Structure Options

We don’t bend any steel before we get an order. This allows us to customize our products for your structure requirements. We use 7 different lengths of steel, and can interchange the way we bend them to give you the same shape, with less height, or slightly different width if that’s what you require. You can see more about the profile shapes and heights on our profile page

We have engineered drawings for our standard buildings to help you get a building permit. It is impossible to have them for all the variations we offer though, but we do have them for most of our standard buildings. Please let us know if this is something you will require.

We have provided sample prices on each of these pages to give you a starting point, but have any width available from 10-36′, and can go any length you require. We’ve done them up to 300′ long! Typically we do structures at 3′ and 4′ spacing between hoops, but can go 2′ spacing for extremely high snow areas and 6′ spacing if it will be left uncovered in the winter.

Our structures have a standard Gothic Profile that comes to a peak, to shed snow more efficiently. Our structures are Canadian built for Canadian seasons. We add wind braces to ensure stability in windy areas, and can give you other tips for winter maintenance and snow if you are especially concerned.

gothic frame

We also offer our High Profile structures, which give around 2′ more clearance than our regular standard Gothic profile. Up to 20′ wide our high profile uses 1″x2″ steel, and we offer a heavy high profile option that is 20′ wide and uses 1″x3″ steel. 24′ and wider uses 1″x3″ steel as standard.

high profile

We have also created our Cathedral Series, which is our standard gothic arch flipped around, to give more usable height, with less floor space (for RVs as an example). see here. It is more susceptible to wind, because of the straight sidewalls. No snow stays on this shape at all, unless there has first been a wet slushy rain/snow, and then a freeze. This style is available in widths of 20′, 18′, 16′ and 14′.

Cathedral frame

We also have our Space Saver series, which also has straight side walls, with more of a peak. This style is not recommended for high snow or wind areas. It is particularly good for garages, as you are able to have more space for opening car doors and storage with less floor space. This is available in widths of 10′, 12′ and 16′.

space saver frame

We have been known to make our version of an igloo, and flying structures lifted up onto apartment buildings to help construction (see our Unique Uses page!). We welcome your unique challenge and look forward to helping you find your shelter solution!

So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse…Your Guide For Planning a Greenhouse Purchase

Norm published a book that we wanted to let you know about. It is the perfect read while dreaming of your new greenhouse!
 “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse: Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase”

​It’s available on Amazon for purchase, or you can go through our facebook page

We appreciate your support and always welcome testimonials, either directly on Amazon to improve our visibility to help more people, or by email to multisheltersales@gmail.com and we will share them on our social media! Thank you for your feedback

It has already proven to be a valuable resource for many. You can email or call the office and we will ship you out a copy if you don’t want to purchase online.

Based largely on Norm’s Greenhouses 101 speech from the Guelph Organic Conference, with many extra tidbits and stories from Norm’s experience along the way over the last 45 years, it’s certainly a useful resource for anyone considering, or maintaining their structure of any application. Please contact us if you have any questions. We hope you’ll enjoy the book and would love to hear what you think!

“I should have known that I would get into this business when I was younger because the highlight of my birthday was always getting new pieces to my Mechano set. Now, I often describe these structures as big Mechano sets. It feels very fitting.”

Are you considering purchasing a greenhouse to start your own operation?
Are you unsure of all your options and what you should know?
Do you want to know what you’re getting into?

Using Norm Eygenraam’s 45 years experience in the industry, we have created this book for you to help! Through illustrations, tips, stories, photos and more, we help you understand all you need to consider. We do use Multi Shelter Solutions examples throughout, as that is what we have easiest access to, but this is by no means a sales book.

This guide is meant to inform you of your choices and show you key considerations in your planning journey. We have tried to make this book as informative as possible, no matter which direction you choose to go.

Enjoy, and happy planning!

Available on Amazon for purchase, or you can go through our facebook page
We appreciate your support!

Covering Options

Tarp Covering Instructions and Plastic Covering Instructions from the Assembly Guide can be downloaded at the underlined links

We offer 4 different types of standard coverings for your shelter solutions. We offer two types of 6 mil plastic and two types of 12 mil tarps. All of the covers can be fastened to our structures using wirelock, which is a flexible steel wire, bent into an aluminum channel on either end of the structure. This sheet is a brief overview of the options, and reasoning behind which we recommend for what application. We would be happy to answer any remaining questions you have.

The main difference between plastic and tarp beside the cost is the tear resistance. The 12 mil tarps are much more tear resistant than the plastic. The other key differences are price and life expectancy.

Plastic is the less expensive option of the covers that we offer, and is 6 mil and available in white or clear. It generally runs between 13¢-17¢/sqft depending on the size piece you require. Life expectancy is 6-7 years for single layer plastic or 6-8 years for double plastic. Clear plastic is also available in 4 mil for some cost saving but that would only be used as an inside layer. 6 mil plastic is also available with an anti-condensate and infrared coating for even greater drip control and heat savings (see below for more info on these). This plastic comes with a 4 year warranty against deterioration by the sun.

Plants need clear plastic to grow and flourish. Clear plastic is also used for swimming pool covers, as both applications require sunshine to come through. The white plastic is best when more shade is required and is ideal for livestock. It is slightly cooler inside the structure than the clear option. White plastic is also recommended for swimming pool applications where more privacy is required, as well as covering RVs or other equipment where fading would be an issue.

For greenhouses, swimming pools or livestock, we usually recommend a double cover, with roll up sides and an inflator fan. Double covers extend the life expectancy of the cover, reduce heat loss by 30%, which helps maintain the temperature in the structure, as well as reduce condensation. The small inflator fan that we offer and include in the double cover package prices, uses very little electricity and is left running all the time to keep air between the two layers so you can reap the benefits of the double cover.

Plastic can also come with an anti condensate coating which will reduce or eliminate dripping in your greenhouse. This is a detergent additive which will eventually work itself out of the plastic. This happens more quickly if you have very high humidity levels in your greenhouse. The cost is roughly 10% more then regular 6 mil plastic and is only available in full rolls (100′ or more).

One other variation on greenhouse plastic is that with an IR (infra-red) coating. The cell structure that this plastic is made from is significantly different from the regular plastic. This gives the plastic a much softer texture and feel and contributes to it not being as strong as regular plastic. This is why we suggest that it only be used as the inside layer of a double plastic installation. The slight restriction for people with shorter greenhouses is that the IR plastic only comes in 100′ and 150′ rolls. You would either have a friend who can buy/use the extra or be prepared to “waste” some. There are also not quite as many choices for available widths as with regular plastic.

The IR plastic can reduce your heat loss by up to 20% over a regular double poly installation. Even though this plastic has a hazy look to it, the light transmission properties are actually a couple percentage points better. This plastic comes standard with an anti-condensate coating which means there will be less dripping in the greenhouse. All of these features make IR plastic an attractive alternative for many people in spite of the fact that the cost is roughly  20% more then regular plastic. This plastic does not have an inside or outside.
Please call Norm to specifically inquire about more information regarding these special coatings.

Tarp is more expensive than the plastic options, but is also more durable if equipment, car doors or hay might bump against the cover frequently. It is a 12 mil three ply woven material, available in white or green. It generally runs between 38¢-45¢/sqft depending on the size piece you require. Life expectancy is 5-6 years for the green tarp and 8-10 years for the white tarp.  Green tarp comes with a 4 year warranty and white tarp a 6 year warranty against deterioration by the sun.

The green tarp consists of a green, black and white layer, which absorbs heat significantly more than our white option, which consists of a white, clear and white layer. The heat absorption contributes to faster deterioration of the green cover as well as having a higher inside temperature. The white tarp is less noticeable in the summer than the green is in the winter, if camouflaging is a concern. The white tarp also lets light in, making it easier to work inside the structure because it’s not as dark inside. Tarps are fully waterproof.

Our white plastic is available in widths of 24′, 32′, 40′ and 48′. Our clear plastic is available in widths of 25′, 28′, 32′, 36′, 40′, and 48′. Our white tarp is available in widths of 25′, 32′, and 36′ and the green tarp is available in 32′ wide. A full roll of plastic is considered as 100 or more feet and is sold in multiples of 5′ for length.

One of the less often used roof coverings is the twin wall polycarbonate. It is generally considered to be a 15 year material and it has extremely high impact resistance. The double wall with honey comb shaped flutes also gives it very good heat retention properties for a light transmitting material. It is considered as a rigid material but it does have enough flex to be installed on our gothic shaped structures. This material sells for $2.50 – $3.00 per square foot and the structure also requires some modification. This material can also be used as an end and/or door covering when durability and appearance are extra considerations.

Whichever covering option you choose, it’s important you receive all the benefits you require for your application. We are able to assist you in weighing the options further, as well as providing you a sample of each for your review. We look forward to helping you find the cover solution that best fits your needs.

Infrared Plastic Coating

Another variation on greenhouse plastic is with an IR (infra-red) coating.

  • The IR plastic can reduce your heat loss by up to 20% over a regular double poly installation.
  • Even though this plastic has a hazy look to it, the light transmission properties are actually a couple percentage points better.
  • This plastic comes standard with an anti-condensate coating which means there will be less dripping in the greenhouse.

All of these features make IR plastic an attractive alternative for many people in spite of the fact that the cost is roughly  20% more then regular plastic. This plastic does not have an inside or outside.

The cell structure that the Infrared plastic is made from is significantly different from the regular plastic. This gives the plastic a much softer texture and feel and contributes to it not being as strong as regular plastic. This is why we suggest that it only be used as the inside layer of a double plastic installation.

The slight restriction for people with shorter greenhouses is that the IR plastic only comes in 100′ and 150′ rolls. You would either have a friend who can buy/use the extra or be prepared to “waste” some. There are also not quite as many choices for available widths as with regular plastic.

Please call Norm to specifically inquire about more information regarding these special coatings.

you can see more information on our covering options page

Covering Ends – Plastic & Tarp

Please refer to the Ends page in the assembly guide as well

When you are covering the ends of the structure, there are some similarities and some fundamental differences when you are covering with plastic or with tarp.

The aluminum wirelock channel must be installed on the top side of the hoop before you start the cover. The framing must also be in place before you are putting on the cover.

Your cover will be a rectangle and you must double check if the two ends were supplied as one piece or not.

  • You start at the base of one side and go continuously over the peak so that there is not an edge at the peak.
  • The cover gets fastened, temporarily, at the base first on either side of the door and then pull out to the corners.

If there is ANY wind, do into the wind side first.

  • Please remember that whenever you have wrinkles or folds, you will pull 90 degrees to the wrinkle.

Excess on the end covers will only get trimmed off after the roof cover is on as well.

If you are covering the end with plastic

  • you would go with the extra of your rectangle and fasten it temporarily to the back side of your framing.
  • At the very most, at this stage you will put part of a wire insert on either side of the peak.
  • When the cover is sitting smooth, you can put some strapping on the vertical framing to hole the cover in place.

If you are covering the ends with tarp

  • you will need to remove the wirelock channel first.

This may seem like double work, but the channel is now curved to the building with the required screw holes.

  • The end tarp cover is sandwiched between the hoop and the bottom of the wirelock channel.
  • When you pull the tarp over the peak, you will reinstall the wirelock channel from the top and work down.
  • If you do the left, right or bottom first will be determined by where the wrinkles are (if any).

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions at all and please watch the videos on our YouTube channel for more information

Choosing a Cover – Poly vs Tarp

Everyone wants to save money but they also want value for the dollars invested. One of the things that sets MSS apart is with the cover choices we offer.

The two main areas of covers we offer are the 12mil woven tarps and the 6mil plastic. (Other options available, call to confirm)

Both of these choices are by no means the heaviest that are out there, but they do provide excellent life span for the investment.

When you consider the cost per year on our 12mil white tarps, which have an 8-10 year expected lifespan, they stack up very favourably to the 20-24mil covers that are available.

  • The main reason 12mil is even an option for us to use is that our hoops or ribs are much closer together and therefore provide much more support to the cover.

Using 6mil plastic gives even more options.

  • Going clear (greenhouse) allows the necessary light transmission for plant growth.
  • Going white (livestock) allows light while still providing a shade factor.
  • The option of a double layer with air between, provides even more benefits for heat loss and condensation reduction and added stiffness in extremely windy locations.
  • The biggest attraction for the 6mil plastic is the life span you get for the investment.

Call to get your custom quote today. We would be happy to help you.
You can also see our covering page for even more detailed information

Solar Powered Inflator Fan Update & Alternative

We have been continuing to get many inquiries about solar powering the inflator fan for greenhouses and livestock buildings, which is used to put air between two layers of plastic roof cover. For the last year we have been experimenting with a solar collecting package to determine what is required, while we work to keep our interested customers updated along the way.

The first thing that must be emphasized, is that you MUST use a squirrel cage type of fan and not a propeller type. The propeller type can not continuously run against back pressure.

The output required will be determined by the size of the greenhouse or livestock building. Our regular 110 volt fan draws .25 amp and puts out 80 cfm. Some small buildings can use a smaller fan and some of the bigger ones require our double output fan which gives 130 cfm.

Our inflator fan works quite well going through an invertor. Any 12 or 24 volt fans which we have tried have been extremely noisy and therefore not feasible.

The biggest challenge which we encountered, is that the specific time the fan is needed the most for heat insulation, is also the time where there is the least capacity for generating power.

We used a single solar collector and a single battery and there was simply not a quick enough capacity for the battery to hold charge when we had several consecutive cloudy days in December/January

To add another solar collector to an already fairly expensive package, really becomes prohibitive and can deter from moving forward with it.

Based on this experience, we wanted to offer an alternative that balanced economy with feasibility. We have come up with a way where the extra roof plastic can be used on the inside of the structure.

This means that you would not need the inflator fan but still have the effect of double plastic with the air pocket for better heat efficiency. This system does require a bit of extra “fiddling” but the net cost will be a little less.

1. The structure is covered with a single layer of plastic just the same as you would if you were only doing a single layer.
2. Take the second piece of plastic inside the greenhouse and fold it double lengthwise.
3. This double plastic will be attached to the underside of the ridge using the same aluminum as you would use to fasten the plastic to the roll up pipe.
4. Next remove the purlins from the one side of the structure and after you have pushed over the plastic, reinstall the purlins under the plastic. You will be pushing the bolts through the plastic.
5. The plastic will be fastened with wirelock to the underside of the end hoops.

We have already had some customers try this out and are very happy with the result. Please call us with any questions or to discuss your specific application and situation where you might use this. We would be happy to help you with your project!

Shipping Options From Multi Shelter Solutions

Multi Shelters offers a variety of shipping options to save our customers money on their buildings.

First and foremost, we offer shipping with our truck wherever possible. We have been shipping out to eastern Canada with our truck for the last couple years. We can save you even more money with our Multi Shelter Solutions truck!

We also have a shipping crate that makes longer distance shipping with Manitoulin Transport more cost effective. Shipping longer distances with our new shipping crate certainly has added possibilities while maintaining quality, convenience and economy.An added dimension is the rail service that Manitoulin Transport offers to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. By going via rail to Winnipeg and then road to Saskatoon, a recent customer is saving $600 on his freight bill.

MSS has now shipped structures to all 10 Canadian provinces, the Yukon and Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Missouri, Kansas, Vermont and Illinois

Did you know that in many cases the difference in the exchange rate between Canada and the U.S. pretty well covers the freight?  In most cases for the north eastern U.S. the currency exchange is about equal to the freight. We have started to ship a few buildings to the U.S. and look forward to helping more people find their shelter solution. Still made and manufactured in Palmerston, ON.

Call today to find out more!

Building Permits and Your Structure

A question that we are asked regularly is “Do I need a building permit for this building?” The simple answer is “Generally, yes”. And to get a permit for one of our structures, you need to have engineered drawings. The frustrating and unfortunate part is that there seldom is a month where we do not hear a strange interpretation of some rule which we have not heard before.

There continues to be a huge variation in the interpretation of the rules. This goes beyond the fact that certain areas get more snow and wind then others and therefore require sturdier buildings.

Our focus will continue to be getting an understanding of what it is that you are dealing with so that we can put together a structure package that will serve your needs for years to come. Educating our customers on weather dynamics on these buildings continues to be a valuable component of that process.

Many of our customers, who are putting their new building out of sight and they get along with their neighbours, will put up the building without asking questions. This is certainly not a practice we recommend or encourage but acknowledge as a reaction to officials who do not understand these buildings or how they work.

It is difficult to understand why identically fabricated building, installed on nearby locations, can run into a problem simply because of what they are using the building for. Recently we received calls from two prospective customers, the first had been given a 10 page form to fill out and the other was ready to order his building since he had been specifically told “you do not need a permit for a tent”.

In most municipalities these buildings are classified as low human occupancy, temporary agricultural buildings. We have engineer approved drawings for a number of our standard buildings as governed by the Farm Building Code.

With the large amount of variations that we offer, we are sometimes in a situation where the building is somewhere between two approved units. It is quite easy for us to upgrade the building to a higher wind or snow rating but that does not mean it will be automatically acceptable without a specific set of engineer evaluated drawings for your site. When you are required to get a set of drawing with evaluation specific to you, there will be an extra cost

Please do not hesitate to contact us for clarification on any point of confusion. It is your responsibility to verify these things before building.

RV Cathedal Shelters

truck shelter ends

There are numerous applications where additional headspace takes priority over floor space. Multi Shelter Solutions has a CATHEDRAL shaped structure which is the result of simply taking a regular profile arch and reversing what is typically the top and bottom. This is another example of how our innovation creates a “custom” structure at standard pricing. This profile is our most snow resistant model. The 4 basic sizes combined with any length allow virtually any vehicle to be covered economically.

As in the above photograph, the cover is usually opaque, to allow light to come in but not sunlight which would allow fading and other harmful effects. The base is typically a pressure treated 6×6 or railroad tie pegged to the ground. Rather then construct large, expensive access doors, many of our customers build a simple closed end with small man door. This is dismantled during the operating season and reconstructed for the winter time.

TARP vs. PLASTIC

The big difference is that with TARP you get extremely high tear resistance with good annual cover cost, and with PLASTIC you get slightly less life span but even less annual cover cost.

AVAILABLE OPTIONS

  • Custom widths, heights & hoop spacing
  • Roof vents & forced ventilation packages
  • Various types & sizes of doors with end framing priced separately
  • 8mm polycarbonate sheeting for roof and/or ends
  • Roll up sides for natural ventilation & reduced condensation
  • Cross ties for added rigidity, support or other storage