Category Archives: Articles of Interest

Plan Now & Enjoy the Nice Weather!

While we are enjoying the nice weather of the summer, it’s always a great time to be thinking of your late summer and fall projects. Often we hear people rueful that they were not able to get their structure up before snowfall since winter always sneaks up. What better time to plan for those projects than now!

We have many wonderful weather days for installing, rather than having to settle with a less than ideal day to put the building up and especially fasten the cover down. Friends and neighbours would likely be more willing to help as well.

  • These buildings are great for storing the hay and other equipment for your farm.
  • They can cover your swimming pool to extend your season into late fall/early winter.
  • Park your RV, boat or other fun summer toys over the winter to keep them protected.
  • Plan for a garage so this will be the year you don’t need to brush snow off your vehicle.

There are so many great uses, call us today to discuss your project requirements and out there ideas!

The fall is always a busy time here at Multi Shelters. We would love to help you with your 2017 project, and we hope to hear from you soon!

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, and we have also now expanded shipping to the North East United States with our truck. We can save you even more money with our Multi Shelter Solutions truck!

We also have a new 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 $400 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, 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!

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.

Video: Installing Anchors into a Base Beam

The main function of anchors is to prevent uplift. Do not forget about the “foundation function” as well which is meant to prevent settling or lateral shifting.

Improperly anchoring a building from up lift, down force and lateral movement will all, equally, cause problems and expense.

There are many different ways of anchoring a building because there are so many circumstances which people are dealing with.

When anchors can be installed at opposing angles, they work against each other and therefore will multiply their  holding power.

  • Care must be taken to stay away from anchors that will bend (i.e. re-bar).
  • When the anchors are going straight into the ground, care must be taken to ensure proper holding power. This is most often done with plugs of concrete.
  • When anchors have been extended out of the ground, care must be exercised to eliminate the possibility of outward lean.
  • It is important to consider the total amount of square inches of contact area between anchors and soil. Many time fewer big anchors is less holding power.

One thing which simply can not be stressed enough is that there simply is no such thing as too many anchors. Anchors are generally very inexpensive, especially when you are looking with hind site at some damage.

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

Building Permits

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.

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.

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 see more information on our Building Permits Page

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, and we have also now expanded shipping to the North East United States with our truck. We can save you even more money with our Multi Shelter Solutions truck!

 

We also have a new 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 $400 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, 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!

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!

Season Extension: Moving Your Structure

A significant part of season extension involves moving an intact structure.

This basically allows you to get two (or possibly three) plots of production from one investment.

The idea is to start a relatively cold tolerant crop very early in the season (the timing will be different in different locations).

  1. Once the crop is firmly established in location A, (and it has warmed up) you will move the structure to location B and start another crop.
  2. You will harvest the crop in location A and then after working the soil, plant another crop in location A which is intended for fall harvesting.
  3. After location B is harvested and before frost you will move the structure back to A.
  4. Instead of doing twice in location A you could also choose location C.

A structure can be equipped with wheels which will run over the soil. There is quite a bit of flexibility where you go and the terrain you navigate.

The structure can be equipped with rollers on a track. This will determine where you go and this is usually intended for moving a bigger structure with fewer people.

The most common method of moving is sliding the structure on the soil. The base rail can be wood or steel.

It is critically import to understand the logistics of moving on a structure before you start. It is not hard to move a structure but it is also not hard to do damage.

Having a plan for proper anchoring is very important for a moveable structure. Your structure is at a vulnerable state when you release the anchors. Once you start, the job must be completed quickly. You have to be aware that the anchors may not come out or go back in easily so you may need to give yourself some extra time.

One other area of consideration on a moveable structure is the ends. There must be some sort of a flap or vent along the bottom so that when a structure is being moved, the ends will not uproot plant material. Generally speaking to have this ability in the ends takes away from the structural integrity, so some extra anchoring may be required.

You can see more information and photos on our movable information page. Please don’t hesitate to call us with ANY questions you may have. This can be a very useful addition to your structure, but must be understood correctly.

Season Extension: Ventilating & Heating

To make your greenhouse more of a year round functioning entity, there are two main areas in which you have to make the structure more efficient-Heating and Ventilation.

1. Heating is your biggest expense for the winter so retaining heat is a priority.

The easiest way to retain heat in your greenhouse is to install a double poly cover with air in between. A small squirrel cage blower attached to the inside layer of plastic aids in maintaining air between layers.

The more dead air space between these layers you can create, the closer you will be to achieving a 30% reduction in heat loss. Holes will result in air movement and therefore less efficiency. 3″-5″ consistent space is ideal. It is a given that you would have less then that around the edges and over the ridge.

Double plastic will have a considerably longer life span. It is important to realize that as plastic gets older, the light transmission will be reduced which will reduce production.

Infrared plastic (IR poly) does further reduce heat loss and increase light diffusion so it can also be a consideration when looking for ways to reduce heating costs.

2. Ventilation is also one of your biggest considerations for the warmer times of the year. Ventilation can be done through forced or mechanical methods or passive through vents or roll up sides.

Vents are extremely effective since they can be placed higher up where the heat needs to be expelled. Mechanical ventilation is more costly both up front and to operate but it is easier to control since it is attached to a thermostat. For mechanical ventilation to be effective, it needs to be sized and located properly.

Roll up sides are less costly and simpler to install but are restricted by the fact that you have to be there to open and to close.

Climate control is especially challenging in the spring and the fall since most days you will have the need for both ventilating and heating.

One area that you need to be especially aware of is stagnant air. Without proper air movement, circulation and exchanging, stagnant air can cause many different types of diseases. It is important to understand what your plants require

Stay tuned for more on our series about Season Extension and Your Greenhouse including Norm’s talk at the Guelph Organic Conference, coming soon!

Winter Care & Maintenance

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

Please see our Winter Care & Maintenance Page and  the WINTER CARE & other key points page in our installation guide for additional information

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. We do our best to always point out applications where the capacity of the structure is being compromised. Extra hoops or thicker steel are an economical way to increase wind and snow load capacity. We take pride in the sturdy shelters we manufacture and supply, but must point out that we cannot warranty against weather conditions.

Snow removal, when occasionally required, is a simple task. DO NOT GO INSIDE A BUILDING WHERE THERE HAS BEEN OBVIOUS STRESS!

PLEASE READ MORE………