Greenhouse FAQs

Many of our customers are confused as to the merits of timber, plastic and aluminium framed greenhouses, in this article we answer the most frequently asked questions and the main differences between the three materials.

We know that buying a greenhouse isn't just a spur of the moment purchase and that you'll want a model and size to perfectly match your outdoor space. As we've been around since 1952 and have been selling greenhouse online since 1999, you can bet we've been asked almost every question to do with a greenhouse, and we've collated the most common questions below.


Are Timber Greenhouses Better Than Aluminium?

Neither type is 'better' than the other, they both have plus points and disadvantages.

What Are The Advantages Of A Wooden Greenhouse?

Many people prefer timber as it's a natural material and whose good looks seem to blend easily into the garden landscape. The major horticultural advantage is that wood retains heat, the interior temperature is more stable and, if you choose to heat the greenhouse, fuel costs will be less.

Many Disadvantages?

Wooden greenhouses tend to be more expensive. It is often said that they require more maintenance although the timber used in the greenhouses we sell is either finest quality cedar guaranteed for ten years or pressure treated wood, both are extremely durable. You may also have heard that they are heavy and difficult to erect but an installation service is offered as standard for Swallow and as an option for Gabriel Ash greenhouses.

Why Should I Choose An Aluminium Greenhouse?

They tend to be cheaper to buy. Low maintenance and rust resistance is guaranteed by modern manufacturing techniques, there is no need for paint or preservatives of any kind. Lightweight, aluminium greenhouses are easy to assemble or you can choose to take advantage of an installation service. It is also commonly thought that aluminium greenhouses let in more light.

What's There Not To Like?

Heat loss is noticeable when compared to their wooden counterparts so fuel costs will be higher if heated over the winter and, although green blends in well with the garden, many gardeners just prefer traditional timber.

Can I Choose Different Colours?

Normally aluminium greenhouses are either silver or green although certain manufacturers offer black, brown, white and terracotta. Our wooden greenhouses are either built using tanalised timber that has a natural green tinted appearance or cedar wood that ages to a lovely silver grey.

Do Both Wooden & Aluminium Greenhouses Need A Base?

Yes, you cannot locate either directly onto soil or turf. Some greenhouses have an integral base, others offer them as an extra. You can, if you prefer, build one yourself using timber, slabs, concrete or bricks.

Is There A Large Choice?

Swallow offers 38 different sizes and styles of freestanding and lean-to models, while Growhouse also has an impressive selection. Timber glasshouses and pavilions are also manufactured by Forest and Zest4Leisure. Eden, Vitavia, Halls, Juliana, Elite make quality aluminium greenhouses that suit all budgets, see the complete range here.


A greenhouse surrounded by plants and flowers.