DIY Greenhouse

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 03/04/2019 - 16:31
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DIY Greenhouse plans - build your own DIY greenhouse, free step by step plans by


Building your own greenhouse is something you can tackle and save a ton.  We built this greenhouse about six years ago, and it still looks brand new and is as sturdy as ever.  We are happy to share our plans with you - see below.

Here's some photos of the build -

Near completion of the framing stage. We used 12' long pieces of corrugated metal roofing for the side walls.

We ran the corrugated roofing horizontal.  This was very easy to install and we have had zero issues with this design.

We also trimmed the corners out with metal flashing to make everything look nice and finished.

The greenhouse plastic wrapped right over the corrugated metal - like it was meant to be!

The only part that was slightly tricky was the ends - but really no big deal to add the greenhouse plastic panels.

Our DIY greenhouse turned out great and we are so excited to share the plans with you.

Please post a pic or share if you build!

Pin For Later! 

DIY Greenhouse

Greenhouse plans
Dimensions are shown above for the DIY Greenhouse. It's a good size for a standard family of 4 or 5


Shopping List
  • 3 - 2x4 @ 10 feet long - use on back wall
  • 5 - 2x4 @ 12 feet long - use on sides/ridgepole DO NOT CUT
  • 32 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 11 - 12 foot x 26" standard corrugated plastic greenhouse panels
  • 1 - 8 foot long x 26" wide standard corrugated plastic greenhouse panel (use on door side)
  • 3 - 12 foot long tin panels (use on sides and back)
  • 1 - 8 foot long tin panel (use on front)
  • Tin screws
  • 28 - 4' long ribbing strips
  • L flashing (optional for the corners)
  • You'll need either metal gussets for the trusses or to cut plywood ones from 1/2" plywood
Common Materials
3 inch screws
Cut List

Cut list is in plan at each step

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Back wall framing.  Cut 2x4s as listed below.  Screw together with 3" screws or nail together.

  • 2 – 2x4 @ 118 3/8”
  • 6 – 2X4 @ 32”


Step 2

Side Wall Framing - Build TWO

  • 4 – 2X4 @ 144”
  • 14 – 2X4 @ 32”


Step 3

Front Wall Framing

  • 4 – 2X4 @ 32”
  • 4 – 2X4 @ 42 ½”
  • 2 – 2X4 @ 81 ½”
  • 1 – 2X4 @ 33 3/8”

Build the front walls as shown.

Step 4

Attach the four walls together with 3" screws at corners.

Step 5

Step 6

  • 1 – 2X4 @ 117 7/8” (BOTH ENDS CUT AT 22 1/2" DEGREES, ENDS NOT PARALLEL)
  • 1 – 2X4 @ 55 3/8 (TOP CUT TO DOGEARED POINT, 22 ½ DEGREES)

The back truss is built same as front. See next step for close up of the center cuts

Step 7

This board was a little tricky to cut - practice first!

Step 8

1 – 2X4 @ 141”

NOTE: If you use gussets - we used 1/2" plywood - this will affect your ridgepole length. 

Step 9



  • 10 2X4 @ 47 1/4” (BOTH ENDS CUT AT 22 ½ DEGREES ENDS NOT PARALLEL) - shorter rafters go up to meet the ridgepole.  I marked all shorter rafters to avoid confusion.


For the common rafters of this barn style greenhouse, we ended up using plywood gussets to save money. After cutting quite a few, I figured out how to cut gussets the super quick and easy way - got gusset cutting down to less than a minute each.

We put gussets on both sides of each rafter joint with glue and screws. We made all of the small trusses first on the ground, then it was just a matter of stacking them on the ridgepole and attaching to the studs. We used 8 screws per gusset. Common rafters are installed flush to top of ridgepole and flush to outside of side walls. We had to "toenail" the screws in - meaning they are screwed in at an angle. We used glue and 3" screws from both sides.

Step 10

The plan will get you through the framing.

At this point, you could use plastic paper, lexan glass panels, you name it to seal the frame in.

We used the corrugated plastic panels detailed earlier for installation. IMPORTANT: If you do not use panels you will need some sort of lateral support to keep the greenhouse from swaying side to side. Try 12 foot long 2x4s. 

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Emily Frazier

Thu, 05/17/2012 - 19:15

Isnt it really nice to get what you want for mothers day. Ana I am so glad you finally got your greenhouse. I got a stanless steel laser miter saw. Now I can build almost anything, got my Kreg Jig for Valentines. Cant wait for my birthday next month. I am thinking air compressor. Keep bringing these wonder projects. I talk you up to everyone I know. Send them to you sight. Thanks for being an inspiration to all the women that think the could not come out of their comfort zone and create.



Ana White

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 10:54

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! This was actually a very easy project! We ourselves couldn't believe how fast it came together.

We asked locally what people do for venting and most people said on a small greenhouse, having the door open provides enough ventilation. But if we find we need more, we can always add vents.

At this point, we are just looking for a greenhouse to grow tomatoes and cucumbers and herbs and peppers - just extending our growing season a little on each side. But we would at some point like to consider a true arctic greenhouse and I love the suggestions of creating thermal mass. Really got me thinking! Thanks for the input, we really appreciate it!

We designed this plan so it's exactly 48" on the sides. Anyone like to see this as a shed too???? I'd love to modify the plans!

Thanks again for reading and commenting!


Fri, 05/18/2012 - 21:41

I was just thinking how great this would be as a shed. I would love to build a space where I can store my tools and "play" with them too. Thanks Ana!

Bryanna Djibril (not verified)

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 10:26

You are, as always, impressive! I would LOVE to see this as a shed! We really need one and my husband loves this design.

Thank you!

Randy from Bla… (not verified)

Tue, 12/11/2012 - 17:13

I'm searching your newly found site now (found by googling loft bed) for a shed, and saw this.

I am curious how the clear corrugated siding is holding up (did you only build this in May 2012?).

Kosodate Farm (not verified)

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 14:27

Hi Ana,

I'd like to see this greenhouse with a smaller footprint . Any outbuilding over 100 sq. ft. would require a permit in my city.

Thanks for the plans! This the the perfect fall work party project!

In reply to by Kosodate Farm (not verified)

Ana White

Sat, 05/19/2012 - 12:36

Hi! The easiest way to do a smaller footprint is to just make it 8 feet long instead of 12! Then you just buy 8 foot sheets of tin and greenhouse plastic, make the side walls 8 feet long instead of 12, and drop 2 sets of common rafters. Super easy mod and would get you just under 100 square feet :)

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