One of the most essential parts of the greenhouse is the greenhouse frame. Without a good, solid frame, the greenhouse will not stand well and could possibly collapse. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of materials to choose from when it comes to making a greenhouse frame. Each material has a number of different benefits, and understanding the choices available should help you make an informed decision prior to the assembly of your own greenhouse.
1. Aluminum Greenhouse Frames
Aluminum is quite a popular choice when it comes to framing greenhouses. Aluminum is particularly lightweight and will not rust or erode like other materials.
One of the downsides to aluminum is its inability to insulate. Aluminum does not maintain heat as efficiently as other materials which lead to large amounts of heat escaping from your greenhouse. Aluminum will stand up to rain and excessive sun but may let the greenhouse down in harsh winds or heavy snow. The material isn’t heavy enough to endure extreme weather conditions.
Steel greenhouse frames can provide a more robust type of metal structure but this is considerably expensive and the weight of steel makes it more difficult to lift and manipulate.
2. Plastic Greenhouse Frames
Plastic is another popular choice when it comes to greenhouse frames. It is durable and can stand up to all types of inclement weather.
The only slight drawback is that over time it can warp. Plastic has a tendency to expand and contract with heat and continual exposure to the sun. Over several years, this will start to have an impact on the material. Using a light colored resin base can help delay the effects of this slightly, although some warping is still likely to take place.
3. Wood Greenhouse Frames
The wood greenhouse frame is a regular feature amongst greenhouse and gardening enthusiasts. Wood is strong and durable, enabling it to stand up to all types of weather conditions. Wood is also a good insulator so a greenhouse will retain more heat. Wood is fairly easy to work with, making it a favorite among the DIY crowd.
One of the drawbacks to wood is that it can deteriorate when exposed to extreme weather conditions. It is subject to rotting and can house various molds and mildew. This can be prevented by treating the wood and keeping it clean. Regular maintenance will greatly reduce the potential for damage.
4. PVC Greenhouse Materials
The PVC greenhouse frame is one of the most popular choices if you want to create larger greenhouses. The popular hoop framed house is ideal for PVC. PVC is quite flexible, thus making is fairly easy to work with.
Even those with minimal DIY skills can usually work with PVC. If the PVC is UV treated, it will also act as a good insulator. PVC also provides a much cheaper option when compared to wood or aluminum. The downside to PVC is that it is lacking in strength. It is very lightweight and cannot stand up to high winds or heavy rain.
If you wish to build a greenhouse you have a large selection of materials to choose from. Each material type offers its own series of pros and cons, and the selection will be largely based on your needs.