Introduction: Greenhouse With PVC Pipe for My Small Backyard

I always wanted a greenhouse for my backyard. Although I don't have a big space, I want a greenhouse for my plants and my pet called jj. FYI, I'm not from a country with 4 seasons, but only sunny and raining days. There are conditions I can't cut or hack the fence or the iron bars. Basically, I can't touch anything that comes with the house. And a ready-made greenhouse simply can't fix my need.

One afternoon, when I was busy thinking with a dolly track or 360-degree track that can easily move the plant to face the sun, it was really like a bulb suddenly light up - why not PVC pipe? Why not PVC pipes which can connect through the fence and the iron bar like a Lego? I no need it to be so sturdy because my backyard is at the back alley, where there is seldom strong wind here. So, why not? I know I might able to find lots of PVC pipe greenhouse from the internet, but I insist to build it myself. If I face the failure or error, I will learn from it, gain from it. If I follow other people design and install them step-by-step, I know I will get it fast, but that just follows, I learn nothing from it.

I drafted my drawing, of course, change during my proof of concept testing, and then at the final stage too. Then I source from the hardware shop, for the PVC pipes, the tee and elbow joints. I don't really need to measure the diameter of the PVC pipe, all I need to do is to select the pipe that looks OK and sturdy (I found there are three types of the thickness, I got the thicker one), then match with the elbow and the tee. At first, I was still doubtful, so I bought only a few of the pipes and the joints. Back home, measure how big I want and cut them into pieces with the saw for 30cm, 40cm, 80cm, >100cm, then I start my proof of concept. I have my base setup, record down the quantity of the pillars, the length of the pillars, the number of elbow and tee joints. Then disassemble it, cut more pieces and install for the first layer with the holder of the plants for only one side, then the second layer, and finally the roof. The result turns out that it is possible. So, I sum up all the measurements and going for a big time. That's really a fun process seeing things happening.

Just like others do, the simplest PVC pipe greenhouse with measurement and installation is as below. By the way, the below is just the basic setup, feel free to go for a more creative one. I have a slightly different design, as I use it for multi-purposes. And the measurement is well fixed with my backyard, so if it is not good for you, go ahead to measure according to your need. The other thing is you no need to be a skillful person to cut the PVC pipes like wood or iron. All you need is really measure, cut it with the small saw and connect it to the joint. The ugly cutting from your saw will be hidden inside the joints.

Here are the measurements for different sizes for the PVC pipes:

  • 222cm x1
  • 190cm x1
  • 133cm x1
  • 130cm x2
  • 110cm x4
  • 95cm x4
  • 80cm x4
  • 60cm x6
  • 30cm x4
  • 25cm x2
  • 11cm x4
  • 32mm x 90 degree Elbow joint x14
  • 32mm tee (T-shape joint) x10


  1. PVC pipes
  2. Saw
  3. Measurement tape
  4. Hammer
  5. Pen or marker
  6. Greenhouse film
  7. Glue for PVC pipes

Step 1: Let's Install Our Greenhouse

We are ready to install the greenhouse, let's start from the base.

To set up a base, we need the following PVC pipes:

  • 110cm X2
  • 95cm X2
  • 60cm X2
  • Elbow X4
  • Tee X1

First, take two 110cm and connect them to the elbow joints, followed by 60cm to connect to the elbow. Then take the two 95cm to connect them to a Tee joint, with one of the points from the Tee facing up, as we seeing from picture 2. Then connect the 110cm (with elbow) to the 60cm (with elbow) as we seeing from the picture 3. The next step is to connect them to the 95cm (with Tee facing up). When we are done, it should look like picture 4. Apply the glue to all the connection points if we want it to be permanently attached.

Step 2: Installation: First Layer, the Holder for Both Ends

For this step, we are going to install a layer that having a holder on each side of the greenhouse, it is for the small sizes of the plants. The good thing about the holder is, it will not block the sunlight. Learn it from one of the greenhouses I saw.

We need the following sizes:

  • 133cm X1
  • 130cm X2
  • 80cm X4
  • 60cm X4
  • 25cm X2
  • 11cm X4
  • Elbow X6
  • Tee X8
  1. Let's take two pieces of 11cm size, connect a Tee between them, which becomes two sets of 11cm + Tee + 11cm. The Tee should be facing down, where they will be used for the pillar to stay on the ground for stabilization. And then connect them to an elbow.
  2. Take two 25cm and 4 Tee, connect them like what we see on the second picture. For the Tee, take note on the direction where they are facing.
  3. Take two of the 60cm, connect them to the two 25cm from step 2. Refer to the third picture of how they are connected.
  4. Then take two of the 80cm, connect them to the two sets of 11cm + Tee + 11cm. When they are connected, they should look like picture number 4. It is like a U-shape.
  5. Then take the 133cm to connect to the 25cm we completed in step 2. They should look like picture number 5 when both connected.
  6. Then connect what we completed in step 5 to the base. Refer to picture number 6 for better understanding.
  7. Connect two Tees and two elbows to the four 60cm we completed in step 6. Please refer to picture number 7.
  8. Connect the two 130cm to the U-shape we completed in step 4. Please refer to picture number 8.
  9. Connect what we completed in step 8 to the set up in step 7, where the two 130cm are facing down to the ground. This will look more sturdy.

We have completed the first layer, which is the most complicated part.

Step 3: Installation: Second Layer

We need the following sizes:

  • 190cm X1
  • 60cm X2
  • 30cm X2
  • Elbow X2
  • Tee X2
  1. Take two 30cm connect to the elbow each. Then take two 60cm connect to the Tee each. Please refer to the second picture for the look of the connection.
  2. Connect two 30cm to the 190cm to become a wide u-shape. Please refer to picture number 3.
  3. Connect the two 60cm we completed in step 1 to the installation we have completed so far. One on the left and the other on the right. Refer to picture number 4.
  4. Connect what we have completed in step 2 to the installation, to the two 60cm we just put up.

Once it is completed, it should look like picture number 5 and 6.

Step 4: Installation: Roof

We need the following sizes:

  • 222cm X1
  • 110cm X2
  • 95cm X2
  • 30cm X2
  • Elbow X4
  • Tee X1
  1. Connect the two 110cm to the elbow each.
  2. Connect the two 30cm to the elbow each.
  3. Connect the two 95cm to the Tee, where the Tee should facing down. This will be the pillar to the ground/base that already has a Tee facing up. Please refer to picture number 2 for connections.
  4. Connect the two 95cm (with Tee) to the 110cm (with elbow) in step 1. A big U we have here. Please refer to picture number 3.
  5. Connect the two 30cm to the installation, one to the left and one to the right. Please refer to picture number 4.
  6. Connect the 222cm to the Tee in the base/ground that facing up. Refer to picture number 5.
  7. Connect the two 95cm (with Tee) in step 4 to the 222cm in step 6. Refer to picture number 6.
  8. And then connect the 110cm in step 1 to the installation to complete the installation of the roof. Please refer to picture number 7 for the completion. Picture number 8 is the view from the top.

Step 5: Complete Our Greenhouse

Now, we have our greenhouse ready. The first two pictures are the view from the left and right.

The last step is to put up the greenhouse film. Obviously the film (3x5m) I bought is not big enough to cover the entire greenhouse. I just covered it up on one side for your viewing.

For the last picture, just to show that it is scalable to a smaller size greenhouse, which is the beauty of PVC pipe or Lego-like stuff, where it is your creativity to make it happen to your backyard!

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