All About Greenhouse Windows

Woman watering plants in greenhouse window

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Are you struggling to keep your sun-loving houseplants alive? Or perhaps you are dreaming of a large greenhouse for year-round growing, but don’t have the space to make it happen. Either way, greenhouse windows may be an ideal option. This unique window style acts like a miniature, indoor greenhouse, giving you the benefits of a greenhouse without the need for a separate building. 

Here we will take a look at the reasons to consider installing a greenhouse window, what the difference is between a bay window and a greenhouse window, and how much you can expect to spend when installing one. 

What Are Greenhouse Windows?

A greenhouse window, also known as a garden window, is a window structure that extends off of the outside of your home, creating a nook where plants and items can be kept. These windows extend off of the house at a 90-degree angle and typically have a glass roof to allow as much sunlight in as possible. 

Reasons to Choose a Greenhouse Window

Greenhouse windows add both functionality and style to a space. They are perfect for anyone looking to incorporate more of the outdoors into their daily lives, as these windows let in ample sunshine, a great view of the outdoor world, and a perfect place to grow your own plants, flowers, herbs, or even small vegetables. This makes them very popular in kitchens, where an indoor herb garden is in reach of your stove. 

The box design of these windows allows you to control the temperature and humidity in a very similar way to a full greenhouse, but with the convenience of being located right inside your home. This makes greenhouse windows ideal for homes where a full-sized greenhouse may not be practical. Many greenhouse windows also have operable windows to improve ventilation and minimize condensation. 

Apart from the functionality of growing an abundance of indoor greenery, greenhouse windows also make a room feel larger and brighter. They increase the amount of natural lighting in a space and add a unique focal point to the room. 

Greenhouse Windows vs. Bay Windows 

Greenhouse windows and bay windows are similar in that they both let in ample sunlight and create a window nook. However, these windows are chosen for different reasons and have different purposes in the home. 

A greenhouse window, as stated above, is used to create a miniature greenhouse-like environment in which to grow plants or display objects. A bay window, on the other hand, is not designed to create greenhouse conditions. A bay window does extend off of the house but to a shallower degree. These are often installed to create window seats or a unique focal point in the room. Bay windows are often larger than greenhouse windows.  

Greenhouse Windows
  • Extend off of the house at a 90-degree angle, creating a box in which to place plants

  • Usually has a slanted glass roof to increase the amount of sunlight

  • Uses 4 to 5 window panes

  • Often equipped with shelving to accommodate more plants

Bay Windows
  • Extends off of the house at a 25- to a 45-degree angle, creating a small nook 

  • Does not have a separate roof pane

  • Uses 3 window panes

  • Often much larger than greenhouse windows

  • Unobstructed views

Installation and Cost 

The cost of a greenhouse window will largely depend on the size of the window and whether it needs to be a custom size or color. Because they require much more material than a single window pane, greenhouse windows are considerably more expensive. You can expect to spend between $1,000 and $4,000 for a greenhouse window. This figure may be more or less depending on your home’s specific needs. For example, a home that requires a custom window size or extra structural work to fit the window will be much more costly than a space where a common-sized window can simply be replaced with a greenhouse window. 

Vinyl greenhouse windows are also less expensive than aluminum windows. Therefore, your chosen materials are important to consider when calculating the cost of a greenhouse window. Aluminum offers a sturdy, lightweight structure. However, this material is more prone to heat loss and condensation. Vinyl is a bit weaker than aluminum, though many vinyl frames do have aluminum reinforcements. Vinyl windows are known for retaining heat and avoiding large amounts of condensation.