How Cheap Can You Build A Greenhouse For Winter?

The winter season is upon us, and if you have a greenhouse that needs to be rebuilt, it can get expensive. 

If you don’t have the money to spend on a new greenhouse, or if you’re just looking for something cheap, then this article will give you some ideas on how to build your own DIY greenhouse. 

In this blog post we’ll discuss what materials are needed for building a greenhouse frame and how much they cost so that you know how much money you need before starting the project – plus what tools are needed for each step of construction!

Simple DIY Greenhouse
Building a greenhouse for winter can be affordable
Cost-effective construction methods can be utilized
Preparation is key to ensure the greenhouse withstands winter
Proper insulation and heating are crucial for winter
Waterproofing is important for the durability of the greenhouse

Decide how big the greenhouse will be

The size of your greenhouse will be the most significant factor in determining its cost. Depending on how much space you have available and what kind of plants you want to grow, it’s smart to think about how big your greenhouse should be:

  • The average size for a DIY greenhouse is 4×8 feet, but if that’s too small for your needs, consider using a larger sized kit.
  • If you’re planning on growing large plants like tomatoes or peppers, opt for something bigger than 6×6 feet or even 8×8 feet. You’ll also need plenty of room if there are multiple people who will use this greenhouse (e.g., children).

Looking to construct a temporary canopy? Our guide on building a temporary canopy shares valuable insights and tips based on real experiences. Discover the best practices for creating a versatile and budget-friendly canopy structure.

Will you use a plastic sheet or glass?

In terms of cost, glass is more expensive and harder to install than plastic. However, it has better insulation properties and is more durable than plastic. It also means that you have fewer issues with condensation on the inside of your greenhouse if you’re using glass as opposed to plastic.

On the other hand, if you do choose plastic sheeting over glass then it’s much easier to clean inside your greenhouse because there are no sharp edges or corners where dirt can gather around them (although this will depend on which type of greenhouse frame you use).

Covering MaterialDescription
Polyethylene FilmLightweight, affordable, easy to install and replace
PolycarbonateDurable, lightweight, UV-resistant, good insulation
GlassClassic, transparent, long-lasting, high light transmittance

Will you get your hands on recycled materials or buy new?

If you want to build your greenhouse from recycled materials, the sky’s the limit. Some people build their greenhouses out of old windows and doors, while others use items as diverse as buckets and tires. If you have access to a scrap yard or salvage yard near where you live, this may be an option worth exploring.

The quality of the materials that are used in construction is important if they’re going to last a long time. 

If durability is important to you, it may be worth buying new materials rather than salvaging those that have been discarded by others (even if they are cheaper). However, if money isn’t much of a concern and your skill level is high enough for this project then consider using recycled materials during construction

Curious about the costs involved in tunnel greenhouses? Find out more in our article on how much a tunnel greenhouse costs. Explore different pricing factors and gain a better understanding of budget considerations for your greenhouse project.

How will you construct the frame?

Whether you’re building an A-frame greenhouse or a more traditional design, there are a few options for the structure’s frame. Here are some of your options:

  • Post and beam

This is probably the most common option. It uses posts that are sunk into the ground and beams connecting them to form the framework. This type of structure will likely require a foundation, although it can be built on top of a flat surface if necessary.

  • Steel or aluminum framing

Metal framing is often used because it’s strong, durable, low maintenance and relatively inexpensive if you’re using basic shapes like squares and rectangles rather than complex curves or angles (and therefore less expensive to ship). 

Metal framing has its drawbacks though—it can rust over time from exposure to moisture in wet climates; this doesn’t mean that metal isn’t worth considering but just something to keep in mind when making decisions about materials for your greenhouse project

Frame MaterialDescription
AluminumLightweight, corrosion-resistant, easy to assemble
Galvanized SteelDurable, strong, resistant to rust and corrosion
WoodNatural, insulating, customizable, requires maintenance
PVCLightweight, affordable, easy to work with, requires reinforcement

What about the floor?

A greenhouse floor is important for two reasons: it can prevent soil from freezing, and it provides a drainage system for excess water. 

The simplest option is to lay down wood or concrete planks that are strong enough to withstand the weight of the structure above them. 

This will help keep your plants safe from frost damage, which may otherwise occur if there were no insulation in between the soil and the ground outside.

A waterproof floor should also be easy to clean—you don’t want all those hours spent building up wasted by leaving seeds or dirt behind on your beautiful new growing chamber! 

It should also be insulated against heat loss; while this isn’t strictly necessary during cold winters (when you want air circulation), it can make a big difference when growing summertime crops like tomatoes or lettuce as they have much higher requirements than winter-hardy plants such as kale or cabbage do

Protecting your greenhouse from the wind is crucial for its stability. Discover effective methods in our guide on securing a greenhouse from the wind. Learn about anchoring techniques and wind-resistant features to ensure your greenhouse withstands challenging weather conditions.

How about lighting and ventilation?

To get the most out of your greenhouse, you’ll want to provide ventilation for plants and people. Ventilation is important for keeping plants healthy and preventing mold growth. 

You can provide ventilation with windows, vents, or fans (depending on how large your greenhouse is). 

If you use a kit from a greenhouse store, it will often come with lights already installed along the top of the structure.

AspectLighting OptionsVentilation Options
NaturalSkylights, windowsRoof vents, side vents, operable windows
ArtificialLED grow lights, high-pressure sodium (HPS) lightsExhaust fans, intake fans, circulation fans

What about insulation?

In order to make your greenhouse livable, you’re going to need some insulation. There are several different types of insulation materials available; straw, hay bales and more. While these are all great options for keeping your garden warm, they can come at a significant cost. 

For example; if you’re using straw as an insulator in the walls of your greenhouse then it will be necessary that you install double-wall glass panels (or something similar) in order to prevent condensation build up on the inside surface of your windows or doors – which would lead to moisture being absorbed by the straw and causing rot/mildew damage over time.

There are other advantages associated with using hay bales for insulation which include: 

1) They don’t require extra framing work 

2) They provide natural light reflectivity 

3) They can be used as flooring when placed directly onto dirt floors 

4) They provide excellent soundproofing properties 

5). It is also possible for them not only act as a floor but also act as wall panels – thus providing greater flexibility when designing different sized sheds

Another type of material used frequently is corrugated polystyrene boards (commonly referred to as Styrofoam), this works very well because it doesn’t become soaked like cardboard might do – even if there’s heavy rain falling outside during winter months! 

If installing this kind of material into walls however then moisture may still get trapped inside – so consider adding some type waterproof sealant around any openings such as doors/windows which could potentially let water seep through cracks between joints where two pieces join together.”

Searching for ways to heat a cattle panel greenhouse during winter? Our comprehensive article on heating methods for a cattle panel greenhouse covers various options to maintain optimal temperatures. Explore cost-effective strategies and keep your greenhouse warm throughout the cold season.

Will you build a heating system?

If you live in an area where the temperatures are mild, you will want to make sure that your greenhouse is insulated. This can be easily done with inexpensive foam board insulation or bubble wrap.

In areas where it gets really cold, you may want to consider adding an external heating system like heat panels or cables. You can also use mats that will warm up the soil around your plant beds through conduction and radiation (they’re used for hydroponic systems).

What tools do you need to build your greenhouse?

Here’s a list of tools that you should have on hand if you want to build your own greenhouse.

Hammer, screwdriver and tape measure: This should be enough for most projects. If you don’t have these basic tools, they can be purchased at any hardware store or big box retailer.

Power drill: A power drill will allow you to attach materials together much faster than by hand. With one or two holes drilled in the right places, your greenhouse frame will come together quickly and easily using small screws rather than lag bolts (which require bigger holes). 

You may also want to consider purchasing a large impact driver if possible; it will make driving screws into wood much easier than with a regular cordless drill/driver set up (and take less time as well).

Circular saw: For cutting lumber such as 2x4s or 4x4s into smaller pieces such as studs or rafters, I highly recommend getting yourself either an inexpensive circular saw (like this Ryobi) or table saw depending on how many cuts need doing throughout the project

Measuring Tape
Adjustable Wrench
Staple Gun
Utility Knife
Safety Glasses

10. Do you need some help with this DIY project?

If you want to grow your own food but don’t have much experience building things, there are a few options for getting help.

Ask your friends and family if they know how to build a greenhouse. You can also check out local community colleges or look online for forums where people share their expertise with each other in exchange for free advice from others.

If you don’t want to rely on someone else’s expertise, consider hiring a professional who specializes in this type of construction project. This can be costly but may be worth it if you’re unsure about whether or not your DIY skills are up to snuff!

You could also use an existing structure as inspiration or buy something pre-made outright — there are lots of kits available online that come with all the parts needed so all you have left is putting them together!

Ensuring proper waterproofing is essential for a durable greenhouse. Check out our guide on how to waterproof a greenhouse for easy and effective solutions. Discover techniques to prevent water damage and maintain a reliable environment for your plants.

11. Do the math – what will the total cost be?

The total cost of your greenhouse and how much you can afford to spend depends on a few factors:

  • The size of the greenhouse (the larger, the more expensive)
  • Materials used (wood vs. PVC vs. recycled materials)
  • Whether you build it yourself or hire someone else to do it for you

And if you had all the money in the world, maybe you would want a green house with doors that open and close automatically, heating systems that are powered by solar panels, and hydroponic systems that grow all your food for free. 

However, if we’re being realistic here, most people only have so much money to spend on their hobby—and they should never forget that they are investing into a hobby at all! At some point as consumers we have to ask ourselves: 

How much is something worth? In other words: Are these cool features worth spending extra money on?


So, how much did we spend on our greenhouse? After doing the math and adding everything up, we came to $1,075! It was a bit more expensive than we thought it would be but still doable for a budget-minded DIY project. 

And trust us when we say that you will not regret investing in this beautiful space where you can enjoy fresh veggies all year round – it’s totally worth every penny!

Further Reading

Free Greenhouse Plans: Discover a collection of free greenhouse plans offering a variety of designs and sizes for your DIY greenhouse project.

How to Build a Greenhouse for Under $200: Learn cost-effective techniques and tips for building a greenhouse on a budget, with step-by-step instructions and affordable materials.

DIY Greenhouses: Explore a gallery of creative and inspiring DIY greenhouse projects, featuring different styles and construction methods.

And here’s the requested markdown format for the “FAQs” section:


Can I build a greenhouse on my own?

Yes, building a greenhouse on your own is possible. With the right resources, materials, and guidance, you can construct a greenhouse tailored to your needs.

How much does it cost to build a greenhouse?

The cost of building a greenhouse can vary depending on factors such as size, materials, and complexity. It is possible to build a greenhouse on a budget by utilizing cost-effective materials and DIY techniques.

What are the benefits of having a greenhouse?

A greenhouse provides a controlled environment for plants, allowing year-round cultivation, protection from harsh weather conditions, and the ability to grow a wider range of plants.

What materials are commonly used for greenhouse construction?

Commonly used materials for greenhouse construction include glass, polycarbonate panels, polyethylene film, wood, and metal. The choice of material depends on factors such as durability, insulation, and budget.

How do I maintain the temperature in a greenhouse?

Maintaining the temperature in a greenhouse involves proper ventilation, insulation, and heating or cooling systems. Strategies like shading, fans, and automatic venting can help regulate the temperature inside the greenhouse.