The Shedstore 6 Step Guide to Buying a Greenhouse

The Shedstore 6 Step Guide to Buying a Greenhouse

A greenhouse is an essential garden building for keen gardeners who enjoy growing their own garden plants and vegetables. As well as extending the growing season and creating optimal conditions for nurturing plants from seed, greenhouses also provide winter accommodation for less hardy potted plants.

To view the full details of any greenhouses pictured, simply click on the image.


Step One

Consider the Size

6x2 Halls Wall Greenhouse with curved roof

Selecting the size of the greenhouse will largely be determined by how much space is available. Remember to consider space around the greenhouse for maintenance and, if applicable, for trimming bushes and trees. Doors and roof vents will need to be able to open freely.

The greenhouse’s location should allow for the most sun exposure throughout the day. A spot that is sheltered from cold northly winds is preferable.


Step Two

Consider the Frame

8x4 Palram silver lean to greenhouse with aluminium frameThe most common greenhouses are aluminium framed. Aluminium frames are strong and naturally rust resistant. The traditional colour of these frames is their natural silver metal, though powder-coated finishes in green or black are becoming increasingly popular. Aluminium greenhouses generally have guarantees ranging from 5-12 years.

8x6 Forest Vale Wooden GreenhouseWooden greenhouses are popular due to their natural charm. The timber is attractive and blends in with the natural environment of the garden. Pressure treated timber comes with a 15-year anti-rot guarantee and requires no further re-treatments – a great reassurance considering the fiddly windows to contend with if treating. Dip treated timber usually comes with a 10-year guarantee though this needs to be supported with annual retreatments. Wood can be stained or painted to suit preference.


Step Three

Consider the Glazing

The majority of greenhouse glazing consists of either horticultural glass, toughened glass or polycarbonate panels.

Forest Hexagonal Greenhouse with GlassGlass lets through 90% of light and radiates the heat back into the structure. This makes is the most efficient glazing option.

8x8 Palram Bella Greenhouse with frost polycarbonate and curved roofPolycarbonate is less dangerous than glass as it will not shatter. It is also lightweight and retains heat well. It can transmit less light than glass – on average around 83% - though some can transmit more. If opting for polycarbonate, check for UV-treatment or UV-stabilisation as this will prevent the panels from yellowing or becoming brittle. Polycarbonate can come in a choice of clear or frosted.


Step Four

Consider the Vents

Vents allow a gardener to control the conditions inside the greenhouse. This is particularly important during very hot weather.

close up of a greenhouse autoventRoof vents are the most standard. These can be manually opened or can be ‘auto-vents’ which open automatically when the greenhouse reaches a certain temperature.

close up of a greenhouse louvre ventSome greenhouses feature a side louvre vent. Working in combination with a roof vent, they are a helpful addition to aiding air flow through the greenhouse.


Step Five

Consider the Door

Halls Magnum 8x12 Silver Greenhouse with double doorsGreenhouses can have single doors, double doors or sliding doors. Consider whether extra access room is needed for manoeuvring large potted plants, a wheelbarrow or a wheelchair? Would sliding doors be space-saving?

Eden Burford 6x8 Black Greenhouse with zero thresholdAlso, consider the threshold. Greenhouses without a threshold bar are less of a hazard and provide easier access.


Step Six

Consider the Base

Forest Victorian Walkaround Wooden GreenhouseOnce the ideal greenhouse has been selected, it is vital to prepare a suitable base.

All greenhouses must be erected on a solid, level foundation.

8x4 Palram Lean to Silver GreenhouseSome gardeners prefer a perimeter base allowing for planting directly in the ground inside the greenhouse. Be aware that rodents can therefore burrow into the greenhouse.

A full base of level concrete slabs or a solid concrete base is the most durable. This can also be “watered” in hot weather to add moisture to the greenhouse.

Browse our full range of greenhouses to find the your ideal greenhouse.