FAQ

What is the best location site for my greenhouse?
Do I need a building permit?
What’s the best foundation for my greenhouse?
What types of flooring are common inside a greenhouse?
I have an existing foundation that’s a certain size, can you customize the size?
Does the aluminum frame cause the greenhouse to be colder and cause more condensation?
Will my polycarbonate greenhouse turn yellow?
I live in Florida and we experience high winds. Can the greenhouse be rated for 120 mph hours?
Do you offer custom colours for the frames?
How do the automatic vent openers work?
What are the best choices for heating a greenhouse?
How do I use solar heating in my greenhouse?
How can I incorporate In-Floor or Radiant Heating into my greenhouse?
Is Geothermal a good idea?
What’s the best way to cool my greenhouse?
I’m thinking of buying an Exhaust fan system. What are the benefits?
Why are your greenhouses more expensive than what I’m finding at big box stores?
What is included in the cost of the greenhouse?
Do your greenhouses ever go on sale?
What are your billing procedures?
Are there duty costs with the delivery?
What are your lead times for ordering?
What is the normal delivery schedule?
Do you sell used greenhouses?
Do you offer installation?
What can I expect when the greenhouse arrives?


 

What is the best location site for my greenhouse?

When selecting a site for your foundation, choose a flat, level surface where your greenhouse can be easily installed, stable and secure. Locate your greenhouse close to power and water, while also considering water drainage and easy access. Try to locate the greenhouse so that 6 hours of sunlight is available during winter months.

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Do I need a building permit?

The rules for the permit process depends on your municipality but generally speaking, a structure less than 120 square feet that is not considered permanent does not require a permit. We are able to provide engineered shop drawings to secure the required permits, if necessary.

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What’s the best foundation for my greenhouse?

The most common foundations for hobby greenhouses are wood frame or concrete. Wood frames are selected for their ease of preparation and allow for long term flexibility in case the greenhouse is ever to be moved or extended. Concrete can be chosen for a more permanent site and will last for generations.

Pressure treated wood now requires a 10 mm polyethylene barrier between wood and aluminum sill to prevent corrosions of aluminum. A hobby greenhouse under (100 sq. ft.) can be fastened to a 4″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ treated wood timber foundation. For a larger greenhouse a 6″ x 6″ beam is recommended. Wooden timbers can be stacked to increase the height of the greenhouse.

When choosing a more permanent site, concrete slabs or concrete footings may be installed. Bricks or masonry blocks may also be used, but ensure the top bricks are closed off, so it has a flat surface to fasten the greenhouse to. The greenhouse requires a flat surface and we provide all the connection hardware. All foundations must be level and square for easy installation of the greenhouse structure. Check your local building codes regarding site requirements and if a permit is required.

A foundation sketch will be supplied showing all outside dimensions in which to build.

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What types of flooring are common inside a greenhouse?

Some customers keep it as soil and grow directly in it. With this you can maximize space, it’s fairly easy and there’s no real preparation involved. However if you get a disease in the soil it is difficult to deal with and can be wide spread and can take a couple seasons to run its course.Another option is a bed of gravel with paving stones as a walkway. This is cost effective, DIY, and easy to clean. The paving stones may require some levelling maintenance over time.

Another option is a concrete floor which generally involves a contractor. This provides total control over the greenhouse and cleaning is usually just hosing into a drain. This is the most expensive option but also one of the more popular as some people like to add decorative elements like sandblasting or rockwork.

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I have an existing foundation that’s a certain size, can you customize the size?

Yes, we work in 2 foot increments and can customize to suit pretty much anything.

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Does the aluminum frame cause the greenhouse to be colder and cause more condensation?

With an aluminum frame greenhouse, the positives far outweigh the concerns. Our greenhouses are manufactured with an active weep system that will transfer condensation and expel moisture outside of the greenhouse. Aluminum is a superior product in this application as it will not warp, expand and contract which causes weakness and drafts, and you will never have to stain your greenhouse annually as you do with wood and it will last for decades.

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Will my polycarbonate greenhouse turn yellow?

The polycarbonate that we use is top of the line. This polycarbonate has a UV inhibitor co-extruded into the outside layer to prevent yellowing. In terms of sun degradation, it won’t degrade its visible light transmission by more than 6% over 10 years. Each greenhouse comes with a warranty package which includes 10 years on the polycarbonate panels.

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I live in Florida and we experience high winds. Can the greenhouse be rated for 120 mph hours?

Absolutely. We offer an upgraded package which includes additional bracing, increasing the size of our horizontal braces and roof purlins when necessary. The typical solar automatic roof vent can be replaced with an upgraded wind resistant vent. BCG will also replace the standard roof vents with exhaust fan systems in certain situations.

The greenhouse wind-load upgrades can be engineered to meet the requirements of all 50 US States as well as all Canadian provinces and territories. When a permit is required, we partner with engineer firms who can supply sealed drawings with the acceptable guidelines. To determine the guidelines, customers must contact their local building department. BC Greenhouse Builders works within these guidelines to ensure safety and longevity of your greenhouse.

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Do you offer custom colours for the frames?

Yes, we can color match to any sample. We also provide a variety of tinting and glazing options.

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How do the automatic vent openers work?

The opener is essentially an elbow mechanism which is operated by a metal cylinder filled with wax which expands with heat and in turns lifts the roof vent.

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What are the best choices for heating a greenhouse?

In a moderate climate, the best choice for keeping a greenhouse above freezing is a small electric heater. The most cost effective way to operate is to aim the heater away from the door and place a small circulating fan at the opposite end of the greenhouse. The idea is to create a micro weather system where the air is always turning. It is important to keep the fan on even in winter as it will stop hot pockets from going up too high and keep the air circulating which is critical for plants. This also reduces heat loss and you’ll save money as you aren’t wasting the heat you are producing.

For larger greenhouse, small greenhouse in cold climates or orchid growers: high capacity electric or LP or Natural gas heaters. The capacity is dictated by the cold outside temp in night time, the desired night time minimum temperature in winter and the surface area square footage of the greenhouse and the glazing. We have a formula that provides the heating requirements for your greenhouse.

For Orchid Growers – backup generators are common or gas heating in the event of power outages. Portable camping heaters are also used in the event of power outages.

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How do I use solar heating in my greenhouse?

Thermal heat syncs such as black barrels filled with water are commonly used to heat a greenhouse.
Solar panels would provide some energy in a warm climate but would not provide the amount of electricity needed to heat a greenhouse in a cold climate.
Energy curtains are often used to retain heat generated in the day and reduce the volume of the greenhouse needed to be heated. This increases energy efficiency by heating only the space in use.
Some greenhouse gardeners like to create different temperate zones in their greenhouse and will use energy blankets or plastic partitions to create the temperature differences. It is important to note that we do offer greenhouses with built in partition walls as an added feature.
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How can I incorporate In-Floor or Radiant Heating into my greenhouse?

In-floor heating is not recommended as the only source of heat as it will cause roots to burn. The radiant heat from baseboards is ideal as forced air isn’t as natural for plants.

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Is Geothermal a good idea?

Geothermal heating tends to be quite expensive and practical only if it is tied to another project or meant for commercial purposes.

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What’s the best way to cool my greenhouse?

The general rule of thumb is the more, the better. Automatic roof vents are included and quantity is dependent on size. Additional cooling might be required based on the application of the greenhouse.

For smaller greenhouses and larger ones not used in the summer, you will not need extra cooling systems. Natural shade would be sufficient.

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I’m thinking of buying an Exhaust fan system. What are the benefits?

Passive cooling is more economical and energy efficient and very popular with the green movement when using convection theories. Louvered windows and side vents work really well to aid passive cooling in this regard.

Larger Greenhouse, greater than 160 sq. ft., often do well with an exhaust fan system to forcibly exchange the hot inside air with fresh, cooler outside air.

Mechanized exhaust fan systems and passive cooling do not work well together. The fan will just pull from the closest source.

It’s important to note that in winter you would not want to rely on mechanized exhaust fan systems as you could be pumping in cool or freezing air which would be disastrous for plants.

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Why are your greenhouses more expensive than what I’m finding at big box stores?

We have built our greenhouses and our business on five principles – quality, strength, longevity, service and warranty. Our greenhouses are built to last for generations and we pride ourselves on our product development, the best warranty in the business and our technical knowledge and customer service is well renowned. This is not a greenhouse that’s going to yellow, topple in the wind or something you regret purchasing.

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What is included in the cost of the greenhouse?

Automatic vent opener, a door drop if required, maximum-minimum thermometer, 12 eyehooks, DVD, written instructions, and job specific installation diagrams.

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Do your greenhouses ever go on sale?

We do offer seasonal promotions in the summer and winter. In addition, we have built in cost savings on our feature models which you can find on our website and in our brochure.

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What are your billing procedures?

If the greenhouse is over $10 000, we require a deposit on the project. All greenhouses require full payment before shipping.

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Are there duty costs with the delivery?

All greenhouses travel duty free with in North America. All brokerage fees are included in the freight costs. It should be noted that there may be state or provincial sales taxes which need to be self-declared as out of state purchases, as legislated by the governing territory.

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What are your lead times for ordering?

It differs based on the model you have chosen. Our Sungarden and Legacy Greenhouses can ship within a week of order. Generally, all other greenhouses are built to suit your specifications and are three weeks from the confirmation of the order. Custom greenhouses can be between three to six weeks depending on the requirements.

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What is the normal delivery schedule?

The time in transit varies from overnight to 10 business days. We will provide you with all of the delivery details, expected arrival time, and tracking numbers so that you are prepared to accept the shipment and have the manpower to do so.

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Do you sell used greenhouses?

No. No one ever wants to part with them.

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Do you offer installation?

We do offer installation services but our kits are designed as do-it-yourself and we’ve provided as much information to make it as easy as possible. In cases where people require help, most hire a local contractor or builder. For larger projects, it may warrant providing a supervisor to work alongside local crew for the first few days. Call us to discuss your plans.

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What can I expect when the greenhouse arrives?

The shipping company will expect you to have the manpower to offload the shipment for a curb side delivery. If you are unable to accept the shipment or require help, we can arrange a two-man delivery for an additional fee.

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