When it comes to preparing an indoor grow operation, you will face a wide array of decisions concerning setup and equipment choices. The cornerstone of this planning and purchasing process lies in your options regarding the infrastructure of the cultivation space.

Ultimately you will have to choose between installing a pre-built grow tent and retrofitting a grow room yourself. While online resources and fellow growers can be extremely helpful in making this decision, the final choice should be weighed according to your tailored needs. Consequently, it is recommended that you consider your requirements for growing in addition to the allocated space in question. Here are a few points to follow to make an informed decision between a tent and a custom-built grow room:

Every Room is Unique

The first factor to consider is your potential room’s unique characteristics. Different locales within a home experience weather and temperature fluctuations differently, largely due to the room’s positioning. For example, a garage has far less insulation and environmental protection than a bedroom does. Even more, if the garage door is facing a northerly direction, it will receive less sunlight and stay cooler than a garage with a door facing south.

If you live in a colder region and plan on setting up an indoor operation during the wintertime, cold temperatures are a huge concern. In this instance, you will have to investigate the practicalities of heating a grow tent versus warming and insulating a custom-built room.

Impact: Rentals and Owned Homes

Another important variable is whether the property is rented or owned. Both grow tents and grow rooms will affect the surrounding environment, so you should consider these factors before proceeding. In the case of renters, it is safe to assume that grow tents have far less of an impact on the interior of a home than retrofitting an entire room.

Since tents have sturdy frames which support a good amount of equipment, you can set up a grow area without drilling and cutting holes in walls and ceilings. Also, the bottoms of tents are lipped and waterproof to keep excess water from reaching the floors beneath. So, for small personal grows in a rented space, tents are the least intrusive option.

Size and Function of the Area in Question

Aside from environmental and residential constraints on a grow space, you should carefully consider what you want to get out of your setup. To elaborate, it is unlikely that you would need to dedicate a whole room to one or two plants. However, a more ambitious operation with carbon dioxide output might benefit from having additional space for equipment.

As indoor operations reach greater levels of size and complexity, a tent setup could strain to keep up with all the additions. At this point, you may have to decide between adding more tents, upgrading tent sizes, and switching over to a dedicated grow room. For this, you will want to consider the space that your plants require, whether those areas need to be separated for different stages of plant growth, and the placement of your grow devices.

If you anticipate expanding your grow space you will have to account for the additional environmental controls, from CO2 to higher-wattage grow lights. Larger or multiple tents may prove the simpler option, depending on the amount of work you aim to put into retrofitting a grow room.

Materials Procurement

This brings us to the final element to be conscious of when deciding between a grow tent and a room build-out. You will have to consider the necessary materials, preparation, and potential renovations needed to accomplish your cultivation setup.

Depending on your handiness, this may be a fun weekend project or an intimidating undertaking. Like all home improvement endeavors, hidden expenses are always a risk. Because of this, tents will allow you to devise a more accurate cost analysis of materials. Like digging a garden bed or installing a greenhouse though, a dedicated grow room can be well worth the investment if you are looking for a permanent space in which your plants can flourish.


One of the most important choices you must make when setting up an indoor garden is whether to build a custom room or use a grow tent. While both options have their benefits, in the end, factors like allocated grow space and acquiring equipment will help guide your decision-making. If you are unsure, starting with a grow tent is an easy and low-impact way to try indoor gardening before expanding your operation or investing more money.