How to Build a Greenhouse Cheaply and Well

How to Build a Greenhouse Cheaply and Well

Mar 7th 2023

Greenhouses offer numerous benefits. In colder climates, they extend the growing season. You can start seed and seedlings earlier and harvest crops later. A good greenhouse also can let gardeners raise plants that would not otherwise grow in their climate zone.

In addition, because they are enclosed, greenhouses can protect your plants from marauders like birds, rabbits, deer, and raccoons. A greenhouse can also prevent theft or unwanted attention from nosy two-legged mammals (i.e., humans). If you are careful, a greenhouse can discourage insect infestations and disease in your plants too.

Despite their many advantages, greenhouses can still be expensive. The average cost to have one professionally built is more than $10,000. The price of lumber has been skyrocketing lately, adding even more to the expense of building greenhouses that use wood.

You can find greenhouse kits at nurseries, in some hardware stores and online, but these typically cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. You don't have to be wealthy if you want to enjoy the advantages of a greenhouse for your plants. Read on to discover these suggestions for cheap ways to build a greenhouse, complete with misting or irrigation, from DripWorks.

Hoop Greenhouses

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to build your own greenhouse is to use plastic sheeting, which is readily available at most hardware stores. Typically, you will want sheeting that is four or six mils thick.

First, you will need to construct a frame to attach the plastic sheeting to. The frame could be made of PVC pipe and PVC connectors. Other choices include fence mesh and even tree saplings.

You can either attach the frame to a wooden base you build of 2 x 6 lumber or anchor the frame into the ground. By bending the frame into a hoop shape, you ensure rainwater will run off the greenhouse rather than pooling on top. Attach the plastic sheeting to the frame with nails, screws, zip ties or any other fastener that is convenient and sturdy.

You can make this style of greenhouse virtually any size you want. It's possible to build this kind of greenhouse for around $50. Overall, it's estimated that costs run about $1 a square foot.

If you live in a windy spot, you might want to consider anchoring it to the ground with lines and stakes, much as you would a tent.

Recycled Storm Windows and Doors

Using recycled storm windows and doors to build a greenhouse is good for your budget and the environment as well as your plants. You may be able to acquire glass doors and windows free or cheap online or at a local recycling center.

You can attach these upcycled doors and windows to a wooden frame. To cut costs even further, you can simply join the doors and windows to each other.

Another option is to surround a raised bed with straw bales. Next, simply lay a storm window or door over the raised bed to make a cheap, simple, and effective greenhouse.

Other Recycled Greenhouse Options

Folks have used various kinds of plastics, like CD cases and plastic bottles, to make greenhouses. These generally take a little more know-how and skill to build, but they help keep an all-too-common material out of the waste stream.

We hope these tips on how to build a greenhouse cheaply have been useful. If you have questions or are looking for advice on drip irrigation for your new greenhouse, feel free to call the friendly staff here at DripWorks toll-free. We are also available via instant chat, phone and email.