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Should you Install a Greenhouse on your Property?

Apr 16, 2020 by Liz Brumer

With more and more homeowners wanting to grow their own vegetables and tend their own gardens, it may lead you to wonder whether installing a greenhouse on your property would hurt or help your property value. Before you build, here's what you need to know about having a greenhouse at your home.

What is a greenhouse?

A greenhouse is an enclosed glass structure primarily used for gardening that can either be free-standing or attached to a home. Greenhouses extend the growing season and allow gardeners to grow plants that would otherwise not grow well in their climate as well as increase the production of any outdoor gardens.

But there are secondary uses as well, especially if the greenhouse is attached to your home. It can expand your functional living space, with many homeowners choosing to use it as a living or dining room. It can also passively heat your home during the day during the winter and can create a more humid environment that can be beneficial in arid climates or for those who suffer from respiratory issues.

Potential downsides to having a greenhouse on your property

One potential negative to having a greenhouse on your property is the upkeep required to keep the structure from falling into disrepair. Just like with a pool or roof in need of maintenance, some buyers may not be interested in fixing this big-ticket item themselves or may offer a significant amount below your asking price to compensate for the added expense.

Greenhouses can also require a lot of energy to keep warm in the winter, which is an added cost some homebuyers may not find worthwhile. Additionally, in contrast to the welcomed warmth in the winter months, if a greenhouse is not well built with proper ventilation, it can also provide unwanted heat in your home during the summer months.

Does having a greenhouse on your property add value?

A number of studies have determined that well-designed landscaping can increase the value of a home. One study in particular conducted by Virginia Cooperative Extension stated that home values were found to increase between 6% and 11% with a sophisticated landscape design. However, little data has been gathered to identify whether a greenhouse specifically adds value to a home. For this reason, it's unclear whether a greenhouse would add monetary value to your home when it comes time to sell, but it can still add value to your home while you live there.

Adding a well-designed greenhouse to your property could possibly increase the value of your home, but it could also narrow the interested pool of buyers, as some may not want the added maintenance and expense. Some buyers, however, may see value in having a well-built, well-maintained greenhouse, and this could be seen as a unique selling feature, especially if the potential buyer also enjoys gardening or sees the attached greenhouse as a bright and cheery sunroom.

Deciding whether to install a greenhouse

There's no guarantee that a greenhouse will add value to your home when it comes time to sell, but if it enhances your enjoyment or use of the home while you live there, it may be a worthwhile investment.

Before building, carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages that come with having a greenhouse on your property. If you decide to move forward, consult an architect, landscape architect, or contractor to help you design and build a functional, attractive greenhouse for you and any future property owners.

You can build your own greenhouse to save on cost; just make sure it is well thought out and well-built and that all of the proper permits were pulled for the construction, if needed for your county or structure. This way you can reduce the chance of the greenhouse being viewed as a burden rather than a selling feature to later buyers.

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