October 26, 2020 4 min read

DIY Greenhouse With A Maker Pipe Roof 

DIY Greenhouse With Maker Pipe Roof

"The PVC ribbed roof on my greenhouse failed me and I decided it was time for an upgrade to #makerpipe and EMT... Love the results." - Emory

Build of the Month

At Maker Pipe we're all about the customer builds so we launched a community where makers can share their builds and interact with other DIY minded people. Within this community we started a Build of the Month contest. When builders share their project they can tag the #MakerPipeBOTM topic.

At the end of the month we compile the entries and let the Maker Pipe community decide their favorite. The winning build gets a t-shirt, tool belt, community badge, and a $50 Maker Pipe gift card that includes free shipping! Head over to the community to see this months entries or post your own build!


DIY PVC planters


September BOTM Winner - Maker Pipe Greenhouse roof

Emory shared his DIY greenhouse that was originally made from wood with a homemade PVC roof. Unfortunately after 6 months of Texas weather the roof collapsed so he set out to find a strong PVC alternative. He had some experience with metal pipes before and decided EMT would be a good strong material for his roof upgrade and repair. Here is a Q and A with Emory where we find out more about his greenhouse build.


Q & A with Emory

Q: Did you build the original greenhouse from scratch or a plan/kit of some sorts?

A: "From my own design."

Q: How did you stumble across maker pipe and conduit as a solution for the roof repair?

A: "I google searched how to bend EMT because I had never worked with EMT before and was considering it to replace the PVC. I watched a couple of videos on how easy it was to bend, then was searching for info on 3/4” EMT when your connectors showed up in google shopping results."

Q: We’re you considering other materials besides conduit when you decided to fix the new roof and make it sturdier?

A: "I built my own solar racking with 2” metal pipe and was looking at fence pipe and other galvanized steel options for my greenhouse when I came across EMT. I was concerned with the 3/4 diameter thinking it was too small. So I went and bought a few strands of EMT to see how strong it was, and was impressed."


Q: How did you go about planning the new roof structure?

A: "I actually got really good with MS PowerPoint when I designed my new home 14 years ago. I pulled back up the PowerPoint I used to design and build my 25’x21’ greenhouse back in February and used the same design just switched to use EMT instead of PVC."

Q: The greenhouse looks huge in the video? How big is it?

A: "Custom design 25’x21’. I also custom designed the hydroponic towers and buckets used in the greenhouse."

Q: How has it been holding up since you installed the new roof?

A: "Holding up great! No issues."

Q: Are there any upgrades or changes you want or plan to make?

A: "You may notice 2 10’ cross member supports installed midway between the middle and side perpendicular a-frames. I have 4 more of these to install that will add additional rigidity in the span between the high walls."


Q: Lastly what do you like to plant/grow in the greenhouse?

A: "We are very new to gardening and absolutely new to hydroponics, but are having fun learning. We told ourselves that the first year was going to be a year to try and learn. We found that lettuce thrives in hydroponics. Cucumbers do good, got some good cantaloupes, peppers, tomatoes and mint. We are trying our luck at some winter spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts and snow peas. In the next few months we are going to try strawberries. We did find that unfortunately soy beans do not like hydroponics."

DIY Conduit Greenhouse


The Build Breakdown

The base of Emory's DIY greenhouse is built from strong timber. He needed the roof to be just as strong and durable so he built it with galvanized steel conduit and Maker Pipe. The roof is supported by a beam that runs through the middle of the greenhouse.

The roof has nine horizontal supports that rest on the center beam then bend slightly to connect with the rest of the roof. The bent pipes run into an intersection created by the 5 way connectors. This allows pipes to be run from the front to the back while another pipe keeps moving towards the outer side wall of the greenhouse. Using a total of seven 5 way connectors he ran pipes from the front to the back and reinforced them by adding an upside down arch made from bent pipes . He added two of those and said he plans to add more.

On the front and back outer wall connections he used 4 way connectors. From those 5 and 4 way connectors he ran pipes down that bend right before reaching the outer side walls. To reinforce the roof even more he connected all of those pipes with horizontal pipes with a mixture of T connectors and 180 degree connectors. The roof is supported by the center beam, but he still needed to secure the pipes to the outer walls. To do this he used EMT conduit hangers. He then used greenhouse plastic to cover the openings in the walls and roof. To finish off the build he made some PVC hydroponics and growing systems. 

DIY pvc Hydroponics
DIY pvc Hydroponics


Emory did a fantastic job with his build and gives us a great example of how to build a greenhouse. We appreciate him posting and taking the time to answer our questions. He posted a video of the finished roof with some really cool drone shots. You can check that out below or follow this link to see his original post in the community. Thanks for reading and happy building!