Building a greenhouse used to be quite expensive and only feasible for people who were going to utilize the structure for business purposes. Today an assortment of materials is available to build greenhouses with or to create a suitable environment for plants to thrive in. Here are 5 types of materials used for greenhouses. Most of them are sold in growers supply catalogs or at home improvement stores.
Metalized HDPE is a special type of cloth that is build with durability and longevity in mind. It won’t rust, is UV-resistant and has the flexibility of cloth. It’s perfect for keeping harsh sun off of plants in a greenhouse while still allowing air to circulate through. Unwanted heat is reflected, while heat is also retained during the evening to keep plants warm. Different percentages of shade are available from these reflective screens. The amount of shade provided is determined by the width of the openings woven into the cloth.
Sheets of bubble insulation can be purchased in varying widths. The common width used in greenhouse construction is 6 feet across. Heating costs are reduced by half when this thick insulation is used instead of regular rolls of plastic. The only downfall is that this type of material has an estimated lifespan of around 4 years.
6 mil is the most common thickness of plastic sold specifically for greenhouses. This heavy duty plastic will only last 4 to 5 years before the sun’s rays destroy it. It’s possible to set up a greenhouse system relatively quickly with this type of material. Rolls of plastic are positioned over a metal or wooden frame to create a greenhouse in a matter of minutes, depending on the size of the structure being covered.
Ranging in thickness of 4 to 16mm and available with either two or three layers, this is the material many people chose for their homemade greenhouses. It’s durable, easy to build with, allows plenty of light in while still retaining warmth, and is lightweight. Most greenhouse kits include polycarbonate walls with a 10 year guarantee attached.
There are fewer seams and joints when this type of material is used for greenhouse construction. This is a low cost alternative to polycarbonate walls and perfect for small greenhouses. The UV additives ensure a much longer life of this type of plastic than the regular 6 mil type used.
Have you recently looked into using different materials for building a greenhouse? Feel free to share any information you have about choosing greenhouse materials.
Top Photo Credit: DrSlippers2007
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