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20 Residential Greenhouse Terms to Know

If you are considering purchasing a greenhouse for your home or garden, chances are you will come across some unfamiliar terminology while browsing for your greenhouse. Have no fear! We are here to help. Below are some common words you will come across while you shop.

1. Glazing/Covering

Glazing is the material that your greenhouse will be covered in. There are many different types of glass and polycarbonate glazing options, as well as acrylic and poly film covering. The terms “Glazing” and “Covering” are used interchangeably.

Polycarbonate Glazing Glass Glazing Polyfilm Glazing

2. Tempered

Tempered or toughened glass is a type of safety glass processed to increase its strength

3. Low E Glass

Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass has a thin coating that reflects heat and minimizes UV rays without minimizing the amount of light that enters.

4. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate panels are made from clear, rigid plastic that transmits light almost as well as glass. They come in a variety of thicknesses and colors, and can add insulative value at a reasonable price point.

5. Poly film

The least expensive greenhouse covering option, polyfilm is a plastic sheeting infused with additives to make safer to use in the sun. It can be doubled and used with an inflation blower between the layers to add insulation.

6. Shade cloth

A fabric or monofilament sheet that is used to create more shade and decrease temperatures inside greenhouses. They can be temporary or permanent.

Interior Shade Cloth Exterior Shade Cloth

7. Benching

Benching refers to growing tables/planting structures for use inside the greenhouse. They can be used as work surfaces, for plant display, or for organization.

Greenhouse Benching Cedar Potting Bench

8. Knee wall

A short wall, usually less than 4 feet high, that a greenhouse can be built on rather than sitting directly on the ground or foundation. Knee walls raise the overall height of the greenhouse.

Stone Knee Wall Wooden Knee Wall

9. R-value

The capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

10. Transom

A window set above the cross beam of a door or larger window. Transoms are often decorative but can be used to add extra support to a structure.

Greenhouse with Above Door Transoms

11. Ridge cresting

A decorative, usually metal, piece that is placed along the roof ridge of a greenhouse to add more visual detail. They can be very simple or very intricate.

Greenhouse Ridge Cresting Greenhouse Ridge Cresting

12. Freestanding

A structure that stands alone and not attached to any other structure

13. Lean-to

A lean-to is a structure that attaches to an existing structure on its long side

Aluminum Lean-to Kit Curved Lean-to Custom Lean-to

14. Gable attached

Gable-attached greenhouses attach to your home on the gable end and are designed to look like part of your architecture. These are also called “Abutted” greenhouses.

Gable Attached Greenhouses Gable Attached Greenhouses Gable Attached Greenhouses

15. HAF

HAF stands for horizontal air flow. It's a fan that moves air evenly throughout the greenhouse.

16. Fogger

Foggers create fog, or a fine mist, to gently hydrate your plants

17. Louvre windows

Are adjustable windows with horizontal slats that are angled to admit light and air, but to keep out rain and direct sunlight

Glass Louvre Windows Glass Louvre Windows

18. Seed propagation

Seed propagation is the method of multiplying, reproducing, or breeding new plants through the use of seeds.

19. Evaporative Cooling

A cooling method that uses a pad and fan system to pull warm air over water saturated pads, causing the water to evaporate, creating a cooler environment.

20. Pitch

The angle, or pitch, of a roof is calculated by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally.

45 Degree Pitch Interior 45 Degree Pitch Exterior