Buying a greenhouse: criteria to be taken into account

Buying a greenhouse: criteria to be taken into account

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For anyone lucky enough to own a garden, you may dream of being able to afford a garden greenhouse one day.

Of course, for any plant lover, this is the dream we cherish.

While some greenhouses do not cost a lot of 200, 300 or 400 euros, others can easily exceed 5000 euros.

So take the time to choose your greenhouse before buying!

The area needed to have a greenhouse

Make sure you have enough space for your greenhouse because a lot of people buy a greenhouse only to find that it's too big for their space.

  • Also make sure that you also have place for assembly of your greenhouse.
  • You should be able to walk around the greenhouse easily.
  • Finally, avoid installing the greenhouse in a wall corner or along a wall because, in the event of a tile breakage, it must be possible to access it for replacement.

The right exposure for a greenhouse

The best exposure for a garden greenhouse is usually south, southeast and sheltered from strong winds.

In summer, if it's very hot you can still shade the interior with small curtains specially designed for that.

As far as possible avoid placing your greenhouse under trees that could drop branches on your greenhouse and break tiles.

If a tile breaks and a gust of wind blows through the greenhouse, the entire greenhouse is at risk of flying and structures may bend.

  • Exposure to strong winds could damage your greenhouse, especially in a storm.
  • The wind resistance is such that the greenhouse would not resist it.

Work prior to the installation of a greenhouse

It is not essential, but strongly recommended, to make a few small installation work before setting up your greenhouse.

These small works should focus on the installation of a water and electricity supply.

  • Bury electrical cables and water pipes in accordance with safety standards, especially with regard to the passage of electricity.
  • Pass the electric cables in a sheath specially designed for this purpose.
  • Inside your greenhouse, prefer waterproof sockets and switches.

Some greenhouse manufacturers offer the option of being able to anchor the greenhouse to the ground sealing it with concrete is highly recommended.

  • Prefer a concrete of the HR (High Resistance) type.
  • Do not pay attention to the amount of concrete because the more your greenhouse is anchored to the ground, the better it will be able to not fly away in a strong gale.

A greenhouse is not excessively heavy because its structure is made of aluminum and the tiles are quite thin, about 3 to 4 mm thick.

  • It is therefore necessary to compensate for this lack of weight by a good anchoring to the ground.

Invasive plants in a greenhouse

If you grow plants that tend to grow large, your greenhouse can quickly turn out to be too small.

For example, a lime tree (Tahiti lime) which was only 60 cm in 2007, measures 4 years after more than 2.50m high and 2m wide.

  • In short, if your budget allows it and if you have the space, then don't hesitate to plan big
  • Who can do the most, can do the least ...

Greenhouse area, building permit and legislation

Pay attention to the surface of your greenhouse because if we stick to the legislation in force concerning the town planning code, beyond 20m2 of surface you have to make a building permit application at your town hall.

  • When the greenhouse area is between 2 and 20 m2, a simple Statement is enough.

Also make sure to place your greenhouse in accordance with the standards of minimum distances between the line of your property with your neighbor and your greenhouse.

  • In general, a minimum distance of 3 m is mandatory between your neighbor's fence and your greenhouse.

Greenhouse door and ventilation

Make sure the greenhouse has doors, preferably sliding because a swinging door can close suddenly by a gust of wind and break a pane.

Also choose a greenhouse model with ventilation possibilities such as skylights or blinds.

  • The number of ventilation windows may vary depending on the length of the greenhouse chosen.
  • Some greenhouse models can optionally receive additional dormers or louvers.
  • Check with your dealer or the manufacturer.

The choice of glazing for a greenhouse

Some greenhouse builders offer different choices for greenhouse glazing which can affect the price of your greenhouse.

Horticultural type glass:

The most commonly offered glazing is horticultural type glass which is no more and no less than simple classic glass 3 to 4 mm thick.

  • This type of glass is readily available for cutting in any DIY store.
  • Convenient when a tile needs to be replaced

Tempered or safety glass:

Another glass is also available, it is tempered glass, much more resistancet than the classic horticultural glass.

This glass is said to be 5 times stronger than standard horticultural glass.

  • It is more resistant to thermal shock, bad weather and scratches
  • It is however more expensive and not always available everywhere
  • This glass is stronger than conventional glass and when it breaks it falls into small pieces just like a car breeze it crumbles.


Another form of glazing is also available, it is polycarbonate.

It's about a plastic sheet of variable thickness, generally 1.5 to 1.6 cm thick with a honeycomb inside, which makes it a very good insulator.

  • This material supports heavier weights than glass (practical in case of heavy snowfall).
  • It is also very light and will be less practical for windy exposures.

Help with setting up your greenhouse

a greenhouse is a real mechanic's game but for avoid errors during assembly it is recommended to follow the following advice:

If you choose to assemble your greenhouse yourself pay attention to the levels because if the levels are not correct, then you will have a lot of difficulty putting the glazing in place.

  • Make sure that all levels are respected, and that from the base of the greenhouse.
  • It is indeed the base that will decide everything else so the levels must imperatively be respected from the start of assembly.

Choice of screws and assemblies

Some greenhouse models are assembled with bolts and stainless steel nuts and of course that offers a much better resistance because in steel we can tighten and it does not rust.

Other models of greenhouses are assembled with aluminum screwsSince aluminum is a soft metal, you cannot over tighten otherwise there is a risk of the bolt breaking and therefore less resistance.

  • The stainless steel screws increase the price of the greenhouse a little, but in the end we see the difference in resistance, in particular to the wind.

Choice of raw material for a greenhouse

Although most of the greenhouses offered for sale to the home are largely designed with aluminum structures, there are also recently greenhouses with wooden structures.

As wood is a heavier material, the greenhouse will be better able to endure strong winds although this does not prohibit anchoring to the ground by concrete.

The wood used is quite intended for weather resistant and undergoes all the necessary treatments so that it cannot rot over time.

  • Nothing prevents you from covering it with a layer of stain or varnish
  • A wooden greenhouse is much more expensive than the same aluminum greenhouse


Video: Top 5 Greenhouse Covering Materials (May 2022).