I have experience with both pole barn and hoop house style greenhouses, and while both have their advantages, I personally prefer the pole barn style. One of the main reasons for this preference is that pole barns offer greater structural stability and durability, especially in areas with high winds or heavy snowfall. Additionally, they provide more usable space inside the greenhouse due to the taller ceiling and straight sides, making it easier to move around and work within the structure. While both styles can be covered with the same 6 mil greenhouse plastic, the pole barn design allows for better ventilation and temperature regulation, resulting in a more comfortable environment for plants and people alike. Ultimately, the choice between a pole barn and hoop house style greenhouse depends on individual needs and location, but I can attest to the effectiveness and efficiency of the pole barn design from my own experience.

Pole Barn Greenhouse:

 A pole barn style greenhouse is a type of greenhouse that is designed to resemble a traditional pole barn, but with the added feature of transparent or translucent walls and roofing that allow for natural light and climate control. Here’s a description of a typical pole barn style greenhouse design:


The exterior of a pole barn style greenhouse is typically made of metal or wooden poles, which are arranged in a series of arches or hoops that support the structure.

The poles are usually spaced at regular intervals, typically every 8 to 10 feet, and are connected at the top by a ridge beam or purlin.

The sides of the greenhouse are often covered in a durable material such as metal panels or plastic sheeting, while the ends may be enclosed with windows or solid walls.

The roof is typically made of a translucent or transparent material, such as polycarbonate or glass, which allows sunlight to enter the greenhouse and provides adequate ventilation.


The interior of a pole barn style greenhouse is designed to provide an ideal environment for plants to grow.

The space inside the greenhouse is open and unobstructed, allowing for easy movement and access to the plants.

Depending on the size of the greenhouse, there may be one or more rows of benches or shelving units along the sides, where pots or seed trays can be placed.

Irrigation systems, heating and cooling systems, and other equipment may also be installed to maintain optimal growing conditions.

Some pole barn style greenhouses may have a separate area for propagation, potting, or other tasks related to plant care.

Size and Customization:

Pole barn style greenhouses come in a range of sizes, from small backyard structures to large commercial facilities. They can be customized to fit specific needs and budgets.

The size and layout of the greenhouse can be tailored to accommodate different types of plants, growing methods, and climate requirements.

Options for customization include the choice of materials, color schemes, window placement, and door styles.


Pole barn style greenhouses offer several advantages over traditional greenhouses. They are generally less expensive to build and maintain than glass or plastic greenhouses.

They are also easier to construct, as they require fewer materials and labor.

The translucent or transparent roofing material allows for natural light transmission, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The open interior space allows for good air circulation and ease of movement, making it easier to tend to plants.

Pole barn style greenhouses can be built in a variety of locations, including areas with limited space or difficult terrain.

I added these features to my pole barn style greenhouse:

  • 2 – 3′ x 4′ sliding windows
  • Shade cloth
  • Drip irrigation system for containers
  • Hose bib
  • Fans to promote air circulation and prevent moisture buildup
  • Long Bench for starts and a table for planting and working space
  • 2 – 4′ fluorescent shop lights, grow lights and heat lamps
  • Metal and plastic shelving


A pole barn style greenhouse may not be as trendy as a hoop house, but it offers a practical and cost-effective solution for gardeners who wish to extend their growing season, start seeds earlier, or enjoy year-round gardening.

Hoop House Greenhouse:

 A hoop house greenhouse is a type of greenhouse that is constructed using a series of curved metal or plastic tubes, known as “hoops,” that are covered with plastic or polyethylene sheeting. The hoops are typically made of metal or PVC piping and are bent into a semi-circular shape, creating a series of arches that support the covering material. The plastic or polyethylene sheeting is then draped over the hoops, creating a watertight seal that protects the interior of the greenhouse from the elements.

Hoop houses are often used for growing vegetables, fruits, and flowers, and are particularly well-suited for small-scale agriculture and horticulture. They are relatively inexpensive to build and maintain compared to traditional greenhouses, and can be constructed in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit different growing needs. Hoop houses can be freestanding or attached to a building, and can be equipped with various features such as irrigation systems, heating and cooling systems, and ventilation fans.

The interior of a hoop house greenhouse is typically well-lit and has a warm, humid atmosphere that is ideal for plant growth. The curved shape of the hoops allows for maximum interior space, while the plastic or polyethylene covering material admits plenty of natural light and traps heat to create a warm microclimate. The temperature inside a hoop house can be regulated using heating and cooling systems, and ventilation fans can be used to promote air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.

Some common features of hoop house greenhouses include:

  • Roll up sides or end walls for ventilation and temperature control
  • Shading materials or shade cloth to reduce heat stress in plants
  • Irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation or sprinklers
  • Heating and cooling systems, such as propane heaters or evaporative coolers
  • Ventilation fans to promote air circulation and prevent moisture buildup
  • Benches or tables for planting and working space
  • Lighting systems, such as LED grow lights or high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps


A hoop house greenhouse is a popular choice for small-scale farmers, homesteaders, gardeners, and hobbyists due to their affordability, versatility, and effectiveness in extending the growing season and protecting crops from harsh weather conditions.