Average Cost To Build A Greenhouse

Building a greenhouse can be a great option to reduce your food costs long-term and even make money by selling things that you grow in your greenhouse, like flowers, vegetables, herbs, and anything else you want to try.

Understanding the average cost to build a greenhouse can help you determine if it’s a feasible idea with your current budget and the factors that can increase or decrease the average cost of building a greenhouse.

Average Cost To Build A Greenhouse

The average cost to build a greenhouse is $10,000, with the average range being between $5,000 to $20,000. Factors such as size, materials, and the type of greenhouse will heavily impact the actual cost to build your greenhouse.

Average CostAverage Size
Greenhouse Cost$10,000400 Sqft
Greenhouse Cost Range$5,000 – $20,000400 Sqft
Minimum Greenhouse Cost$1,000200 Sqft’
Maximum Greenhouse Cost$35,0002,000 Sqft

Another big factor is whether you want a basic backyard greenhouse or if you’re looking to build a commercial greenhouse and start a business. Backyard greenhouses can cost as little as $1,000, while a larger and more automated commercial greenhouse could cost up to $35,000+.

Cost for Different Types Of Greenhouse

The average cost of your greenhouse depends on what type you’re going to build, a basic backyard hoop is the least expensive and provides good value for non-commercial purposes, you can go very small, but 200 sqft feet for around $1,000 – $2,000 is a good price.

Type Of GreenhouseAverage Cost (Sqft)50 Sqft200 Sqft400 Sqft
Hoop$5 – $10$250 – $500$1,000 – $2,000$2,000 – $4,000
Gothic Arch$10 – $15$500 – $750$2,000 – $3,000$4,000 – $6,000
Rooftop$10 – $25$500 – $1,250$2,000 – $5,000$4,000 – $10,000
Lean-To$10 – $25$500 – $1,250$2,000 – $5,000$4,000 – $10,000
Dome$10 – $25$500 – $1,250$2,000 – $5,000$4,000 – $10,000
Pit$20 – $25$1,000 – $1,250$4,000 – $5,000$8,000 – $10,000
A-Frame$25 – $35$1,250 – $1,750$5,000 – $7,000$10,000 – $14,000
Barn$25 – $35$1,250 – $1,750$5,000 – $7,000$10,000 – $14,000
Post and Rafter$25 – $35$1,250 – $1,750$5,000 – $7,000$10,000 – $14,000
Sawtooth$25 – $35$1,250 – $1,750$5,000 – $7,000$10,000 – $14,000
Solar$35 – $45$1,750 – $2,250$7,000 – $9,000$14,000 – $18,000

Each type of greenhouse has typical building materials that are used, however, you can bring the price up or down if you modify the frame, glazing, and even flooring. 

Benefits Of Different Types Of Greenhouse

Different types of greenhouse can have varying benefits depending on your budget, but also your environment and your goals with the greenhouse. If you live in cold or snowy environments, there are certain types that will work better for you.

Type Of GreenhousePrimary BenefitsPrimary Downsides
HoopLow Cost, Any SizeHard To Maintain Temperature
Gothic ArchHandling Snow And RainLess Growing Space
RooftopUtilize Urban RoofsNot All Materials Usable
Lean-ToAdd-on To Other BuildingsHeat Loss
DomeMore Growing RoomNeeds To Stay Small
PitMaintain Heat Year-RoundSpecific Soil Conditions Needed
A-FrameSimple To BuildPoor Airflow
BarnStay Cool in Hot ClimatesMore Complex To Build
Post and RafterStrong ConstructionTop Heavy
SawtoothControl TemperatureGlazing More Expensive
SolarCommercial GradeExpensive

If you’re looking to grow year-round but live in either a very hot or cold environment you may be better suited for a different type of greenhouse, rather than the standard hoop that is generally the best for non-commercial purposes.

Some types are specific to your location, such as the pit type that needs certain soil conditions or the rooftop that is great for urban areas but not ideal if you have a backyard or a lot of space. Urban rooftop greenhouses are typically installed by building owners and shared by residents, though not all will get a space.

Cost Of Greenhouse Framing Material

Most greenhouse frames will be made of wood which costs around $1 – $2 per linear foot, or steel, which costs around $2.50 – $3 per linear foot. You can get other and cheaper materials, but they often don’t last as long, so you need to consider how long you want your greenhouse.

Framing MaterialAverage Cost Of Material (Per Foot)
PVC$0.50 – $2
Aluminum$1 – $2
Wood$1 – $2
Steel$2.50 – $3

PVC Framing

PVC framing is a good option and typically used with hoop-style greenhouses to keep the overall cost down, especially if you want a cheaper greenhouse that you can replace easily in a few years. PVC is best suited for plastic sheeting rather than glass or other siding materials.

Aluminum Framing

Aluminum is a very versatile framing material and costs similar to wood, it’s much easier to work with and build all kinds of different shapes or types of greenhouses, however, it can dent or bend easily, so it’s not ideal in busy commercial areas.

If you’re certain denting or bending won’t be an issue, aluminum is often the best material at a very reasonable price.

Wood Framing

Wood framing isn’t as versatile as other materials, but it’s strong and can be put together into standard shapes without much skill, so it can be a good option for building many greenhouses or even DIY greenhouses.

You need to be wary of getting the cheapest wood as that may not be treated as well and would absorb moisture and rot. Wood prices are also higher in the past few years and may not be the cheapest option compared to steel or aluminum at all times.

Steel Framing

Steel framing is the most expensive option, has some versability in the shapes made, is extremely durable, and won’t have issues with rot or damage, so it’s the best option for commercial greenhouses or a non-commercial that you want to last a long time.

Cost Of Greenhouse Glazing Material

Your glazing or siding is the clear material added to the frame to allow light into the greenhouse while helping to control the temperature and humidity. Prices range from $0.10 to $3.50 for a square foot of material.

Glazing MaterialAverage Cost Of Material (Sqft)
Polyethylene$0.10 – $0.50
Corrugated Fiberglass$1 – $2
Polycarbonate$1.50 – $3
Glass$2.50 – $3.50

Polyethylene Glasshouse Glazing

Polyethylene is the cheapest option at $0.10 – $0.50 per square foot and is essentially tough plastic that simply covers your greenhouse with minimal insulation for temperature control, and humidity isn’t controlled effectively with it. It’s typical in hoop style or non-commercial greenhouses.

Corrugated Fiberglass Greenhouse Glazing

Corrugated fiberglass glazing is $1 – $2 per square foot and is a good step up for non-commercial larger greenhouses. It provides extra insulation and control of your temperature and humidity much better than polyethylene. 

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Glazing

Polycarbonate greenhouse glazing is around $1.50 – $3 and is the overall best glazing you can pick for your greenhouse. It’s durable and has excellent temperature and humidity control without being too expensive. Most new commercial greenhouses use polycarbonate glazing.

Glass Greenhouse Glazing

Glass greenhouse glazing is $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot, it’s the most expensive glazing option, but just like your windows, it has a high potential for breaking or needing to be replaced sooner than other options. 

The primary benefit of glass is that it’s much more beautiful, so using glass even for non-commercial purposes can benefit the appearance of your home, this is a good option if you’re looking to sell in the near future and will be performing other cleanup tasks like reroofing your house or repaving your driveway.

Average Cost Of Greenhouse Flooring

Non-commercial greenhouses may not require any specific flooring as long as you’ve got a flat surface, but a good flooring can provide insulation from heat loss and give you a very stable and cleaner floor.

Flooring MaterialAverage Cost Of Material (Sqft)
Rolled Rubber$2
Interlocking TIles$2 – $10
Concrete$2 – $6
Stone$2 – $6
Brick$3 – $5
Mulch$0.10 – $0.50

Your most expensive option is going to be a concrete slab that will also require drainage, but you will have a perfectly stable surface and better control of heat loss through the floor.

Gravel would be a good alternative choice to just dirt, it’s cheap but provides protection from heat loss and natural drainage. It will take a little effort, but you can create a stable and flat surface.

Cost Of Greenhouse Kits

Greenhouse kits cost on average $500 – $3,000 depending on your specific needs, you can go as low as $300 or up to $20,000+ for a more complex DIY-built greenhouse. You’ll still need some skill to put the kit together, and there may be additional costs for flooring prep.

Average Kit Price$500 – $3,000
Low Kit Price$300
High Kit Price$20,000+

Greenhouse Setup Costs

Outside of your cost to build a greenhouse, you still have other setup costs that you may or may not need, these can range from $150 up to $15,000+ depending on your requirements and how complex your greenhouse build is going to be.

ItemAverage Cost
Grade Ground$1,000 – $3,000
Irrigation System$1,800 – $2,500
Lights$150 – $900
Plumbing$350 – $2,000
Heating$170 – $10,000
Benchs$100 – $1,000

Just remember that building a greenhouse has prep work before such as grading the ground, the actual cost of building, tables or benches, soil, plants, seeds, and even tools required once you’ve got your greenhouse up and running.

You also need to look at additional yearly costs, most standard greenhouses can cost as little as $12 per year. However, if you’re heating or need to replace anything, the yearly prices start to go up

Alternative To A Greenhouse

For people living in apartments, it’s not always possible to build a greenhouse, but you can consider living tower gardens that take up minimal space but can provide a large chunk of your vegetable and fruit requirements for the month, the average cost is $700.

Related: Best Fruits to Grow in a Greenhouse

If you want to grow your own food but don’t have the space for a greenhouse or any type of real garden, alternatives like living tower gardens are an excellent alternative that can save you a lot of money long-term by reducing your grocery bill. 

Just like a full greenhouse, you can look to sell or trade what you grow. Herbs can make a lot of money if you can grow enough, and many people are looking to trade items or services for good quality greens.