Author Archives: Andrea Eygenraam

Updates

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make the open house a big success! We hoped you enjoyed it as much as we did!

We also wanted to update everyone that Norm is out of the country with limited access to email until June 19th.
Please feel free to contact Gwen in the office at 1-866-838-6729 or Andrea at multisheltersales@gmail.com with any urgent requests in the meantime, and they will do their best to help you.

We appreciate your patience and are grateful for you thinking of Multi Shelter Solutions for your structure and covering requirements. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

Multi Shelter Solutions
https://multisheltersolutions.com/
Toll Free: 1-866-838-6729

Building Permit Questions

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 from us (which we have for most of our standard buildings)

However, there is seldom 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.

As an example, in one week, 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 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.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for clarification on any point of confusion.

It is your responsibility to verify these things before building.

We are not familiar with regulations in each municipality.

Please also see our building permit page for more updates

FEATURED PRODUCT: Movable Structures

 

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The idea of a moving structure allows a user, with a little creativity, to protect 2 -3 times as much area with the same building and investment. It is a very simple concept as long as some basic guidelines are adhered to. It can be applied to many of our standard structures.

Please see our Movable Structures page for more information and don’t hesitate to call us with any questions regarding this unique application.

Photos & Video: Purlins, Windbraces & Crossties

IMPORTANT wind braces are the longer pipes, purlins are the shorter ones, Cross ties are optional, and they are the longest pipes you will get (pictured below, not here)

Installing Purlins

 

How to install windbraces video is on our YouTube Channel

Below are examples of structures with cross-ties, bars going across the peak for larger structures. These are optional to reinforce the structure. Please see the supplemental Cross-Ties page in the installation guide as well as additional notes below the photos

We’ve had a number of questions regarding cross ties being missing from orders. This isn’t the case, and is done on purpose because the last cross tie interferes with the end cover, so we ship the orders “short” on cross ties to compensate for this. We are sorry for any confusion this has caused and are happy to help you with any other installation questions you may have.

Cross ties, also known as collar ties, are a horizontal bar in a structure which ties the left and right side together. They are usually 3’ to 4’ down from the peak. The purpose of cross ties is to add load strength to the structure. Many people look at cross ties as a nuisance because of lost head space but they have a three fold benefit.

  • By forming the triangle at the peak you create benefit for the dead load which is usually snow load. The top can not come down when the sides can not spread.
  • By tying the left and right sides together, you create strength for the live load, commonly referred to as wind load. When the wind blows from the left, the right side holds it from pushing inward and vice versa.
  • Most importantly, it decreases the rocking motion which can stress a building over time.
  • The cross tie can also supply a very useful support area for things that need to be suspended.

It is important to remember that when you spread out the load you create strength.Photos & Video: Purlins, Windbraces & Crossties

Steel Volatility FAQ

Most of you are aware of all the rhetoric coming from south of the border regarding duties and tariffs which are threatened to be imposed on Canadian steel going south.

This obviously would have a significant impact for anyone from Canada who is exporting.

MSS is proud of the fact that our product is almost 100% Canadian manufactured. As such you may think that we would not be impacted by all this in a significant way.

That is not the case and the purpose of this post is to make you aware of the volatility presently in steel and aluminum.

The purpose of tariffs is to reduce incoming products and minimize competition (it is called “leveling the playing field”) so that steel mills will be running at higher levels of productivity.

Since many steel mills are not as efficient as they could or should be, it is easier to simply take advantage of the opportunity and raise prices.

Unfortunately Canadian manufacturers are playing the game and rather than reducing prices on product that cannot go elsewhere, prices are being increased.

We, at Multi Shelter Solutions, are extremely grateful for the fabulous year our customers have given us in 2017.

This has given us the means to be more proactive on securing larger amounts of steel and further out as a way of minimizing the impact of price changes on our customers.

Thank you to those who are planning further ahead but please be aware of the current state of things. We are a small fish in a big pond but we are working hard to be deserving of your loyalty and look forward to working with you on your 2018 projects!

Trade Show Season!

Western Fair Farm Show Mar 7-9
Western Fair District, London, ON

Ottawa Farm Show Mar 13-15
EY Center 4899 Uplands Drive, Ottawa, ON

We are pleased to be able to connect with our new and existing customers every year at a trade shows to answer questions and display some of our structures and parts we use. There’s something unique about face to face contact whenever possible. Unfortunately that also means time away from the office.

We always do our best during this busy time to keep up with all requests and deliveries in a timely manner and we sincerely appreciate your patience.

As winter comes to an end, so too will spring arrive soon enough. This always increases demands for delivery times. We recommend getting your order in as soon as possible to avoid any extra challenges. As always, we do our best to accommodate everyone’s needs; however, please be advised, delivery times are increased between March-April.

We look forward to helping you with your next project and answering any outstanding questions you may have.

Retightening a Loose Structure Cover

Previously we outlined how to do a temporary fix for loose cover. This should not be left for an extended period. Re-tightening a cover does not have to be done in one day.

  • The job MUST split into two parts lengthwise.
  • The cover must be pulled lengthwise BEFORE it is pulled from side to side.
  • Make sure you do the tightening process on a calm, warm day.
  • You should do the end which looks the worst first.
  • This job will require taking ALL of the cover fasteners out.

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.

When you are tightening the cover, you should always pull 90 degrees to the wrinkle.

This means that after you have secured at the peak,
most often you will be pulling diagonally to the corner.

Once you have done one end/half and the wind is still down, you can start loosing the fasteners on the other end and repeat the process until complete.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

You can also see additional information in our installation guide:
Tarp Covering Instructions
Plastic Covering Instructions
Wirelock & Side Wall Cover Fasteners
covering options

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.

This will almost invariably lead to a situation where the cover will need to be re-tightened on a warmer and/or calmer day.

Doing this temporary fix will get you an extra month of time that you can wait until it warms up and you can do a better job retightening the loose cover.

The lifespan of a cover can very quickly be reduced if it is repeatedly flapping in the hard wind. A very effective, temporary fix to give you more time to do the job right, is to put ropes or straps over the building (as in the photos below)

A 1” or 2” wide seat belt type material is ideal but likely you will need to settle for a soft, marine grade rope instead.

Using nylon rope is almost worse then using nothing because of the abrasion factor.

  • The idea is to put a strap or rope between pairs of hoops every 12’ to 16’ and pull as tight as you can.
  • Use nails or eye bolts on your base as the spot for securing the ropes or straps.

If your cover is especially loose, it is best to install each of the ropes or straps snugly first. Then go back and tighten them as tight as you can. This will prevent you from pulling too much in one spot.

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions about this technique. We would be happy to help clarify anything you need, to keep your building secure.

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We Look Forward to Helping You Find Your Shelter Solution!

Here at Multi Shelters we can work with you to fit whatever budget you have in mind for your project and publish sample prices freely for you to compare. We have found a balance that provides the economy so many seek, while not sacrificing any quality of the structure or customer service. Feel free to contact us for a custom quote for what you have in mind. We can work together to reach your goals.

Our biggest niche still remains that we don’t bend any steel before getting an order. We are able to customize it to fit in just the right spot, or alter how it’s done for your unique request. We bring over 43 years of experience to each and every call or email that we receive from potential and existing customers and welcome standard as well as outside the box projects.

That factor is how we’ve come up with our “igloo” structure, the airplane hangars, our “flying” greenhouse that was lifted onto an apartment building, and more! We pride ourselves on being able to help you find your best shelter solution, no matter how “out there” an application may seem. We’ve seen pretty much everything and look forward to your project ideas and challenges.

We have also recently published a book called “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse…Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase” available on Amazon or direct from our office. While the title may lead you to think it’s only about greenhouses, it does have many valuable resources for planning any sort of structure purchase. We go through the steps we list on our Getting Started Page in more detail, with photos, funny stories, and many useful tips, how tos and don’t forgets. Stay tuned on our facebook page for our Tip Tuesday and Thoughtful Thursday for excerpts from the book (and don’t forget Friday Funnies for a chuckle!)

Check out our application pages to get you started and start the ideas flowing, there’s many to choose from. Thank you for your interest in Multi Shelters and we look forward to hearing from you in 2018!

Season Extension: Hanley Caterpillar Tunnels

The third area to discuss regarding season extension are those structures that are simple enough to disassemble and relocate to another spot-primarily referring to 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.

Since the original design specified 6′ hoop spacing, the intent was always to remove the cover before risk of heavier snow fall. More often now, growers are going to 5′ spacing (and sometimes 4′) to allow the covers to remain on longer or even permanently.

By having a smaller hoop spacing, it allows the cover to stay on permanently, which allows for a much earlier start in the spring.

The key to the concept of the hanley working is in the rope.

  • The back and forth pattern of the rope resembles the way a person would lace up a boot.
  • Typically there is a spring loaded clip at the base where the rope passes through.
  • Once the rope is fully installed, it is important to tighten it through three passes from end to end.
  • If the rope is not tight enough, the wind will create wiggle and movement sideways.
  • When the plastic is tight enough, it also allows the grower to slide the plastic up the hoop to allow ventilation.

Generally the plastic is about 25′ longer then the tunnel.
This allows the installer to bunch up (pig tail style) the extra poly at both ends between a pair of posts.
It is important to get the plastic as tight as possible lengthwise first.
There must also be a rope from the top of the last hoop to the tie off post.

There are a couple of challenges to consider with the hanley tunnels.

  1. One of these challenges is to create a proper entrance. Typically entrance is achieved by slightly lifting the plastic and ducking underneath.
  2. The other are of challenge is the low shoulder height of the structure. This restricts the use to a couple rows of taller items in the middle and a couple rows of shorter plants along the side. The width of the tunnel does lend itself to three regular size beds.

Once you have learned about the nuances of the hanley tunnels, and asked any questions that come up, you will be better prepared to have these efficient season extenders work for you and your application.

Feel free to look at our Hanley Application page for more information and photos, and give us a call with anything else you require.

We are pleased to have many happy customers these structures are working for, and look forward to you being next!

This concludes our week long series of Season Extension. Check out our new book if you want to know more “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse…Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase”