Differences Between Greenhouse and Hoop House (Must Read)


There are two main types of Greenhouses in the agriculture industry: the Hoop House and the greenhouse. Hoop houses are also more versatile and can grow a wider variety of crops than greenhouses. However, hoop houses typically have less insulation and are not as effective at retaining heat as greenhouses.

Greenhouses and hoop houses are structures used to help plants grow, but they have some key differences. Greenhouses are typically made of glass or plastic and can get quite expensive, while hoop houses are much less expensive to build and can be made of various materials. Greenhouses better regulate temperature and humidity, while hoop houses are better at withstanding wind and snow.

This blog will go over the differences between a greenhouse and a hoop house. If you’re not sure which one to use or are simply curious, this article is for you.

What are Hoop Houses?

Hoop houses are an easy and cost-effective way to cultivate vegetables all year. They’re simple greenhouse-style structures built of steel pipe frames embedded in the ground and covered in greenhouse-grade plastic.

Unlike smaller season-extension constructions like low tunnels or caterpillar tunnels, hoop houses are more durable structures with superior anchoring and wind and snow bracing. As a result, they can be used throughout all four seasons.

Most hoop homes are heated and ventilated passively, having roll-up sidewalls that enable air to circulate through the structure. Some hoop homes incorporate end-wall or ridge vents to boost total airflow.

What are Greenhouses?

On the other hand, greenhouses are permanent constructions with a solid support system, durable covers, wind loads, snow guards, and cemented ground posts.

Greenhouses can be the same size as hoop houses or larger, and they can be made of numerous layers of greenhouse plastics, rigid polycarbonate, or glass.

Unlike hoop houses, greenhouses often have active heating and ventilation systems, with additional heat provided by a furnace or boiler and airflow increased by end-wall vents and a series of fans.

Irrigation in greenhouses is also mechanized and is typically accomplished via a drip irrigation system, misters, overhead sprinklers, or other automated ways. Greenhouses frequently necessitate installing a complete electrical system because of all of the automation.

Differences Between Greenhouse and Hoop House 

The following are the primary differences between a hoop house and a greenhouse:

Heating and Cooling Methods

The greenhouse features exhaust fans, heaters, and grow lights to maintain particular structure parameters when it comes to controlling the heat and air inside the two structures. This guarantees that the structure’s conditions remain within defined parameters.

The climate in the hoop house, on the other hand, is manually managed by opening and shutting the end walls. The end walls are pushed up in the mornings when temperatures are forecast to be high.

This provides for free air and moisture circulation within the hoop house. The walls are brought down in the evenings, and when the weather is forecast to be cool, raise the temperature inside the structure.

It’s worth noting that hoop houses are a combination of a regulated atmosphere and greenhouse conditions. While they primarily operate by hand, there are times when power is required to warm a hoop house (such as in the winter months).


A hoop house or high tunnel will cost you significantly less to put up and operate than a greenhouse. Hoop houses, for starters, are typically smaller than greenhouses. Compared to a greenhouse, this implies you’ll need fewer materials to construct them. You’ll also require less labor to achieve the same results.

The operational costs are another factor that makes hoop houses less expensive. In contrast to a greenhouse, which requires electricity to maintain particular conditions, a hoop house requires little to no electricity to operate.

Space Needed

Greenhouses can range from a few hundred square feet to entire cities, depending on the amount of area required and available. Essentially, you should utilize a greenhouse rather than a hoop house to do large-scale farming for fragile plants like small and tall tomatoes in a controlled environment.

Hoop houses are often smaller and have fewer connections to other structures or hoop houses. If you need a larger hoop house, you can usually remove one wall and replace it with another part. A hoop house becomes a greenhouse once it reaches a specific size.

Best for your Targeted Seasons

Suppose you want to grow a seasonal crop in the fall or spring rather than the summer and winter. In that case, a hoop house is a more cost-effective alternative because it allows you to adjust the conditions inside the building without spending a lot of money.

Suppose your crop grows during the hot summer and freezing winter. In that case, however, you should consider a greenhouse because it allows you to better manage the temperatures inside by using electricity-powered equipment to keep the extreme cold and heat out.

These distinctions influence which structure you choose between the two based on your demands and finances. The greenhouse is your best bet if you require more crops in a more controlled environment. A hoop house will suffice if the current conditions only demand minor adjustments.

Which one is Best for you?

It is tough to choose between the two forms of controlled environment architectures. A hoop house is an ideal option for you if you’re on a budget, need to produce fewer crops, and don’t plan on having the crops all year. It will be less expensive to set up, manage, and grow as needed.

On the other hand, a greenhouse makes more sense if you want to farm on a relatively larger piece of land, want crops all year, and have the financial resources to invest. With this choice, you’ll spend more but make more in the end.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many differences between greenhouse and hoop houses. Greenhouses are typically made with glass or plastic, while hoop houses are made with fabric or plastic. Greenhouses are more expensive to build but last longer. Hoop houses are less costly to build but need to be replaced more often. Greenhouses provide more insulation and better regulate temperature, while hoop houses are more ventilation-friendly. Ultimately, the choice between greenhouse and hoop house depends on your specific needs and budget. 

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