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What base do I need to prepare for my greenhouse?

Greenhouses can be placed on soil, slab or concrete depending on your preference and more importantly the requirements of the greenhouse itself.

Depending on the location you've chosen for your new greenhouse, you will need to prepare the area first - the most important factor being that it is square and level.

If you have an existing slabbed or concrete area in place that ticks the important boxes of being square and level you may not need to do anything!

We've put together the handy guide below that should answer your initial questions on base requirements, but should you need further assistance please do phone our friendly customer service team on 0800 694 1929.

Base Requirements

Rhino greenhouses have an integral base, so all they require is a flat, level area. But everyone’s garden is different, so here are some questions and answers that you may find helpful.

Q. Can this greenhouse be sited directly onto my garden? 

A. Absolutely! The strong integral base is designed to fit straight onto soil. You must secure the greenhouse by concreting in the ground anchors. 

If you site it on a lawn then be sure to take the top level of turf off. Cut the lawn back at least a spade width all round so that you don’t have grass growing right up to the edge of the greenhouse. You could fill this area with shingle.


Q. What about laying slabs round the perimeter for the base to sit on?
A. This is becoming increasingly popular. Ideally this would include a path down the centre.

Q. Can I erect the greenhouse on a paved patio or concrete area?
A. Certainly, but you must make sure that it is completely level and flat. If it isn’t then it won’t be suitable as the greenhouse is an engineered product designed to fine tolerances.

Q. What about a brick surround?
A. A brick plinth is a good idea if the base needs to be built up because the ground isn't level. Give thought to the height of the doorway as you want to try and avoid having a raised step if at all possible.


Q. How do I fix the greenhouse down?
A. Every Rhino includes plenty of strong stainless steel anchors, suitable for fixing the greenhouse to all types of base.
Soil - dig a hole at each point and concrete the ground anchors into position.
Slabs, concrete or brick plinths - drill and secure the anchors with the fixings supplied with your kit. Note that the drill bit is not included.

Q. Is drainage a problem?
A. You’ll be sloshing a lot of water about inside the greenhouse all year round so it is a very good plan to allow this to drain away rather than sit in puddles inside the greenhouse.

Image: The siting of this greenhouse is ideal - erected directly onto the soil with a simple central paving slab path and pea shingle for good drainage and to suppress the weeds.

Q. Can this greenhouse be sited directly onto my garden?
A. Yes, provided you have ordered the optional galvanised steel base. You must secure the greenhouse by concreting in the ground anchors. 
If you site it on a lawn then be sure to take the top level of turf off. Cut the lawn back at least a spade width all round so that you don’t have grass growing right up to the edge of the greenhouse. You could fill this area with shingle.

Q. Can I lay a brick surround?
A. Yes this is possible, the brick surround would need to be built to the exact dimensions supplied in the base plan. It is recommended that solid engineering bricks are used.

Q. What about laying slabs round the perimeter for the base to sit on?
A. As this greenhouse requires a raised plinth, a flat slab perimeter would not be suitable unless you select the optional galvanised steel base plinth.

Q. Can I erect the greenhouse on a paved patio or concrete area?
A. No, this greenhouse requires a raised brick plinth. However, there is an optional galvanised steel base available which can then be fitted onto a paved or concrete area. Exact greenhouse base dimensions can be provided.

Q. How do I fix the greenhouse down?
A. Soil (with optional galvanised steel base plinth) - dig a hole at each point and concrete the ground anchors into position.
Brick surround: You will need to drill holes into your hardstanding base and fix the greenhouse down using screws and rawl plugs.

Q. Is drainage a problem?
A. You’ll be sloshing a lot of water about inside the greenhouse all year round so it is a very good plan to allow this to drain away rather than sit in puddles inside the greenhouse. For further information please contact service@greenhousesdirect.co.uk

Eden greenhouses come with an integral aluminium base. But everyone’s garden is different, so here are some questions and answers that you may find helpful.

Q. Can this greenhouse be sited directly onto my garden?
A. No. This greenhouse is designed to be erected onto a hardstanding, which could be a concrete slab or paving stones. You must make sure that it is completely level and flat. If it isn’t then it won’t be suitable as the greenhouse is an engineered product designed to fine tolerances.

Q. What about laying slabs round the perimeter for the base to sit on?
A. This is becoming increasingly popular. Ideally this would include a path down the centre.

Q. How do I fix the greenhouse down?
A. You will need to drill holes into your hardstanding base and fix the greenhouse down using screws and rawl plugs.

Q. Is drainage a problem?
A. You’ll be sloshing a lot of water about inside the greenhouse all year round so it is worth being aware that greenhouses erected on a hardstanding are prone to puddles forming inside.

N.B. Do not lay a base for this greenhouse without referring to the precise base footprint measurements, which we can supply. If you make your hardstanding to the wrong dimensions then it will not be possible to erect the greenhouse.

Integral Base

If the greenhouse has an integral base, all it requires is a flat, level area. But everyone’s garden is different, so here are some questions and answers that you may find helpful.

Q. Can this greenhouse be sited directly onto my garden? 

A. The integral base is designed to fit straight onto soil, however you will need a hard support under the door sill as it will naturally follow the contour of the ground. You must secure the greenhouse by concreting in the ground anchors. 
If you are sitting it on a lawn then be sure to take the top level of turf off. Cut the lawn back at least a spade width all round so that you don’t have grass growing right up to the edge of the greenhouse. You could fill this area with shingle.

Q. What about laying slabs round the perimeter for the base to sit on?
A. This is becoming increasingly popular. Ideally this would include a path down the centre.

Q. Can I erect the greenhouse on a paved patio or concrete area?
A. Certainly, but you must make sure that it is completely level and flat. Exact greenhouse base dimensions can be provided.

Q. What about a brick surround?
A. A brick plinth is a good idea if the base needs to be built up because the ground is not level. Give thought to the height of the doorway as you want to try and avoid having a raised step if at all possible. Do not build brick surrounds before you have the dimensions from ourselves or Elite.

Q. How do I fix the greenhouse down?
A. You will be supplied with soil fixings as well as hardstanding brackets.
Soil - dig a hole at each point and concrete the ground anchors into position.
Slabs, concrete or brick plinths - drill and secure the anchor brackets supplied with your kit. Note that the drill bit is not included.

Q. Is drainage a problem?
A. You’ll be sloshing a lot of water about inside the greenhouse all year round so it is a very good plan to allow this to drain away rather than sit in puddles inside the greenhouse. For further information, please contact service@greenhousesdirect.co.uk


No Integral Base

Q. Can this greenhouse be sited directly onto my garden? 

A. Yes, provided you have ordered the optional aluminium base. You must secure the greenhouse by concreting in the ground anchors. 
If you site it on a lawn then be sure to take the top level of turf off. Cut the lawn back at least a spade width all round so that you don’t have grass growing right up to the edge of the greenhouse. You could fill this area with shingle.

Q. What about a brick surround?
A. Yes, if you prefer not to order the optional aluminium base, then brick surround would need to be built to the exact dimensions supplied in the base plan. It is recommended that solid engineering bricks are used.

Q. What about laying slabs round the perimeter for the base to sit on?
A. As this greenhouse requires a raised plinth, a flat slab perimeter would not be suitable.

Q. Can I erect the greenhouse on a paved patio or concrete area?
A. No, this greenhouse requires a raised brick plinth. However, there is an optional aluminium base available which can then be fitted onto a paved or concrete area. Exact greenhouse base dimensions can be provided.

Q. How do I fix the greenhouse down?

A. You will need to drill through the base and fix down with screws and rawl plugs.

Q. Is drainage a problem?
A. You will need to consider how water will drain from your greenhouse. For example, if you are building a brick perimeter, you may wish to leave the middle of the greenhouse as soil to allow free drainage. For further information, please contact service@greenhousesdirect.co.uk

Everyone’s garden is different, so here are some questions and answers that you may find helpful.

Q. Can this greenhouse be sited directly onto my garden? 

A. No, it can’t be erected directly onto soil, see the next question.

Q. Can I erect the greenhouse on a paved patio or concrete area?
A. This would be ideal. The Swallow range of greenhouses require a hardstanding base which can be larger than required, but must not be any smaller. Most importantly the base must be level and flat (no high spots). For lean to greenhouses, you should also consider that the wall must be vertical. If the wall is not vertical then it may need a frame to pack it out but be aware that this may affect the base dimension. Swallow may request photographs to ensure that the base is suitable before installation.

Q. What about laying slabs round the perimeter for the base to sit on?
A. A slab perimeter is suitable, this will also encourage natural drainage.

Q. What about a brick surround?
A. You can build a brick surround. Much of the Swallow range can also be adapted to be fitted to a dwarf wall (heights to be advised). Do not build brick surrounds before you have the dimensions from ourselves or Swallow.

Q. How do I fix the greenhouse down?
A. Professional installation is included in the price of this greenhouse. The installers will fix your greenhouse down to your suitable prepared base.

Q. Is drainage a problem?
A. It’s a good idea to factor in some drainage as you’ll be sloshing a lot of water around inside the greenhouse. For further information, please contact service@greenhousesdirect.co.uk