We have previously covered the idea that while considering your structure choices you will have to weigh cost versus benefit or return. There is no area which this is more true then with cover choices.
The wide range of cover choices include glass, polycarbonate, polyethylene and woven products. Within each of these products there is an equally great variety of choices. Along with each of these choices there is a huge variation in cost and function or performance.
At Multi Shelter Solutions we manufacture a wide range of shapes and sizes of predominantly plastic and tarp covered buildings. Because these buildings and shelters are narrower and have a reduced hoop spacing, we can use a lighter cover of the options available. The easiest way to get a comparative cost is to take the replacement cover cost divided by the years of expected life span to get an annual cover cost.
Our 7.2 mil plastic covers can be used as a single layer or double with air between for a 30% reduction in heat loss and to minimize condensation. White plastic has a 4 year warranty against deterioration by the sun, clear has a 5 year warranty. Plastic is available in clear (greenhouses) and white (livestock shelters) and comes in various thicknesses. The average life span is 5 – 6 years for single layer and 6 – 8 years for double although 10 years is not uncommon.
Our 12mil white woven covers have a much greater tear resistance then plastic. This makes a good alternative when there will be some contact between product and cover. By providing shade, the white tarp is cooler in the summer. By still letting light in, it is warmer in the winter. Typical life span is 10 year.
You can see more info on these choices on our covering page or with the presentation video and the rest of the series Norm spoke on Greenhouses 101 here. As always, we are happy to help you with any of your questions regarding planning or options as you are considering your structure purchase.