We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies ×

Wanting to Build a Second-Hand Greenhouse?

Wanting to Build a Second-Hand Greenhouse?

What you need to know.


Peter Holwerda, Sales Manager, Apex Greenhouses, sent me an excellent e-mail last week in response to a classified in Grower2Grower, from a person wanting to purchase a second-hand greenhouse.  The email highlighted the unforeseen issues importing a second-hand greenhouse from overseas might cause you.

Apex Greenhouses will import second hand greenhouses from Holland. They are able to have them prepared to any client specification.  If it is a fairly straight forward glasshouse they generally work out costing around 15-20% less than a new build but they are usually already 10-15 years old.  Apex will take care of all shipping, customs clearance and delivery to site.  Most of the greenhouses imported are only four meters high but Apex will add longer posts (probably new) if the client wants a higher height.  The imported greenhouse will need new tempered roof glass and new wall glass.


What you need to be aware of:


  1. There are NO guarantees on the running gear and NO warranty.
  2. If there is any indication of dirt or contamination detected by MAF, there might be a rather large cleaning cost to the client.  While the suppliers say they clean the materials, something could sneak through which Apex would not be responsible or liable for.
  3. Engineering code:  New Zealand Building Codes, are quite a bit higher graded than the Dutch.  Apex have found that some designs from Holland do not comply with New Zealand standards.  New Zealand wind zone calculations are quite a bit higher and earthquakes now also has an effect.
  4. It is advised that before ordering a second-hand overseas greenhouse, that an engineer from Apex check out if the greenhouse you want to purchase would comply with the New Zealand building code. You should source as much information as possible regarding engineering calculations from the overseas supplier of the second-hand greenhouse.
  5. Non-Compliance:  If the structure does not comply then the greenhouses can be strengthened or rectified before shipping.  Some truss designs from Holland, that are 10-15 years old, are 50% weaker than the Apex designed trusses.
  6. Even second-hand New Zealand greenhouse structures might not be up to the most recent building codes.  Again, you should make sure that this is checked by an engineer before you proceed.


These are just some of the issues that could occur when importing second hand greenhouses as Peter explains: “It can be a bit tricky and there are some hurdles but even if you can find a second hand one in NZ, the building code updates in the last 10 years, might even require replacing posts or other parts.  Please check with me for advice if it will pass the code without major consequences.”

Initially you might save 15-20% buying a second-hand greenhouse, compared to a new greenhouse, but that is if everything goes well.  Is it worth the risk?  If you have a budget then building a greenhouse brand new, that was 15-20% smaller, but was within the budget would be something I carefully consider. 


For more information please contact Peter at Apex Greenhouses:


Peter Holwerda

Sales Manager | Apex Greenhouses (NZ) Ltd

6 Hosking Place, Waiuku,2123, Auckland

peter@apexgreenhouses.co.nz  | P +64 9 235 8618  | M +64 21 725 430 | apexgreenhouses.co.nz

Cover image is a second hand Dutch greenhouse re-built by Apex Greenhouses in the Pukekohe district.


I appreciate your comments.  Please feel free to comment below or on the grower2grower Facebook page:


Article Written by Stefan Vogrincic, Consultant, Grower2Grower, with the help of Peter Holwerda from Apex Greenhouses.