7 Questions to Answer Before You Build a Greenhouse


Homegrown Tomatoes And Lettuce

Who doesn’t want a plateful of nutritious, fresh food each day?  Many consumers realize that growing their own food and owning a greenhouse may offer year-round vegetables and fruits by extending the growing season in even the coldest of climates. Build.Sow.Grow recommends you consider these seven points to lead you to a successful greenhouse construction.

What is Your Solar Exposure?

The very first thing to consider is the sun’s annual path on your property to determine if you have adequate daily exposure to the sun and southern sky.  A passive solar greenhouse needs good southern exposure without extensive shading from trees or nearby buildings.  The primary resource for heat and light in any greenhouse is the SUN. Without proper sunlight, you will be spending way too much money and resources on auxiliary heating and lighting.

Passive Solar Greenhouse INterior

What are Your Property Restrictions?

When building within a neighborhood, you may need to consider HOA design guidelines and covenants or city and county property setback regulations. Some of their parameters may include matching your home’s exterior finishes, size limits, property setbacks, and number of structures allowed on your lot. On a recent greenhouse build, Build.Sow.Grow had to present before a design review board which required matching the siding, exterior colors, roofing materials and finishes of the existing home to receive approval. The results gave a very unified look to the property.

Will You Need a Building Permit to Build Your Greenhouse?

Another important step is to determine if you need a building permit, which are typically mandatory when a structure reaches a specific square footage size.  For example, in Gunnison County, Colorado structures under 120 square foot do not require a permit.

If your greenhouse requires a building permit, a licensed structural engineer will most likely need to engineer and stamp your plans. It also means you will need to hire licensed trades people for systems such as electrical and plumbing as their work would need to be inspected by the proper building authorities.

3/30/2018 11:20:06 PM

We got a Palram ($600 10x8x9) greenhouse last winter and it's working well and the plants and seeding liked it. It is already getting too hot to keep any plants in there and it's only March 29, 2018. That's what you get living in the Sacramento Valley.

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