Choosing your site

When choosing a site for your greenhouse the following points need to be carefully considered.

Underground services

The most important thing to be aware of when choosing a site for your greenhouse, shadehouse or netframe is the location of any underground services such as power, telephone or data cables and water, sewerage or pipes. If there are any doubts whatsoever, it is the customer’s responsibility to have them identified and located prior to the commencement of any work. Joe’s Greenhouses accepts no liability for damage to such services.


Our greenhouses are built to withstand N1 and N2 category (subcyclonic) winds but to avoid excessive wear and tear it is a good idea to choose a relatively sheltered site. However, if an exposed site is your only option, then please don’t let this deter you as we offer the option of concreting in the legs should this be necessary. This is usually only required when building on very light, sandy or shallow soils (ie. close to bedrock). Keep in mind that this is done according to engineering specifications to anchor the entire structure; it is virtually impossible for the plastic film covering to be blown off the frame. In fact, this is guaranteed not to happen! Please see the warranty page for more detail.

Naturally enough, the shadehouses and netframes are generally immune to this issue!


A greenhouse that receives direct, all day sun will quickly achieve a very high temperature (50ºC+ is not uncommon) and remain hot well into the afternoon. This can be very stressful for the plants inside, especially as the soil begins to dry out. It is therefore advisable to choose a partly shaded position to avoid the rapid heat buildup and allow the plants to adjust to the warming of the day. Be aware though, if you are growing directly in the ground, that larger trees and shrubs close to your greenhouse will be competing for both water and nutrients.


Our garden structures can be built to accommodate gently undulating ground and some degree of slope, in either or both the lateral or longitudinal direction. In order to retain the symmetrical arched shape however, it is advisable to choose a site that is relatively flat and/or even. If small gaps below the skirt are unavoidable they can be blocked with soil, rocks, bricks etc. and larger gaps can be enclosed with extra skirt boards.

If the site has too much slope, we can build the skirt to level and then fit extra skirting boards to act as a retaining wall. The internal floor can then be infilled with rubble and/or soil as required. A maximum of two extra boards is allowable without the need for reinforcing, up to a maximum of four extra boards which will require external buttressing, depending on the depth of infill required. Please see the pricing page for more detail.

Subject To Council Approval…?

Most municipal councils indicate that permanent structures over a certain size (usually 3m x 3m) and which shed rainwater (eg. a greenhouse) require applications for both a proposed development and plumbing and drainage approval. In rural areas, this is unlikely to be much of an issue but in urban areas this may well be the case. It is the responsibility of the landowner to make enquiries in this regard and apply for the necessary approval(s) before any work commences.

If such approvals are sought, we can assist with the provision of a full set of engineering certified drawings. These drawings however, remain the property of Joe’s Greenhouses at all times and are under strict copyright control in that they may not be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. The fee we charge for this service is available upon application as it varies considerably according to the size of the greenhouse and the municipality in which it is to be built.