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Glass V Polycarbonate Greenhouse

Hi just would like peoples opinions on what greenhouse to buy. My husband and I have just recently taken on an allotment and are looking to buy a greenhouse but long gone are the days when you could only buy glass ones! there's so much choice and like everything you go to buy these days it becomes a minefield. The only advise we've been given so far is on choosing the right size so I've opted for a 12' x 8'. what's your thoughts / opinions/ advise on polycarbonate over glass?



  • I’m afraid glass greenhouses are in danger of becoming extinct in favour polycarbonate…..the later being safer, more durable and cheaper.

    Polycarbonate glazing is recommended if you have children or animals running around your garden as any impact will merely result in the child or dog/cat bouncing of the polycarbonate panel or at the worst popping a panel out which can be put back in place simply and quickly. A collision of this type with a glass greenhouse or coldframe would result in serious injuries.

    Your 12 x 8 greenhouse is a sensible size and should prove to be very useful.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Glass is not recommended on an allotment, you will always get the vandals throwing stones, they tend to bounce of poly where as a broken roof window when you are not there can wreck all the plants in the greenhouse. The size is a matter of what you do with it my 8x6 wall greenhouse gives me all the space I need with the help of frames to harden off.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,633

    I have polycarbonate because my horses in the paddock next door gallop about kicking up stones. I've found it to be more insulating than glass.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Although I dearly love my wood and glass greenhouse, the glass in clearer and lets in more light than a polycarbonate one, and the wood is warmer than metal, I would not have one on an allotment.  Sadly there are too many twerps who would break the glass just for 'fun', and that leaves the possibility of injury to an innocent passer-by.   The point about larger animals is a good one, though would not apply to all.  Keep the glass greenhouse for the garden, if it is reasonably secure from trespass, and the polycarbonate for areas that may be public - sad, but true. 

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I have safety glass in mine. But I agree with the above, allotment= polycarbonate.

  • artjak wrote (see)

    I have safety glass in mine. But I agree with the above, allotment= polycarbonate.


    artjak, that must have cost an absolute fortune.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    My neighbour has a polycarbonate greenhouse. Every winter without fail, half of it lands in my garden due to severe winds. How do you tie them down and stop them flexing in the wind?


    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Mine is safety glass and it wasnt extortionate.  I chose it over polycarbonate because I had read a lot about those going green and not staying clear.  I needed the safety glass rather than horticultural because of the grandchildren.  That said mine is in the garden not on an allotment.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Mine is safety glass too.  Just has to be with kids.  It came as standard with Swallow greenhouse.  Agree tho, at an allotment it needs to be polycarbonate.

  • Personally I think given that the weather in this country is rather unpredictable I'd certainly lean towards having a greenhouse with toughened safety glass. Poly is very light weight and in high winds it can flex, which eventually leads to it becoming displaced and a lot of the time the glazing clips shoot off and then ultimately so does the polycarbonate panel !

    Toughened glass of course is way heavier and generally doesn't get displaced by wind. I own both types, but I keep my 8x6 poly greenhouse in a sheltered corner of the garden out of the wind so it's fine. Also my poly greenhouse doesn't have regular glazing clips but instead has full length glazing capping which is far better.

    There's loads of articles on this subject on Google in any case. Have a butchers:

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