Planning Your Energy Efficient Greenhouse

A greenhouse is the best way to grow plants all year long. Greenhouses are perfect for creating an ideal environment for plants because they allow you to control the amount of humidity, warmth, and light that the plants receive. The greenhouse let's homeowners grow flowers, vegetables, and other plants no matter what the weather is outside.  

Here's how you can plan the building of an energy efficient greenhouse.

Step 1 - Size

The first thing you need to do is determine what size the greenhouse will be. It's possible to build a very large greenhouse and spend a lot of money, or construct a small one on a budget. It all depends on what you want to grow in the greenhouse and how much you're willing to spend on the project. It also depends on how much room you have in your backyard.

Step 2 - Foundation

It's also important to decide what type of foundation you're going to build for the greenhouse. Greenhouses can have solid concrete foundations or wood foundations. Some people even use railroad ties to attach the greenhouse frame. Whatever you use, make sure the greenhouse is securely attached to the ground.

Step 3 - Floor

The floor of the greenhouses is also important. If the foundation is made out of concrete, concrete flooring will be the best option. You can also put down decorative rock or sand to create a greenhouse floor. Another option is to leave the ground there and build a gravel path down the middle of the greenhouse. Just make sure that the floor you use is porous.

Step 4 - Walls

Greenhouses usually have walls about 2 feet high that are attached to a covering on the rest of the framework.  

Step 5 - Coverings

When planning to build a greenhouse, decide what kind of coverings you want to place on the structure. Glass is the most popular choice, even though it costs more. Another option is plastic sheeting. Of course, this material is not as strong as glass, so you may want to use fiberglass instead. Fiberglass is good for warmer climates that get a lot of light.

Step 6 - Insulation

Insulation is another consideration you have to make when planning to build a greenhouse. If you live in a cold climate, insulation is a must. Heating systems will ensure that your plants keep warm all winter long. However, insulation can also be useful in warm climates too. Swamp coolers, for example, help keep plants cool in extreme heat.

In order for the plants in your greenhouse to grow and thrive it is very important to make sure your greenhouse has proper air circulation, ventilation, and humidity control. Electricity and water connections to the greenhouses are also important.  When planning to build a greenhouse, make sure you purchase water resistant electrical outlets and cover the water lines so they don't freeze. You may also want to purchase other accessories, such as tables and benches.