Things to Look for When Buying a Greenhouse Kit
When we think of building a DIY greenhouse, it does not mean that we have to buy every single piece, screw or pipe ourselves. Building a greenhouse from scratch requires quite a lot of skill and significant investment in time. To make our lives easier, there is a whole range of greenhouse kits that provide most of, if not all, necessary materials, fixtures and fittings. All one has to do is provide labor and read the instructions. Of course, a kit costs more than doing it ourselves, but the greenhouse kit is a fair compromise between cost and convenience. Blackline 6×8 Greenhouse Kit
Not all greenhouse kits are made the same, and since they are going to hit our pockets pretty hard, we have to do our research before committing to one type or another.
The range of available greenhouse kits is enormous. They come in all shapes, forms and sizes. It is great fun to browse the internet or catalogues and dream of that perfect greenhouse that will be your pride and joy. You might want that magnificent Victorian greenhouse with real glass, but your budget should give you a dose of reality and your feet on the ground. Decide in advance how much you can realistically spend without over-extending yourself, and still have the greenhouse that will fulfill your needs, if not exactly your dreams. Once you decide on the budget, look for the best quality within what you can afford. As the old saying goes, we are not rich enough to buy cheap. Good quality means long lasting and a little if any maintenance.
The quality refers to the material for the frame and panels. Standard frame materials are plastic/resin, aluminum and wood. Most kit frames on the market are made of aluminum, but PVC Resin frame, although more expensive, is considered better. It is extremely strong, rigid, warp-proof, fade-proof, and lightweight. You might prefer natural materials like redwood or treated pine. The choice is yours, and every material has pros and cons.
The greenhouse covering can be made of polycarbonate and clear polycarbonate, and panels can also be made of glass and acrylic. While poly covering is cheaper, the panels offer extendibility that will pay in the long run.
Buy the best quality you can afford, save money elsewhere, like with the size of your greenhouse.
Many, but not all, greenhouse kits are designed in such way that they can be easily extended later, when you need more space, or can afford to grow. It is good to give yourself that option; it is cheaper than building a new, bigger greenhouse. Greenhouse kits with panels can be extended, the kits with poly covering cannot (or at least not easily.)
Ease of installation
You decided to buy a greenhouse kit because you are not an expert builder and do not have a full range of necessary tools. You want to be able to install your greenhouse with ease and as few, if any, tools. There are snap on installation kits that do not require any drilling or cutting.
What is included?
Read very carefully what is included in your greenhouse kit. In order to find out what should be included to cover full installation, you will have to do some basic research. But, common sense will tell you that your kit should include, besides the basic frame and panels or polycarbonate covering; the base frame, windows, at least one door, exhaust fan, benches and all fittings and joints. Some greenhouse kits also include rain gutters with down spouts. You will notice that many, even expensive, greenhouse kits do not include base frame. That allows you to build your own of whatever material you want, over the foundation you built, whether it is leveled dirt or cement slab. Whatever is not included in the kit, you will have to buy separately, adding to the overall costs.
Ideally, your greenhouse kit should be shipped free of charge. If not, check the price of shipping. It can be pretty high if the kit is coming from far away. Look for kits that come in smaller boxes; you may need help with unloading. Kits that come in large pieces can be very heavy and difficult to move.
Even the easiest to install greenhouse kits will prove daunting if the instructions look like they are made for a nuclear reactor. The instructions should be clear, preferably with step-by-step photos and the video, and easy to understand. Make sure that there is a phone number you can call if you get stuck.
Look for the longest warranty possible. Seven to ten years is common. Read carefully the small print, which shows what is not included in the warranty.
The longer you spend searching and researching for your ideal greenhouse kit, the less chance you have of making a mistake. Your DIY Greenhouse should be your greatest pleasure, not the reason for regrets and recriminations. Be patients, do the homework, and you will be able to get your hands dirty very soon.