Getting Started

We’ve had several requests from people very green about the process of purchasing structures asking “where do I start?”

So we’ve made this checklist and supplements to help you out with that!

All the information can be found on our website as well, through the links below or the search field on the top left corner of the site. You can also download our general brochure for an overview, including the checklist mentioned above, at the bottom of this page

We are also here to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to your call!

We’ve made a Glossary of terms and other starting points in our installation guide. All of which can help familiarize you with items new to you.

Norm’s speech & video Greenhouses 101 is also a good starting point, whether you’re building a greenhouse, storage or any structure that you have in mind.

Recently we have published a book full of information about the planning process “So You Want to Buy a Greenhouse: Your Guide to Planning a Greenhouse Purchase” is available on Amazon, or you can call the office or email to order your copy. We also have “So You Want to Buy a Soft Covered Shelter” available in the office and on Amazon.

Click here to download this in PDF format

1. Pick a Location: Your building must be level from side to side.

  • If you can’t excavate, we can design a variation.
  • End to end slope is okay but if it is more than 1%, we need to know.
  • If you are butting against a building, there may need to be some extra hoops in the first 12’ of length.
  • The building behind something does not provide shelter. You actually increase wind turbulence.

2. Pick a width: Most of our standard widths can easily be modified if it needs to be specific.

The widest we do with engineered drawings is 30’ but have supplied up to 36’ wide.

3. Pick a length: Any length is possible; simply by adding hoops. If you are building between 2 fixed points, the last hoop spacing can be modified to fit the spot.

4. Pick a height: We have 7 lengths of steel to pick from and do not bend anything until we get an order.

  • Building higher will improve the snow shedding characteristics of the building.
  • Building higher gives more interior space close to the wall but the structure catches more wind.
  • Since building higher catches more wind, the structure may require reduced hoop spacing.
  • Building higher will be a little more costly to heat but does improve natural air circulation.
  • Building lower will decrease snow shedding and may require closer hoop spacing.

5. Pick a base or foundation: The standard package comes with Base Brackets under each hoop to secure the building to a beam.

This beam can be ground-mounted or on blocks, posts, slabs or shipping containers.

We can supply a welded steel base rail if the structure needs to be movable.

We can supply Anchor Posts. Each hoop would sit on a post that may need to be set into concrete.

Please remember that there simply is no such thing as too many anchors.
6. Pick a cover: The standard covers we offer are 12 mil white tarp and 7.2mil (white or clear) plastic.

The white tarp has a typical 8-10 year life and gives summer shade and winter light.

7.2mil clear plastic must be used for plants. The typical life span is 5-6 years.

7.2mil white plastic is used where shade is important but still needs light. Typical life is 4-6 years.

Doubling up on plastic reduces heat loss by 30%, minimizes condensation and increases life span by 50%

7. Determine ventilation: Roll-up Side Walls are an economical add-on to our greenhouses or livestock shelters to provide natural ventilation.

Roof vents and exhaust fans are also available options

8. Building ends: Our package prices include covers for both ends.

The assembly guide gives pointers on framing Ends

We can supply steel frame ends, with or without a variety of sizes and types of doors.

If you haven’t had a look yet, our installation guide has quite a few pointers and tips on things you may need to consider for your unique application as well.

We look forward to hearing from you with any other questions or comments you have, either through our contact form, or call us toll-free at 1-866-838-6729

Over the last year, our plastic supplier has been transitioning to a heavier and stronger plastic film as a structure covering.
6mil mil UV stabilized plastic has been around for a long time. This has now been changed to 7.2 mil. This is a stronger material which is expected to last longer as well.
With the extra weight (20% increase) there is an extra cost but with the extra projected life span, the cost per year should be about the same.
This applies to both the clear and the white.
The IR plastic (infrared) has also been upgraded to 7.2 mil. This is heat-saving plastic with anti-drip properties. Since it is also now stronger, it is okay to use as an outside layer.

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