Where Do You Put Your Greenhouse?

by Michael J Keller - Date: 2010-10-15 - Word Count: 516 Share This!

Sighting and orientation are two of the most important decisions you need to make before you pour the foundations on your greenhouse buildings. You need to sight the building on your property for maximum sun exposure. You need to orient your building to optimize the amount of sun you capture all year round. Those two decisions can influence the design you select as well as the final look you achieve.

If you decide you want to attach your greenhouse to another building, you need to set it up on the south side. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, it would be to the north side. Since many homes are not built on a true north-south orientation, you might have to select between the southeast or southwest sides of the house. To give your greenhouse a bit of protection, most experts recommend the southeast side. This provides protection from the worst of the afternoon sun, but captures the most of the morning light.

A freestanding greenhouse gives you have more freedom on where you put your greenhouse. There are a few things to consider:

1. Summer sun in the afternoon can be too strong in some climates. Consider putting the greenhouse to the north of some deciduous trees or plant some that will grow to provide some shade.
2. If your property slopes, you can take advantage of the insulating properties of the earth. By digging into the side of a slope, you can use the heat retention of the earth to moderate the interior temperatures of the greenhouse.
3. Decide if you want to run utilities to the greenhouse. The further you put it from the house or utility lines, the more it will cost.

Orientation of the building itself is another consideration. You want the majority of the glass panels to orient towards maximum sun exposure. If you live in a moderate climate, the glass needs orientation to the east-west to get sun exposure throughout the day. If you live further from the equator, you might want to orient the building with most of the glass exposed to the south.

Once you decide on the right location and orientation, step back. There are a few other things to think about.

1. Can you get garden equipment easily to the building? If you cannot, then its usefulness may go way down.
2. Is the ground around it compacted and easy to step on? If your ground is too soft, equipment and boots will bog down easily. Putting down a path is one way around that problem.
3. Is the building close to your active gardening area as well as the house? If it is on a remote part of the property, you are less likely to visit it.

With these considerations, you can decide if your current choice is the right one. You can make adjustments many times before you pour your foundation. But taking the time to do this step will make your greenhouse work at its best level from the start. It will make your enjoyment of it go up as well. And that is critical for the greenhouse to meet your expectations.

Related Tags: foundation, greenhouse, greenhouse plans, greenhouse construction, greenhouse foundation

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