Lean-to greenhouses are non-freestanding structures, designed to lean against another building. They can lean against a garage, a shed or your house.
There are many advantages to building a lean-to greenhouse. Cost effectiveness is certainly a major bonus point, but even if money is not the prime concern, there are many other reasons to choose a lean-to greenhouse.
The cost effectiveness comes about in several ways. First, since it doesn’t have to stand up on its own, they are simpler designs using less material. Since they’re usually smaller than freestanding greenhouses, this also contributes to less material. (But, they don’t have to be small!)
There is also potential savings in utility extensions. Being right next to the home makes it far easier to bring a water line, and electricity and/or gas lines if needed.
There are some personal choice reasons you might want a lean-to greenhouse as well, even if the cost savings aren’t a driving factor.
A lean-to greenhouse can be built against your home and made to match the look of your house. This makes the greenhouse into an extension of the home, rather than a separate building. It’s then easy to use as an extended garden living space. Add some patio chairs and a table to part of the greenhouse space, and you now have a lovely outdoor relaxation space.
Building it against the house also reduces the amount of heating the greenhouse will need in winter months, as the home naturally radiates some of its heat outward.
You could even build it over an existing door to your house, providing an elegant entryway or functional shelter over that door. This would also help with the outdoor living space idea.
If you’re growing food in your greenhouse, you can build it near the kitchen, if the sunlight angle is correct. This way you have easy access to the fresh herbs and veggies, bringing them directly from the garden as fresh as possible, and as easy as possible.
A lean-to greenhouse is also an excellent choice, or even the only choice, for those who have small yards. A lean-to not only takes less space itself, but requires less space around the greenhouse. Where a normal greenhouse would need to have at least a little open space around all four sides, a lean-to can get away with just two or three sides having open space.
If you’re concerned about the difficulty of assembling a full size normal greenhouse, a lean-to can alleviate some of this anxiety. It’s much easier to put together a lean-to, since the other building already has most of the “work” done for holding up the greenhouse.
Lean-to greenhouses are also great as a sort of “starter kit” for getting into greenhouse gardening. The easy of construction, lower space requirements, and lower price make it ideal to get started, or to just see how much you’ll enjoy greenhouse gardening. If you end up not liking it, less time and money has been expended, and you might even be able to keep it just as an outdoor living space if the gardening doesn’t work out for you.