A greenhouse provides a fantastic way to become more self-sufficient, ensure plants remain healthy during the colder months and add a classy addition to existing homes. Some gardeners even attach greenhouses to their homes for easier access and other benefits.
You can attach a greenhouse to your house. Connecting a greenhouse to a home cuts down on heating expenses in the winter and allows you to grow food all year round. Attached greenhouses may also increase property value.
This article discusses what you should know before attaching a greenhouse to your home, some of the pros and cons, how much it will cost for the addition, and a few frequently asked questions about building a greenhouse. If you want to learn more about attached greenhouses, read on.
Things To Consider When Designing an Attached Greenhouse
Attached greenhouses are a fantastic invention since they come with many benefits. You never have to leave the comfort of your home to garden. However, you should consider a few things when designing an attached greenhouse for best results.
Things you should think about when designing an attached greenhouse for your home:
- Location: When building a greenhouse, select the side of your home that gets the most sun. The south side of a house is an ideal location, but you might consider building your plant nursery to the east if you live somewhere very hot.
- Size: Before purchasing tools and materials, figure out how large you want your new greenhouse. If you intend to build a greenhouse over 200 feet (61 m), you may need to obtain a building permit.
- Design: The two most common designs for attached greenhouses are lean-tos and gable attached. The best design for you depends on the size of the greenhouse you wish to attach and the shape of your home. Lean-to greenhouses tend to be smaller and less expensive than gable greenhouses.
- Roofing: Slanted roofs prevent snow from packing on the glass and blocking out the much-needed sun in the winter. However, if you live somewhere warm or tropical, you shouldn’t have to worry as much, though a slanted roof will help move rain runoff.
- Ventilation: Greenhouses can get very hot due to the constant beating of the sun through the glass. It’s crucial that you build a ventilation system. One such way is to add an opening to the paneling on the roof. You can allow hot air and humidity to escape the space by doing this.
- Drainage: Typically, greenhouses become wet places and need excellent drainage to properly deal with the excess water. This is why a good floor made of concrete or other stone material is best. Not to mention these types of floors are far easier to clean — just use a push broom and scrubber.
Now that you have a better idea of what you should keep in mind when creating a floor plan for your attached greenhouse, it’s time to discuss some of the pros and cons of this type of structure.
Pros of Building an Attached Greenhouse
Since Roman times, greenhouses have been around, but it was until around the 1700s that they became popular in the United States. These fantastic structures provide many benefits and add an appealing aesthetic to any property.
Attached greenhouse pros:
- Provides excellent warmth throughout the cold months. Greenhouses naturally build up warmth from the amplified sun through their panels. This makes them an excellent option for cutting down on heating costs in the winter. Simply open the door and allow the heat to wash into the rest of your home.
- Acts as a humidifier in the winter. An attached greenhouse can be a great way to add some extra humidity to the air in your home, especially during the drier months.
- Filters the air and adds clean new oxygen to your home. Plants are great at absorbing the CO2 we breathe and rewarding us with clean new oxygen. This will leave your home with a fresh earthy scent if you leave the doors open to your greenhouse.
- Increases your home’s value. Adding on a structure such as an attached greenhouse is a fantastic way to up your property’s value, not to mention most home buyers are willing to pay a little more for add-ons like well-built greenhouses.
- Helps you become more self-sufficient. Greenhouses are a great way to become less reliant on grocery stores as you will have a better ability to grow your own food all year long.
As you can see, there are quite a few pros to adding a greenhouse to your home, like never having to leave it to tend your garden. However, before you decide to build one, you should also understand a few of the cons of this type of build.
Cons of Building an Attached Greenhouse
Now that you know the many benefits of building an attached greenhouse, it’s time to review several cons.
Attached greenhouse cons:
- Material and building cost. Building an attached greenhouse can be expensive, depending on how much work you plan to do yourself. If you are crafty, however, you can significantly reduce your costs by acquiring free or cheap materials.
- Permit costs. You will likely need to obtain a building permit to add a structure such as a greenhouse to your home. Building permits can be costly, ranging anywhere from $500- $2,000 depending on your city’s regulations. Be sure to double-check before starting on your build.
- Bugs. Pests are an unfortunate side effect of having plants and dirt in your home. Somehow, bugs always make their way into the soil, and thus, your greenhouse. However, you can purchase nontoxic sprays to deter these bugs.
- Excessive heat. Greenhouses get pretty warm and can significantly increase your home’s temperature during the summer if not appropriately insulated.
- Lots of humidity. Greenhouses are naturally humid due to the heat and water in such a small space. You may notice your home growing much more humid after the addition of your greenhouse.
As you can see, there are a few drawbacks to adding a greenhouse so close to your home; however, with most of these cons, there are ways that you can combat them and reduce their impact on you and your home.
How Much It Will Cost To Build an Attached Greenhouse
One of people’s main concerns with building an attached greenhouse is the cost. Several factors will affect how much your greenhouse will cost to build, such as:
- Materials used
- If you build it yourself or hire a contractor
If you are using a private contractor, you can expect to pay anywhere from $7,380-$28,370 to have an attached greenhouse constructed. However, if you are super crafty and can do most of the construction yourself, you should be able to slash your building costs considerably.
If you want to add an attached greenhouse on a budget, you can always purchase a greenhouse kit and modify it to be attached to your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Greenhouse Attached to a Home Called?
A greenhouse attached to a home is also called a conservatory or a sunroom. A conservatory or sunroom would be considered any added-on structure with class paneling or roofing traditionally created for growing plants.
What Side of the House Should a Greenhouse Be On?
A greenhouse should be on the south side of the house to get the best sun; however, if you live somewhere with excessive heat, the east or west side of your home will be better so that you don’t scorch all of your plants. Too much sun can result in extreme temperatures in your greenhouse.
It’s totally possible to attach a greenhouse to your home. Attached greenhouses are incredibly popular and can add to the value of your house should you ever sell it, not to mention these structures come with quite a few added benefits such as:
- Heating aid during the winter
- Added humidity when it’s dry
- Better air quality
- A place to grow food all year long