How to Build a Small Greenhouse from Scratch: Inexpensive Building Options, Resources Needed, and Installation Cost

How to Build a Small Greenhouse from Scratch

If you have the right supplies and knowledge, building a tiny greenhouse from scratch can be quite inexpensive and simple. Let's look at additional details about how to construct a little greenhouse below. Here are the fundamental procedures and supplies you will need to build a small greenhouse:

  1. A place with good drainage and lots of sunlight should be chosen for the greenhouse.
  2. Obtain supplies including connectors, plastic sheeting, and PVC pipes. Although these materials may cost more, you can also utilize glass or acrylic panels and frames made of metal or wood.
  3. Build the greenhouse's framework out of PVC pipes or other materials. Make sure it is level and robust.
  4. With connectors or other fasteners, cover the frame with plastic sheeting or glass/acrylic panels.
  5. Use glass/acrylic panels or plastic sheeting to construct a door and ventilation system that will allow you to regulate the greenhouse's temperature and airflow.
  6. To help keep your plants hydrated, add a watering system, like a hose or drip irrigation.
  7. Place your plants in the greenhouse and have pleasure.

Your choice of materials and greenhouse size will affect the price. While wood and glass/acrylic panels will cost more, PVC pipes and plastic sheeting are more affordable. You might also make use of recycled supplies. If you set it up yourself and utilize recycled materials, the cost will be modest; otherwise, hiring a pro will increase the cost.

How to construct a small greenhouse from the ground up

How can a cheap greenhouse be constructed?

Using cheap materials and certain do-it-yourself methods, a low-cost greenhouse can be constructed. Here are some pointers on how to construct a cheap greenhouse:
  1. Use metal or PVC pipes to build the greenhouse's frame. They are simple to deal with and generally affordable.
  2. Use old window panes or plastic sheets as the glazing material. Recycling facilities and internet markets are good places to find these for a reasonable price or even for free.
  3. Use a tarp or an old door as the greenhouse's entrance.
  4. Use recycled or reused materials, such used pallets, to build the greenhouse's base or walls.
  5. Create a straightforward venting system that can be opened and shut to control temperature and airflow using plastic sheeting or old window panes.
  6. As insulation, use natural materials like sand, soil, or bales of straw.
  7. As much as feasible, use natural light instead of expensive electrical or heating equipment.
Consider starting with a smaller greenhouse and growing it as you get more skill and money permits.
The ultimate cost will depend on the size of the greenhouse and the materials you decide to use, however keep in mind that using reused or repurposed materials can drastically reduce the cost. You can build a practical, affordable greenhouse that will provide your plants a place to flourish with a little ingenuity and labor.

How to Build a Small Greenhouse from Scratch

What supplies are required to construct a miniature greenhouse?

  1. Metal or PVC pipes can be used to create the greenhouse's frame.
  2. Use old window panes or plastic sheets as the glazing material.
  3. Connectors or fastening materials to join the glass and frame components.
  4. Use a tarp or an old door as the greenhouse's entrance.
  5. Materials that have been reused or recycled, like used pallets, were used to build the greenhouse's base or walls.
  6. Materials for insulation, such as sand, mud, or bales of straw, to help keep the greenhouse warm
  7. Tools like a saw, drill, measuring tape, and scissors. A watering system, such as a hose or drip irrigation, to help keep your plants hydrated.

What kind of material works best for greenhouses?

The appropriate greenhouse material will depend on your unique requirements and financial constraints. Here are some of the most popular greenhouse construction materials, along with a list of benefits and drawbacks for each:

  1. Glass: Historically, greenhouses have been made of glass. It has a high light transmission rate and is long-lasting and simple to clean. However, it can be bulky and challenging to deal with, and it is also the most expensive alternative.
  2. Acrylic: An affordable and resilient glass substitute is acrylic. Additionally, it is less expensive, and it is simple to cut and shape. But it is less vivid than glass and can crack or turn yellow.
  3. Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate resembles glass in appearance and is a sturdy, long-lasting material. Additionally, it is lightweight and simple to use. However, it is less heat-efficient than glass or acrylic and can turn discolored over time.
  4. One of the most cost-effective solutions is plastic sheeting, which is also lightweight and simple to handle. However, it is less robust and offers less insulation or light transmission than glass, acrylic, or polycarbonate.
  5. Metal: A greenhouse frame can be made of metal, such as steel or aluminum. It withstands weather well and is strong and long-lasting. It might be pricey and offers less insulation than other materials.
In the end, the material you choose will depend on your spending limit, the location of your greenhouse, and the plants you intend to grow. The ideal materials for greatest light transmission are glass and acrylic. Polycarbonate and plastic sheeting are more economical at the same time. Metal is strong for the frame but also more expensive. When choosing the best material for your greenhouse, take into account your unique requirements and spending plan.

How to Build a Small Greenhouse from Scratch

What the startup costs are for a greenhouse?

The size, materials, location, and equipment you select, as well as other factors, can all have a significant impact on the cost to build a greenhouse. A modest PVC greenhouse can be built for as little as a few hundred dollars in supplies. A larger greenhouse made of glass or acrylic may cost several thousand dollars. When creating a greenhouse from scratch, it's crucial to account for the price of the following supplies:
  • Metal or PVC pipes for the frame
  • For the glazing, use plastic sheeting or glass/acrylic panels.
  • connectors or materials for fastening
  • insulation components
  • a watering apparatus
  • A saw, a drill, a measuring tape, and scissors are examples of tools.

Equipment and setup fees may increase the costs.

  • Systems for heating and cooling
  • Systems for irrigation and lighting
  • systems for ventilation and shadiness
  • automated temperature, humidity, and lighting controls
If you pay someone to build the greenhouse, you should also include in the expense of labor. It's vital to remember that you can drastically reduce the cost if you use recycled or repurposed materials. Starting small and growing as you gain expertise and as your budget permits might also be a good plan. Please be aware that these prices are only preliminary estimates and could change based on the area and particular materials used.


for the frame: $50 to $200 PVC or aluminum pipe
For the walls and roof, use plastic sheeting or polycarbonate panels; cost: $200–$500.
$50 to $100 for hardware and fasteners.
$50 to $100 for insulation
Equipment for ventilation and cooling: $100 to $300
Luminaires: $50 to $100
$100 to $200 for staging or shelving
$100 to $200 for equipment and tools


  • Site preparation labor cost: $500 to $1000
  • $500 to $1000 for concrete and foundation repairs.
  • Framing and building costs: $1000 to $2000
  • $1000 to $2000 for plumbing and electrical.
  • landscaping and finishing: $1000–$2000
  • Cost in total: $5000 to $10000
Starting a greenhouse can cost as little as a few hundred dollars for a small, straightforward PVC greenhouse to as much as several thousand dollars for a larger, more complicated glass or acrylic greenhouse with additional systems and equipment.

Is building a greenhouse more affordable?

You're right; creating a greenhouse from scratch entails a number of processes and can be challenging. When creating a greenhouse, there are a number of additional variables to take into account in addition to the supplies and machinery, such as:

  1. laying a foundation: The stability and longevity of the greenhouse depend on the quality of the foundation. The price of the foundation will vary depending on the kind of foundation you select, such as a raised bed or a concrete slab.
  2. Choosing a floor for a greenhouse: Depending on your budget and the kind of plants you intend to grow, the flooring will vary. Gravel, concrete, or a raised bed are available options.
  3. Knowing the direction of the sun and the wind: The form and position of your greenhouse will be influenced by the local wind and solar patterns. This may have an effect on the greenhouse's overall performance and construction costs.
  4. Purchasing raw materials: Depending on the materials you select, such as PVC pipes, glass, or acrylic, the price of the raw materials will vary.
  5. assembling all the bolts, nuts, and joining supplies: The greenhouse will require additional hardware, such as screws, nails, and connectors.
  6. The roof of the greenhouse must be constructed with sufficient ventilation and windows. It ought to have enough windows and vents to regulate humidity and temperature.
  7. purchasing and adding extra greenhouse accessories: The price of greenhouse construction may increase due to add-ons like heating and cooling systems, lighting and irrigation systems, and automated controls.
The price of starting from scratch to create a greenhouse will be affected by all of these elements taken together. It may cost more to have a greenhouse made to your specifications than to purchase a pre-built, branded greenhouse. But constructing a greenhouse from scratch allows you greater creative freedom and material choice, making it a more special and one-of-a-kind experience.

Ideas for building a greenhouse on a budget

  1. Utilize recycled or repurposed materials to help you save money and lessen the greenhouse's impact on the environment. For your greenhouse, look for recycled materials like old windows, doors, and other items.
  2. Use PVC pipes instead of metal or wood for the greenhouse's frame because they are a very affordable option. They can be cut to the required length and are lightweight and simple to deal with.
  3. Use plastic sheeting instead of glass or acrylic to cover your greenhouse: It's one of the least expensive solutions for glazing. Although it is lightweight and simple to work with, glass or acrylic offer better insulation and light transmission.
  4. Use straightforward, buildable designs: Simpler designs are easier to construct and less expensive to produce than more complicated ones. Search for instructions that are simple to follow and don't call for a lot of specialized gear or equipment.
  5. Build a small greenhouse: You can start with a lower investment and test your talents by building a small greenhouse and then expanding it over time.
  6. Use basic irrigation systems: You don't need an automated irrigation system to water your plants; only a watering can or hose will do.
  7. Use a raised bed as flooring: You can use a raised bed as a substitute for a concrete slab or other pricey solutions. Use dirt or compost as the subfloor to help your plants breathe and drain better.
  8. Utilize a straightforward roof design: You might use a straightforward gable or lean-to roof design rather than a complicated, pricey one. This economical choice yet for sufficient ventilation and light transmission.
  9. Utilize natural light: By placing your greenhouse in a location with lots of sunlight, you may use natural light as opposed to artificial lighting. This may lower the price of electricity.
  10. Use a cheap, simple heating and cooling system: You can use inexpensive, simple heating and cooling systems, like a portable heater or a piece of shade cloth. This can help you maintain control over greenhouse temperature without breaking the bank.
  11. Build it yourself: You don't have to pay a contractor to build anything for you. You can reduce your labor costs and feel satisfied by doing this.
  12. Think about utilizing a greenhouse kit: Greenhouse kits that come with all the required components and instructions can be affordable and save you both money and time.
  13. It's vital to remember that while these suggestions can help to lower the cost of building a greenhouse, it's also crucial to take durability, insulation, and safety into account while making the decisions.


A greenhouse might be challenging to construct from scratch. Nevertheless, it also provides you more control over the chosen style and components. Using reclaimed or recycled materials, PVC pipes for the frame, plastic sheeting for the glazing, straightforward and easy-to-build designs, raised bed flooring, a basic irrigation system, natural light, and a basic heating and cooling system are some inexpensive construction ideas for small greenhouses.

Labor costs can be reduced by building it yourself or purchasing a greenhouse kit. When selecting decisions, it's crucial to keep things like insulation, durability, and safety in mind to make sure the greenhouse works well.
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