How Much Does It Cost To Build A Greenhouse?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

A greenhouses gives homeowners the chance to nurture plants and let them thrive year-round. The prospect of building a greenhouse is enough to get any green-thumbed homeowner excited. So, how much does it cost to build a greenhouse?

It costs between $2,000 and $25,000 to build a greenhouse depending on the framing, glazing, and flooring materials you choose. Glass is the most expensive glazing material, and it costs up to $3.60 per square foot. Galvanized steel framing costs $3.50 per linear foot, and the cost of labor is often at least $400 per day.

The bigger the greenhouse, the more expensive it will be. You can save money if you buy a greenhouse kit as opposed to customizing one because it reduces labor costs. Follow along as we explore how much it costs to build a greenhouse.

Greenhouse Cost Factors

While it costs $2,000-$25,000 to build a greenhouse, everything from its size to the materials you choose determines the cost. You need to consider important factors such as flooring, framing, glazing materials, and design. Let’s look at the key factors that determine how much it will cost to build a greenhouse.


Many homeowners overlook the cost of flooring when they build a greenhouse. In many cases, this is an optional cost factor. Depending on where you put your greenhouse, you may be able to simply use the ground as the flooring and foundation. However, you can also use a concrete slab, stone gravel, or pavers for your greenhouse flooring.

Rubber mats are the cheapest greenhouse flooring option as you can simply put them on the ground. They typically cost between $1.50 and $2.00 per square foot. Pavers are the most expensive option, and they cost an average of $17 per square foot to install.

Gravel isn’t as smooth or comfortable to walk on, but it’s a cheap flooring option at $2 per square foot on average. It can cost up to $7 per square foot to pour a concrete slab, and this is the best option if you want to build a solid foundation for your greenhouse.

Flooring Material

Cost Per Square Foot

Concrete Slab$3.00-$7.00
Rubber Mats$1.50-$2.00


Your greenhouse is only as strong as its frame. If you are trying to build a large greenhouse, you should consider using galvanized steel for your frame. Galvanized steel is the strongest framing material for a greenhouse, and it costs an average of $3 per linear foot.

This is the best option if you live in an area with hot summers, cold winters, and high humidity, as it can withstand the elements. Aluminum is a great budget option, and it costs an average of $1.50 per linear foot to install. Wood is a popular framing material because of its appearance and low cost at $1.00-$2.00 per linear foot.

However, wood doesn’t last as long as steel or aluminum, especially in humid climates with seasonal temperature changes. The cheapest way to build a greenhouse is to use PVC framing, as it costs between $0.45 and $2.00 per linear foot.

Framing Material

Cost Per Linear Foot

Galvanized Steel$2.50-$3.50

Glazing Materials

The materials that go over the frame and surround your greenhouse can also be expensive. Your greenhouse requires glazing, typically made of plastic, glass, or polycarbonate, to foster a healthy environment. Glass is the most expensive glazing material, and it costs an average of $3 per square foot.

While glass is the priciest, it is often considered the best glazing material because of durability and temperature retention. Polycarbonate is also popular, and it costs an average of $2.30 per square foot to install. Plastic is the best budget option. You’ll only have to pay $0.10-$0.50 per square foot for materials.

Plastic offers the least durability, but it is a great glazing material if you live in a moderate climate without strong wind and storms. Otherwise, you will get the best protection and temperature retention with fiberglass, polycarbonate, or glass.

Glazing Material

Cost Per Square Foot



Labor is one of the biggest cost factors when you build a greenhouse. The cost of labor depends on your contractor’s rate, how many laborers there are, and how long the project takes. Some contractors build the cost of labor into the cost of materials per square foot.

Others simply bill you for labor based on an hourly rate. The average contractor or company charges $400 per day in labor for greenhouse construction but it varies. Each person on the crew typically gets at least $150 per day, and there are often at least two people.

You can expect to spend at least $50 per hour for labor if you must pay an hourly labor rate. Total labor costs vary based on how long the construction takes. It can take up to a week or more to build an elaborate greenhouse with an A-frame design, while simple greenhouses take 1-2 days to build.


The design and layout of your greenhouse also determine how much it will cost to build and how long it will take. For example, simple hoop greenhouses cost an average of $8 per square foot to build whereas A-frame greenhouses cost up to $35 per square foot to build.

A-frame greenhouses and similar designs that are more structured cost more, but they also provide the most stability. Dome greenhouses are more popular than ever, and they cost $15 per square foot to build, on average, but some contractors charge up to $25. Greenhouses with more elaborate designs and materials take longer to build, which leads to a more expensive project.

Do You Need A Permit For A Greenhouse?

You must acquire a permit to build a greenhouse in most states and municipalities. Greenhouses are considered home additions, so they are regulated the same way as sheds, garages, and gazebos. It costs an average of $350 to get a permit to build a greenhouse.

However, it can cost as much as $600 to acquire a permit to build a greenhouse depending on where you live. Permits often only cost $100 because many municipalities don’t charge much for greenhouses and sheds.

Are Greenhouses Worth The Money?

Greenhouses are worth the money if you use them all year. They are also a great investment because greenhouses are considered additional structures. This will ultimately increase your property value if you maintain your greenhouse until you sell your house.

However, it’s a double-edged sword, as some prospective buyers won’t want to buy a house with a greenhouse. The greenhouse will appeal to plant lovers, however, and it’s a great way to make your home more appealing on the market.

Greenhouses give homeowners the chance to grow tropical plants in climates where they would otherwise struggle to thrive. Home gardening has increased over the last few years, and greenhouses provide a stable environment to do so all year.

Summing It Up

The cost to build a greenhouse is $2,000-$25,0000. It varies based on the glazing, framing, and flooring materials as well as the labor cost. Galvanized steel framing and glass glazing are the most expensive materials, but they offer the most durability.

The permit to build a greenhouse starts at $100, but can cost up to $600 in some counties. Labor costs as much as $50 per hour or $400 per day, but it can cost much more for long projects with a big crew. Greenhouses are worth the cost to build because they provide a great return on investment and can increase home value.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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