Polycarbonate VS. Wooden Greenhouses – 11 Polycarbonate Advantages

When it comes to growing efficiency and productivity, greenhouses make a worthwhile investment, both for beginners and professionals. But with an array of design styles and sizes to choose from, it’s crucial to become familiar with each of the commercial greenhouse styles, such as: wooden, glass and polycarbonate structures.

While these each possess their own unique characteristics, as well as varying pros and cons, in this article, we’re going to highlight the advantages of polycarbonate greenhouses, and what makes them the ideal choice over their wooden counterparts.

Polycarbonate Greenhouses vs Wooden Greenhouses

polycarbonate greenhouse advantagesWhen it comes to perks, both polycarbonate and wooden greenhouse have their own distinctive features. Wooden greenhouses are able to remain cooler during the wintertime, while polycarbonate greenhouses offer better insulation properties, keeping the plants warmer, especially during the colder months. In conclusion, both structures have insulating assets, but what sets a polycarbonate greenhouse apart is that they can be a lot cheaper than wooden greenhouses.

Moreover, greenhouses are designed to provide the ideal environment for growing plants and protecting your herbs against the harsh elements  of the outdoors – and polycarbonate playhouses are no exception. If your budget is limited, you can never go wrong with a polycarbonate greenhouse.

Furthermore, a high standard of heat retention, makes the chance of a polycarbonate greenhouse having a high average temperature very likely.

Considered to be the most durable of all the greenhouse plastic materials, polycarbonate also features a natural ultraviolet filter! This means your plants will have plenty of protection against radiation exposure.

Having no glass on the structure removes the chance of any shattering and potentially hazardous damage from hailstone or even footballs gone awry. As plastic is thicker than glass, it’s guaranteed that there will also be more efficient light diffusion than standard glass.

polycarbonate greenhouse advantages

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #1: Durability

Did you know that polycarbonate is stronger than glass and can resist greater impact and stress as a result? This is thanks to its rigid and flexible structure. A flexible plastic means the structure won’t crack easily under stress, making it robust and able to withstand unfavourable weather.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #2: Heat Retention

What makes polycarbonate the perfect material for greenhouses is its ability to retain heat.

It features a double-glazing effect that prevents heat from escaping. This makes the outbuilding highly resistant to extreme temperatures at both ends of the scale.

Most stores offer 3mm and 4mm polycarbonate thickness for greenhouse sides, and 10mm thick plastic for roof options.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #3: Lightweight

What we like about this type of greenhouse is that they’re lightweight, making them easy to work with. They also can be transported without the need for too much worry or strain on your part. What’s more, they’re generally quicker and easier to assemble than wooden or glass greenhouses.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #4: Weather Resistant

With a polycarbonate greenhouse, you don’t have to worry about the UK’s temperamental weather; whether this be heavy rain, snow, frost or heatwaves. Polycarbonate greenhouses are guaranteed to last for years while show little sign of weather-wear or discolouration.

In addition, polycarbonate materials boast low flammability quality, making them safe to use in garden areas where BBQ’s regularly take place. Heat resistance paired with weather-resistant makes this kind of greenhouse the ideal material for outdoor use.

This also provides your plants with a level of protection against the harsh weather conditions that other greenhouses types simple don’t offer.

polycarbonate greenhouse advantages

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #5: Low Maintenance

One of the best benefits you can reap by purchasing a polycarbonate greenhouse is that it’s low-maintenance, which means that they’re super easy to clean! All you need is a sponge or cloth and some warm soapy water. Make sure to avoid using solvents, though.

After giving the overall structure a good rinse, let it dry to prevent water spots. Otherwise, it can affect light transmission.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #6: Better Insulation

As we mentioned earlier, insulation properties are one of the most important aspects of polycarbonate greenhouses. Compared to its glass counterpart, plastic has better heat retention, and less heat is lost through polycarbonate material than glass. 

This is an important asset when it comes to keeping the plants warmer. Plus, a greenhouse with better insulation means that it’s much more cost-effective to run.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #7: Extended Growing Season

The benefits of polycarbonate materials have a significant impact on the overall performance of a greenhouse, which primarily leads to a prolonged growing season.

Not only will this allow you to get more out of your plants and vegetables all year round, but it also lets you harvest more fruits and veggies throughout all four seasons of the year.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #8: Customisable Frame

Generally speaking, a polycarbonate greenhouse is designed with a wooden and steel frame. Thanks to the wooden frame, you’re free to paint and treat the structure yourself, simplifying maintenance while having control over the chosen style.

Metal frames on the other hand, tend to come pre-treated with colour and are much harder to decorate yourself. 

polycarbonate greenhouse advantages

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #9: Great Range of Sizes and Shapes Available

An additional benefit to consider is that polycarbonate greenhouses come in a wide selection of shapes and sizes. What’s more, some retailers even provide modular designs, which can be extended or reduced depending on precisely what you’re after.

Given the high number of offers available today, finding a suitable plastic-covered greenhouse to meet your specific demands for quality and size isn’t that difficult. A modular design will enable you to fit such a structure anywhere in your garden, regardless of how big or small it is.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #10: Shatter-resistant

Unlike glass, plastic can withstand impacts from footballs, hailstones and even rocks, all without breaking or displaying other signs of damage. This is ideal if you have children that love playing outdoors.

With glass greenhouses, there’s always an element of risk, such as the potential for broken glass.

Polycarbonate Greenhouse Advantage #11: Light Diffusion and UV Protection

With plastic being thicker than glass, it guarantees to provide better light diffusion than standard glass. Better light diffusion means the light will spread much more evenly throughout the greenhouse.

You don’t want to miss this great advantage, especially when you’re into growing plants all year round. This can provide all the areas within the greenhouse with an equal amount of sunlight, which is key for photosynthesis.

Additionally, polycarbonate is a natural ultraviolet filter, meaning that it protects your plants from excessive exposure to harmful radiation.

polycarbonate greenhouse advantages


To sum up, polycarbonate is an excellent material for a greenhouse. With these fantastic advantages, we can’t find any reason why you shouldn’t give this type of greenhouse building a try!