Want fresh produce year-round without leaving the house? An indoor greenhouse for your custom home might be the best addition for fresh produce and a show-stopping feature. Control light, humidity, and temperature to grow the highest quality plants for your family. An indoor greenhouse requires lots of planning, but in the end, results in homegrown happiness when constructed correctly.
Types of Attached Greenhouses
Whether you want a greenhouse off of the kitchen or only accessible through the garage is up to you. No matter where it’s attached, it has advantages over freestanding greenhouses.
First, you don’t have to leave the comfort of home to access your garden. Second, one wall of the greenhouse is an exterior wall of your home, which conserves material costs. Third, attached greenhouses have easier access to water and electricity.
These rectangular greenhouses “lean” into one exterior wall of the home along their length. If there’s a door on the attached wall, the greenhouse is easily accessible from inside the home. However, this door can let unwanted humid air into the house. Therefore, some people prefer to have the greenhouse attached to the garage.
Attached Even-Span Greenhouses
These rectangular greenhouses are attached to the home along their width. The roof has an equal pitch on each side, unlike a lean-to greenhouse. Even-span greenhouses require more material for construction. This makes installation more expensive. However, even-span greenhouses are generally larger and have more room for gardening.
Location, Location, Location
Just add it to the back of the house, right? Not so fast. Don’t be surprised when plants don’t grow in your custom greenhouse.
Your plants need sunlight. Carefully place your greenhouse where plenty of rays will reach throughout the day. If you live in the north, your greenhouse should have southern exposure to optimize sunlight all day long. If you live in the south, southern exposure may result in increased cooling costs. Therefore, consider northern exposure for partial shade. Determine the plants you want ahead of time. This will help you choose a proper greenhouse location based on the amount of sunlight required.
Dealing With Drainage
Don’t let your time and money go down the drain. A flooded greenhouse can ruin your plants and damage your home.
Selecting the right flooring assists with drainage and longevity of your investment. A concrete foundation can be sloped towards a french or trench drain and reflects sunlight. Brick is more costly, but is visually appealing and can be drained easily as well. Wood may look nice in a greenhouse, but with wood, you run the risk of insect infestations.
French drains are composed of perforated pipes. These pipes are buried in a trench surrounded by gravel and a fabric lining. The lining ensures that soil doesn’t clog the pipes. Excess water will run off sloped floors into the drain and away from your home.
Trench drains are installed along the sidewalls of your greenhouse instead of in the ground. These drains are long grates that drain into pipes. They are generally more expensive to install, but more efficient for draining water.
In addition to internal drainage, external drainage should be considered as well. If installing a lean-to greenhouse, the roof should be steeply sloped for water runoff. If designing an even-span greenhouse, incorporate gutters and drainpipes connected to a drainage area.
Controlling humidity in your greenhouse is essential to both the health of your plants and your home. You don’t want extra moisture and mold in your home. Follow these steps to help manage humidity for the sake of you and your plants.
- Directly water the soil (not the leaves) to limit puddled water and evaporation
- Water plants early in the day so that the soil is dry by evening
- Include horizontal air flow fans to prevent condensation and strengthen the plants >
- Make sure the roof has a steep enough pitch for internal condensation to run off
- Use a combination of heating and ventilation
An indoor greenhouse can be a great addition to your custom home. You can enjoy your garden throughout every season. However, careful planning is required so that the greenhouse has room to grow with your family. After picking a proper location, install the necessary technology to manage drainage and humidity. This will ensure your plants last as long as your custom home. If you’re ready to get started on designing your beautiful indoor plant oasis, contact our design team to get started!