There used to be a time when installing and using a greenhouse was hard work, and something usually only to be attempted by the professional gardeners or at the very least by a very keen amateur. Greenhouses used to be made almost exclusively out of wood, and not were they difficult to build, but also took a fair bit of maintenance as well as being difficult to use because windows were difficult to open and the whole thing was difficult to heat. Thankfully, modern technology has made the whole job much easier, and now almost anyone can make use of a greenhouse to grow plants in off season, and make a good job of it into the bargain.
The main improvement has come from the use of modern materials such as plastic, which are extremely durable and make maintenance a breeze. Gone are the days when wood panels and frames would need to be constantly painted and varnished to keep the attack of the weather at bay. PVC can stand up to most weather conditions and is practically maintenance free, and needs only to be kept clean, an easy job. On top of this plastic also makes putting up the greenhouse in the first place a much easier job than in the old days. It is still a good idea to have a professional build it for you, especially if you don't have much time, but many greenhouses are now available in kit form, which anyone with a bit of DIY knowledge can erect in a matter of hours, especially if the greenhouse is a small one.
But the area where modern materials have really made a difference is in the functioning of the greenhouse itself. Since modern materials make the structure fairly airtight, heating is much easier, which means that your plants are much more likely to thrive. The covering has also become much more effective, with modern panels being able to absorb far more of the heat from the sun than the old glass windows did. All this makes gardening in a greenhouse much easier than it was previously.
The range of sizes is also now much wider, with small greenhouses available that can be used for growing a small selection of plants or even a small selection of vegetables such as tomatoes. For the amateur gardener who doesn't want to erect a large structure, either because it isn't needed or due to space constraints, these can be an ideal choice. In short, if you like to try you hand at growing plants but have always thought a greenhouse was a major commitment, think again. No matter your level of experience or space availability, modern materials have made using and maintaining a greenhouse something that almost anyone can do.