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Three images, one glasshouse with green yard behind, one polycarbonate glasshouse with paddocks behind and one tunnel house with bush behind.

How do I choose? Glasshouses vs Polycarbonate vs Tunnel Houses

When you’ve made the exciting decision to buy a greenhouse for your backyard it can often be overwhelming figuring out what type suits you and your needs best.

Thats where we come in, we've brought together the best of NZ suppliers to one easy and safe website to help you make your choice easily.. 
We’ve also combined a list of comparisons we think will help you narrow down to the product perfect your own Urban Backyard.

Advantages -  

  • Complete light clarity to allow the full light spectrum through into your space
  • Toughened 4mm safety glass to absorb the backyard fun mishaps!
  • 25 year warranty for absolute peace of mind
  • Timeless and ascetically pleasing statement in your backyard be it for plants, crafts or another living space
  • Flame resistant so it’s okay to use backyard area where BBQs are nearby
  • Glass is a natural resource so its impact on the planet isn’t as heavy
Disadvantages –
  • Substantial heat loss at night time
  • Potential to burn plants during summer if placed in full sun, however this can be reduced with our External Shade Cover Kitset found in accessories
  • Cost is significantly more and building requires a bit more assistance
  • Non-toughened glass can be a hazard – all our glass houses are 4mm toughened glass!
  • More maintenance is required to keep your glass looking clean inside & out


Advantages –

  • Good thermal efficiency to keep your plants warm during the day & night
  • Tough and durable – we only stock 6mm thick polycarbonate which is a flexible plastic that doesn’t crack easily under stress
  • Light is slightly diffused which helps prevent plant burning
  • Light weight and easy to assemble
  • Good longevity with our quality products and assembly instructions
  • Flame resistant so it’s okay to use backyard area where BBQs are nearby
  • Minimal maintenance compared to glass as they only need cleaning once or twice a year
  • Good durability to withstand harsh environments including snow, rain & burning sun.
  • 5 year frame warranty & 3 year panel warranty
Disadvantages –
  • Doesn’t look as ascetically pleasing, you can’t see through the panels so its not the ‘classic greenhouse’ look
  • Can be prone to scratching from trees or plants inside & out
  • Flutes in the twin wall panels can attract water & bugs etc is not sealed correctly during construction – which can also stain!
  • Non-natural resource due to being made from a group or thermoplastic polymers which are chemically produced
  • Dust accumulation can be a problem if not installed correctly, particularly if you live in a windy / dusty area. This can build up over time and affect light transmission 
Tunnel Houses
Advantages –
  • Low cost option per square meter of garden & growing space
  • Diffused light which is perfect for plant growth while eliminating plant burn
  • Easy to assembled and delivered ready to simply put together onsite
  • Can handle knocks and bumps that often comes with families and backyard ball games!
  • Holds and maintains heat up to 10% more than glass & polycarbonate
  • Good protection from wind, snow & rain etc – add on our extreme weather kit for extra protection
  • 3 year warranty all parts product warranty 
Disadvantages –
  • Shorter lifespan when compared to glass & polycarbonate houses
  • Not as astatically pleasing but that depends on your environment, tunnel houses are right at home on lifestyle blocks
  • Lesser thermal insulation in extreme cold areas
  • More prone to rips & tears although these can often be easily repaired
  • Additional periodic costs associated with labour & plastic film replacements
This is a big decision, we get it. Our sales and support team are always on hand to help you decide what suits you and your backyard the best.
Either chat to us online now, send us an email or call us – we are only too happy to help!
Previous article Benefits Of Having a Greenhouse In Your Urban Backyard

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