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Always dreamed of owning a small hobby greenhouse? Ponder upon these points first before running out and buying the greenhouse of your dreams.
A greenhouse closer to the residence is more often tended
* Taking on the responsibility of operating a greenhouse is like having a new pet. It requires regular care while in use. However, on a sunny February day, it is the next best thing to a winter holiday.
* Building an inexpensive wood and plastic structure and evaluating your level of interest before making a major investment (the cost of buying a greenhouse is generally in the area of $3,000 to $6,000) might be a good idea if you are not sure you want to take on the additional work of a greenhouse.
* A south-facing location with easy access is ideal.
* A southeast-facing location is preferable to southwest because the morning sun will heat the greenhouse and save energy.
* You should have six or more hours of sunshine per day for solar heating and basic growth.
* Glass glazing is 20 to 30 per cent more effective than twin wall polycarbonate for illumination but 50 per cent less energy efficient.
* A lean-to greenhouse attached to the south wall of a house has less heat loss.
* The closer the greenhouse is to the residence the more likely the greenhouse will be checked on a daily basis.
* Water and electrical utilities are easier to connect if the greenhouse is close to the house.
* Concrete or concrete block provides the most stable foundation.
* Establishing the greenhouse floor below ground level will increase the interior height and reduce heat loss.
* A gently sloping concrete floor with a drain gutter and cleanout area will make housekeeping easier.
* The more automated the greenhouse is the more expensive it becomes.