Glazing is the material that covers the greenhouse frame. The most widely
used options are glass, plexiglass, polycarbonate and poly film.
Glazing choice usually dictates the appearance, as well as the price, of a
greenhouse. As you consider glazing options, keep in mind suitability for your
site, the required installation skill level and your budget.
Glass and plexiglass
Glass and plexiglass are long-lived, strong greenhouse glazing options. Because
of these materials’ rigidity, installation of either requires that you be
skilled and precise. Glass is heavy and brittle. Plexiglass is easier to work
with, but scratches and is used by only a few manufacturers.
Neither of these transparent materials diffuse light well, which is less than
optimal for your growing plants. Both glass and
plexiglass will be expensive to repair if you live in an area with periodic
hailstorms. Prices for these materials are moderate to high.
Polycarbonate is a rigid, translucent plastic available in single layer and
honeycomb styles, similar to corrugated cardboard.
This material can be cut with a saw and is easier to install than glass or
plexiglass. Longevity varies, but polycarbonate is usually warranted for 10
years. Single layer “polycarb” costs are in the mid ranges, while the more
energy efficient honeycomb tends to be pricey.
Poly film is a thick, flexible material that is easy to install with homeowner
tools and modest building skills. Its translucency diffuses light well, bouncing
the available sunlight and reducing shadows, both of which aid plant growth.
Depending on your individual gardening conditions, poly film lasts 6 - 8 years
for most growers. (Longer for many, we’ve discovered.) It is easily replaced as
needed and is the least expensive glazing choice.
This pliable material is an excellent match for the rounded shape of a Hoop
Greenhouse poly film with ultraviolet (UV) protection is our preferred glazing
material for ease of installation, versatility and low cost. Custom sized, 6-mil
film, with a 4 year guarantee is included in your greenhouse kit, along with
complete assembly instructions.