We started selling greenhouses online in 2002. We started selling Palram Greenhouses online in 2003. It was a model called the Enthusiast. And I must say, everyone was very enthusiastic about this little greenhouse. It had a gambrel roof and was a 8′ x 8′ size. It had 4′ extensions that you could add on. The next model to surface was the Mini Pro. It was a 8′ x 10′ size. I am not quite sure why, but both of these models were discontinued. Snap and Grow Greenhouses were next to appear. We sold those for quite a few years up until 2014. They are still available, but we decided to not carry them anymore. It had nothing to do with the greenhouse, it was a “corporate” decision. We (Tom and I) just felt that we had too many greenhouse options available.
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Enthusiast Greenhouse-no longer available
MiniPro Greenhouse-no longer available
Features of Palram Greenhouses
They are sturdy! The first time I saw an Enthusiast was at a trade show in Ohio. I was walking down the aisle and all of a sudden there was a loud boom. I just about jumped out of my skin. There was an exhibitor in the Palram booth slamming a sledge hammer at this poor Enthusiast. It didn’t budge a bit. That was pretty impressive. Hey kids, don’t try this at home!!!
All of the Palram greenhouses are pretty much built with the same materials, there are just different configurations and options. Some of the models now have twinwall polycarbonate in the roof and/or sides. Even though the outside sheets of the twinwall are clear, the rib in the center of the sheets will distort your view. It will not be like looking through glass. The same single polycarbonate that was found in the Enthusiast will be in the rest of the models. You will get glass like clarity with this lightweight panel with over 90% light transmission. The panels are flexible and you can bend them and twist them. Don’t let that fool you. It is very durable.
The frames are rust resistant aluminum and the greenhouses come with a 5 year warranty. I am very active in several online greenhouse forums. There are many people discussing their Snap and Grow greenhouses that are 8 – 10 years old. Let me tell you that Palram Greenhouse owners are very satisfied and loyal. Actually, the whole time we were selling these greenhouses we only had 2 issues. One was from a greenhouse that was in a tornado. That is just plain old bad luck. The other was a gentleman who just was not satisfied. We sold a lot of these greenhouses, so I guess one person is not too bad a record.
These have simple to use Smart Lock connectors. These greenhouses can be assembled easily by 2 people in 1 – 2 days. Step by step instructions are included with all greenhouses. You can accessorize your greenhouse with items such as plant hangers, shade cloths, an anchor kit, shelf kits, automatic openers for roof vents, benches, or a trellising kit. Most of the Palram Greenhouses can be made longer with the addition of extension kits.
Although the clear view clarity of the single polycarbonate panels is a nice feature, they will not supply you with as much insulation as other greenhouses. Although you can heat them in the winter. Depending on where you live and what temperatures you are want to achieve, you may find that this is cost prohibitive. Of course there are solar methods you can use to retain some heat during the night hours. Also, some people will use bubble wrap to insulate the greenhouse more. If you are looking for a 4 season greenhouse I would consider the Glory with 10mm twinwall panels.
Snap and Grow Greenhouses
These are available with a silver aluminum frame. All of the polycarbonate is the crystal clear single layer polycarbonate. They have double wide doors, adjustable manual roof vents and rain gutters. The door handle is lockable. Widths are 6′ or 8′. Lengths vary from 8′ to 16′ in the 6′ wide model. There is also a 20′ length available in the 8′ wide greenhouse.
Mythos Hobby Greenhouse
The Mythos Greenhouse is covered with 4mm twinwall polycarbonate sheets. It has an adjustable roof vent and rain gutters. The door handle is lockable with a magnetic door catch. It is available in 6′ and 8′ widths. The 6′ ranges in length from 4′ to 14′. The 8′ wide model is available in a 12′ length.
This is a beauty. This hexagonal shaped greenhouse has a gray frame. The roof has twin wall panels and the sides have the crystal clear single layer polycarbonate. The frame is a powder coated aluminum frame. There is a wide double hinged door and the door handle is lockable. An integrated gutter system is present. One side louver for added ventilation and air flow also comes with this greenhouse.
Bella Hobby Greenhouse
This uniquely bell shaped greenhouse is covered with 6mm clear twinwall panels. The shape of the frame is designed for increased wind resistance and reduced snow build up. Taller plants will be comfortable with the 7′ peak height. The roof vents are manually adjustable. This greenhouse has a galvanized steel base. Door handles are lockable. Sizes range for 8′ x 8′ to 8′ x 20′.
Chalet Hobby Greenhouse
This European Style Greenhouse has a gray powder coated aluminum frame. The roof is glazed with twinwall polycarbonate panels. The sides have the crystal clear single polycarbonate. There are 2 adjustable manual roof vents. The wide double door has a threshold ramp for easy access. This is a great structure for growing or to be used as a garden room.
Glory Premium Class Hobby Greenhouse
This greenhouse is built for year round growing. It has an almost 9′ peak with 6′ sidewalls. The frame is a gray powder coated aluminum. All of the glazing is 10mm clear twinwall polycarbonate for added insulation. There is one side louver window and manually adjustable roof vents. This greenhouse comes in a 6′ x 8′ size and 8′ wide from 8′ to 20′ long. This greenhouse has a 10 year warranty. It comes with an anchoring system and a galvanized steel base. The door is over 31″ wide and is lockable. The door threshold allows easy access for wheel barrows. There is an integral gutter system.
Hybrid Lean To
The Hybid Lean To has 4mm clear twinwall roof panels and single layer crystal clear polycarbonate for the sidewalls. The frame is a rust resistant silver aluminum frame and it comes with a wall mounting kit. One manually adjustable roof vent and integral gutters are also included. The size is 4′ x 8′.
The Hybrid freestanding greenhouse also has the 4mm clear twinwall roof panels and single layer crystal clear polycarbonate for the sidewalls. It is available in a 6′ x 8′ size. One manually adjustable roof vent and a door with a magnetic door catch are included.
This greenhouse has the gambrel style roof same as the Enthusiast of old. The roof has clear twinwall panels and the side walls are the crystal clear single layer polycarbonate. Size is 12′ x 12′.There is a double swinging door and 2 manually adjustable roof vents. The frame is the silver rust resistant aluminum.
With so many styles and sizes to choose from there is no reason not to have your name on the list of happy, satisfied Palram Greenhouse owners.
Product Review – America’s Best Polycarbonate, Best Buy Lean to Greenhouses
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Today we are going to do a product review of one of the greenhouse kits that we offer. The America’s Best Polycarbonate Greenhouse and the Best Buy Lean to Greenhouse are basically the same structure, just one is freestanding and the other attaches to your home or a building. These both offer what we feel is the best “bang for your buck” in a greenhouse Made in the USA. They offer quality materials and excellent pricing.
The frames are made of 6063-T3 aluminum with a powder coated finish. This high grade aluminum gives the frame strength and durability. The standard colors are white, brown or green, but fear not, we can custom match the color of your home, your favorite sports team, just your favorite color. The stated wind and snow loading are 70 MPH winds and 23 pounds per square foot snow load. All framing is assembled using stainless steel T bolt and stainless steel lock nuts. This frame also has a 10 year warranty against damage due to faulty materials.
The greenhouse is glazed with 6mm clear twinwall polycarbonate. The polycarbonate sheets have a 10 year warranty that they will not vary more than 6% in light transmission in 10 years. This is a fancy way of saying that this material will not yellow, get brittle or break. Actually, I have personally seen this same material in use past 15 years. I have heard reports back from people in the industry who have seen this material in good usable condition up to a period of 20 years. There is also a 10 year warranty against hail damage. Some people do not like the twinwall polycarbonate because of the view through it. The twinwall is like looking down the end of a cardboard box. It will have a clear sheet on the inside, a clear sheet on the outside, and a rib that runs through the center of the 2 sheets. In a cardboard box the rib is wavy. In a polycarbonate sheet the ribs runs straight between the 2 outer sheets. This is what will distort your view. You will see color, but not form like looking through a glass window. But fear not, there is an upgrade available to both of these greenhouses. We call these options the See Through Polycarbonate Greenhouse and the See Through Lean To Polycarbonate Greenhouse. These both come with the twinwall in the roof, for protection against hail and/or falling objects. The sidewalls have a clear view polycarbonate sheet that is exactly like looking out through a window. The best of both worlds.
America’s Best Polycarbonate
Best Buy Lean To Greenhouse
See Thru Polycarbonate Greenhouse
See Thru Lean To Greenhouse
Another great feature is that the ventilation package is included in the pricing of this greenhouse. It includes the thermostat, exhaust fan and intake shutter(s) in the freestanding models. The lean to greenhouses do not have the intake shutters. Your combination storm door will supply added ventilation and supply the air intake for the lean to models. This “free” feature definitely adds to the value of the greenhouse. These systems cost in excess of $500 typically. Also included in the upgraded model is a circulating fan. This is an often overlooked, much needed, option. These will aid in the health of your plants by keeping the air in your greenhouse moving and reducing the humidity in the plant canopy. They help to maintain an even temperature in the winter when the greenhouse is heated, helping to avoid hot or cool spots in corners. We offer the homeowner the choice of the optional roof vents. I personally prefer to have these, as I feel you get a lot of use out of them in the spring and fall seasons. They typically stay closed in winter and open in the summer, so the added benefit there would be natural ventilation in the summer months. The reason I like them in the “between” seasons is that you run the possibility of a cold night and a hot sunny day. You would want your vents open during the day and closed at night under these circumstances. That is why I always use automatic roof vent openers with my greenhouses.
The integral base is built into the greenhouse, so no need to build an additional base for the greenhouse. We do however recommend setting the greenhouse on a foundation of 4″ x 6″ timbers set down into the ground. We tie the timbers to the ground using rebar stakes. This will help keep your greenhouse secure in higher winds. Do you prefer to build a knee wall to place your greenhouse on? This is not a problem. We also offer an optional door drop to accommodate this. We just need to know the height of your kneewall in inches and we will adjust the frame while building it so that the door will fit to the ground.
This greenhouse is shipped by Common Carrier (truck line). It will come in 3 – 4 boxes depending on accessories and size of the greenhouse. Two people should be present to unload this greenhouse. These typically take about 4 weeks from the time they are ordered until the time you receive them. Your greenhouse is built specifically for you. There is no need to accept a “boxed” greenhouse with no options.
In closing, with all of the quality features, excellent pricing and the fact that this greenhouse is Made in the USA, we give it 2 (green) thumbs up.
I get this question a lot. What is the difference between a glass greenhouse and a polycarbonate greenhouse. I am going to assume that the frames are basically the same, so the biggest difference will be in the glazing material.
Glass greenhouses will be more expensive than a polycarbonate greenhouse. Especially with a curved eave. The glass is all tempered (safety) glass, even the curve. The curved tempered glass is more expensive than doing a curved polycarbonate. The twinwall polycarbonate is flexible enough that it is bent right onsite as you are installing the kit. There are no special tools or processes needed to do this. You just simply bend it over into the curved frame and attach it.
Looks are another obvious difference. The glass greenhouse will have more of a timeless look to it. I suppose if you want to use the word “fancier” that could even be applied. Just in looks, not in function. A lot of people don’t like the polycarbonate glazed greenhouse as it will be translucent rather than transparent. It will not be like looking through a window like the glass greenhouse will. Twinwall polycarbonate is made up of 2 sheets, an interior and an exterior. These sheets are both clear and would look much like looking through a window if you peeled the walls apart. Multiwall polycarbonate is much like looking down the end of a cardboard box. You will have the exterior and the interior sheet with a rib in between them. The rib will run straight between the 2 sheets, not curvy like in a cardboard box. This rib is what distorts your view. You can see color in a polycarbonate greenhouse, just not a clear form.
The glass greenhouse will not be as well insulated as the polycarbonate greenhouse. A single glass greenhouse will have an R value of approximately 0.95. A 6mm twinwall polycarbonate greenhouse will have an R value of around 1.6. This means that if you have the same size single glass greenhouse and polycarbonate greenhouse in the same location, trying to heat it to the same temperature, the glass greenhouse will cost you more to heat. It seems from the difference in the R value that it would be about twice as much. That is not the case. There is a formula that uses the size of the greenhouse, the difference in the temperature inside and outside the greenhouse, and the glazing material. If this is a consideration in your instance, the best way to determine how many BTU’s you will need is to actually do the calculations.
Breakage is another issue. Tempered glass will break if it is hit in the right manner. There is just no way around it. But, it is tougher than regular float glass, and it will shatter into small pieces, so safety is not a concern. Polycarbonate has a 10 year warranty against hail damage. It is a very tough material. It will not break like the glass.
Lifetime of the glazing material is the last issue I will discuss. Glass will pretty much last forever unless it is broken. Polycarbonate generally has a warranty that the light transmission will not vary more than a specified number in 10 years. This is just a fancy way of saying that it will not turn yellow or get brittle. Some of the manufacturers have extended their warranties to 15 and even 20 years. I have personally seen sheets that were 15 years old and still in use. They looked just fine. I have had reports back of 20 year lifetime on the material.
Glass greenhouses vs polycarbonate greenhouses? What is the conclusion. They both have their benefits, it just depends on which fits best into your needs. The best decision is to make sure to get a greenhouse, no matter what type. It will give you hours of enjoyment, produce food for your family, protect your orchids, and be the envy of your friends and neighbors.
I received an email yesterday with this in the subject line. STILL a very happy customer!!! Lynne and Mike were kind enough to share a few words about their tempered glass shed style attached greenhouse. They purchase their Acadian Lean To in 2007. It is always nice to hear that people are happy with their purchases. Following is the email.
Just wanted to reach out and express our complete satisfaction with your product. It has been ten years now and we enjoy the greenhouse as much now as when it was new. Many enjoyable snow storms and rainy afternoons. It has endured the severity of the east coast temperature extremes and provides sanctuary to our plants without fail. Can’t thank you enough for all of your customer service during the purchase and shipping process. I wish all establishments had your dedication to customer satisfaction. Thank you so much,
You have dreamed for years about owning a greenhouse. Now the time has come. What size do you get? Most people have problems making this decision. I think the best way to start is to think about how you are going to use the greenhouse. If you have plants that you are going to overwinter, I suggest laying them out in your yard in a configuration similar to what you will do in your greenhouse. Then you just measure outside the plants and voila, you have the answer to this question. If you are growing in raised beds, decide what size beds you will have and draw them out on a piece of paper allowing for adequate walkways. The same would apply if you are using systems such as hydroponic systems. Find out their size and draw them in a configuration you like on a piece of paper. When considering raised beds and/or greenhouse staging, you need to be sure that they are not so wide that you are unable to maintain the outside plants properly. I suggest not using any wider than a 3′ bench for benching that will be against a wall. If you are using a bench in the center aisle, it is OK to use a 4′ wide bench. Keep in mind that most of us will be comfortable with a 3′ wide walkway, so be sure to draw them in as well. I do not recommend even trying to put a center bench in a 12′ greenhouse. Lots of people try and I don’t think they are too happy with the outcome. If I would do this, I would only use 2′ wide benches to ensure adequate walkways. I would get at least a 16′ width for a center bench. The best thing to remember is that we are all collectors. You know, that perfect color plant, an unusual vegetable, etc. Don’t buy a greenhouse you will be crammed into with your current plants. Always allow a little room for expansion. If you need any help with this decision, feel free to contact us at Advance Greenhouses.
The same thing happens every year about this time. We are all still enjoying the warm weather of summer, getting the kids ready for school, and we forget about our beloved plants. I can’t tell you how many times in the past that Tom and I were installing greenhouses in the cold of the winter because they didn’t get ordered in time. Typically a greenhouse that is manufactured for you will take from 4 – 6 weeks for delivery. In the fall these lead times become extended, causing delays from the expected delivery times. This not only applies to greenhouses, it applies to polycarbonate sheets as well. They are typically delivered in 1 – 2 weeks, but in the fall they will take a week or sometimes longer past these times. So, even though it is really hard to think about it right now, if you are considering purchasing or building a greenhouse this fall, now is the time to start your decision process and get an order placed. Trust me, this I know from years of experience.
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