February Update

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Ever since the onset of COVID-19 virus with all of its challenges, we at Multi Shelter Solutions have been fortunate to have a huge increase in interest in our products. We are grateful that people see such value in our greenhouses as they search for added food security amidst uncertainty.

This increase in interest during this time of uncertainty and extra protocols for safety have not happened without its own challenges. We are grateful for the patience which customers have shown and also their willingness to plan ahead.

Generally speaking we are getting people the information and numbers which they need within a week. Some of the more complex quotes or ones with a few extra situations do take a few extra days. In the office, Maggie has been quickly acknowledging requests and identifying any missing information so that when Kelly or Norm does the quote, they have what is required. We appreciate you giving us as much information as possible to reduce any back and forth and help your quote process go quicker. As a reminder we do not give quotes or delivery updates on our social media.

Please be aware that with the uncertainty and volatility of steel and aluminum costs, we are only guaranteeing our prices for 30 days. We understand people appreciate having those numbers available for their planning purposes on our website but the best way to ensure accuracy right now is to phone or email for a quote. As a heads up, we will be updating pricing on our website in the near future, to respond to the situation we are facing from our suppliers.

With our current workload, deliveries are being quoted at 10 weeks. Some of the larger or more complex buildings are being quoted as longer. We work at grouping things together in certain areas and some customers are surprised with quicker deliveries. This is something that should not be counted on.

Our office staff continues to reach out to customers just before delivery to ensure they are aware of delivery protocols. Acknowledgement of these protocols is mandatory for the safety of the driver but also in more and more situations, part of the necessary paperwork we must file in advance as we travel out of province. We appreciate everyone helping to get these things organized quickly and efficiently. We are grateful that we are classified as essential service and are meticulous with ensuring paperwork is complete so that we can maintain that status.

We will continue to use our website and social media as best as we can, as a tool for keeping our customers informed and up to date on what is going on in our rapidly changing world. We look forward to working with you on your greenhouse and shelter projects and wish you health and safety in the coming month and beyond.

Thank you for your interest and patience,
Norm & the Multi Shelters Team

Important Winter Care Articles

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We have published a few articles regarding winter care and maintenance, and suggest anyone who has purchased a structure from us to review them to make sure your shelter is safe over this winter. As always, we are available for anything you are wondering or concerned about. We would be happy to help.

Winter Care & Maintenance
Winter Storm and Your Structures
Putting up Structures After Snowfall
Weather Cautions
Temporary Fix for a Loose Cover
Retightening a Loose Cover
Installing Before Winter

Covid Update 2/16/21

We are grateful for the way that everyone has been working together, and as a result, the number of new infections are coming down.

In light of the easing of restrictions, we want to remind you of where Multi Shelters stands and appreciate your attention to our unchanged protocols.

As an effort to keep our staff and customers safe, our office remains closed to visitors and our strict delivery protocols are still in place.

We thank you in advance for your co-operation and look forward to continuing to work with you on your projects through the spring.

Last Call for April NFLD!!

A chance for Newfoundland growers to save on greenhouse shipping!

**DEADLINE FOR ORDERING FEBRUARY 16, 2021**

Right now we are gearing up to come to the island again in April and are offering a group delivery discount for anyone in Newfoundland to get in on the upcoming delivery run! This is your opportunity to save. If you act quickly, you can get in on this load and have your building delivered to your door by the manufacturer. For a long time now the growers in eastern Canada have worked together with us to make their structure shipping less expensive and more timely. By planning ahead, we group things together so the freight component is less. Get your order in before Feb 16th to take advantage of these savings! We look forward to helping you with your project!

Important Building Permit Information *updated*

2021 update for Building Permit questions

A question we are asked regularly is “Do I need a building permit?”

Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer.

There is a wide range of interpretation of the rules, and there is seldom a month that goes by that we do not hear a new twist. This goes beyond the fact that certain areas get more snow and wind than others and therefore require sturdier buildings.

Please review this article fully since your proper understanding of the situation will determine how you approach the situation and often determines the outcome.  We are only offering information from our experience and do not guarantee any outcomes.

This type of building is not something which building officials deal with regularly and you do not want their confusion to become your problem and expense if you can help it.

Types of Building Classifications

MSS buildings are considered low human occupancy, temporary buildings. Most of our
buildings go on agricultural land, but it is important to realize that the type of zoned land your building is going on makes a big difference.

The designation of “temporary” is what often determines if a permit is required. There is a wide variation in what constitutes “temporary”. It is important that you clarify and understand the ruling for your municipality. In some municipalities, if there is anything into the ground, it is no longer temporary. This has lead to people building on the big concrete blocks. In other municipalities, any use of concrete nullifies the classification of temporary. One of the reasons, many of our buildings sit on a base beam with t-post anchors is that it reinforces the idea of temporary.

There is also a significant variation on the threshold size of the building. In some jurisdictions, anything over 100 square feet, regardless of zoning, requires a permit. In other areas, anything under 40 square meters (approx. 640 sqft.) is a tent, as long as it meets the definition of “temporary” and does not need a permit.

Weather Dynamics

Our focus will continue to be on 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. Snow load is usually the point that comes up first but an equally important consideration is wind load. We want “temporary” to mean that the building can easily be relocated and not that it can easily blow away.

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. We are available to offer an explanation, either verbally or written, upon request. Please be aware that our conversation with your building official does not automatically ensure a favourable outcome.

Engineered Drawings & Getting a Permit

To get a permit, you will need drawings with an engineer’s stamp. We have a generic set of engineer approved drawings for a number of our structure sizes. These are available upon request, at no extra charge for you to use. These drawings show what the building has been evaluated for in the past and what it is good for. The report highlights the requirement of the code and the conformity to it.

It is important that you understand the limitations of the generic drawings since it will impact how you present them. Since it is not practical to have drawings on every variation, it is important that you understand how, what we are giving you, is at least equal or what you are building is an upgrade from the drawing. Even though the sub section of the building code has not changed from when these buildings were reviewed, the way that engineers and building officials deal with them has changed.

Permit & Building Liability

From a liability perspective, engineers will not give a “blanket stamp”. Building officials also often want something current and specific to your project. Other building officials simply want to confirm what this building is generically good for and are fine.

A photocopied set of drawings with a stamp may get you the permit you need but it is important to remember that only a new or original stamp will get you a level of legal protection should anything ever go wrong. The insurance coverage which comes with an original stamp is one of the reasons for the cost. The unfortunate part of this process, is that there is nothing on this which we can do in advance.

We have ways of upgrading our structures for snow and wind loading. In most cases we will recommend these when discussing and quoting the project. Even if you are not going with the upgrades, it is important to understand the options so that you have a back up before your building official denies your request.

Completing the Permit Request

One last thing which you should verify with your building official if you are in a situation of needing a permit, has to do with how the process will be finalized or closed off.

Some officials will hold you responsible for adhering to the drawings and some will come, after completion, to check for themselves. Others will require the engineer to sign off on it.

In the case of the generic drawings, this is not an option and in the case of a new stamp, it will be an expensive add on that you should be aware of.

For an engineer to sign off on something, he or she has to do a visual inspection. Photographs are not admissible. Depending on where you live, there could be a significant travel cost added to the bill.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to verify requirements
and ensure compliance before building.

February Features! *Winter and Your Structures*

We have a number of resources on our website to help you with taking care of our structure over winter. We have compiled a list of “Greatest Hits” below, that you can review at your leisure and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions if you are unsure or can’t find what you’re looking for. We are always happy to help.

The best place to start is the Winter Care Pages in our instruction manual.

We also have: Winter FAQs

Video: Norm explains the situations where you would need to remove snow from a Greenhouse or Storage Building and how to do it safely

Winter Care & Maintenance
Important notes for various situations
Our structures are designed in a gothic shape with a slippery cover to be lightweight and snow resistant. This encourages the snow to slide off quickly. This is not an industrial high snow load building….

Weather Cautions
These buildings are not industrial grade shelters and, as such, some caution must be exercised under some winter storm conditions….

Winter Storm & Your Structures
Many areas have been hit with freezing rain today and even though it has generally not been enough to warrant concern for the structures, it is a good time to recap some common things when dealing with ice on buildings….

Retightening a Loose Structure Cover
Re-tightening a cover does not have to be done in one day. Taking a short cut will leave you with more wrinkles. Areas with wrinkles will flutter more and cause stress points.
This will also cause the cover to deteriorate quicker……

Temporary Fix for a Loose Cover
There are a number of instances where a cover will need to be installed in less than ideal conditions. This can be either be on a windy day or in the cold (-10C or worse) and the job simply can not wait.

Season Extension: Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels
The real lure of these buildings is their low cost and simplicity to move. Generally the area is prepared in advance and then the tunnel is moved over the area when the planting is to be done…..

Happy Valentine’s Day and Family Day! We hope you and your family are staying warm, and getting excited for the upcoming spring and growing season! We look forward to working with you on your projects in 2021!