethylene plastic film, fiberglass, acrylic or vinyl.

In the past, greenhouse frames were usually made of wood. In modern times, aluminum is also common for greenhouse frames as it has several advantages over wood. Aluminum is very durable and stable. It is also available in longer lengths, which makes it much more suitable for a larger structure.

Greenhouse Kits Extend Growing Season

Greenhouse design hack#8 — Greenhouse appearance

It’s important to take into account the actual appearance of the greenhouse. You should consider where it will be located in your yard or home. This will help you plan the design and appearance of the structure. A greenhouse that is in the center of a garden would be a focal point for the eyes of onlookers. It needs to be designed and decorated accordingly.

As a general rule, a greenhouse with a dark color will be more hidden while a light-colored greenhouse will draw more attention.

Greenhouse design hack#9 — Decide on your greenhouse budget

There’re a wide range of designs, sizes and factors that affect the cost of a greenhouse. The amount of space in the greenhouse is a big part of the cost. Larger spaces will usually cost a good bit more than smaller ones.

A greenhouse can be built quite simply, or it can be made more complex by adding levels and equipment. A greenhouse kit can be a great way to get started with a greenhouse on a budget.

As a side note, it’s ideal that a greenhouse is subdivided with an internal partition. This allows for two or more temperature zones to be maintained in the greenhouse at the same time. Budget considerations will help you decide whether this is possible or not.

Greenhouse design hacks

There are tons of unique and creative greenhouse designs to choose from, and plenty of ways you can design greenhouses to fit in with your home or space. These tips should give you a good idea of what all should be considered while designing a greenhouse for the best use of space, purpose and function.

Budgets can vary. But no matter what your requirements and considerations are, building a greenhouse of choice, perfect for your home or garden, is easier now than ever.

Choosing the perfect greenhouse design

When planning to have your greenhouse structure erected, there are so many things to be considered to ensure that you get the best possible option available. The ideal greenhouse is one that is very efficient and requires little maintenance. All these are in the little details that people tend to ignore when choosing a greenhouse design.

Being that there are now numerous greenhouse designs available, it only means that the task of setting up a greenhouse has become more difficult. us. Choosing the right structure for a greenhouse design requires a number of elements that need to be carefully understood, that when put together, bring about that perfect greenhouse.

How to choose the best greenhouse design

As stated above, you first have to decide and know what your greenhouse will primarily be used for. Second, you must determine the capacity of the structure. Thirdly, decide on the basic requirements you need from it.

A good understanding of these three requirements will go a long way in helping you make the right choice concerning that greenhouse design. Let’s get into a few tips to look for when making this crucial choice which could determine the fate of your vegetables and plants.

Define your greenhouse’s purpose

This cannot be overemphasized in the process. The first thing to do is to decide on the purpose of your greenhouse. The kind of accessories used is dependent on this crucial decision. Will you use it to feed your family or it is needed for commercial purposes? Will you use it for hobby gardening?

If decoration and landscaping are also important, you will want to consider these factors. All these factors have an implication for your greenhouse design. For instance, if it is needed for commercial purposes, then you have to plan for a large space, storage, and soil rotation.

If it is for aesthetics, you have to take into details the type of furniture and benches used. And, if you need it just as a food supply for your family, then a small space is good enough.

What type of greenhouse do you really what?

You cannot shy away from deciding on the kind of greenhouse you genuinely desire. A few greenhouse structures are known globally, with each having advantages and disadvantages. The barn-style greenhouses are similar to your traditional barn, with shorter interior walls and a domed roof. They’re ideal for that rustic-style look and best for a country setting.

Greenhouse kits give you the advantage of being able to set it up yourself, as all you need are pieces of lumber, screws and covering materials.

The gabled greenhouse could serve as a location for a family get together, as it is usually attached to a garage or a wall. They come in steel, glass or wood.

If your purpose for a greenhouse is decoration, then gabled is the way to go. With a gabled greenhouse, you not only get the plant decoration, but you also have beautiful furniture. There is also the hoop greenhouse and dome greenhouse. It’s best to research them to know which best suits your needs.

Tips for choosing a perfect greenhouse design

Proper ventilation

Do not forget to provide good ventilation for the plants when setting up your greenhouse. A good ventilation system aids to combat airborne diseases and maintain a proper temperature, which is why you should plan for it in your design. If possible, create multiple vents to ensure that the plants would have adequate ventilation, especially during warmer seasons in the year.

Shade your greenhouse

This aspect is essential to ensure that you can make proper use of your greenhouse all through the year, be it spring or summer. Experts advise people to use external shading instead of internal shading as it can both reduce light and temperature in the greenhouse, unlike internal shading.

Building a strong foundation

For any building structure, the foundation is important. Therefore, pay attention to the foundation of your greenhouse, for it is the base on which the structure sits.

This aspect involves local building laws, type of greenhouse, and your preference.

Usually, greenhouses like the gabled, which are attached to the house, tend to have a different structure than those which stand alone. Several materials like concrete, steel, wood, and so on can be used to build a greenhouse. So, you should find out about your local building laws and pay attention to the footing of your greenhouse.

Rain falling off the greenhouse roof

If you live in a rainy climate, you may want to consider a way to control the water runoff from your greenhouse’s roof. My favorite greenhouse design accessory are rain chains which are often made from copper.

Use the right material

As noted earlier, several elements can be used to build a greenhouse. Ensure to use that which best suits the type of greenhouse you have chosen — for instance, wood preferably for barn-style greenhouse. In modern times, polythene plastic film, fiberglass, vinyl can be used instead of glass. Aluminum is also now used for greenhouse frames, as they are longer and can accommodate larger structures.

Good height and roof pitch

A greenhouse with enough height and the adequate roof pitch is a nice advantage that allows for a conducive growing environment for your plants. That roof pitch would also give you that additional working height.

Decide on your greenhouse’s appearance

You have to decide on what you want your greenhouse to look like, and where it would be located in your yard. Let us just say that a greenhouse in the center of a yard draws the attention of visitors, while bright colors are more catchy in greenhouses than dark colors.

Your budget

A wide range of designs and various factors affect the actual cost of a greenhouse. It is best to decide how much you’re willing to invest in the acquisition of a greenhouse. even the size and purpose of a greenhouse affect the cost it commands.

We hope that with all these tips you can now make the right choice when choosing the best type of greenhouse.

Be assured that a good investment in the right greenhouse is one that yields profits later on and reduces subsequent costs. Looking to learn more about greenhouse gardening? Read more about best greenhouse plants and how greenhouse kits can help you in your gardening journey.