How to Build a Greenhouse Out of Wood?

Oct 26, 2023

Author: Lisa Smith

A wooden greenhouse is a useful addition to any garden, offering a controlled environment for cultivating a wide range of plants year-round. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, constructing your own wooden greenhouse can be a rewarding and cost-effective project. In this article, we'll help you through the process of planning and building a wooden greenhouse, providing valuable tips and referencing credible sources to ensure your success.

Materials You'll Need

Before you begin, consider all the necessary materials and tools that you will need including:

  • Timber: Choose a rot-resistant wood like Macrocarpa or treated Pine. You'll need various lengths of suitable framing timber, depending on your design and size.
  • Greenhouse Plastic: Opt for UV-resistant greenhouse plastic to cover the structure. This crucial for maintaining a consistent temperature.
  • Screws: Use exterior-grade screws to secure the wooden frame together.
  • Foundation Materials: Concrete blocks, gravel, or treated timber can be used to create a sturdy foundation.
  • Hinges and Latches: These are needed for doors and windows.
  • Tools: Circular saw, drill, level, tape measure, hammer, & safety gear.

Step 1: Choosing Your Greenhouse Design

Begin by deciding on the design and size of your wooden greenhouse to suit your property and requirements. Some popular options include gable-roofed, hoop-style, and lean-to greenhouses. Websites like Etsy offer some great design ideas and greenhouse plans that you can download and help you get started.

Note: In NZ you won’t require a building permit if your greenhouse is less than 30 square meters and has a height of less than 3.5 meters.

Step 2: Location and positioning

Choose a location that is ideally level and sheltered from the wind but free from any shading. The orientation is best with the ridge pointing from east to west as this will allow the maximum sun during the winter months. This may also mean that some shading may be required during the hotter mid-summer months.

Step 3: Prepare the Foundation

A solid foundation is essential for a stable greenhouse. Depending on your preference and local conditions, you can use concrete blocks, gravel, or treated lumber as the foundation. Ensure that the foundation is level to prevent future structural issues.

Step 4: Construct the Frame

Using your chosen timber, construct the frame of the greenhouse. If you have acquired a plan, follow the design plan carefully. Consult credible sources for guidance throughout the construction process if necessary.

Step 5: Install Windows and Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial to regulate temperature and humidity. Install window frames and vents in strategic locations to allow for air circulation. Refer to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) for guidance on greenhouse ventilation and placement.

Step 6: Cover with Greenhouse Plastic

Drape the greenhouse plastic over the frame, ensuring it's taut and secure. Attach it to the frame using screws and washers. Trim any excess plastic, leaving enough to secure it firmly. The Gardeners' World website offers information on greenhouse covering techniques.

Step 7: Build the Door

Construct a sturdy door for your greenhouse. Ensure it's properly sealed to maintain a consistent temperature inside.

Step 8: Interior Setup

Now that your wooden greenhouse is built, it's time to set up the interior. Build and install shelves, benches, and any additional accessories you need. Proper shelving and organisation are key for efficient plant growth.

Step 9: Maintenance and Care

Regularly check for leaks, damaged plastic, or structural issues. Keep an eye on temperature and humidity levels. Hortica provides a useful checklist for maintaining a greenhouse.


Consider a Kitset Greenhouse

There are a number of kitset greenhouse options in the market which can make your project a lot easier and still remain cost-effective. Outpost Buildings has extensive experience as NZ’s leading provider of quality-built kitset sheds and outbuildings, including a range of greenhouses - all built to last. These come in a flatpack format and are conveniently delivered nationwide, together with full instructions for assembly. They come with a 15 year warranty and are designed to be easily relocatable if required.

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