* This is PART TWO of a two-part article about “Backyard Greenhouse”. PART ONE can be found here.
Let’s consider more choices of backyard greenhouses after making a decision to purchase one for your garden.
# Opt for the Secondhand Greenhouse
Occasionally you may find a used greenhouse that will fill your need. And a good secondhand greenhouse will probably be much less expensive than a new one. Possible sources include greenhouse gardeners who are buying larger greenhouses and people uninterested in gardening who purchase property that contains a backyard greenhouse.
One way to locate a secondhand greenhouse is to advertise. If your area has a local shopper newspaper, use it, or inquire through the classified section of your regular newspaper. At the present time, secondhand greenhouses are not common items, so you will need to be patient. Remember that it’s unlikely you will find the exact backyard greenhouse you’d like; be prepared to make a few compromises.
A used greenhouse will probably require some repairs, especially if it has been vacant for a period of time. Be sure the structure is stable and that the walls are relatively airtight. Check all the equipment very carefully before you begin to use it. Once you have the used greenhouse situated and refurbished, it should function as well as any other greenhouse.
# Work with an Architect
Only a small percentage of greenhouses are designed by architects, landscape architects, or designers. But many of the specially designed structures are filled with innovative ideas. Some architects incorporate prefabricated greenhouse sections or units into their designs; others create completely new structures (either attached to your house or separate) that complement both the house and its surroundings.
Frequently, architects design the greenhouse so it can serve as family living space. As long as the proper equipment is installed, your growing space can easily double as a garden room, sitting room, or entertaining area.
There are several advantages in using an architect or designer. These professionals are trained to deal with structural problems and provide new or unusual solutions. They are familiar with local building codes and are accustomed to working with difficult spaces. Architects design structures, including greenhouses, with the surroundings in mind; these greenhouses will often echo the style of your home and blend into or serve as an accent for the landscape, eliminating the starkly utilitarian look that many greenhouse gardeners fear. Architects also may suggest new ideas for using space inside the house.
If you decide to use an architect or designer, you can hire that person as a consultant for working out specific problems or have him or her actually design the greenhouse and oversee its construction. Be sure the architect or designer you choose is well versed in the needs of growing plants and the various systems your greenhouse should contain.
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