Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

Close Icon
Science-based gardening information, videos, & resources created for Colorado communities with support from Green Industry.

1310 – Hobby Greenhouses: Construction & Foundations   arrow

What should I consider before building a greenhouse?

Greenhouses can be prefabricated or erected from raw materials, and the variety of shapes, sizes, and construction details offer endless possibilities. Before you start construction, thoroughly investigate the local building codes in your city and county to learn about any possible constraints. Also, if you live in a covenanted community, check with the local homeowners association before you begin construction.

How should I orient my greenhouse?

Hobby greenhouse

Siting the greenhouse is important for optimal plant growth. Some lots may not allow the flexibility to angle the greenhouse for maximum light-gain in the winter. A southeast orientation or an angle that provides a minimum of three hours of winter sunlight daily is good. Your greenhouse needs protection from the northerly and westerly winds that frequent the Front Range, which may require a windbreak made of plant materials. In addition, greenhouses require utilities, such as electricity and running water. Finally, the greenhouse should be easily accessible from your home.

What sort of foundation does my greenhouse need?

Greenhouses can be erected directly on the ground with footers placed below the frost line, which is generally three feet along Colorado’s Front Range. Other types of greenhouses may have a portable base plate of concrete, wood or metal. A solid permanent foundation may resist settling better than a portable one.

For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ script(s).

Tell us what you think!

Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!