Best DIY Greenhouse Design and Ideas

Wondering how you can improve your growing season results and develop your year-round greenhouse? Well, the process is easy, convenient, and highly affordable. Plus, it will help you increase the yield levels from your garden. While it all seems easy, you also have to be informed and conduct some research. Hiring a professional contractor service or relying on your creative neighbor for help is not always reliable. Why? You never know when they will be available to help you with the garden.

Thus, this best greenhouse design and ideas guide is an excellent place to help you get a good view of what lies ahead on the horizon. The options are many, and you will have fun experimenting with some of these excellent ideas.

DIY Greenhouse Ideas 

Freestanding or Attached

These types are ideal for creating a unique space without any restrictions in terms of using the space. Before setting the freestanding or attached types, you need to conduct adequate research on the topic.

That said, the cost associated with developing an insulated wall can be immense. It won't be reasonable to create a freestanding greenhouse for this reason, and you may have to adjust accordingly. Without the right dimensions, the freestanding greenhouses can seem overbuild and inefficient. It would be better to go for a greenhouse with dimensions of about "14x 35" feet. Plus, you may also have to think about backup heat mechanisms, mainly if you use the greenhouses in cold climates. 

These types provide various options for your home and additional living space, such as during the winter seasons. Also, you can expect reduced costs if you already have resources such as garden walls set up. Remember to check for aspects such as insects that can easily get into the home and risks of excessive humidity.


Different regions have different orientation angles when it comes to using natural lighting applications. You have to consider factors such that cold areas will capture hot air through the early morning sun. For maximum exposure, consider locations that provide maximum exposure in the east, where the sun rises.

You should consider these guidelines when it comes to developing the right greenhouse. Orientation is important because areas that have excessive cloud cover won't provide adequate exposure for heating. Remember that places at high latitudes are likely to move much farther north as the seasons change.

how to build a greenhouse

Length and Width Proportions

Length and width proportions are essential when it comes to building a suitable greenhouse. Taking the right proportions and dimensions means that you can develop a garden that offers optimal exposure to the light. An excellent place to start would be by tracking the specific dimensions of the greenhouse, and in relation to the resources and plants, you will have in the garden.

An excellent place to start would be to compare the garden's dimensions to those of other successful gardens. The school of thought for modern gardens is to use the 3:1 size ratio.


There are different materials and techniques you can use to develop foundations for buildings such as flats. These techniques also apply when it comes to building the right foundations for your greenhouse. The best approach would be to use concrete piers that you tie to the structure's framing for ease of set up. Usually, the conventional greenhouse features pressure treated wooden posts that also work well as foundation mechanisms. 

You may also have to consider factors such as the location of your greenhouse, as some grounds won't provide adequate support.

Tips For Building DIY Greenhouse

Choose the Right Layout

The key to setting up an orderly greenhouse is to keep track of the layout and organization. To ensure you keep things orderly and maintain the aesthetics, never put many plants in the greenhouse. Plus, it would be good if you can divide the space in your garden as required. You can even use vertical spaces to add more accessories such as shelves for several plants.

Beautify the Surrounding Area

Greenhouses are not necessarily designed to take aesthetics in mind because they tend to be rustic. To improve the aesthetics of the surrounding area, take advantage of its functions and features to improve the interior space. Also, surround the area with plants and set up a dining area close to the given space.

Prepare a Seating Area

Make your seating to help improve the interior space in your greenhouse. You can get a seat with cushions because it blends well with most indoor plants and the right lighting techniques. Consider getting a plant motif pendant which you can use to complement the theme of your greenhouse.

Add String Lights to Improve the Feel

Hanging string lights in the greenhouse will make it feel like a unique place you can go to rest and enjoy leisure time. Aside from being stylish, your greenhouse should also be sustainable and organized in a way that keeps clutter to a minimum.

Site Selection

The following are the key factors you should consider:

  • Land availability – you need a minimum of 1.5 acres for the resources you will use in the grow room and applications such as the parking. Remember to think about land availability close to the site if you plan to expand the project.

  • Water quality – the amount of water you use relates to various factors such as climate, plant types, irrigation techniques used, and more. The water supply should accommodate the peak demands of the greenhouse. There is no specific rate, so you may have to perform research before setting up the greenhouse.

  • Orientation – you need access to adequate solar throughout the year, for sufficient energy to perform photosynthesis and more. Using resources such as shelterbelts in the north is excellent for energy conservation purposes.

  • Topography – the nature of the platform is crucial because it determines the flow of water. It should be slightly sloppy to provide the ideal flow of water results. 

  • Access to roads – for wholesale operations is essential, such as the local highways or main roads. Why? These make it to access resources and supplies required for the greenhouses.

  • Utilities – these refer to resources such as electricity and water, which are important when it comes to setting up a greenhouse. You have to consider these factors, especially where you have to perform extensive greenhouse operations.

  • Regulations – various state, local, and federal locations play a role in the activities you can perform in the greenhouse. 

Site Layout

Greenhouse masterplan

A master plan is vital because it provides information on the construction process required for the buildings. The information included should be a reasonable business plan. It will consist of information on surveys, opportunities, and constraints associated with the system. Plus, the process might also require a plan to help manage resources to ensure that all plants yield as needed.


You need a storage area for materials such as containers, chemicals, equipment, and more. You need the indoor storage for these items to provide access and safety from harsh weather patterns. A good recommendation would be a separate building or headhouse. Remember to keep track of the space required for equipment and more.

Outdoor Production Areas 

You will have to allocate prime space for plant production procedures such as overwintering areas and growing beds. Plants need adequate light, water, and the right drainage to grow the right way. Plus, you may have to arrange the production areas in measured shapes for the best results. The best approach would be to set up shorter length walkways across the block for convenience. If you have a large greenhouse, consider setting up roadways which you will use to transport and maintain the plants.


Using double poly is ideal because it’s an affordable material with exceptional longevity benefits. Usually, corrugated polycarbonate is also excellent, with lifespans of up to 2 decades, but at a higher price. Also, using wide pane glass for these projects is ideal because it helps improve performance where plants need excellent heating during the winter. Energy screens are also perfect because they help provide heat loss and offer shade during the summer months.


A headhouse or one section of the greenhouse can be excellent for this purpose. Ensure it provides adequate working space for transplanting, shipping, and utility purposes. Also, ensure the layout provides sufficient clearance such that you can overheat the storage. The layout should also contain information on the water and electricity in your greenhouse.

Germination Rooms

You can set up the germination areas in the greenhouse, and you can also reserve a separate chamber for the process. Ensure you have adequate heat control and a fog system to provide the perfect environment for the plants to develop.


The key to developing the ideal greenhouse is to practice the right space utilization techniques and control the environment as required. We classify greenhouses into the following categories: 

  • Free Standing Greenhouse – a free-standing greenhouse can have various roof shapes to make it easy to set up. The ideal set up would be the "Quonset" type, which comes in different width sizes. Plus, the gothic designs also provide excellent light transmission and can shed snow conveniently.

  • The free-standing method is ideal if you have a small number of plants and less than 8,000 sq feet of gardening space. The key benefit of this approach is that it lets you add additional greenhouse when you need space. Plus, you can also prepare a separate environment for each plant in the setup. You can even shut down each greenhouse when its not in use. These types are also excellent for places that experience cold weather, such as the thick snow.

  • Gutter connected greenhouse – these types feature several "Quonset" arches integrated at the gutter sections. The individual bays have extra-long lengths that can reach up to 30 inches for the best results. However, for the large greenhouses, lengths of over 300 inches are also available. A gutter greenhouse is best because its flexible to use. It comes with flexible sides that provide adequate space for use, and the gutter height of 12 inches offers an excellent air buffer. The gutter connected greenhouses are ideal and efficient because they are economical, especially those that average under 10,000 sq feet. Controlling utilities such as hating is also easy when compared to the free-standing greenhouse types.

Environment Control

  • Heating – a hot water boiler system is ideal for heating applications. You can control the water temperature to meet the plants in your greenhouse. Every greenhouse or bay should feature independent temperature control mechanisms to suit different plants. Also, get hot air furnaces or unit heaters, especially if you may have to shut down the winter months' greenhouse system.

  • Cooling – natural ventilation relates to factors such as the wind and temperature changes to help regulate the heat content. Placing your greenhouse where it can help address any overheating or over freezing issues is essential. A good greenhouse should feature sidewall louvers for the process. Why? Because a fan lover provides excellent ventilation benefits. While its operation adds costs to your electricity bill, it's a reasonable investment. 

  • Cooling - Natural ventilation depends on temperature and wind gradients to remove the heat from the greenhouse. Locating the greenhouse where it can intercept the summer breezes and providing large roof and sidewall louvers is essential. Ensure you gain insight into regulating the cooling system to ensure the best results. You might require several ventilation stages to provide ventilation. Plus, the procedure might also require evaporative cooling if the plants grow during the summer months.

  • Energy conservation – with the ever-increasing costs of fuel and energy bills, using the right power conservation methods is essential. The common techniques for greenhouses might include energy screens, and more. Plus, remember to evaluate the management techniques you will use for the garden. These techniques involve growing crops in cold temperatures and keeping the growing space full for the best results.

  • Controls – for small operations, using accurate thermostats and an electric controller will work well for controlling the environment. Using a computer is also beneficial as it can perform this process automatically. Furthermore, a computer also provides statistics, comparisons, and more, which you can use to customize the planting process. You may have to set up sensors and thermostats at the right place to ensure the best results. 

  • Irrigation – uniform irrigation is essential, particularly for plants that you have in small growing beds. Using a computerized system can help because you can program it to address various sections of the greenhouse. These units are also dynamic and will eliminate the need for hand watering procedures. 

  • Fertilizer and pesticide storage – these elements tend to contain high levels of poisonous chemicals, and you have to consider this. Get a separate cabinet or shed way from the growing areas, and use them to store your materials. Plus, you should also have heat, which helps stop liquids from freezing or ventilation, removing hazardous fumes. Also, get personal protective clothing, which you may have to store in a separate compartment.

Best Greenhouse Designs and Ideas: Final Thoughts

Taking good care of your garden is important if you want to get quality yield and results. Before you can do that however, you may have to gain insight on the best greenhouse and ideas out there. We have compiled some vital factors you have to consider when setting up a greenhouse, and it's easy if you are well prepared for the task. Remember that greenhouses are different and plants have varying needs, which you have to consider. Why? It's because it will help you come up with a customized approach for the gardening process.