Author Archives: multisheltersolutions

Swimming Pool Enclosures

swimmingCovering your pool gives you many benefits

  • extending your swimming season
  • increased privacy while swimming
  • significantly reduces the amount of chlorine that is used during the season
  • reduces the need to sweep your pool as often.
  • Enjoy swimming without the mosquitoes!

The typical package is sold with a double clear cover and a roll up side wall kit.

The structure can be fastened directly to your deck or anchored beside the concrete. Consider placing the structure off center to create extra walking/lounging space along one side.

See our Swimming Pool Enclosures page for more information

Installing Multiple Covers into One Wirelock Channel

This post covers another one of our most frequently asked questions,

HOW TO INSTALL MULTIPLE COVERS INTO ONE WIRELOCK CHANNEL!

We hope the description and video can help clarify this issue a bit more. Thanks for your feedback!

The beauty of wirelock is its ability to hold multiple layers of covers, even covers in different directions (i.e. roof and ends or 2 long lengths).

Before starting you must at least have the cover tacked at the opposite end. This will give you resistance for pulling the cover tight.

Our wirelock channel will hold up to 3 layers of 6 mil plastic securely.

Two layers of 12 mil tarp will not be held securely in the wirelock channel. This is why we recommend that the top of the end wall tarp be sandwiched between the channel and the hoop.

If you have never installed these covers before, it is recommended to use at least 3 people.

  • After the bottom of the end cover has been secured, pull the end cover over the hoop first.
  • Person “A” will hold it from the inside of the structure in such a way that there are no wrinkles.
  • The roof cover can now go over the channel as well.
  • Person “B” will pull on the roof cover while person “C” installs the stainless spring steel wire inserts.
  • “C” will start from the peak and work down.

It is critical to remember that “A” and “B”, who are pulling on the two respective covers, must always be pulling at least a foot ahead of “C” who is installing the wire insert. This will allow a little give in the covers so that there will not be damage.

With more experience “B” and “C” can be done by one person.

It is also important to remember the wrist technique for installing the wire insert. Do not slide the wire straight back and forth. This causes abrasions on the cover.

As you move back and forth, apply pressure with the thumb on the next parallel spot of the wire insert.
Use a needle nose pliers to get the last tip into the channel.
The next wire insert does not have to be overlapped.

For more details and to watch an illustration, please see our YouTube Video below

Installation Overview

You will get a complete manual with every order, recently updated. You can download our instruction manual through the links below for a preview or to prepare for your delivery.

You can also view the additional articles, links or videos on our how to page. Please note, not all pages or options apply to everyone.

There is quite a bit of information contained in this manual that it CRITICAL to be understood. These structures are more complex to assemble than your typical Swedish Furniture.

The pages are in the order they should be read.
#1-2 are very important notes about installation and the rest of the manual.
#3 & #7 are options, you have one or the other
#6, 8, and 10 your building may or may not have depending on options you choose
1. START HERE
2. Requirements Before You Build
3. Anchoring – Base Brackets
3. Anchoring – Anchor Posts
4. ridge & hoops
5. Purlins & Windbraces
6. (optional) Cross Ties
7. Covering-Plastic Roof
7. Covering-Tarp Roof
8. (optional) Roll up Side Walls
9. Wirelock & Side Wall Cover Fasteners
10. (optional) Inflator Fan
11. End Wall Covering, Framing and End Ideas
12. Door ideas and options

click here to download a step by step breakdown of the process in PDF format. TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MANUAL ABOVE, NOT AS A STAND ALONE RESOURCE.

general inside

You can download our Hanley Assembly installation overview

You can download our movable structure information package 

You can download information for installing our Accordian door or Roll up door assembly

One of the most common questions we get asked is regarding installation of our structures. We have tried to create a simple yet effective solution for your applications, and recently have revamped our installation guide with more pictures, a glossary and more detailed instructions about everything to empower our customer more. You can find that above. (SEE ABOVE 1-14)

 We are in the process of creating more videos, and you can see our current how tos here. These structures are supplied as kits, intended for our customer to be able to install themselves. We are available for whatever questions you may have.
Many of our customers are also familiar with a contractor or someone in their area they trust to install their structure, and we are happy to work with them to create an understanding so the customers are not required to be educators as well.
Although we used to install, the weather has become far too unpredictable and we simply do not have the man power to be able to get the structures out in a timely manner as well as install. Anyone who would be worth recommending is booking at least 3 months out.
We have confidence that you will be able to install these structures yourselves with a small team of people and are currently working on a small database of customers in various areas that are willing to coach or give advice for a small fee to new customers who are looking for guidance.
Thank you for your inquiry, but no, we do not install, or know anyone yet that could help.
ORIENTATION & LOCATION

It is generally accepted that a north/south facing building picks up the sunlight better and an east/west building ventilates easier. Therefore, unless you are into cut flowers or a similar high production item east/west is preferred. “Preferred” is the operative word. There are a number of other things that come into play and warrant consideration…. READ MORE

INSTALLATION BY MULTI SHELTERS

Multi Shelter Solutions does not have a crew that goes around to various sites. The area we supply buildings to is simply too large to cover with an installation crew…. READ MORE

DRAWINGS AND PERMITS

To have a full set of drawings for each structure variation would be impossible. We are slowly working through the more popular models and having an engineer review them for conformity to the building code. If your building inspector requires a specific set of drawings for your application, there will be a small fee charged…. READ MORE

WEATHER CAUTIONS

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

Building Ends on an MSS Structure

One of the beauties of a Multi Shelter is the flexibility of the ends. By building the ends according to your needs your new building can and will truly prove useful.

It is important to remember that you need to be very careful when you have one end closed and the other end open.

When one end is closed you could potentially create a “parachute effect” (trapping air, creating lift) and put a lot of added stress on your building and especially the cover. Call us to discuss ways of minimizing this if your circumstance really would require one end open and one end closed.

When planning ends, it is important to have sufficient vertical framing to support wind load, doors, fans, etc. The spacing between the vertical framing will be determined by the amount of opening space required for the doors, etc.

It is important to remember that where ever possible, framing needs to go from top to bottom. In the event of large openings, the related framing will need to be doubled or tripled.

It is also important to remember that when you are covering your end with tarp, the top end of the cover is sandwiched between the wirelock channel and the hoop.

When you are covering with plastic, you will be fastening the top end inside the channel with the roof cover even if your roof is a double layer.

Please see the two pages in the installation guide for more information as well as photos: Ends & Door Options

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

Roll Up Side Wall Considerations

Ventilation can either be done passively through openings or mechanically with fans. Roll up sides are an economical way of getting lots of air movement since no electricity is required. Roll up sides become even more effective when used on longer buildings. Roll up sidewalls are often used in combination with a small exhaust fan for early and late season ventilation when opening the sides is not practical.

If a structure is very exposed, it is best not to open more then 3’ in height due to potential of wind damage. If a structure is extremely sheltered, it is best to go even up to 6’ to create maximum opening. Roll up sidewalls are most effective when used in combination with peak end wall vents to create a “chimney effect” to draw warm air out of the building, especially when it is very calm. These vents are effective for air movement when outside temperature does not allow opening of the sides.

When a structure has a low profile, you will need to be careful during rainy periods due to moisture getting into the structure area. High profile structures (with straighter walls) usually work better with roll up sidewalls. When preventing a floor draft is an issue, the roll up mechanism can be raised and then the structure is lined with a skirt for the bottom 2’-3’. When using this method of ventilation, it should always be done on both sides. An effective use of this method includes opening the “downwind side totally and the opposite side on marginally.

Download our Roll up Side Wall Installation information sheet for more information

27'wide with Roll Ups roll up sides

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