I have searched the internet high and low for a hobby greenhouse for probably the last four years. I looked at DIY greenhouse options, prefab kit greenhouse options and custom built greenhouses. All of them where either out of my budget or my skill level. It took Joe and I almost an entire pandemic just to build the chicken coop and we still have to put the finishing touches on it this spring.
My friend Liz bought this amazing greenhouse and her review is spot on. It looks the same as the day she got it. I was going to buy this kit but I needed something a little bigger because I buy and start so many seeds and plants for our one acre garden. This kit in the largest size available would be over $12,000 and it would be smaller than the dimensions I was thinking. I kept on my search but nothing seemed to fall into place.
I looked at a few DIY options like my friend Holli but like I said… I’m not handy when it comes to tools. Her greenhouse made of reclaimed windows is amazing but I just know myself and wouldn’t be able to pull that together.
I even looked at some European style glass greenhouses. GULP. The greenhouse was going to cost half as much as my home and the man I was working with was rude. Customer service is everything to me.
One day I was scrolling through facebook marketplace as one does when having their morning coffee and I found a man who works with the Amish and makes wood sheds. I reached out to him asking him if they could build greenhouses.
Sure can, never done it but I am sure we can.
We started emailing back and forth about ideas, dimensions and designs and we finally landed on a price, design and dimensions. Before I was going to mail out a check though I needed to make sure this place actually existed because the quote was less than half of the kits I had been considering.
I loaded up Otto and up north we drove. We drove down back gravel country roads until we came to a pole barn with a lean to, horses in the pasture and laundry on the line. (Don’t worry I told Joe where I was). I met Mr. Roger and he showed me around their operation. They build the entire greenhouse inside the barn and mill all of their own wood. It was quite impressive! After the structure is built they load it on to a large trailer and deliver it.
I gave Mr. Roger my check that day and 3 months later the entire structure was delivered to my home. It was wild to see a 12×22 foot greenhouse coming down the road on the back of a trailer being pulled by a pick up truck but there it was!
I asked on my Instagram what were the questions about my new hobby greenhouse. I answered as many of them as I could, if I missed one let me know!
What did this greenhouse cost?
Sign sealed delivered all in this hobby greenhouse cost $7400. That included delivery 1:45 minutes away, the materials, construction and windows (buyer beware a lot of greenhouses don’t include the glass! It’s something to specify).
How big is the greenhouse and what is it made from?
This greenhouse’s total footprint is 12×22 and includes a floor. This measurement includes the cold frame boxes and stoop on the exterior. The greenhouse only structure is 10×20 The greenhouse is made from Pine that was milled on site.
What kind of temperature does it maintain?
To be determined. Right now we do not have any heat inside the greenhouse. This summer we are going to have electric run out to the greenhouse for safety but right now we use an extension chord. Without a heat source this greenhouse was 75F when it was 45F degrees outside during the day. At night when the sun goes down, it looses heat and I haven’t checked the inside temp at that time.
What are you going to be using this greenhouse for?
Eventually this greenhouse will house all of my vegetable seedlings but that probably will not be until next spring. I need to do some work to the space like staining and caulking the gaps. There are some actual greenhouse things I will be able to use it for this spring and that is to put all of the potted trees and shrubs that I bought on clearance last year inside as they are now starting to bud out. I need to protect them from frost. I bought about 15 Chicago hardy figs when they went on clearance at the end of the year and I am going to plant them this spring. They can tolerate the cold but I don’t want to lose my buds. For now we are enjoying this greenhouse as a fun place to hang out in the garden while it’s still too cold for working. We had a picnic in greenhouse a few nights ago after work and it was magical. I hope to do that more in the future once seed starting is done. I also have a few tropical plants like my lemon tree that could love living in there this summer as well. In the future once the garden is done being worked in the spring we’ll enjoy it as a fun spot for picnics in the garden.
Does the greenhouse have ventilation?
Yes! I didn’t ask for this but they added a solar fan to the top peak of the greenhouse. That will prove to be very helpful to keep air circulation going inside the greenhouse. The windows all open as well. An extra box fan never hurt though.
How did you decide on what you wanted it to look like?
Lots and lots of time searching on the internet. I new I wanted a traditional hobby greenhouse shape. My heart really wanted a victorian glass greenhouse but that will have to wait until I win the lottery. A hoop house would be more cost effective but I wanted the greenhouse to be multifunctional as both an outdoor entertaining space but robust enough to do the job of starting seeds.
How are you going to set up the interior?
Currently shopping for slim, taller tables to line the inside with and then one table down the middle so I can walk around it like a U shape. I was hoping to maybe even find something at Ikea but the search continues because I don’t want to build them. After the plants are in the garden I will move the small seed tables to storage and add back in some of my outdoor furniture for us to enjoy the rest of the season.