building a greenhouse

Building A Greenhouse From A Kit Vs Building From Scratch

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Countless gardeners dream of having their own greenhouse. Such a structure would enable them to cultivate plants throughout the year. It is especially useful in places where extreme cold can get in the way of gardening. Most plants are simply not built to withstand harsh winters. When the temperature starts to plummet, their leaves begin to wither and soon everything fades away. With a greenhouse, they can be protected in an enclosed space. The interior remains conducive for growth even if the outside environment is inhospitable. However, it can take a lot of work and resources to keep this setup going.

Plants are inherently sensitive. They will only be able to thrive if they remain in an environment with favorable conditions. Just a single day of inattention can ruin them all. Therefore, it is necessary for the greenhouse to be safe and reliable. It should remain intact despite challenges from the elements. It must let enough sunlight in without overwhelming the plants. Insulation must be sufficient. One of the most important things that a gardener must decide on is building a greenhouse from a kit vs building from scratch. Both have their own pros and cons.

By: Jeff Sandquist

The Advantages of Building from Scratch

1. Create your own design.

If you are used to DIY, then you are probably attracted to the idea of building everything from the ground up. This approach certainly has its merits. Perhaps one of the most attractive things about it is that you will be able to create your own design and make it exactly the way that you want it to be. This is good for people who don’t mind studying about the structure and thinking of novel ways to make it work for them. It is also a smart option for property owners with irregular shaped lots. Perhaps standard kits won’t fit or make full use of the space so you just have to do it on your own.

2. Use existing materials.

It is also an attractive proposition for those who already have access to building materials. Maybe your friends have already built their green houses and have some excess frames or sidings. They really have no other uses for these so why not just get them and build your own? Find a way to make it work. You may limit yourself to existing materials such that the structure essentially costs nothing except your own labor. You may also purchase additional materials as you see fit to make your greenhouse bigger and better. Whichever way you go, you are bound to save some money.

3. Learn more about building.

Another great thing about building from scratch is that it forces you to learn more about the intricacies of construction. Assembling a kit is basically just putting a puzzle together: you go by the numbers and everything is done before you know it. It may be faster but you don’t really learn anything. You are dependent on what the kit offers. If you do everything by yourself, then you are undoubtedly going to have a harder time but the experience will teach you valuable lessons that you can use to build better greenhouses or other construction projects in the future.

The Advantages of Building from a Kit

1. Great option for novices.

On the other hand, those who opt for kits cannot be faulted for making this choice. These products are popular because they are convenient. Everything has been pre-cut so there is no need to take measurements and sweat it out in a workshop. All of the materials are already there so you don’t have to spend so much time researching and looking for things in hardware stores. They essentially take out the guesswork which means novices can build their own greenhouse without making the typical rookie mistakes. After all, the kits were designed by experts. You can be sure that they will work right out of the box.

2. Finish building faster.

Not everyone has the luxury of time to study construction methods and weigh the benefits of different materials. Perhaps winter is just around the corner and gardeners simply want to get ready before it gets too cold to start the build. In this case, buying a kit definitely makes more sense than trying to hack out a self-made structure. It is possible to get the frames and the sidings in place in a single day. It is a great weekend project for two people. The other route is unlikely to get finished as fast as this, unless you are used to building and have all of the materials already at your disposal.

3. May be cheaper in the end.

Some people avoid kits thinking that these are expensive but that is not always true. There are several different options on the market with many having reasonable price tags. Read reviews to estimate their price over performance ratio. Perhaps you might find that a certain kit ticks all of your boxes while being in reach of your budget. For one, you will not have to deal with any wasted materials since everything is precut and intended for a specific purpose. You don’t need to purchase expensive tools for the build since the pieces go together quite easily.

4. Get reliable results.

There is an element of uncertainty when it comes to self-builds. The design is largely untested so you don’t really know if it will be effective for the purpose. You won’t be sure if it will hold up against harsh weather until it comes. Potential issues will only become apparent are you go along. With kits, on the other hand, you are sure to get reliable results since these were designed by experienced green house builders. They know what a good structure of this type should have. They have already tested it so you can be sure that these will perform as intended. You can also read the reviews to know the pros and cons straight from the owners. In the end, however, the choice between building a greenhouse from a kit vs building from scratch is all up to you.

Thomas

Thomas is an avid gardener and started gardening with his Grandfather when he was just knee high. He has over 35 years experience in landscaping and greenhouse growing and is CAEP certified.