Livestock Shelter or Greenhouse?

One of the questions we are often presented with has to do with customers wanting a structure for dual purpose. In itself, this could be considered as a wise strategy to get multiple uses for a building so that it can be used closer to year round.

The question which needs to be asked is “Are these complimentary applications?

One of these dual applications is for greenhouses and livestock shelters. There are a lot of similarities between the two with the most prominent ones being a double roof cover with air between and that they often have roll up sides.

Where the problem arises is that when you have a greenhouse, there MUST be a clear cover to allow the proper spectrum of light to come through to allow plant growth to occur. This level of light comes with heat which can easily be a problem for animals.

For a livestock shelter 90% of the battle is keeping them dry and out of the wind, cool is better then warm. If your animals will only be in the shelter during inclement weather, you will likely have more leeway in dealing with heat.

We have had customers who cover with single clear during growing season and the put an extra layer of white during the animal housing.

If you have any questions or concerns on how you plan to use your shelter, please call or email for extra input.

You’re in a Windy Area? We can help

We have many structures in very windy locations from coast to coast. This is probably the most common comment we get from people who reach out to us. We have experience and extra steps we take to help ensure your structure doesn’t end up as an expensive kite. We have been diligent in our articles and instruction manual to help these situations, but ultimately it’s up to the customer to heed these warnings.

One of the things that is stressed in our assembly instructions is the importance of tying your frame off in both directions as soon as you have the first section of ridge installed. This is typically done with rope coming down from the ridge as an inverted “V”. The sooner this is done, the easier it is to hold everything plumb.

It is worth noting / stressing, that this is not a long term replacement for the wind braces. The wind on the collective surface of all the hoops is capable of exerting a tremendous amount of force.

When one does the math, there are actually cases where the wind pushes with more force when there is no cover on the building then with a cover!

A 20’ x 48’ x 12’ high structure with 4’ spacing has the same amount of hoop surface as an 8’ x 14’ wall. This is an example why the ropes used to hold the frame straight is not intended as a wind brace.

Once the hoops are all installed and the purlins attached, it is important to install the wind braces before proceeding. The purlins are what tie all of the hoops together and then by angling the wind braces down from the rows of purlins, you would be bracing the whole structure.

In photos on our website,you will see our smaller structures have fewer wind braces than the larger ones, which accounts for the above math mentioned. This has been developed with our experience, as well as the engineers who have assessed our structures.

There are different notes on placement, direction and location that will help your structure survive the wind as well. We do our best to go over all the scenarios with you when you’re discussing your purchase with us. The more details you can give us the better. Obviously we aren’t able to account for everything you may encounter, but it is our intention and mission to set you up for success as best as possible. We don’t want your greenhouse to end up flat or blown away anymore than you do! And this is also why we reiterate,

There’s no such thing as too many anchors!

Why Wait Until Spring?

In an ideal world, we would have nothing to do in the summer but have time to build the extra space we need for growing, storage or livestock housing requirements.

The reality is, that is seldom how things work, but many of the people that we talk to are intimidated by the possibility of building either in winter or when times are less then ideal.

When your Plan A won’t work there are actually many other options when it comes to scheduling putting up your building.

During late fall, winter or early spring, you will need to be a bit more selective as to the days you will be working, but it can be accommodated. It will not be as convenient, but that does not mean you have to do without that extra required space for the upcoming year.

The first thing we need from you is a bit of information to have a good understanding of the area you are working with. This will allow us to advise you on how to get a proper foundation in.

The phrase “there is no such thing as too many anchors” is even more applicable during inclement weather.

After that, you simply pick your days when you work outside or you simply work shorter days.

Unless you hit it very lucky with an abnormally perfect cover day, the reality is, is that the cover will not go on perfectly. This is ok since there are ways of overcoming this as well.

We have additional information on our website to work with temporarily securing a loose cover and the process of retightening a cover once warmer weather comes. We will have short videos explaining this process up shortly. Any possible inconvenience of having to do this retightening will be more than offset by the convenience of having that extra space now, rather then trying to accommodate building later.

We look forward to working though your challenges with you