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What Type of Greenhouse Should I Buy?

When it comes to picking your perfect greenhouse, the choices can be a little overwhelming. Make the wrong one, and you are stuck with a large, expensive structure in your garden which is pretty difficult (and not to mention costly) to remove.

In this blog, we take a look at the various greenhouse options you have, so you can make the right choice for you and your needs.


There are generally two basic styles of greenhouse, the free-standing or the lean-to.

Free-Standing – These attractive greenhouses offer a huge amount of variety, coming in many shapes - rectangle, hexagonal, octagonal and domed - and sizes. Due to the often-limited space inside, you will need a medium to large garden in order to get a good-sized free-standing greenhouse.

Lean-To – A lean to greenhouse is a good option if you have a smaller space as they can be tucked away in a corner of your garden. Placement of your lean-to needs to be considered carefully. The wall you attach it to shouldn’t be north facing. South facing brick walls are good as they will heat your greenhouse, and the warmth retained in the bricks can help keep the space heated during the winter months too. 


Aluminium – The major advantage of choosing an aluminium greenhouse is that they are relatively cheap and maintenance free. They are also pretty easy to assemble, generally coming in a flat pack that can be self-assembled. However, they are not as attractive as other options.

Cedar Wood – By far the more attractive choice, cedar greenhouses fit well into the natural beauty of your garden but can also be given a colourful make-over quickly and easily with a simple lick of paint. However, wood is much harder to maintain and will need regular maintenance to avoid issues such as rot and mould.

UPVC – UPVC greenhouses are incredibly durable helping to make them a good long-term investment as they will not need replacing regularly.  They are also highly efficient in terms of temperature retention, reducing energy loss inside your greenhouse significantly. They are also incredibly strong and heavy, withstanding winds of 95mph!


Glass – Standard horticultural glass is the cheapest option, offering completely clear glass for maximum direct and strong light admittance into your greenhouse. However, this type of glass is fairly fragile and will break easily under the slightest of pressure.

Toughened Glass – Much stronger than standard horticultural glass but a more expensive option. They also disintegrate rather than shatter into shards, making them safer should a breakage occur.

Polycarbonate – The most expensive option, but the safest, acting like double glazing so offer great insulation. However, they generally let in less light and the cavity between the glazing can have a tendency to attract condensation and algae.

As well as the types of glass you can also choose different diffusions of glass. These range from clear glass, generally considered the best option if you are looking at starting seedlings that will eventually be transplanted outside, through to diffused panels, best for growing plants to maturity.


Depending on your requirements, greenhouses can also come with some useful extras such as capillary matting for watering, automatic heat activated vent openers, water tanks, blinds or meshes and insulating bubble wrap. You can add as many or as little of these as you wish, or you may want to wait until your greenhouse is constructed and you’ve used it for a while, before you decide what accessories you may need.

Take a look at our huge selection of greenhouses, from aluminium, cedar and UPVC, to lean-tos and free-standing. You are guaranteed to find one that you love!

Posted by Matt Jordan

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