Grandio Elite Greenhouse Review


  • The builders: Two strong, healthy, women in their 60’s . Skilled workers, with lots of building experience. Previous owners of a smaller greenhouse. 

  • Site: Albuquerque NM.  Rocky sandy ground. South side of house. High winds. Intense light and heat. 

  • What:  I bought a Grandio Elite 8 x 24 Aluminum (with some steel supports) and 10mm double wall  polycarb greenhouse. I ordered it in February of 2023. It was built in March of 2023. Extras that I ordered - 8 auto window vents, Louvre end window. Second order of 6 extra steel support beams

  • Cost 7650.00

  • Prep: Marquez Masonry of Albuquerque NM  put in an 8 x 24 slab above ground level, with 1 row of cinder blocks around the perimeter - there were rebar pieces set in the slab.  It came out perfectly level in every direction. They filled the blocks with concrete, except for where electricity and plumbing were to enter with cement. Going in through these blocks made getting water and electricity in easily.  Excess rebar had to be cut off with a grinder. Raising the entire thing the height of a block and a sill board  increased the interior height by about that a foot. 

  • Cost 4,000 for ground prep and cement work. (money well spent)

  • I Made a 2x6 sill around the perimeter. I treated the sill boards with weather proof stain. I   bolted the sills into concrete filled blocks, by using a concrete drill and self-anchoring bolts. I countersunk the bolts, and extensively caulk the places where the sill boards met and the bolt wells. The sill also came out level.

  • The kit arrived in 11 large, heavy, boxes. I did not have enough garage space to lay out the entire project. I opened every box and did a general inventory.  I  started with a daily ‘shopping list’ of what I would need for that day . Eventually I did take out and label everything as it became manageable. No pieces were missing. Didn’t end up with extras except for nuts and bolts. They included a bold socket wrench and a screwdriver and said this was all you need. (mostly true)

  • The manual is 68 pages of minutia, with lots of “now repeat the last 2 pages 8 times.” There was a steep learning curve to reading it, I am an educated person. I almost despaired at that point, but eventually was able to comprehend it. They say it is a 72 hour job for 2-3 people. This is fantasy. At least 4 hours reading before doing anything. This is a giant erector set (boomer reference) Most pieces smaller than 4 feet. Thousands of nuts and bolts. 

  • I assembled the base and bolted it to the sill. Not too terrible. Caulked everything again. This step took 6 hours. Ground prep, whether concrete or wood is super important. I think setting this thing up on grass like they show in some videos, would be asking for trouble. Every square and level imperfection, however small will add up and become a nightmare when you are trying to slide in the polycarbonate panels 

  • I Built the back end panel out on a flat brick surface in our yard - it took 5 hours - blood and tears were shed. Good protective gloves that still have a lot of dexterity is a must. The panels and aluminum edges can be quite sharp. Getting the whole thing square - required to slide a panel in - was extremely hard with all the angle brackets. Sliding in the panels was murder. 

  • I Built front panel - 3 hours - significant frustration, but less.

  • Tried to put up the ends with 2 people. Realized it was impossible to put them up on a 24 house with two people. Tried to hire local help - failed. Found a man in the next town north who had built a 16 foot Grandio. I offered him any amount of money to come help, or to take over - he would not consider it - he wished me luck.. I Brought in Brother-in-law from WS. Super experienced builder/contractor/carpenter.  He built  temporary 2x4 supports to hold up the middles of each section.  3 extra people would have helped, but only if they were silent and obedient. Three people had the basic frame up in 3 long days 30 hours.

  •  This greenhouse is designed in 8 foot sections. The hardest part of the entire build was the purlins and the gutters which must be slid on from one end. The tiniest amount off of perfect alignment jams the whole thing up.. We used a lot of silicone spray to decrease friction. A rubber mallet and a piece of 2 x 4 for gentle but firm pounding on the ends was useful. The Aluminum is sturdy for what it is, but you can’t abuse it. If you bend it, you may be calling the company for expensive replacement pieces.  It is very easy to get the parts wrong at this point. Lay them out and triple check. The third section really made this hard. 

  • It took another 30  hours to put up the vertical supports and slide in all the panels. It is slow going around the vents. Add ten hours for caulking in a rainy climate. I just let mine leak - and it does leak.

  • I installed the end louver vent after the frame was built. It took 3 hours. 

  • Building and installing the doors took another 6 hours. I consider the doors to be the weakest part of the kit. They pop out of their tracks, altogether too easily. The little magnet is not really enough to hold them together. Cannot leave the doors closed a the louver open or they can be blown out by a strong breeze.

  • Purchased auto vent openers. Went through another learning curve figuring out how to install one. Put 4 in before I realized that you cannot close them quickly. Because of our winds - which can come up very quickly - I need to be able to batten down all hatches at a moment’s notice. Took them off and installed manual ones, 4 hours.

  • Installed two 50% shade cloths. 2- people. 2 hours.

  • Two weeks after the build we had a wind storm with 65 mph winds from the broadside. The base was solid but the whole thing rocked and rolled about a foot at the top. I about had a heart attack.  Used 10 foot 2 x 4s every 2 feet on the leeward side to support it. (propped to the meeting of a vertical support to the gutter. To the good, no poly panel has ever acted like it might pop out - they are very solid.

I called the company and ordered 6 extra base-to-purloin vertical interior supports. This helped but I still use my 2 x4 flying buttresses when we have winds over 30mph

  •  In retro - I should have gone below grade instead of above ground - it would have been cooler. Get help and plan on at least a week, more like 12 days to build this.  4 days for an 8 footer. 8 for a 16 footer.

  • Recommendations: Don’t go beyond 2 sections unless you are, or can hire, pros. If you live in a rainy area have good drainage and caulk the heck out of it - especially at the purlins and around vents. Line up help. Plan a 2 week vacation - You cannot leave this half built, once you start - you need to finish.

  • Bottom line:  15 months in, I have a Greenhouse that I enjoy. Except for the doors, it is holding up well. But I would never do this build again.