Greenhouses are available in various designs and sizes. The best type and size for you depends on what you want to grow, your location, whether energy efficiency matters to you, and the type of functionality you want.
In this post, I will share with you eight types of greenhouses. These eight greenhouse types or designs are the most popular on the market. By the end of the post, you will have a good idea of the differences between the styles and how they weigh against each other.
Types Of Greenhouses Available To Buy
1. A-Frame Greenhouse
This type of greenhouse is very simple and very popular. As its name suggests it has an A-shaped structure. Because of this, it is relatively easy to construct/install and often does not require a lot of materials. Thanks to the fact that it requires relatively fewer materials and is easier to construct/install than other greenhouses, the A-frame greenhouse is generally cheaper to buy and install.
The A-frame greenhouse is said to be the best to build if you have little building experience and do not want to spend much on materials. This is because you only need to watch a few tutorials to build one using only a handful of materials e.g. a plastic covering, wood planks, and nails.
The only issue with this type of greenhouse is its shape. The shape makes it difficult to operate inside it. This is especially true if you construct one that is relatively small in size. Some people also say the airflow in A-frame greenhouses is often not very good at the corners. However, this often does not matter as most owners of the greenhouse position their plants /crops in the middle of it.
2. Gable Roof Greenhouse
Like the A-frame greenhouse, the gable roof greenhouse type is also very popular. One of the things that make it very popular is its design. The design provides ample room for growing many plants or crops. It also allows a lot of light in making it perfect for growing light-hungry crops and plants energy-efficiently (without needing to switch on artificial lights for many hours).
Unlike A-frame greenhouses, gable roof greenhouses have straight walls. This means you can move freely inside gable roof greenhouses while looking after your plants.
The design of gable roof greenhouses is relatively simple. However, you generally need some construction or woodwork experience to be able to make a good gable roof greenhouse. If you have no experience or you fear messing up, you should call professionals to come and construct it for you.
If you choose to have the house constructed for you, you should be prepared to spend a good chunk of money on the project and the materials.
3. Hoop Greenhouse
This greenhouse has a half-hoop shape and it can be constructed relatively cheaply.
Unlike the A-frame greenhouse type, this type has more height and space. This means it is easier for you to operate inside it. It also means you can grow plants that grow tall in it.
Because of its loop design, airflow in this greenhouse is much better than airflow in the A-frame greenhouse. This makes this greenhouse perfect for maintaining low humidity and growing plants that prefer low humidity.
Because this greenhouse-style has a hoop roof design and not a peaked roof design as is the case with the more popular greenhouse types, snow can settle on top of it. This can lead to its collapse. This makes this greenhouse-style not suitable for places where it snows regularly and heavily.
If you insist on getting this type of greenhouse and you live in a snowy area, you should jealously clear any accumulated snow on it to make sure the weight of the snow does not lead to the collapse of your greenhouse.
4. Geodesic Dome Greenhouse
This is a futuristic-style greenhouse that will look very cool in most gardens. It is also very strong and very energy-efficient. However, to get it you will have to pay an arm and a leg. This is because it requires unique materials, tools, and skills to construct. For this reason, almost everybody who gets it usually leaves it to the pros to construct it for them.
The best thing about this greenhouse type is not its beautiful design. The best thing about it is the fact that it lets in a lot of light. It probably lets in more light than any other type of greenhouse.
The second best thing about it is the fact that the dome design allows it to withstand whatever weather nature throws at it including snow, strong winds, and heavy rains.
5. Gothic Arch Greenhouse
If you are looking for a greenhouse type that is spacious, attractive, and elegant, you should get a Gothic arch greenhouse. This type of greenhouse is often considered an improved version of the classic A-frame greenhouse style. This is because it has kind of the same shape. However, the main difference between this type and the classic A-frame greenhouse type is that this type is more roomy and comfortable to operate in.
The Gothic arch on the roof of this greenhouse-style ensures that snow and rain cannot accumulate on top as is the case with the hoop greenhouse style.
This greenhouse type is known for letting in a lot of light. So if you have crops that love a lot of sunlight, it is exactly what you should go for.
The only drawback about getting this type of greenhouse is that it can be quite expensive since the Gothic arches need to be made and installed by professionals if they are to be structurally sound.
6. Lean-To Greenhouse
This type of greenhouse is perfect for those who do not have a lot of space. This is because it is not a freestanding greenhouse that needs a lot of space. It is a greenhouse that you can construct using your home’s back wall or your brick fence.
It is also perfect for those with homes in regions with stormy or windy climates. This is because the fact that it will be leaning on your house or brick fence means it will be stronger and more stable than any freestanding greenhouse.
You can construct this type of greenhouse on your own. It is kind of cheaper to own it this way. However, if you want a lean-to greenhouse that will look amazing, you should get professionals to construct it for you.
When building your own lean-to greenhouse or getting professionals to do it for you, you should make sure it is built on a wall that is facing the south. It is only by doing this will your greenhouse be exposed to maximum sunlight the entire day.
7. Shade House Greenhouse
Most greenhouse types are designed to provide plants with good warmth for growth and maturing. They do this by trapping heat from the sunlight. Many are also designed to expose plants to as much sunlight as possible because plants need light energy to survive and thrive.
However, the shade house greenhouse is the exact opposite of most greenhouse types. This is because it is designed to protect shade-loving plants from excess light and warmth. In other words, it helps plants to stay cool.
The greenhouse type is often constructed with a shade cloth to filter out the harsh sun.
It is important to note that shade house greenhouses are often constructed for temporary use during summer and then removed.
It is also important to note that they often come ready to install. So you do not need a lot of skills or expertise to install one in your garden.
8. Sawtooth Greenhouse
This greenhouse type is characterized by a roof that has a circular slope on one side and a vertical drop on the other side. The purpose of the vertical drop is to trap as much air as possible and enable maximum airflow in the greenhouse. Most sawtooth greenhouse structures have vent openings on the vertical drop roof section for this exact purpose.
Many commercial greenhouse farms have this type of greenhouse. Because of the special design of this greenhouse type, it is often more expensive to install in your garden. However, if you have a commercial greenhouse farm and you want to make sure your crops get maximum ventilation, it is the type of greenhouse to go for.
What Else To Consider When Buying A Greenhouse
Now you know the types of greenhouses available. You know how they differ from one another. In this section, you will discover every other important detail you need to consider when buying a greenhouse.
The best location for a greenhouse is one that is sunny, sheltered, and has a flat base. A sunny location will ensure your plants get maximum sunlight. If it is also sheltered, it means your plants will not suffer frequent temperature fluctuations caused by the wind.
When you find the best location for a greenhouse in your garden, check out its size and use this information to decide the best greenhouse type and size for the location.
The two most commonly used materials in the construction of greenhouses are wood and aluminum. Greenhouses made of wood are attractive, strong, and look natural in most gardens. However, they require regular maintenance to stay strong and last for a long time.
In contrast, while greenhouses made of aluminum can also be attractive, they are much different from wooden greenhouses in the sense that they are usually several times stronger. They also allow more light in and need very little maintenance. However, it is fair to note that since aluminum is a good conductor of heat; it transfers a bit of heat (warmth) from plants.
So, based on the above information about wooden and aluminum greenhouses, you should decide which material is best for you before you start searching online or offline for a greenhouse.
Many people usually forget about ventilation when setting up their greenhouses. This is wrong because most greenhouses usually get too warm especially during the day so proper ventilation is a must. Moreover, plants also need to breathe so closing them in without an outlet is kind of like suffocating them, which is not a good thing to do unless you are trying to kill them.
So when buying or ordering a greenhouse, make sure it has a ventilation system e.g. vents to ensure that air can flow freely inside if you want it to.
To wrap up
There are eight common types of greenhouses. They are all unique in terms of design and have their pros and cons. You now know the differences between them. You also know what to consider when buying a greenhouse. Therefore, you are now ready to choose a greenhouse for your garden, backyard, or farm. So choose and start growing soon. Greenhouses are available from sellers on Amazon, eBay, and many other platforms.