How Much Does a Greenhouse Cost in 2022?

The national average for a professionally installed greenhouse is about $11,000, with most homeowners spending between $2,000 and $25,000

If you are a gardener, or a gardening wannabe, you’ve probably considered building your own greenhouse at some point. How much would one cost? The national average for a professionally installed greenhouse is about $11,000 with most homeowners spending between $2,000 and $25,000

Is that a little too rich for your wallet? Not to worry. This article will discuss DIY options as well, which have a much lower price range. Either way, you can have your backyard greenhouse up and running in less time (and for less money) than you may think.

In this article:

Average Greenhouse Costs in 2022

National Average Cost$11,000
Typical Price Range$2,000 – $25,000
Extreme Low End Cost$1,000
Extreme High End Cost$30,000

Greenhouse installation costs vary based on a number of factors. Things that ramp up the cost include a larger size, use of irrigation, heating, high-end materials, and ventilation systems. 

For a small greenhouse, you may want to nix water, heating systems, and ventilation fans altogether in favor of manual solutions, which will greatly reduce your expenses. In a larger set-up, expect a higher upfront investment. 

Greenhouse Cost Estimator By Size

Size is a top cost consideration. For example, if you have a small to medium-sized greenhouse, you are unlikely to invest in a heater, misting system, water lines, or the like. The larger your growing operation is, the more necessary those systems will become.

The average square foot cost is $22, and most residential greenhouses cost anywhere from $5 – $30 per square foot. Below are the average price ranges for an installed backyard greenhouse.

Greenhouse Size Average Overall Cost 
50  sq. ft.$250 – $1,500
300  sq. ft.$1,500 – $9,000
600  sq. ft.$3,000 – $18,000

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Aside from size, greenhouse pricing is also influenced by:

Type of Greenhouse

Each type of greenhouse has its own price range. Please see typical pricing for greenhouse types in the table below.

Greenhouse TypeTypical Price (per sq. ft.)
Hoop House$5 – $10
Rooftop$10 – $20
Geodesic$10 – $25
A-frame$25 – $35

Hoop House

Hoop houses provide people with a low-cost option that is small and portable. They are ideal for homeowners on a budget who want a safe space for backyard gardening.

The average hoop house costs $5 – $10 per square foot.

Rooftop

Urban agriculture is trending, especially in the top cities for urban gardens. Some city dwellers are serious about starting a rooftop garden and want to protect their seedlings and veggies from bugs and frost. 

The average rooftop greenhouse costs $10 – $20 per square foot.

Geodesic

Geodesic greenhouses have curved surfaces, thus giving plants more sunlight in the early day and evenings. Additionally, they are stronger and better able to handle wind and snow than square greenhouse constructions.

The average geodesic greenhouse costs $10 – $25 per square foot.

A-frame

A-frame greenhouses are the strongest and also the most visually appealing. Many are built to meet standard building codes and stand firm in any climate. Even though they are expensive, they are common among residential and commercial greenhouses.

The average A-frame greenhouse costs $25 – $35 per square foot.

Framing Material

The frame is the bones – the actual structure – of your greenhouse. What material you decide to use for the frame can greatly impact your overall project cost. 

Framing MaterialCost Per Square Foot
PVC pipe$1.25
Steel$2.50
Wood$1.00
Aluminum$1.50

Glazing Material

The different glazing options are one of the top variables that influence the wide range of greenhouse prices. Glazing is whatever material you choose to go on top of or inside the frame of your greenhouse. 

Glazing MaterialCost Per Square Foot
Polycarbonate panels$1.65
Polyethylene film (aka greenhouse plastic)$0.20
Glass $2.60

Flooring Material

There are several flooring solutions available for your greenhouse. One solution is to leave a dirt or grass floor, which is very cost effective (free, in fact) unless you need your installer to do some leveling. 

Here are the costs of some other popular types of flooring for greenhouses. 

Flooring MaterialCost Per Square Foot
Landscape fabric$0.45 – $0.80
Pea gravel$1.00 – $3.00
Rubber mats $2.00
Concrete$2.50 – $6.00
Pavers$8.00 – $25.00

Insulation

Greenhouse prices also depend on the insulation used. Please see typical insulation prices in the table below.

Insulation TypeTypical Cost Per Square Foot
Thermal screen$1.50 – $4.00
Base cladding$1.50 – $3.00
Double-pane glass$2.50 – $3.50
Bubble wrap$2.60 – $3.00

Utilities

Many greenhouses do not require any utilities, but some will require:

  • Electricity: You may need electricity for lighting, plumbing, HVAC, and other gardening equipment. 
  • Plumbing: Some greenhouses require plumbing for an irrigation system.
  • HVAC: Greenhouses may need climate control.

Climate Control

ItemTypical Cost
Greenhouse Heater$55 – $270
Greenhouse Fan$25 – $150

Contractor Rates

Type of ContractorTypical Hourly Rate
Plumber$45 – $150
Electrician$45 – $100
HVAC$60 – $150

Some homeowners prefer using the sun to power their greenhouse. Unfortunately, solar greenhouses are expensive, typically costing $35 – $45 per square foot.

Preparing the Site

The overall cost of your greenhouse will be more expensive if the land isn’t ripe for building. Site preparation may include:

  • Leveling uneven land
  • Excavating land
  • Clearing trees and bush
  • Removing grass

The most expensive of the above is the excavation and land clearing.

Building Permits

The average cost of greenhouse permits is $100 – $600. There are two types of permits that you may need to build your greenhouse – zoning and building permits. 

Zoning permits dictate where you can build the greenhouse, and building permits dictate how to build it. Urban areas usually have more restrictions than rural areas, and rooftop greenhouses are the most difficult to get approved. 

While your handyman or contractor is setting up your new greenhouse, why not bundle a few other services as well?

Mulching

If you’re planning for a stunning display of flower growth in the spring, you can have your contractor bring in mulch for your flower beds. On average, mulch costs $20 to $70 per cubic yard (depending on the type), and landscapers charge about $40 to $100 per hour to install it.

Stump Grinding

If a big stump is in the middle of your backyard where you want your greenhouse to go, you’ll need to have it removed. Stump grinding costs about $160 to $450, depending on the size of the stump and the length of time it takes to grind it.

Raised Garden Beds

Looking for something more affordable than a greenhouse but still want to keep your plants safe? Raised garden beds could be right for you. The cost of a raised garden bed kit typically falls between $105 and $210, which is significantly less than you would spend on building a greenhouse. 

Cost of Building a Greenhouse DIY

DIY is a great option for handy homeowners who want a greenhouse but don’t want to spend so much money. You can find greenhouse kits online that are affordable and easy to install. 

DIY Cost Breakdown

Buy a kit and read the directions. They will tell you what equipment you will need. Most small greenhouse kits don’t need much more than:

Equipment/MaterialsAverage Cost
DIY Greenhouse kit $4,000
Tape measure$18
Hammer$18
Level$35
Scissors$13
Utility knife$12
Work gloves$18
Garden spade$12
Impact driver (rental)$25 (per day)
Ladder$125
Landscape fabric$200
Landscape staples$27
Gravel$600 (for about 20 sq. ft.)
Garden rake $28
Total Cost:$5,131

How to Build a Greenhouse DIY in 10 Steps 

Follow the instructions that come with your greenhouse kit. The basic steps will be something along these lines: 

Step 1: Dig a trench in which to sit the base of the greenhouse if you are planning to have the greenhouse sit atop the ground.

Step 2: Put together the base. Make sure it’s level.

Step 3: Assemble the frame and connect it to the base. Make sure it’s level and square.

Step 4: Insert the columns in the frame.

Step 5: Construct the roof framing and insert the glazing.

Step 6: Lift the roof and attach it loosely to the frame, not pushing all the way into the frame.

Step 7: Attach the glazing panels.

Step 8: Make sure the roof is pushed down into all the columns after the glazing is added.

Step 9: Attach the door.

Step 10: Lay the landscape fabric, secure it with staples, and add gravel to make a nice floor. Level out the gravel with a garden rake. (Some people do this after step 2 instead).

DIY Cost vs. Professional Installation

If you have basic carpentry skills, you can save by making your own greenhouse. DIY greenhouses are about 40% of the cost of a professional installation.  

Professional$11,000
DIY $5,000

Cost of a Greenhouse By Location

DIY growers install greenhouses in residential backyards, city rooftops, and even in space. That being said, the cost varies widely depending on where you are, especially if you have your greenhouse professionally installed. 

Labor rates can drive your cost up significantly higher than the estimates in this article in some parts of the country (like California) or make the cost significantly lower in other parts (like Kansas). 

FAQ About Greenhouses

1. Can I use my greenhouse for something other than plants?

Absolutely. If yours is large enough, or attached to the house, it may be a great spot to put lounge furniture and entertain. Hey, it’s already decorated with flowers, right? It might even be a nice warm spot to exercise outdoors in the winter.

2. How long does polyethylene sheeting last on a greenhouse?

Many companies advertise that their polyethylene sheeting will last for four years.

3. How do greenhouses fare in snowy climates?

They can fare very well. Consider your site orientation and south wall angle to maximize your greenhouse’s sun exposure. Make sure the design or kit you choose has sturdy framing and roof trusses to allow for increased snow and wind loads. 

Final Thoughts

Greenhouses give you control over your growing environment and protect crops from weather and pests. Climate-controlled units also allow crops to flourish outside their regular growing season. Find out what professional contractors are currently charging in your area to install a greenhouse.

Michelle Selzer contributed to this article. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Sarah Bahr

Sarah Bahr

Sarah is a writer who has previously worked in the lawn care industry. In her spare time, she likes to garden, raise chickens, and mow the grass with her battery-powered lawn mower.