How to Put on a Greenhouse Plastic Roof

Learn How to Install on a Plastic Greenhouse Roof

If you are building an arched type green house you already know that there is little to the construction of the green house other than the support arches, the front, back, door and roof. Since the roof of the arch style greenhouse also forms the sides of greenhouse, as well knowing how to put on a greenhouse plastic roof on, is an important part of the whole process. Here is an easy guide to accomplishing that task.

Installing Greenhouse Plastic Roofing
Type of Plastic to Use

The best plastic to use for putting on a greenhouse roof is the polyethylene film designed for greenhouses.

  • This film not only helps protect your plants from the most harmful of the sun’s ultra violet rays but, is also durable lasting 10 years or more if put on and properly secured.
  • The Polyethylene film may come folded into a W or Y shape, to make the rolls smaller and these fold out like an accordion to go down the sides of your greenhouse.
  • Others are full wide rolls, and still others are short rolls, that will need to be put on in sections in order to roof greenhouses.
  • This guide will discuss how to put on both the one piece roofs and the sections.

Tools You Will Need:

  1. Utility Knife
  2. Polyethylene greenhouse plastic
  3. Construction staple gun with staples
  4. Straight edge
  5. Ladder
  6. Interlocking channels (Optional if your greenhouse has a wooden frame)
  7. Rope (For putting on a solid roof without W or Y folds)
  8. Greenhouse tape (If putting the roof on in sections)
  9. Helper or two although you can put on a green house roof by yourself it goes faster and smoother if you have someone to help you.

Plastic Sheet Greenhouse Roof

Putting on an Unfolded Greenhouse Plastic Roof

The most difficult thing about putting on an unfolded greenhouse plastic roof is that if you have a long greenhouse you will be handling the plastic all in one sheet for the entire length of the greenhouse.

  • This is where having someone to help with the putting on of the roof can really be beneficial.

The first thing you may want to do is clear out all the small sticks and stones, along one side of your greenhouse, as you are going to have to lay the plastic roofing out there.

In order to measure and cut it, you don’t want to damage your roof before it even reaches your greenhouse.

  • Your next step, is to lay the plastic roll just slightly ahead of your greenhouse (1 and ½ inches or so), and then gently roll out the roll of plastic down the side of the green house stopping just past the other end. (again 1 to ½ inches or so).
  • Cut off the plastic evenly using a yardstick, tape measure or other straight edge.

Tie a length of rope on each each end of one side of the plastic roofing material. Make sure you have enough rope to go over the top of the greenhouse and extend far enough down the side that you can reach it.

  • If you have a helper, each one takes a rope and gently pulls the roofing material up over the top of the greenhouse, until it touches the ground on both sides of the plastic greenhouse.
  • If you have a wooden framed greenhouse, you can now staple the bottom of the roofing material to the base of your greenhouse proper.
  • If not you will need to have a prefabricated locking channel already in place to lock the roofing material in to the channel.

You may also want to staple the roofing material to the front and back top of the arch itself to provide more stability.

Plastic Greenhouse Roof Panels

How to Roof a Greenhouse Using Folded Roofing Material

How to Install a Plastic Greenhouse RoofRoofing a starter greenhouse using folded roofing material is much easier for one person to accomplish alone as you actually roll out the roof material from the top of the arch rather than from the ground. Before you climb onto the roof with your roofing material however, you should unroll a foot or so of the material so you know which way the folds go.

Using the ladder climb up to the top of your greenhouse towards the front.

  • Unroll the plastic, so that the folds of the plastic fall out and reach the ground on both sides of the greenhouse, from front to back.
  • Cut off any extra plastic, once you reach the end of the greenhouse, leaving about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of left over plastic.

Double check and make sure that the roof is smooth across the top of your greenhouse, and falls smoothly down the sides.

  • Then attach the sides of the roofing material either using a staple gun and attaching to a wooden frame or by using an already installed roofing channel.

Once again, you may want to attach the front and the back of the roofing material at the arch to the frame, especially if you live in an area where there is a lot of wind.

Plastic Greenhouse Roof

How to Roof a Greenhouse In Sections

How to Put Up a Greenhouse Plastic RoofRoofing a Greenhouse in sections may seem difficult at first but it really is quite an easy process.

The first thing you need to do in roofing a hobby greenhouse kit with a short roll of green house roofing plastic, is to measure the width of the green house from the bottom of one side up over the arch and down the other side.

  • Unroll, your greenhouse plastics roofing material to the length of your measurement or a shade longer (It is easier to trim than to find out you measurements were slightly off) and then roll it back up.

Climb up to the top of the green house and unroll the roofing plastic over one side of the green house until it reaches the ground.

  • Then unroll the rest of the roll over the opposite side.
  • It too should reach the ground.
  • Cut the next section the same way and repeat the process, making sure that the second section of roofing plastic overlaps the first by about 6 or 6 ½ inches.

Attach each section of the roofing material to the base using either staples or the locking channels as you go.

  • You may also want to seal the seams using greenhouse tape as you add each new section as well.
  • Once again you may want to attach the front and back of the greenhouse roof to the top of the arch.


  • If you have a couple of helpers you may not need to measure the width of your green house.
  • You can simply unroll one side of the roofing material to the helper on the one side, he can secure it and you can then drop the roll to your helper on the other side who can then cut it off at ground level and return the roll to you for the next section.)

As you can see putting a on a greenhouse plastic roof is not complicated.

It just takes a bit of patience, the right materials, and a helper if one is available and willing.

How to Put on Plastic Greenhouse Roofs

Recommended Related Reading:

  1. Open Roof Greenhouse Design and Operations –
  2. 14 Page Hobby Greenhouse Construction Guide Book –
  3. Guide to Building a Conservatory Greenhouse –
  4. Complete List of All Greenhouse Types and Styles –

Plastic Greenhouse Kits

Must Read Greenhouse News:

Futuristic Laser-Cut Greenhouse Uses 110 ColdFrames Instead of Heat –

Part heat-less greenhouse, part avant-garde gazebo, Sabin’s 52-foot long structure, titled “Greenhouse and Cabinet of Future Fossils,” uses recycled materials that are pre-fabricated locally in Philadelphia and put together in the museum garden. The CNC-cut high-density recyclable polyethylene sheets form the sinuous skeleton upon which 110 modular cold frames sit, each containing edible or ornamental plants in soil, which can be unclipped and moved according to the needs of the plants.

Greenhouse Plastic Roofing Material
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