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The added touch of fresh flora makes any home a little bit brighter. Flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables, unfortunately, don't grow all year round in most climates. Once you've caught the gardening bug, the winter seems a little longer. For those of us who just can't wait to get our fingers dirty, a greenhouse kit or plan could be the solution to the off season doldrums.
No matter what you're anxious to grow, a greenhouse can help you on your way. Greenhouse kits are available in many different sizes and with quite a few different options. Whether you're a beginner, or an amateur looking to go pro, you can find a greenhouse kit to suit your needs. If your handyman skills aren't perfect, some companies offer supervised installation at an additional cost.
If you're just starting and looking for a small greenhouse, the kit you purchase should be very simple. For between $500-$900, you can get a basic rectangular greenhouse kit with enough room to walk through comfortably. The base of the greenhouse is sometimes sold separately, and should be taken into account when comparing prices. Very often, heaters and humidity control equipment also cost extra. Depending on the climate you live in, a heater may not be necessary and greenhouses are equipped with vents to help regulate humidity and air quality.
For the more seasoned gardener, it might be worth the $2000-$5000 dollar price tag to invest in a dome greenhouse kit. Dome greenhouses make optimal use of the sun's energy. Even in very harsh conditions, dome greenhouses have successfully grown large crops of food without the aid of a space heater. Their sturdy design and excellent efficiency will ensure good growing conditions all year round, as well as for many years to come.
The DIYs out there will be happy to know that for the fraction of the price of a greenhouse kit, a greenhouse plan for a similar structure is sometimes available. If you're looking to build a simple model, you can even find a few free greenhouse plans online. Building a greenhouse from a plan, though far from rocket science, will still require decent knowledge of carpentry and some other construction skills.
Plans for dome style greenhouses, however, are harder to come by than plans for rectangular ones as most dome designs are patented. The companies that sell dome kits sometimes have a "half way" plan available. Basically, you buy the design and the hardware from them, but purchase the other materials yourself. You'll save on the initial purchase price, on building materials, and on shipping.
Maybe you don't need a big walk in greenhouse, and are just looking for a place to grow a few plants. You should take a look at mini greenhouses. These range in size from small to very small and are quite affordable. It's a good option for people who would like to try their hand at greenhouse growing, but don't want to make a substantial first investment. Mini greenhouses are an excellent place to begin off season growing, or to learn the subtleties of growing more exotic species. They can be found at home improvement centers and online, often for less than $100!
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.