How to Build a HOOP HOUSE – A Complete Step by Step Guide

I was always fascinated by Nature. Growing plants raising livestock and having a good farm has always been my dream. I still remember the day when I was a kid, I bought a couple of cute tiny chicks. I raised them and cared for them like they were my own kids and I was very happy to have them in my life. Honestly Speaking! Keeping plants and animal is a tough job but at the same time, it’s the most amazing and precious job in the universe. The satisfaction you get when you see your plants and animals happy and healthy is just out of this world. Today we will show you how to build a hoop house (greenhouse) easily and effectively. We will try to provide as much detailed information as we can, to help you build your own hoop house from start to the end. Fellows! Keep up with us, we are pretty sure by the end of this article you will have a complete information and clear idea on how you can build a hoop house.

This is a polyethene hoop house with a galvanized steel hoops and a wooden base frame. In order to build such a hoop house, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a location for your hoop house.
  • Choose the dimensions for your hoop house.
  • Buying the required greenhouse materials.
  • Bend the Galvanized steel poles for making hoops.
  • Install the wooden base frame of the hoop house.
  • Anchor the PVC pipes in the ground.
  • Inserting the galvanized curved rods inside the PVC.
  • Connecting the rods together to make a hoop.
  • Interconnecting the hoops using 1/4 Wooden frame.
  • Building the door and window frame.
  • Installing the polyethene plastic.
  • and Finally installing the door of the hoop house.

This was a short overview we will see the details below.

 

The Hoop House which we will be building today is a passive solar design permanent hoop house which will maintain the temperature inside because of the plastic insulation. The sun will heat the hoop house during the day increasing the temperature inside while during night time the polyethene insulation will keep the heat inside making favourable conditions for the plants to grow when its cold outside. The plastic insulation might not be able to keep the temperature maintained because of heat loss due to extreme frosts outside during the winter so an electric heater can be used to warm up the greenhouse. Additionally, In winters artificial grow lights are used to boost up the plant growth because there are a few hours of sunlight available to the plants.

Getting Started!

Our aim is to provide u with enough motivation and information and we are hoping that by the end of this article you will most probably start building your own hoop house. (Let us know if we are successful in achieving this goal). We will go at a steady pace and we will discuss each and every construction step in details. We will also provide some recommendations along the way which will help you make your greenhouse much cooler.

Answers to Some of the Common Questions before you  build a Hoop House

We want to answer some of the important questions before we tell you how to build a hoop house because our aim is to give you as much knowledge as we can. Here are the common questions which may come up in your mind.

Why should I build a hoop house?

Having a greenhouse is not a big deal if you have no gardening passion or hobby. But if you are in planting and gardening it becomes very important to have your own greenhouse. There are many benefits to have a hoop house which we will discuss in detail below.

  • Hoop house protects plants and crops from pests. If your hoop house has meshed windows then small insects like an armadillo, opossum and skunks will not be able to enter the hoop house to damage the crops.
  • There is a less chance for the plants to be affected by the foliar diseases because these diseases are caused by rain. Plants in a greenhouse are protected from rainfall but with the exception that powdery mildew appears on plants in a greenhouse.
  • One important benefit, to build a hoop house is that we can grow plants and crops throughout the year.
  • A hoop house is a multipurpose environment where you can grow vegetables, plants, flowers and seedlings depending on your choice.
  • Another advantage, to build a hoop house is that you can enjoy healthy organic vegetables throughout the year.

What are some of the basic Categories of hoop Houses?

There are two main categories of hoop houses permanent and movable hoop house. Permanent hoop house structures are permanently fixed to the ground. The posts of these structures are anchored in concrete or they are just driven into the ground and are fixed there. The small and medium scale hoop houses usually have a wooden base frame as a wall around the hoop house and the poles (round hoops) are fixed to these walls. On the other hand, movable greenhouse structures are designed in such a way so they can be easily moved by pushing them on rollers or wheels. For both types of structures, the shape of the hoop house can vary allot.

What should be the orientation of your Hoop House?

Before you start to build a hoop house, you must select the orientation of your hoop house in such a way that the plants are exposed to the sunlight uniformly. To get a uniform sunlight exposure for the plants the length of the hoop house should be along the north and south axis. In simple words, if you are in the centre of the hoop house one end of the tunnel should be towards the South Pole and the other end of the hoop house should be towards the North Pole. In this way, there will be an equal distribution of sunlight when the grow beds run parallel along the length of the tunnel (along with the North and South Pole).

 

1. How to choose a location for a Hoop House?

Wind and Sunlight are the most important factors to consider when selecting a location for a hoop house. A passive hoop house needs sunlight and wind for heating and cooling. Therefore, for choosing a location for a greenhouse select a site that has maximum exposure to winds and sunlight. Open lands and fields are considered to be an ideal spot to build a hoop house. Beside sunlight and wind soil type and slope are considerable factors for commercial large hoop tunnels but for a small hoop house changing the soil and levelling the ground is not a problem.

2. Design Specifications: Selecting the dimensions of Hoop House

We will now give you information about how to choose the dimensions for your hoop house. We will also tell you about the floor plan and the layout of the greenhouse from the sides. It is important to have a complete design plan before you start to build a hoop house.

How to choose the Dimensions of Hoop House?

The width of the hoop house should be 12 feet. This width is fixed because we have used a pole bender which is designed for building 12 feet wide hoop houses. It is most important to know that if you want to build a hoop house with the exact materials you should choose 12 feet width for your hoop tunnel. The information on the list of materials required to build a hoop house is given in detail below. The length of the hoop tunnel can be chosen according to your requirements. The poles (round hoops) should be 3 to 4 feet apart from each other. If you are from a location where there are strong winds and heavy snowfall then 3 feet spacing between the poles would be a good choice because it will add more strength to the structure whereas, 4 feet is considered as the nominal spacing for a hoop house. Our designed hoop tunnel is 240 inches (20 feet) in length and we have used hoop spacing of exactly 48 inches (4 feet). There are a total of 6 hoops in our design. Each hoop is made by joining two poles so the total number of poles is 12. The details of our hoop house given in table 01.

Table 01: Hoop House Dimensions

FeatureDetails
Width12 feet
Height20 feet
No of Round Hoops6 feet
Number of poles12 feet

How to choose the length of the hoop house?

Before you start to build a hoop house you need to choose the length of your hoop house based on your requirements and available space.  we recommend you to choose a length that is a multiple of hoop spacing distance (The minimum space between the hoops).  The following tables provide information on the number of poles required to build a hoop house based on the selected length of the hoop tunnel. Table 02 provides information on the number of poles required when the spacing between the hoops is 4 feet. Whereas, Table 03 provides the information when the hoop spacing is 3 feet for different chosen lengths.

Table 02: Poles Required for 4 feet Hoop Spacing

Length of Hoop HouseNo of Poles Required
12 feet8
16 feet10
20 feet12
24 feet14
28 feet16

Table 03: Poles Required 3 feet Hoop Spacing

length of Hoop HouseNo of Poles Required
12 feet10
15 feet12
18 feet14
21 feet16
24 feet18

Hoop House floor plan

The figure on the right shows the floor plan layout of the hoop tunnel which we will build. The hoop house has a width of 12 feet and a length of 20 feet. The blue line shows the 2/6 wooden frame base wall which runs along the edge of the hoop house. The orange circles are the position of the 1-1/2 PVC pipes they are used to hold the poles.  The red square shows the position of the square wooden dowels (Nails). We will discuss them in details.  Note, The distance between the hoops is exactly 4 feet for this hoop house.

Hoop House arch layout

The figure on the right shows the side layout of the hoop house. The green arch shows the round hoop. The expected height of the greenhouse is above 6 feet in the centre. The height of the wooden base wall is 6 inches.

 

3. Required Hoop House Materials 

We have provided a detailed list and quantity of all the materials which are required for making the hoop house in this article “Hoop House materials “.  The quantity and specification of the materials are for 12 feet high and 20 feet long hoop house.  whereas in this article we have provided the entire step by step building process.

 

4. Bending the poles for making Hoops

The poles which you will buy from the store are straight pole and it needs to bent in order to make hoops. You can bend the poles using any pole bender or any other bending technique. But to have a good looking and uniform structured greenhouse it is better to use a specific pole bender designed for that particular width of the greenhouse. As this greenhouse is 12 feet wide so we have used pole bender specifically designed for 12 feet hoop houses.

Mounting the pole bender

The 12 feet pole bender is shown in the figure below. Fasten the bender on the floor but you can also mount it on a table. The mounting surface should be perfectly horizontal for getting better results. The pole bender should be perfectly fixed and should not move when pressure is applied to it.  The centre of the pole bender is slightly above the surface of the floor so we used small wooden slabs shown in the image below as a guide to keep the pole in perfect horizontal position. The width of the guide should be 0.5 inches. The wooden guides are not important but it is recommended for best results. The grip end of the pole bender should be towards the wooden guides. This grip will support the pole while bending. The pressure will be applied on the other end of the pole.

 

On both ends of the Poles mark a 9 inches line. You can mark anywhere between 6 to 9 inches. do not bend the end of the poles after this mark. However, it is not mandatory to leave the ends, you can bend the entire pole. But we do not recommend to bend the ends of the pole because we will insert these poles into the PVC pipes which will be anchored in the ground for supporting the poles. If the poles are straight at the end it will easily be inserted in the PVC pipes. The other advantage of leaving the ends is that the male end of one pole can easily fix inside to the female end of the other pole at the centre of the tunnel to make a hoop.

Start bending the pole from one end

Insert the pole in the grip of the pole bender. Make sure to position the pole in the grip in such a way that 9-inch pole is on the other side of the bender’s grip as shown in the figure. Bend the pole by applying steady pressure. Don’t over bend the pole by applying to much force. You may ask, well how should I know when to stop applying force? You can easily judge it by observing the end of the pole bender which is towards you. When you see that pole has touched the end of the bender just stop there and don’t bend it further.

Bending the pole from both sides

Now insert the pole further into the pole bender and bend it again don’t over bend the pole. Repeat this process until you reach the other end of the pole. Make sure to leave 9 inches gap on the other end too. One thing that you should note is that when you get close to the other end of the pole it will be hard to bend. Just leave it there. Take out the pole from the bender and mark 9 inches on the other end and insert that end into the grip of pole bender, bend the pole by repeating the above process. Finally, u will get a complete uniform round hoops.  Bend all of the other poles using the exact same process.

 

5. Making the base wall of the hoop house

Anchoring square wooden dowels

After you have decided the length of your hoop house, Fasten a rope along the length of the hoop house as a guide for anchoring the wooden dowels in a straight line. Then take wooden dowels (Wooden Nails) and hammer them in the ground. They will be used to support the wooden base wall frames. The wooden dowels should be perfectly aligned along the thread. It is recommended to use a dowel of length greater than 1.5 feet because it would fix firmly in the ground. The dowels should be 6 inches above the ground so we can easily screw them to the wooden base wall.

Joining short wooden frames if required

Use 2/6 or 3/6 wooden frames to cover the outer edge of the greenhouse. If the wooden frame is shorter in length use brackets to connect two pieces together as shown in the figure. incase  you don’t have brackets then screw a small 2/6 fame for joining the frames. If you want your tunnel base to be higher than 6 inches then you can use a wooden frame of height greater than 6 inches.

 

Screwing the wooden wall frame to the dowels

Screw the 2/6 wooden frame to the dowels. Make sure that you fix the frame towards the outer end of the dowels because it makes it easier to fix the plastic on to the frame and it also prevents the plastic from damaging by providing a smooth outer end.  In our design, we have just left 2-inch space at the corner as shown in the figure given below. This space is left to connect the other 2/6 base frame which will be along the width of the hoop house. We suggest keeping more space between the corner of the frame and the dowel because the hoop pole should be fastened here at the corners (In place of this dowel as shown below).  Further note that we have to connect the door frames and window frames to both ends of the hoop house so it is good to fix the pole 3 to 3.5 inches inside from the corner ends. (2 inches for the base frame and 1 to 1.5 inches for the door or window frame)

6. Anchoring the PVC Pipes in the ground

In this build, we have used 2 inch PVC pipes for holding the poles but its internal diameter is too large and it is not a close fit as the poles are 1-3/8 inch in diameter. It will fit tight into a 1-1/2 inch PVC which would be perfect for this task. we recommend you to use 1-1/2 inch PVC. The length of the PVC pipe should be  1 feet. Anchor the PVC 6-inches inside the ground, so it’s top end, will level with the top of the wooden frame.

 

You can also use steel road for holding the poles

In our design,  PVC pipes were used in an old build (The hoop house was then rebuilt). In this build, we used iron rods which are anchored in the ground and they are passed through the pole holes to support the poles but you can use the PVC pipes for this task. It’s up to your choice which method you prefer. One advantage of using PVC is that you can screw the PVC to the wooden frame which will make it tighter and will protect from strong winds.

 

7. Inserting the galvanized curved rods inside the PVC

Insert the curved poles inside 1-1/2 inch PVC. These poles have a male connector at one end and a female connector at the other end so they easily fit into one another.

8. Connecting the rods together to make a hoop.

Then connect the opposite poles on the top by inserting the male connector of one pole into the female of the other pole. Screw the PVC and the poles to the outer frame when all of the poles are connected and adjusted accordingly to give the tunnel a perfect shape.

 

9. Interconnecting the hoops using 1/4 Wooden frame

Take 1/4 wooden frame and connect it to all of the hoops together by screws. This will improve the strength of the hoop house and will make it bear strong winds. Before screwing make sure to use a paddle bit and make a small hole in the wooden frame so that the screw would be completely inside the wooden surface and it will not come in contact will the plastic.

 

10. Making The door and Window Frame

Hold the wooden frame vertically upwards and then mark the positions for cutting the frame from above also mark the positions for the groove required for the head of the door. This hoop house height is above 6 feet.

Making door frame head 

Hold the wooden frame vertically upwards and then mark the positions for cutting the frame from above also mark the positions for the groove required for the head of the door. This hoop house height is above 6 feet.

Door Frame Head Dimensions

This hoop tunnel has 2.5-feet wide door. The head of the door frame is shown in the figure on the right.  The dimension of this wooden frame is 2/4 and its length is 8 inch + 2.5 feet. (2.5 feet is the dimension of the door). Remove 1 inch deep and 4 long wood from each end so It will make a joint which can be easily connected to the door supports. As shown in the figure on the right.

Making door frame head 

Making a groove in door side frames

For the left and right door frames, make a groove in the frame around 4 inches long and 1 inch in depth. The door head frame will lock with the door side frame by these grooves and can be easily screwed from outside.

Fix the door head frame with the door ends using screws and also screw the lower end of the door side frames to the base wall of the hoop house. Note your door side frames will be screwed to the base wall frame which will take some space on the inside, so don’t anchor your hoops exactly at the corner of the hoop house because it will touch the door frame on the top. Anchor the corner hoop about 1-2 inch inside (Away from the corner) You can also cut a 1-inch groove the in the side frames of the door from the bottom end a

long with the base to perfectly lock the door frame with the base.

Window Frame

You will make the frames of the window using the exact same process. First, decide what size of widow do you want to built for your hoop house and then built them using the process which we have discussed above.

 

11. Installing the polyethene plastic.

The next step is to cover the hoop house. Polyethene plastic is used for covering up the hoop tunnel.

Wiggle wire and wiggle wire channel

Notice there is a hollow channel rod on the end loops. This channel is like a rail with a hollow inside. A zigzag wire is inserted in the space along with the plastic. This will hold the plastic tight. I recommend using this rail because it will make the overall design much cleaner and it makes hoop house build simple. Screw the channel rail on to the end hoops. Make sure that the channel rail is screwed at the middle of the hoop and the hollow part of the rail is facing perfectly upwards.

How to fasten the plastic using wiggle wire

You might be wondering how does the plastic gets fixed to the rails. The rail which we have attached to the hoop has a hollow cavity. We Push the plastic tight above the rails and then use the wiggle wire to screw the plastic to the end hoop so In this way, the plastic keeps intact with the pole. And can easily resist strong winds.

Securing the side plastic

Tighten the corner polyethene plastic first. Use nails and wood strips to attach the plastic to the base wall of the hoop tunnel. Make sure the plastic has some tension and there are no bends in the plastic. Please note that don’t fix the polyethene plastic to the pole using wiggle wire at this point because the longer plastic along the length also needs to be fastened to the same wiggle wire. Keep the plastic tightened by clamping it to some support. I recommend folding the plastic at least twice when fixing it to the wooden base side wall so the plastic will not tear easily.

Wrapping the top plastic

Fasten the top plastic completely to the base frame of one end of the hoop house leave some plastic on both ends. It’s good to fold the plastic at least twice from the end and then fixing it to the bare wood.

Use the wiggle wire to fasten the side plastic and top plastic both at once. Make sure that the plastic is tightly fastened to the hoops. Repeat the same process for the other end as well.

Securing the plastic at the corner hoops

 

We are almost there 🙂

 

12.Making a door for the  Hoop House

Use the wooden strips to fasten the plastic to the door frames. Now carefully cut the plastic which covers the door because it can be used for the doors.

For designing the door you can use the same 2/4 wood which u have used for the frames.  we have used 2/2 wooden frames for making the door in the project. if you are using 2/2 wooden frames. take 4 pieces of wood (2 for the height of the door and 2 for the width cut them according to the required door dimensions then make 1-inch grooves in the wood from both ends of each of the piece and screw them together for making a perfect rectangle. For the centre support, you can use a wooden frame and screw it to the ends of the door using large size nails. Attach the door to the door frame using hinges.

 

Congratulations! 🙂

well done! you now have reached the end of our journey on “How to build a hoop house?“. We are sure now you can build a hoop house on your own. we have tried our best to give you complete information, to build a hoop house. although we are not experts and our hoop house is not that perfect but it’s not that bad as well 🙂

How to build a hoop house

Watch How its Made!

Beat Our Design 🙂

You can build a hoop house which is better and more advanced than our design. Our design has one drawback, that it has poor ventilation and it is most suitable for the cold and moderate weather. But during hot summers the temperature inside will get unsuitable to grow plants inside. A better approach is to provide side ventilation as shown in the figure given below. In this design, they have used a wooden strip and they have fastened this strip to the hoops. The aluminium is fixed to the wooden strip using screws. A wiggle wire holds the plastic from the side. The bottom end of the plastic is connected to a heavy pipe. For providing good ventilation during hot summers the pipes is folded upwards and during mild and cold weather the pipe is released downwards.

Credit: Mr. Crazy Kicks

 

Special thanks to Nate for providing information and support in writing this post. Nate is a passionate farmer with a deep love towards gardening. Nate has a channel on youtube with the name “Tiny Hilltop” where he shares his gardening stories and provides valuable gardening information.

We hope that you enjoyed this post if you have any questions or suggestions regarding this post just let us know. Actually, we have put a lot of effort into writing this article, we will love to hear your experience. We encourage you to share it with your friends if you like this post and if you don’t like this post let us know what we are missing. We have created a number of infographics for you so you can select any one of your choices to share it with your friends. Waiting to hear from you 🙂

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