5 Features To Consider When Comparing Greenhouses

5 Features To Consider When Comparing Greenhouses

Considering purchasing a greenhouse? Congrats! 

You’re a step closer to taking your gardening projects to the next level. 

As you know, new purchases require additional research and considerations. 

There are a lot of factors to keep in mind before choosing your dream greenhouse. The materials, design and structure of your greenhouse will determine its quality, performance and duration.

Bottom line, you want to make sure crops grow healthy and strong. 

At Nova Greenhouses, our mission is to help you choose the right greenhouse for you. 

In this article, we’ll share the components you need to pay attention to and their pros and cons

In this guide, we will cover pros & cons for: 

Let’s get started!

Greenhouse Panel Materials

The panel material you choose will determine how much light your plants receive and how protected they will be from extreme weather conditions.

Materials used for greenhouse panels


Polycarbonate combines the best of two worlds: the strength of glass and the lightness and versatility of plastic. That’s why we recommend only a few greenhouses models that leverage these advantages.

  • Great insulation.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Provides better light diffusion and UV protection.
  • Affordable.
  • Different shapes and sizes available.
  • Shatter-resistant and easy to install.
  • Low maintenance post installation
  • Does not allow to see the plants clearly from the outside.
  • If not installed properly, it could accumulate dust.
  • Prone to scratching if you use chemical solutions or scrubs to clean it up.


    You may know glass as the traditional greenhouse material that makes it look beautiful and a good transmitter of light. But there are some side features we should talk about.



    • Good insulation. 
    • Makes your greenhouse look beautiful.
    • Transmits light uniformly and deeply.
    • Allows air filtration to control the humid environment better.
    • Flame-resistant.
    • Expensive, especially for the bigger models.
    • Difficult to install
    • Can shatter or crack.
    • No heat or UV protection.
    • High maintenance post installation.


    Fiberglass has amazing light diffusion and insulation features.



    • Very inexpensive.
    • Good light diffusion and transmission.
    • Easy to install and work with.
    • Good performance in areas with high winds or heavy snows
    • Transparent at first, but turns yellow over time.
    • Reduces light transmission and UV protection over time.
    • Should be replaced after 10 years or less.
    • Hard to clean if it has a texture.


    Greenhouses Frames

    The frame is the backbone of your greenhouse, ensuring its firmness, durability and resistance. 

    Let’s dive into the main 3 materials used to create strong greenhouse frames.

    Galvanized Steel

    Experts usually talk about the differences between steel and aluminum frames. Even though they’re both good options, steel has bonus points when galvanized, a process that protects it again rust and deterioration.

    Spoiler: galvanized steel has virtually no cons!



    • Fewer and smaller roof beams.
    • Easier installation.
    • Less shading over your plants.
    • Will last for two generations
    • Requires no ongoing maintenance.
    • Good insulator
    • The best option to withstand strong winds and heavy snow loads
    • Significantly heavier than aluminum (which is actually a benefit in extreme weather)


    This material has been one of the most popular for greenhouses’ frames - it’s not a surprise since it’s recognized for being easy to install and work with. We’ll tell you some other features right away.



    • Can be made in different shapes and thicknesses.
    • Easy to work with.
    • Durable and lightweight.
    • Can be easily painted.
    • Not a good insulator.
    • Heavy snows and winds can cause it to bend.
    • More material is needed to build a stronger frame, so costs are higher.


    Wood is a good frame material if you want your greenhouse to look more rustic - and it does look amazing! But besides being versatile and lightweight, there are some cons you should consider before making a final decision.



    • Helps the greenhouse remain warm.
    • Easy to build and repair.
    • Good appearance.
    • Environmentally friendly.
    • Long-lasting.
    • Can be expensive if not locally sourced.
    • Prone to attracting insects.
    • Could deteriorate in humid environments. 
    • Not strong enough for fibreglass or polycarbonate panels.


    Plastic is only a good option when you want to keep your greenhouse indoors and you’re looking for inexpensive options. But if you want a structure that will withstand challenging weather conditions and last for years, this should not be your choice.



    • Very affordable.
    • Easy to clean.
    • Lightweight.
    • Easy to install.
    • Very low-quality compared to polycarbonate.
    • Will not survive extreme climates.
    • Poor thermal efficiency.
    • Short lifespan.
    • Not ideal for large structures.

    Greenhouses Shapes

    Are you envisioning your greenhouse like a medieval cathedral, a mini house or a dome?

    Beyond choosing the shape you like the most, consider the pros and cons of each structure and how they will help your plants grow and be protected from external conditions. 

    These are the main 3 shapes you can find in the market:


    A bell (or gothic arc) is known for the distinctly pointed roof that curves elegantly to not only look beautiful but to make it easy to slide in rain or snow. Many robust greenhouses use this shape to take advantage of its benefits - like Planta’s Sungrow collection.



    • Suitable for structures of all sizes.
    • Appealing esthetically.
    • Makes it easy for rain and snow to slide off.
    • Doesn’t need trusses.
    • Easy to assemble.
    • Helps to conserve heat.
    • Its curves are only compatible with flexible panels.
    • Slightly reduces the space for your plants


    A curved house is ideal for making the most of the space and for having more room to strategically place your plants. It also adapts perfectly to spaces of different sizes, as Planta’s Sigma collection does.



    • Easy to install.
    • Ideal for covering long rows.
    • Provides more space near the walls.
    • Adapts better to small spaces.
    • Its curves are only compatible with lightweight and flexible panels.


    This design is one of the most common ones among backyard greenhouses. They look like mini houses, and it’s a good option to leverage space for your plants. The gable model requires stronger support and might need more material to be built.



    • Maximizes interior space.
    • Helps the air circulate properly.
    • Strong design.
    • Facilitates light entry.
    • Compatible with less flexible panels.
    • Costs might increase due to its heavy top.
    • Requires more material to be built.


    Planta Sungrow Greenhouse

    We Handpicked Top-Rated Greenhouses For You To Choose From

    We know choosing a greenhouse is not an easy task and we want to support you at every step.

    During our selection process, we’ve considered the pros and cons mentioned above and only chose collections that meet high standards of quality and convenience for gardeners all over North America.

    Our favourite greenhouses are:

    • Wind-resistant.
    • Strong under heavy snow loads.
    • Made of quality materials.
    • Modern and innovative design.
    • Reasonably priced.

    Are you ready to take your greenhouse experience to the next level? Reach out to us!

    Why Nova Greenhouses?

    Our top-rated customer care team is available 7-days a week to answer any questions.
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