When aiming to start a new agricultural business or expand your existing operation as quickly as possible, it may be tempting to pick up a complete greenhouse kit for fast turnaround. However, you’ll find that it’s much harder to turn a profit from these kit structures for a number of reasons. Once you’ve spent extra labor and material costs on sealing gaps and adding insulation, you’ll likely find a kit greenhouse costs nearly as much as a custom built one.
Kits are advertised as complete packages for hobbyists and professionals, but they often lack essential components or offer important features only as optional upgrades. If even a single fastener or section of frame is missing, the delay for replacement can stretch into days or weeks. This greatly reduces any speed offered by sticking with a kit. Thus, a little time on design and custom fabrication is typically well worth the effort. If you do choose to go with a complete greenhouse set, try to buy it from a local retailer or supplier that can expedite the delivery of replacement or repair parts.
Even if you’ve set up a greenhouse before, each kit requires a different assembly process depending on its design. Poor quality instructions or skipped steps in the documentation can result in mistakes that are hard to fix once the greenhouse is completed. These instructions may not give you all the information you need either, such as lacking photos or illustrations showing how to insert certain fasteners. If you have no experience setting up a commercial scale greenhouse, it’s better to leave the work to the professionals and hire a company that handles both design and installation.
Low Quality Film
In order to maximize their profits, the manufacturers of these pre-assembled greenhouse kits need to use the cheapest materials possible to control costs. Unfortunately, this can interfere with your ability to profit from the greenhouse once it’s in use. Low quality poly film coverings are commonly shipped with these kits. They tend to only offer one to three years of UV resistance before they tear or peel, and some materials are so thin they’re difficult to install without tearing. Even if you choose to buy a kit to use the frame and other components, invest in a higher quality greenhouse cover from BTL Liners. Our ArmorClear cover works exceptionally well on new custom built greenhouses and frames erected from kits.
When you limit yourself to pre-designed kits, you’re also locked into choosing from just a handful of size and layout options. Filling up an unusually shaped space on your farm or between existing structures can seem impossible when you only consider kits. Custom greenhouses can be designed to fit in practically any space, even if you need an unusually long and narrow shape or a perfect square to take full advantage of your property. There’s also less of a need to buy multiple kits to get the full amount of square footage you need, simplifying the installation of a custom design in comparison.
Gaps and Drafts
Greenhouse kits, even those designed for and marketed to the commercial sector, rarely feature designs that minimize gaps and drafts. It’s all too easy for slight variations during installation to create gaps between end walls and side panels that allow hot air to escape and cold air to rush in. This creates high energy costs during both the summer and winter, especially if you cool your greenhouses in addition to heating them. It’s possible to go around and seal these gaps with weather stripping and insulation, but it adds to the labor cost of installation and requires regular checking to verify the material hasn’t come loose. It’s better to build a custom greenhouse with as few drafts and gaps as possible from the beginning.
Custom greenhouses don’t have to take much longer than a kit to design or install. Look for companies offering commercial designs and try modifying an existing plan before starting completely from scratch. Factory manufacturing of the frame and structural elements is recommended for strength, stability, and uniform results. Once you’re ready to order the greenhouse cover, reach out to us here at BTL Liners.