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Advice on buying a greenhouse!

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Question from Chris Price


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Hello all, I have decided that I really want to buy a greenhouse to fill a small area of my garden and to begin propagating seeds etc.
I have seen 2 on ebay at about the same price (£250 - my limit!) and was wondering if you would give me advice, the space I have is 130cm x 250cm (4ft x 8ft approx).

Glass and Aluminum Greenhouse

This is a halls aluminium one with base and horticultural glass. Whereas this one:

Timber Greenhouse

is by gardenbuildingsdirect and is timber based with polycarbonate glaze.
I prefer timber greenhouses but it will be situated on soil and not concrete (I don't believe this will be that much of an issue - do you?).

Or does anyone know of a better deal anywhere else?

Thanks you all.

  • Views: 1434
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Sun. 7th February 2010 13:39

Greenhouse decisions

Reply from Katy Elton

Hi Chris,

There are a few pros and cons to be weighed up when buying a greenhouse. Firstly you have to decide between glass and plastic glazing. Horticultural glass is ideal in terms of letting light through, and in terms of longevity. However, it does break easily and so can be dangerous when there are children or pets involved. Plastic glazing is far safer (and cheaper), however doesn't let as much light through (which could be a problem if you are locating the greenhouse in an area with limited light), and can be more vulnerable to weather damage, often needing replacing after a few years.

A compromise here is toughened safety glass, which has the benefits of glass, whilst being safer in terms of breakages. This can however be considerably more expensive.

The second decision to be made is the one you are now considering - aluminium or timber. Modern aluminium is virtually maintenance free, and will not rust providing you select an all aluminium model. However the fixings supplied with some models are made of steel, and so can be liable to corrosion - be careful to check this when purchasing. Aluminium models are also more lightweight, and cheaper. The disadvantages of these are that many people find they don't look as nice as timber, and they also heat up and cool down at a much quicker rate.

Timber models are attractive, and tend to heat up and cool down more slowly. However they are higher maintenance, as they will require a protective treatment every couple of years. It is possible to get coloured aluminium, which may prove an acceptable compromise for some.

I hope this has helped your decision making in some way! It's really down to you to decide if you're happy to do slightly more looking after the timber, plastic glazed model, or if you feel you'd be better opting for the low maintenance aluminium glass version.

  • Posted: Tue. 9th February 2010 16:13

Greenhouse decisions cont.

Reply from Katy Elton

(Continued from above)
In terms of base, it's usually a good idea to secure the greenhouse to something solid rather than just soil. Paving slabs laid on a bed of sand, or concrete or tanalised timber placed into trench foundations are most common and shouldn't be too difficult. However, for a greenhouse of the size you're looking at you should be fine simply securing to concrete plinths or kerbs. These will usually be provided by the manufacturer.

Let us know how you get on.


  • Posted: Tue. 9th February 2010 16:13