An important addition to any British back garden, greenhouses are firmly established in the British way of life. It's probably the inclement weather that drives the british gardener 'inside'. If you are visiting this site then you are probably thinking about obtaining a new greenhouse. It is possible you don't know the type of greenhouse you need or even how to decide on the type of greenhouse. Greenhouse design was revolutionised with the arrival of aluminium frames and the scarcity of pine. This article takes a brief look at the differences between metal and wooden greenhouses.
-- Wooden Greenhouses --
Wooden Greenhouses are the choice for the traditionalist and the expert gardener. They are commonly made from Canadian Western Red Cedar, which is renowned for it's exceptional long life outdoors as a result of it's effective rot resistance. Wooden greenhouses are the traditional style of greenhouse before the aluminium greenhouses and plastic greenhouses became more popular towards the end of the last century.
A timber greenhouse will obviously blend in naturally with your garden and will become an integral feature rather than something of an eyesore which you wish to hide away. Timber is also the choice of the expert gardener and it is generally agreed that it is the best material for a greenhouse. One of the main reasons is that the red cedar greenhouses are much better at maintaining a constant temperature than aluminium ones, which obviously leads to a healthier and more natural environment. An experienced gardener will know the benefit of having things to hand and a wooden frame will allow the gardener to easily fix hooks and shelves exactly where he wants them, so those all important greenhouse accessories are to hand. The wooden frame also makes it easier to fix an extra layer of insulation of plastic bubble sheeting, such severe weather conditions prevail.
The best time to add a protective coat to a timber frame is before winter sets in. Choose a good day in the late autumn and give the frame any attention it needs. Look for any wear and tear and treat it immediately. Most good timber frames come with a ten year gaurantee, but don't wait for 10 years before checking.
Wooden greenhouses are slightly more expensive than aluminium and plastic ones, but do offer more to the experienced gardener. Aluminium and plastic greenhouses are a better choice for the beginner before upgrading to a timber greenhouse.
-- Aluminium Greenhouses --
A major advantage of aluminium greenhouses is that they are relatively cheap and maintenance free. They are the best choice of greenhouse if your priority is low maintenance. However, you should be aware of the advantages of other types of greenhouse. For example, with wooden greenhouses it is easy to fix extra shelves and hookes, inside and out. Aluminium is certainly easier to maintain than a wooden greenhouse, but care should be taken to keep all structural components as clean as possible to deter pests and disease.Aluminium greenhouses are certainly the most popular at the moment and part of the attractiveness is the flat pack packaging and (relatively easy) self assembly. This helps keep the cost down and aluminium is the value for money choice of greenhouse.
Before erecting an aluminium greenhouse, there are certain considerations. Firstly you should decide upon the location of the greenhouse. Somewhere easily accessible during bad weather would be good. Observe areas of your garden during sunny days to see which parts get the most sunlight. Some protection from wind would be good, but not at the expense of blocking out light. Also, be aware of any stray footballs from next door !
If you're after a value for money and low maintenance greenhouse then aluminium is a good choice. You may lose some of the aesthetic qualities of a wooden greenhouse, but you do benefit from modern technology and design.
Garry John is a regular contributor to uk home improvement sites such as uk greenhouses and uk conservatories. (http://www.uk-conservatories-online.co.uk/)
"Reprinted from www.rovisoft.com/ezine/ "