The first step in planning your greenhouse is to determine the best site on your property for the structure. Your greenhouse should be placed in an area where it receives as much sunlight as possible to keep the use of artificial lighting to a minimum and keep operating costs down. Avoid placing your home greenhouse on a north slope, especially if you live in an area that experiences short growing seasons and significant cloud cover during the majority of the year. Likewise, placing a greenhouse under trees should be avoided for optimal sunlight.
It's best to place your greenhouse on fairly level terrain. You can also have your chosen site professionally leveled to achieve best results.
Most home greenhouses are 8' by 6', which is an ideal starter size for most homeowners. This model allows you to expand your greenhouse if you find that you need more room, or if other family members decide they want growing spaces of their own. Selecting a site that allows for expansion possibilities makes it easier to add onto the structure later down the road.
Municipal and County Zoning Regulations
Zoning regulations should not be overlooked, so always check your local ordinances before you begin construction of your greenhouse. This also applies to other accessory buildings such as garden sheds. If you live in a subdivision that's governed by a homeowners' association, you'll undoubtedly need to check with them as well.
Available Time for Maintenance
Consider how much time you'll spend on maintenance matters. If you're a busy professional with an equally busy schedule, you may not have the same amount of time as the average retiree. If this sounds familiar, you may want to enlist the help of a professional or a loved one to keep your greenhouse thriving.
View Part II