How We Built Our Green House For Less Than $150

Here is the material list for this green house. It is 12’(w)x20’(l)x10’(h)

5 ea. 2’x8’ boards for the side bottoms

3 ea. 2’x8  boards for the front and back

24 ea. 3/4”x10’ PVC pipe

2 ea. 3/4” PVC T join

9 ea. 3/4” PVC 4 way T join

1 small box 2” deck screws for screwing the pipe to the wood frame (can use nails if you prefer in place of the screws)

6mm plastic 20×20 (you may have to buy a whole box of 100’x20’ approximately $150-$300 depending on the store)

*prices are Hawaii prices.


Despite living in Hawaii 80% of our food is imported. Most of the produce is picked green to prevent spoilage.

For this reason we do our best to buy local to support the local farmers, and decided to build a green house.

The Middle school our girls had attended had a green house (same as the one in the picture). We asked the science teacher if we could look at the design. We took pictures for reference.

Next it was time to acquire the materials to build.

We got the wood for the bottom and tables from a construction company that had finished a project where my husband worked. He asked what they were going to do with the concrete forms when they were done. The foreman said that they were going to hire someone to haul it away. My husband asked if he could take the wood and he’d haul the wood away. It was a win win for both parties. We got the wood and they got someone to take it away for free.

My husband was able to get the PVC pipes the same way. They weren’t new but they were still usable. We had some left over joins from putting in the plumbing in our house (yes, we built our own house), which meant that we didn’t need to spend a lot to buy all that we needed.

Screwing the PVC pipes the the wood frame was a learning experience. At first we only used 2 per pipe end. Well, the next morning we discovered that some of them had popped loose. We went back and used more screws to secure the pipes. We were so thankful that it didn’t happen when the plastic cover was on, that would have be a disaster.

While we waited to save money to buy the plastic to cover for the green house my husband built the hydroponic beds and tables for the green house.



We talked to friends at church and they asked how our garden was going (I had started growing some plants in 5 gl. Buckets). We told them about the green house and that we only needed the plastic to cover it. One of them said they had finished building their green house and had left over plastic and we were welcome to it. Yes! Blessings! That was a $100+ savings!

With the money we saved we brought the rest of the items to get started. Seeds, styrofoam to float the hydroponic pots, the pots and fertilizer.

Once our friends learned about the green house (I posted our progress or setbacks on our Facebook page) they gave us plants from their gardens.

The first year (we started in January 2016) was a learning experience and I kept a journal to write down what worked and what didn’t. It continues to be a learning experience, but the ability to be able to walk out to the green house and pick fresh veggies is priceless!

Until the next eps. of “As the Soil turns,” go play in the dirt.

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