Buy or Build Your own Hydroponic System?

Its a McGyver hobby. You can buy prepacked packages or you can get the pieces and tinker with them.

Should you Buy a hydroponic system or Build Your own hydroponic system? This is a great question to ask yourself before you begin making your hydroponic garden and there are benefits and drawbacks to each decision.

  • You are not handy and want to start right away? Perhaps you should Buy an existing system.
  • You are handy or you have a complicated, vertical, or limited garden location and are at least a little handy you may want to consider building your own. Do you have any space limitations or require a custom Build due to the specific size, location, or type of plants you wish to grow? Then you should definitely Build your own hydroponic system.


We have tons of DIY hydroponics-specific content available and multiple step-by-step pre-designed systems for you to build. In most cases, you will be building or at least assembling a purchased system anyway, so you will need to at least be able to follow simple assembly instructions.  Assembling or building your own hydroponics system without a design or directions can be quite puzzling. If you need some guidance or are unsure about how to proceed, Scan through our Homemade Hydroponics Guide page. 

Build Your own Hydroponic System
Build your own Hydroponics System from scratch can be puzzling, Source



Buy a Prepackaged System

At first look, most prepacked systems available are bucket systems or small countertop herb garden kits. There are a few DIY hydroponic kits out there worth looking at, but only a very few are actually “complete” systems.  Buying a prepackaged system gives you a great head start for building your own hydroponic garden if you can find a complete system that meets your garden space and needs.


The wide variety of plants and the different selection of lights, techniques, methods, nutrients, and environments add additional difficulty, which probably explains why there are so few complete systems out there. For our pros and cons lists, we are going to assume you are interested in a more advanced system other than a simple Kratky or Wick system, but even these are difficult to find as a complete system with everything you really need to get started.


Pros of buying a prepackaged system

  • Design is already complete
  • Faster set up
  • Good for less handy growers


Cons of buying a prepackaged system

  • Limited by their design
  • You will more than likely still have to assemble it
  • May need to purchase or build a table or stand
  • May need to purchase lights
  • May  need to purchase an aeration pump, stone, and tubes
  • In most cases, you will still need to purchase nutrients
  • You will need to purchase all the environmental controls like humidifiers, dehumidifiers, fans, air filtration, and circulation.


Build Your Own Hydroponic System

DIY Deep Water Culture, Shutterstock

If you are even a little handy designing and building your own hydroponic system can not only be rewarding but the end system will provide you with the exact design that fits the needs of your plant selections, space, and location limitations.


Pros of building your own hydroponic system

  • You will get the exact design that fits the need of your plant selection, garden location, and overall limitations.
  • You will most certainly understand the principles of how the system works better if you are making and testing it.
  • Good for handy growers.


Cons of building your own hydroponic system

  • Limitless design possibilities
  • If you don’t start with a good design you can experience Trial and error costs in dollars and plant life.
  • You must assemble it
  • Need to purchase or build a table or stand
  • Need to purchase lights
  • Need to purchase aeration pump, stone, and tubes
  • You will need to purchase nutrients
  • You will need to purchase all the environmental controls like humidifiers, dehumidifiers, fans, air filtration, and circulation.



We have found that unless you spend a lot, most systems are incomplete and you will still be required to make and add components to your system upfront and over time. Even the small selection of complete systems on the market offers little in the way of plant spaces and overall space to effectively grow any appreciable amount of plants for you and your family. If you are at all handy, click on over to our Homemade Hydroponics System Guide page, do a little homework and start building your own hydroponic system!



Picture of Dani


I'm Dani, I come from a long history of migrant farmers. In high school I wrote a paper about how my father brought us over the Texas border to give us a better life. During college, I worked part time with him in the farming industry. After receiving a degree in Urbanism from Columbia University, I started to realize how important the role of the food chain was to urban inner cities. I began studying different types of Indoor and vertical faming solutions. I started designing and building my own hydroponic systems and have never looked back.