Category Archives: How Tos

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

Wirelock & Sidewall Cover Fasteners

 Most buildings come with enough wirelock to be installed on top of the first and last hoop. Additional wirelock can be purchased to run along the sidewall, or to be used to attach the covering to the end framing or doors if desired.

The end wall tarp is sandwiched between channel and hoop, inserts hold the roof tarp in place. Please see videos on our covering FAQ page for more details

By installing the end channel and then removing it to install the end cover, your channel will be pre-bent and have the correct holes.

  •  Generally the channel is installed on the top of the end hoop with the open side UP
  • The plain channel does not have a front or a back, it is symmetrical.
  • Start at the bottom of the end hoop and work your way up, generally centered on the hoop
  • Secure with #12 x 3/4” speed screws at 12” centers, (small head screws give less wire interference)
  • Carefully line up the ends of consecutive pieces to eliminate edges which can tear the cover
  • Once you get to the top of the hoop, simply lean on the channel to bend it and then go down the other side
  • If you must cut at the top, wrap the ridge with duct tape to prevent cover tears
  • You will need to cut the last piece of channel to make it fit
  • If your structure is butted against a building it is easier to install the channel on the bottom of the hoop (please call for some additional instructions)

Side Wall Cover Fasteners (you have 3 choices)

Notes: Pipe Straps are supplied when a structure has roll-up side walls and/or anchor posts options. When base board (wood or steel) is fastened with pipe straps, the base board should be pushed in so that it butts into the last hoop

sidewall-fastenersPlease see our wirelock & sidewall cover fasteners page from the installation manual for more details and photos

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

Covering Ends – Plastic & Tarp

Please refer to the Ends page in the assembly guide as well

When you are covering the ends of the structure, there are some similarities and some fundamental differences when you are covering with plastic or with tarp.

The aluminum wirelock channel must be installed on the top side of the hoop before you start the cover. The framing must also be in place before you are putting on the cover.

Your cover will be a rectangle and you must double check if the two ends were supplied as one piece or not.

  • You start at the base of one side and go continuously over the peak so that there is not an edge at the peak.
  • The cover gets fastened, temporarily, at the base first on either side of the door and then pull out to the corners.

If there is ANY wind, do into the wind side first.

  • Please remember that whenever you have wrinkles or folds, you will pull 90 degrees to the wrinkle.

Excess on the end covers will only get trimmed off after the roof cover is on as well.

If you are covering the end with plastic

  • you would go with the extra of your rectangle and fasten it temporarily to the back side of your framing.
  • At the very most, at this stage you will put part of a wire insert on either side of the peak.
  • When the cover is sitting smooth, you can put some strapping on the vertical framing to hole the cover in place.

If you are covering the ends with tarp

  • you will need to remove the wirelock channel first.

This may seem like double work, but the channel is now curved to the building with the required screw holes.

  • The end tarp cover is sandwiched between the hoop and the bottom of the wirelock channel.
  • When you pull the tarp over the peak, you will reinstall the wirelock channel from the top and work down.
  • If you do the left, right or bottom first will be determined by where the wrinkles are (if any).

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions at all and please watch the videos on our YouTube channel for more information

Featured Add-On: Center Pivoting Gable Vent

We wanted to remind everyone of the center pivoting gable vent that we offer as a simple solution to the challenges of venting a building.

For venting to be effective, it has to be as high as possible. This is a cost effective alternative to costly roof vents.

Part of the window swings in and part of it goes out. Because of this

  • rain is never an issue
  • the window is easy to control even in extreme winds.
  • Incoming air is always deflected up to mix with the warmest air.
  • The tubular steel construction makes it both lightweight and resist twisting over time.

A continuous rope goes from the top of the window to a pulley at the ridge, down to ground level and back up to another pulley and then to the bottom of the window. By tying the rope off to an eye bolt on a gable post, this allows for very simple control from ground level.

Please don’t hesitate to call us for more details or with any questions you have about this option for your building!

vent3Vent4

Anchoring: Base Brackets vs Anchor Posts

edit-Base Bracketanchor post photo

We offer two main types of anchoring for our structures: Base Brackets (left pic) and Anchor Posts (right pic).

Which one you decide to go with largely depends on your application and location. They are not to be used together, it is a one or the other option. No matter which option you choose, please be aware, there is no such thing as too many anchors!

Although the building can be anchored directly into the ground with Anchor Posts, it can also sit on a slab, curb or beam or it can be elevated on some sort of a wall. Base brackets with lag bolts are supplied standard to fasten the building to the chosen form of foundation. Anchor Posts are available at an additional cost.

Anchor Posts must be set into concrete when:

  • the soil has been recently excavated (within the last 5 years)
  • it is required by the building code (use of concrete usually classifies the building as permanent)
  • extremely windy and exposed areas exist (at least use on the corner posts)
  • more than 10% of the anchor post will be out of the ground (upgrading anchor post size may be needed)
  • there are areas where erosion has been a problem in the past

Anchor Posts SHOULD NOT be used (and base brackets used instead) when:

  • the soil is a very heavy clay (heaving would be a constant problem)
  • there is a shallow rock layer
  • there are major amounts of rocks interfering with the accuracy of anchor post setting
  • the structure will be moved shortly (anchor posts must be cleaned out before reusing)

**Recommendations are based on years of experience. Ultimately the customer is responsible to properly anchor a structure**
Please see our installation pages for a more detailed breakdown of this topic Base Brackets vs Anchor Posts

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

Properly Venting a Building

Properly venting a building is a critical consideration when planning your building.

Getting rid of the initial ground moisture, quickly, when you have erected your new shelter is something many people do not think of. Quality air changes for plants or animals is something that automatically comes to mind. Getting rid of moisture is equally as important for storing your valuables.

Vent4Since warm air holds moisture and warm air rises, it is important to have venting capacity as high as is possible.

Venting through the roof, with individual turbines or a continuous roof vent, is the most effective but also the most costly.

This is only really necessary when you are in a very protected spot and there is a real need to keep the temperature down in a long building.

vent3Most medium length buildings that have the ends facing into the prevailing winds, can be adequately vented with gable end peak vents.

  • Make sure that these openings are as big as possible and as high as possible.
  • It is also important to make sure your “windows” can withstand the winds in your area.

Our centre pivoting gable vent has filled this requirement very effectively.

  • With part of the window going in and part of it going out, the wind can never get hold of it.
  • With the top and bottom rope through a double pully on the ridge, it is easy to maintain precise control over the opening area

As with all the other considerations, please do not hesitate to contact us with your specific set of circumstances and challenges

 

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