*Last Updated: June 2024

How To Build A DIY Greenhouse [Tips]

greenhouse building tips

Greenhouses are great- but they’re not cheap. Perhaps you’re considering how you can build your own greenhouse for a fraction of the price. We’ve assembled a DIY guide for building one and some tips for constructing your own with some free plans.


DIY Greenhouse Tips

Some more of our favorite DIY greenhouse plans are listed on Instructables. 

Do some research first

You will need to research and check for types of greenhouse plans designs which one might be right for you. Depending on how much space you have and the kind of food you want to grow, it will have a few various designs that will best suit your needs.

For those with limited space, consider a flat greenhouse or heated bed. They are great for growing vegetables, as well as low-dropping fruits and berries, such as strawberries. It has been designed so that you can easily access and work with it.

If you want to grow plants that need to be climbed like tomatoes, you will want to build a tall one. They are also ideal for balconies as they take up very little floor space, but can produce just the right amount of fruits and vegetables.

Polycarbonate greenhouses are another option. They’re made of polycarbonate plastic, which is the same material they use to make bulletproof glass. This makes them strong and durable to withstand the elements.

Maybe simplest is a cold frame greenhouse. A cold frame is a small, simple greenhouse. It is a box with a transparent or translucent top and a removable bottom that allows you to control temperature, moisture and sunlight on a small scale.

Find the right design

For larger options, there are a variety of eco-friendly designs. Each has its advantages and limitations, but each has room to move. Ring greenhouses are cheap because they can be made entirely of PCV pipes, but they take up a good amount of space and are not as durable as some other designs. Having a guide that shows you each of the designs and explains the best way to use them is an excellent investment.

Selecting A Location

Especially when you care how much sun you will get, rain, drainage, and accessibility are some of the things to look for before considering building your DIY greenhouse. For example, a flooded place will create a lot of problems.

Construction materials

This will affect both the cost and the effectiveness and efficiency of the build. You want it to be as productive as possible.

Time of year to build

You can be a DIY genius or you can be more relaxed at your own pace, so be sure to allow enough time to build it and start using it at the optimal time.

Choose your structure

You can use concrete that provides a stable base. You can also go for a simpler foundation using reclaimed materials like railroad ties. Your foundation will affect the cost of the unit, so keep your budget in mind when deciding on this.

Storage space

Be sure to plan some space for storage. You will want a place to store tools, fertilizer, and soil. Consider placing a tool rack and a box for storing soil and fertilizer near the potting bench for convenience. You can also use specially designed buckets or tool holders to keep your equipment close at hand when you are lounging around the greenhouse. Mini options work great for small spaces.

Who builds it?

Well, it’s a DIY greenhouse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help! Perhaps you have a family member, friend or neighbor who loves crafts who have already built one or would be happy to help you. It’s worth thinking about first because it might be better to build it while it’s available.


Ventilation is very important and knowing how to soften the climate inside, regardless of the outside temperature. An automatic vent opener is a great solution to make things as efficient as possible- learn how to install an auto greenhouse vent opener here. When deciding what type to build, it is worth investing in finding a greenhouse plan guide that includes information on how to keep your greenhouse temperate when the weather outside is not ideal.


Greenhouse sheeting is very important as it is a protective covering that not only keeps the elements out but also allows for the free flow of air. The sheeting is not something that is often considered when building one, but it should be. It can help to keep your plants warmer by reflecting the sun’s rays and retaining the heat.

The Windows

You can choose glass to use for the windows for the same reasons you would choose it for other windows. The main purpose of glass in windows is to protect the interior of the house from the elements, but it can also be used as a decorative element.

The type of glass used in greenhouse windows should be sturdy, thick, and durable to resist the constant exposure to sunlight.

There are three main types of greenhouse windows: casement, hinged and sliding. Casement windows pivot vertically on a hinge, while hinged windows pivot horizontally on a hinge. Sliding windows slide to the side on tracks.

The Walls

The main materials used in greenhouse construction are glass, PVC, and polycarbonate. Glass is the most common material used for the walls.

Glass is the most popular material for greenhouses because it’s transparent. It lets in the most sunlight and doesn’t block the view of the plants inside. It’s also easy to clean and replace, which is important because glass walls are also the most fragile and breakable.

Additional features

If your budget allows, add items that will make your greenhouse more comfortable and convenient for you as a farmer. irrigation and heating systems are a great addition and are a must in some climates. Supplementing benches can help you enjoy the greenhouse as this is also a great idea. You can even have a garden party at the end of winter!

Building your DIY greenhouse is a very simple task, especially with the correct DIY plans. As with all projects of this type, there are many various approaches you can take in construction. This article provides you with step-by-step instructions for the pre-construction / planning of this very practical project.

General Construction Steps

Step 1: Where to find plans

Finding this perfect set of blueprints will result in a greenhouse that will be used for years to come.

Greenhouse sizes can range from the smallest to the most commercial. For most of us, the size of the available room will represent the size of the greenhouse. The materials we know, such as metal and wood, can be used to build one.

Greenhouses can be of various styles, such as freestanding frames or window-like frames. The look can also vary as you can choose a more traditional or modern one.

For many of us who choose DIY plans, we tend to build a smaller structure because we generally don’t have space or time to build a larger structure. Most think of wood to build one, but today PVC can be used. This is the material that pipes are made from within your home. This material is easy to use and inexpensive.

Greenhouse plans that advocate the use of wood as a raw material offer a greater variety because we have been using wood for decades. Although wood is easy to work with, it requires maintenance because it may need a coat of stain or paint to protect it. If you want, you can even use scrap wood that you already have, which will dramatically reduce the cost.

There are even plans for smaller structures. They are ideal for those who do not have space or do not need a large greenhouse. If you like math, you can even make a plan for a larger structure and scale it down to the size you need.

One of the latest materials used is PVC. After this became a popular material, there are now several plans available. This material allowed those who wanted a greenhouse but were not skilled with a hammer to get one now. One of the advantages of this type of plan is that the structure if it is small enough, can be transportable and easy to assemble and disassemble.

Step 2: Choose your size and style

When most people think of the word “greenhouse,” they usually think of a large Victorian shed covered in glass panes. While you can certainly build this type, it is not practical for most people.

Some of the more common global warming patterns include:

  1. Ring/arch greenhouse made of wood and PVC pipes. This is a very large design and not very expensive to build. Good for people who want to grow a large number of plants.
  2. Heated bed design. It is much smaller than the hoop design and is made almost exclusively of wood. Shaped like a double bed, it provides easy access to your plants through two hinged doors.
  3. Greenhouse grow rack. Again, most of it is made of wood. This style is tall, like a closet. Inside there are a series of shelves to place a variety of plants.

For those who want to save on materials, a greenhouse is the best option. It is as if you are placing a medium-sized greenhouse on the side of your house or a backyard fence.

Step 3: Cheap and/or free building materials

DIY plans give you a complete list of materials. If you’re not worried about costs, you can pick up all the materials at your local lumber yard and hardware store. However, there are two ways to cut costs.

  1. Ask your neighbors, friends, and family for any “junk” they can give you.
  2. Old furniture often has very useful plywood that you can use.
  3. Ask the store about discounts and special offers.

Summing Up

Having the ability to grow your seedlings in a protected environment helps to ensure the health of adult plants. Don’t settle for one of the close-ups, look around to make sure you find the perfect DIY greenhouse plans for your garden.

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