10 May Hoop House Construction, Part 2 of 3: Construction Materials and End Wall Options
Okay, let’s look at some hoop materials Steel As far as gauge …
14 gauge is probably the thinnest you ought to look at on a large structure. The lower the number, the thicker the pipe wall, guys. So, you know, 12 would be a thicker than that 14 gauge Um, we usually space these four feet apart But, you know. Remember, strength of the steel is a combination diameter and wall thickness. That you’re paying for weight when you buy steel. You can use top rail tubing on smaller houses. This is just a little 12-foot house. That’s the chain link fence top rail 16-, 17-gauge. Very thin and you do not want to use it on a big house. It doesn’t have that much strength. There are quick hoop benders that are available through Johnny’s.
That you can bend your own pipe. We did successfully with this. Pretty neat if you like to do your own Todd Hanley has a bender — This is the first model, not a later one — That you can use to bend the square tubing. Those plans, I guess, Alan, they’re still on your website? At the Kerr Center, they have plans on making the Hanley house or bending your pipe with his bender Square tubing — very strong. I mean the steel is strong I really like the looks of it. And the nice thing about square tubing — you can attach things to it very easily. I mean, it’s flat. You can put a piece of wiggle wire base on it.
Okay, PVC This gentleman’s got it right It’s not very strong, But if you put some type of bracing in it to hold it together That’s what you need to do He’s had experience Our poly pipe house is only fourteen feet wide I wouldn’t want to go any wider with it But as long as it’s arched. And you’ve got the plastic applied on it firmly and tied down It’s very strong I’ve never had a problem with this blowing down.
Okay, end wall Gosh, you know you get what you pay for This is steel I love steel This is really overkill But, I like it when it doesn’t rot, okay? And now the issue with steel: You’ve got to have a cutting torch And you’ve got to have a chop saw You have to have a welder You’ve got to have a drill You’ve got to have a few more tools. Correct? Than you would if you use using wood, timber, lumber.
Alright, this is a laminated, treated wood If you’re certified organic, this is not permissible You need to figure out some other way Use some oil on it or something — Linseed oil or something to treat it But, laminated gives you a lot a string. It’s very — this is one of our first walls we put up Well, actually the third wall on the third house But, very functional It’s still in use today or still out there.
The house is not used much but the structure, there, is This a C-purlin Possible there … Anytime you cut one of these C-purlins, you weaken it You know, but this is an option. This is certainly an option and when they’re curved like that It’s going to be stronger than just a piece of plate steel. Okay, when you install your post, you’ve got to have some structural members — Some posts on your end wall if it’s a permanent house, okay? If you want strength If you don’t, the darn thing is going to blow down. So, this is Steve. He’s using the old, you know, packing rod there. To compact the clay soil. Okay, concrete is really the ideal thing to use Some people just dry pack it If you’re really a purist, you’ll want to want to mix it and then pour it. But, hey When you do this …
Well, you just want to make sure that you’ve got enough moisture in that it will set up properly. Okay, use the door. You get what you pay for again with the door. We use a commercial door or we build the … We take the ones that we can purchase off the shelf and we will strengthen them Different types of doors: This is the sliding (door) If they’re mounted on the top, it’s much better Obviously, there’s not any soil that’s going to get up there At the bottom and that track, wow You know, it will fill up with soil, so you have to clean it out.
But I like these. They are a little more expensive to put up But they’re pretty convenient to open and close This is the simplest door you can make It’s a scissor door A chain or a bolt run through the two door components to the end hoop. You just open it — I mean it’s like a scissor, okay? Very cheap not very strong But for small structures it’s very good I’ve seen them on larger structures It scares me to death because there’s just not any structural strength there.
For that on a large house. The curtain door. The structure is strong. The doors just cheap. You get, again, what you pay for. It operates just like the vents on the side of the house. Roll it up, roll it down. When I was in Israel I noticed that some Israeli growers were tacking the side of the film to the column.
And they were using these little clips and then running a nail through it. And then just pulling it on and off by hand It’s kind of a little time consuming but it’s cheap. It’s a way to make it happen. Just understand the limitations of the system.
Okay, hinged doors, wow. This is great if you want something that you don’t have to lift. Or to personally remove and put back and bolt back on. You just open it up and close it, right? It’s super, but, my goodness, I think Leon will attest to this. So it’s difficult to make, difficult to hang. And it’s expensive, right, Leon? Okay, Penn State University has this type of door It hinges to the top.
Problem with that — if it did catch some wind. And you were standing close by you can imagine what would happen. But it does have unhindered access to that. Alright, so we’re looking at these detachable end walls. For a removable structure or if we want to drive through a permanent structure. This is our little portable end wall It sits on a piece of angle iron to keep it from blowing in at the base It hooks to two bolts at the top. It’s pretty slick for the, you know, if you want to make your own If you just want to use some wood.
Okay, attaching your frame to the ground. Various ways to do this. This is brother Leon, here. He’s using a chain And that chain has got a little bit of a … It’s got a hook or a little. What do you call it? A yoke on the bottom of it.
That will bite into the concrete and won’t pull it out And we’re not going to pour that concrete all the way to the top We’re going to leave six inches or eight inches under the ground So when we run a disc over that area We’re not going to tear up our brace or tear up our anchor. We can just bury the chain in the soil — dig the soil out. Pull the chain up and attach it to our frame. If we need to, you know, need to get it out of the way and hide it.
You can see there how it’s attached to the frame just with a bolt and a washer and nut. Okay, this is another example how they fit right up into the frame — the end walls. You got little post there and then you attach them to the top with some hardware. Not a bad deal.
Okay, max venting. When you design, if you want to custom design it. Think about getting as much ventilation through there. And, again, if it this is for permanent house with a permanent end wall. It’s kind of open enough you can get a small utility vehicle in there.
Different materials for the end walls: Sheeting — this is PVC or polycarbonate Expensive, but isn’t that nice? Low maintenance And you couldn’t afford to put it over your whole house. Well, I guess you could if you’ve got deep pockets. But, I like this because the end walls take a lot of abuse, kind of like the door.
For removable end walls and doors, I like the ripstop plastic. This stuff, it’s hard to run your hand through it. I mean, you’ve really got to whack it to get it to tear. And it will last a year or so longer than this, the regular clear poly greenhouse I do not like to … removal end walls. I’d prefer not to use regular six mil plastic on it. Just, when you lay them down on the ground, it just rips too easily. It would be better if you had something like this. If you can spend a few more dollars to do that. Cover at least your doors with this — removable doors.