How to Build a Small Cheap Green House

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Ever dreamed of having a greenhouse to start seeds in spring or extend your growing season in fall? If you’re a do-it-yourself type, you can build a small, cheap greenhouse with materials that are available at any home improvement store. Build this greenhouse with PVC pipes for the structural supports. The walls are made by covering the PVC pipes with plastic sheeting. You can build this small, cheap greenhouse in just a few hours for less than $100 worth of materials.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 x 4 Lumber
  • PVC Pipes, Fittings and Connectors
  • Rebar Rods
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • 2 x 2 Lumber
  • Hammer and Nails or Heavy Duty Stapler and Staples

Build Your Greenhouse

Determine the measurements of your greenhouse (a rectangle is best).

Using 4-inch-by-4-inch lumber cut to the measurements determined in Step 1, make an outline of your greenhouse on the ground. Secure at the corners.

Attach a bracket to the inside of the 4-inch-by-4-inch lumber every 2 feet along the length of your greenhouse, including a bracket at each end of the length.

Cut PVC pipe into 6-foot lengths. Insert a slightly shorter length of rebar into each 6-foot length of PVC.

Insert the rebar-filled PVC pipes into the brackets you attached to the 4-inch-by-4-inch frame in Step 3.

Using a four-sided PVC connector, connect the rebar-filled PVC pipes which are directly across from each other along the length of the outline of 4-inch-by-4-inch lumber. This will form a series of hoops which will hold up the plastic sheeting.

Make a ridgepole of additional PVC pipes by inserting 2-foot lengths of PVC into the remaining two sides of each four-sided connector (the ones used to connect the 6-foot lengths of PVC into hoops in Step 6).

Using only one sheet of plastic, enclose the entire structure with plastic all the way to the ground.

Attach a piece of 2-inch-by-2-inch lumber cut to the same length as the 4-inch-by-4-inch frame to the bottom of the plastic on all four sides of the greenhouse. Roll up plastic over the board so the end of plastic is inside and nails or staples are covered. Secure with another row of nails or staples.

Fasten the 2-inch-by-2-inch piece to the outline of 4-inch-by-4-inch frame, leaving one short side unfastened. This will serve as your door.

Tips & Warnings

  • This method works best for a small, unheated greenhouse primarily used to extend the growing season in spring or fall.
  • For a more permanent greenhouse, attach the 4-inch-by-4-inch lumber frame securely to the ground using wooden stakes or lengths of rebar.
  • Using "greenhouse" grade plastic will extend the useful life of your greenhouse.
  • Make sure to measure accurately when attaching the brackets to the inside of the 4-inch-by-4-inch lumber frame in Step 3. The brackets on one side should line up exactly with the brackets on the other side.

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