Garden & Greenhouse


Choosing a Greenhouse Design and Frame Style

Posted August 26th, 2016 by Robin Nichols in , ,

The process of constructing a greenhouse does not need to be complex or costly. It can be a simple process that can be completed quickly.

The type of greenhouse you construct will depend on the size desired, the building area available and budget. The primary goal of the greenhouse should always be to provide the proper environment for plants to flourish.

Types of Greenhouses

Even Span

Even Span greenhouses abut against the house on one gabled end. They are spacious but are also one of the most exLean To Greenhousepensive greenhouses to build.

Lean-To Greenhouse

Lean-to greenhouses are actually only half a greenhouse, as the structure leans against the wall of a house or building. These are usually chosen for convenience factors like being close to water, electricity, and heat. They do have space limitations are usually a problem for growers that want a large number and variety of plants.

Freestanding Greenhouses

These are structures that stand alone, with no connection to another building. These greenhouses usually provide a large Free Standing Greenhouseamount of space. They also offer flexibility and can be constructed in many different sizes and even shapes. Freestanding greenhouses offer efficient design and are excellent for gaining the maximum amount of sunlight and warmth during the day.

Types of Frames

Choosing the type of frame for a greenhouse has less to do with efficiency and more to do with the aesthetic preferences of the owner. There are a number of different types of frames that can be used in the construction of the freestanding greenhouse.


The Quonset uses galvanized steel or electric conduit for the frame. The circular shape of the frame is covered by plastic sheeting, but the height of the greenhouse is fairly low thanks to the rounded shape.

Gothic Arch

Gothic Arch greenhouses commonly use wood arches as they are easy to join at the ridge. They offer more vertical space than Quonset frames.

Rigid Frame

Rigid-frames are styled after a standard house with vertical walls and a slanted roof. These are the easiest greenhouse frames to build and can be constructed using simple PVC pipes, wooden boards, or even plywood. Building a rigid frame can be the least expensive way to construct a greenhouse, as it can be easily done using PVC and plastic sheeting.

Background information for this article was provided by

Want more information? Read these articles:

A Do-It-Yourself Greenhouse Built From Local Materials

A Guide to Planning and Building a Greenhouse

Does My Greenhouse Need a Permit?

Greenhouse Construction: Planning for Snow Loads and Wind Loads

Greenhouse Space Saving Techniques

The Materials Needed to Build Your Own Greenhouse

Subscribe to Garden & Greenhouse Magazine

Subscribe to Garden & Greenhouse Email Newsletter