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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Landscaping & Gardening > Greenhouse

Greenhouse Cost


How Much Does a Greenhouse Cost?

 
low costCold Frame or Indoor Greenhouse: $30-$600average costPortable or Outdoor Greenhouse: $30-$15,000high costCustom Greenhouse: $10,000-$50,000+
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Many hobbyist gardeners dream of owning a small greenhouse -- a structure designed to extend the growing season to all year long by allowing sunlight to enter while preventing heat from escaping. There is a wide variety of sizes and styles to choose from, but in general a greenhouse is made up of a metal or wood frame which holds glass or plastic panels that are the walls and ceiling. Greenhouse can be temporary, portable or permanent structures. Vegetable-Gardening-and-Greenhouses.com explains how a greenhouse works[1] .

Typical costs:

  • The most basic greenhouse-type structure is a cold frame, a low box or hoop-like structure designed to protect plants in the ground without any additional heat or light sources. A basic cold frame starts at $30-$100, but larger and more durable models can cost $100-$600. Cold frames can also be constructed for free using recycled materials. For more details, see How Much Does a Portable Greenhouse Cost.
  • An indoor greenhouse can cost $3-$60 for a windowsill or tabletop kit with a container and cover; more expensive models may include a heat pad under the container, or a grow light. Indoor growing racks with a zippered cover start at $30-$90 for basic models and can cost $100-$400 or more depending on size, materials, type of covering and options such as grow lights or an automatic watering system. Indoor huts can be $100-$600, depending on size, materials and the features included. For more details, see How Much Does an Indoor Greenhouse Cost.
  • Portable greenhouses start between $30 and $100 for low plastic pop-ups to protect plants; cost $100-$500 for walk-in-size greenhouses that pop up or fold out; and can be $100-$600 or more for snap-together frames with weather-resistant fitted translucent covers, with prices dependent on size, style and materials. For more details, see How Much Does a Portable Greenhouse Cost.
  • Kits to build a permanent outdoor greenhouse start between $500 and $2,500 for a basic metal and plastic structure (typically 6'x6' to 10'x10'), but can cost $3,000-$15,000 for larger (12'x12' to 18'x20' and up), more elaborate and/or more durable models. Depending on the size and style, hiring someone to build the greenhouse can be relatively inexpensive or can double the cost.
  • Having a contractor erect a custom greenhouse with foundation, electricity, plumbing, water, heating and ventilation can cost $10,000-$50,000 or more. For details, see How Much Does an Outdoor Greenhouse Cost.
Related articles: Cold Frame, Indoor Greenhouse, Outdoor Greenhouse, Portable Greenhouse, Handyman

What should be included:
  • Many greenhouse kits include all materials needed for construction (although wood-frame kits typically don't include the lumber), plus clear written assembly instructions. Indoor and portable greenhouses are typically fairly easy to erect, but a permanent greenhouse structure can be a major building project -- and will probably require a building permit from the local planning department.
  • A permanent greenhouse structure can be a major building project -- and even erecting a basic greenhouse kit might require a building permit from the local planning department. Check local regulations before beginning construction.
Additional costs:
  • In colder climates, outdoor greenhouses require a heater. Electric, oil or gas space heaters often work well and can cost anywhere from $15-$500 but may be expensive to operate (total cost will depend on the number of hours it is used and the local cost of electricity). See How Much Does a Space Heater Cost. Cooling can be provided by a simple fan ($10-$50 or more) or by covering the roof with shade cloth or roller shades (starting around $25-$100, but going as high as $1,000 or more).
  • A basic potting bench starts around $50-$250, but can cost $1,200 or more. For details, see How Much Does a Potting Bench Cost. Basic greenhouse shelving can run $20-$200 or more in plastic or metal, and a thermometer can cost $5-$50 or more.
Discounts:
  • Do-it-yourself from scratch (without a kit) is a viable option for building an outdoor greenhouse; the cost will depend on the size and scope of the greenhouse. For example, Southwestern homeowner[2] built a 12'x12' block foundation greenhouse with a wood frame and polycarbonate panels for about $4,000 in materials, while SJ Ranch posts a video slideshow illustrating how to build a wood frame greenhouse[3] covered with plastic and with a dirt floor.
  • BlueGrassGardens.com provides links to a number of sites offering free greenhouse plans[4] .
Shopping for a greenhouse:
  • It's important to put the greenhouse in a site selected to maximize any available sunlight. The Hobby Greenhouse Association provides detailed tips to consider before buying a greenhouse[5] .
  • Greenhouse kits are sold at home improvement centers like Home Depot[6] or Lowe's[7] ; big box discount stores like Target[8] ; and through online retailers like Amazon[9] , ACF Greenhouses[10] and International Greenhouse Company[11] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.vegetable-gardening-and-greenhouses.com/how-does-a-greenhouse-work.html
  2.  forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg0713081212557.html
  3.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxeEmMwgaMM
  4.  www.bluegrassgardens.com/how-to-build-greenhouse-plans.html
  5.  www.hobbygreenhouse.org/text/Directory_Preamble3.pdf
  6.  www.homedepot.com/Outdoors-Garden-Center-Greenhouses/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xg1Zaqn7/h_d2/N...
  7.  www.lowes.com/pl_Greenhouses_4294935924_4294937087_
  8.  www.target.com/s/greenhouse#keywords=greenhouse&searchNodeID=3151061&ref=sr_bx_1_1...
  9.  www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_353296982_12?ie=UTF8&node=11055931&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX...
  10.  www.littlegreenhouse.com/greenhouse.shtml
  11.  www.igcusa.com/hobby-greenhouses/
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