affordable lean-to greenhouse kit against wall

Photo source: Juliana.com

What is a lean to greenhouse?

A lean to greenhouse is a greenhouse that you build against a wall or the side of another structure. This means it has 3 walls of its own and shares one wall with another building. This other building will most likely be your home, but can also be a shed in your backyard or another structure.

This type of greenhouse consists of the same materials as a regular greenhouse. When you look into the perfect model for you, you will mostly likely choose between a polycarbonate lean to greenhouse kit and a glass lean to greenhouse. The advantages and disadvantages of both materials are explained at length in our greenhouse beginners guide. All options for regular greenhouses are also available for attached greenhouses, for example greenhouse heating and greenhouse insulation. Looking for a small addition to your yard? Going for a large greenhouse that can double as a sun room? You’ll find your perfect fit!

Advantages of a lean to greenhouse

When you have a smaller backyard but enough space around your house, you can build your greenhouse directly against your outside wall. It’s the perfect solution when you don’t want to sacrifice too much yard or when your backyard has been claimed by your kids and/or spouse. You can also use your lean to greenhouse as a sun room without having to gear up in winter clothes to reach the greenhouse in your yard!

The biggest advantages of choosing a lean to greenhouse are the following:

  • It’s the perfect greenhouse for urban gardening
  • Because you are only investing in a 3 sided greenhouse, you can get more value for your money than when you choose a 4 sided greenhouse that goes in the middle of your yard. Because you’ll build it against your steady outside wall, the other 3 sides can be a little lighter
  • Easy access to electricity and water in your greenhouse
  • You need less room to build a lean to greenhouse kit and you will have a lot of options in smaller models
  • They are perfect for growing herbs and smaller vegetables
  • They are very weatherproof as they are protected by your house and are less exposed to the elements

In general, most people will choose a lean to greenhouse to save space and possibly money, but of course there are also a lot of larger and more expensive models. When you have the budget and the room, you can connect your greenhouse through a direct door and it can double as a sitting area to enjoy the sun all year long.
Make sure you check the carrying capacity of the wall you’re using to build your greenhouse. Consult with an architect or contractor if you want to install a large lean to greenhouse. In some countries you will even need a building permit, so get informed before you start your expansion!

The most important disadvantage is that there’s only light and sun coming in on 3 sides. A traditional greenhouse will gather light from all sides, but given the right positioning this is perfectly fixable.

Where should you position your lean to greenhouse?

Where you should position the greenhouse depends on a variety of factors:

  • How much room do you have on either sides of your house?
  • How big do you want your greenhouse to be?
  • The orientation of your house. Classically, the most commonly used orientation is Southern. When you don’t have enough space on the south side of your house, don’t worry about it. Just try to make sure your greenhouse gets as much sun as possible during winter. Also know that when your greenhouse is oriented to the South, you will need more cooling during hot summer days. Be prepared to look into ventilation possibilities!
  • On which sides of your house do you have electricity and water that could be easily transferred to your greenhouse?

You can go as big as you want or as small as you want. You can connect the greenhouse to the house with a door or just use the wall to lean on and have a separate door on the outside. When you choose a lean to greenhouse model, most other factors you need to decide on will stay the same as in any other greenhouse, such as the choice of material, the size and the accessories. Take a look at our greenhouse beginners guide to help you decide on what kind of greenhouse suits you best.

Is a lean to greenhouse your way to go? We’ll get you started with some interesting models underneath.

Best lean to greenhouse kits under 1000 dollars

Our recommendation:
Strong Camel Walk-in Greenhouse

This greenhouse is a walk-in-size lean to option for gardeners on a budget. With some extra reinforcement on the sides, the PE cover protects your plants from the wind and rain and keeps the heat from the sun inside. The greenhouse comes with a roll-up zipper door that promotes air circulation and also includes 3 tiers and 6 shelves.

👍 Advantages

  • Walk-in size
  • Water resistant cover
  • UV protected PE to trap heat
  • Roll-up zippered door
  • Easy installation (30 min)
  • 3 tiers and 6 shelves included

👎 Disadvantages

  • Not windproof, good idea to put bricks on the plastic
  • Not very much ventilation
Strong Camel Walk-in Greenhouse Large Outdoor Portable Green House 3 Tiers 6 Shelves Gardening,...
  • Suitable Size:The new Walk-in greenhouse size: 10ft x 5ft x 7ft. 6 shelves height 15.7'', width 11''; net size 1.77''x1.77''.
  • Excellent Quanlity:The cover is water resistant, UV protected thick polyethylene (PE) which is non toxic and odorless, designed to trap in heat with maximum solar performance to keep the inside of the greenhouse warm to extend plant growing seasons. And helps protect seedlings from pests for an ideal growing environment.
  • Useful Design: Our greenhose has 3 tiers, and 6 shelves. Roll-up zippered door for easy access, ventilation and observation. Strong and durable steel frame.
Our recommendation:
Palram – Canopia Hybrid Lean-to Greenhouse

The Palram Canopia Hybrid Lean-to Greenhouse is a polycarbonate design with many features such as an adjustable roof vent, rain gutters and a steel based frame. The greenhouse also comes with a lockable hinged door with magnetic latch. It is a lightweight greenhouse but sturdy once assembled, which can take up to a few hours. 

👍 Advantages

  • Polycarbonate
  • Rust resistant aluminum frame
  • Includes adjustable roof vent, rain gutters, lockable hinged door with magnetic catch, aluminum frame, polycarbonate panels and a galvanized steel base
  • Lightweight yet sturdy

👎 Disadvantages

  • A lot of work to assemble
  • The instructions are complicated (4-5 hours)
Palram - Canopia Hybrid Lean-to Greenhouse - 4' x 8' - Silver
  • Virtually unbreakable 4 mm twin-wall polycarbonate roof panels block up to 99.9% of UV rays and diffuse sun light eliminating the risk of plant burn and shade areas
  • Crystal clear polycarbonate side panels provide 90% light transmission
  • Rust resistant aluminum frame extends 7'-5" from floor to peak

Best lean to greenhouse over 1000 dollars

Our recommendation:
Rion HG7506 Canopia Sun Room, 8′ x 14′

The Rion Canopia sun room is a lean-to greenhouse which is made to protect your plants from the sun with its UV-protected roof panels. The hinged side door and roof vent also provide enough air circulation for your plants to grow and at the same time to maintain the temperature. The greenhouse can also handle a certain amount of snow.

👍 Advantages

  • UV-protected roof panels
  • Hinged side door and roof vent provide air circulation
  • Assembled material feels very sturdy
  • Choice to install the door on either end
  • Clear panes
  • Temperature maintains well

👎 Disadvantages

  • Pieces fit poorly together, cheap feel
  • Difficult to assemble and a lot of work
  • Snowproof until a certain level
Rion HG7614 Canopia Sun Room, 8' x 14', White
  • THOUGHTFUL ENGINEERING THAT OFFERS YEAR ROUND PROTECTION - High impact polycarbonate panels are naturally immune to 100% of harmful UV rays. Panels allow for 90% light transmission. Reinforced by laser cut and powder coated galvanized steel rods for maximum durability.
  • INTELLGENT DESIGN WITH VERSITILITY IN MIND - Hinged wide side door allow for easy access and the freedom to design your own unique space.
  • STEP-BY-STEP DIY INSTRUCTIONS DESIGNED FOR HOMEOWNER INSTALLATION - The included DIY assembly kit makes installation a breeze by utilizing a sliding panel assembly system.
Our recommendation:
Rion HG7514 Canopia Sun Room, 6′ x 14′

The Rion Canopia sun room is a lean-to greenhouse which is made to protect your plants from the sun with its UV-protected roof panels. The hinged side door and roof vent also provide enough air circulation for your plants to grow and at the same time to maintain the temperature. The greenhouse can also handle a certain amount of snow.

👍 Advantages

  • UV-protecting roof panels
  • Hinged side door and roof vent provide air circulation
  • Assembled material feels very sturdy
  • Choice to install the door on either end
  • Clear panes
  • Temperature maintains well

👎 Disadvantages

  • Good idea to run a thin layer of caulk under the base pieces
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Rion HG7514 Canopia Sun Room, 6' x 14', White
  • Quickly and easily cover your porch, deck or patio entrance
  • Roof panels are 100% UV protected, 4mm twin-wall polycarbonate to protect from direct sunlight
  • 3mm translucent acrylic wall panels are 100% UV protected and as clear as glass but safer