Bob & I have a lot of prior building experience. Starting back in 1985 we designed & built our log home from trees we harvested from our property. More on that story in a future blog post! We have, over the years, also constructed our barn, built from lumber milled from trees on the property, and multiple farm buildings. Though we have no experience building a hoophouse we do possess the general construction skills needed to be successful. It is by far an easier project than building a log house but has not been without its challenges.
The largest challenge has been figuring out how to construct the hoophouse on a site with compound ground slopes. Once a decision was made to have the floor inside of the house level, both front-to-back as well as side-to-side; we needed to figure out how to accomplish that. Using the highest outside grade point as our guide we decided to build up the low areas so that the final hoophouse floor would be above outside grade and would drain well. This also meant up to 10” of fill would need to be added at the lowest points.
After shooting a level floor grade with a transit we plotted out the position of each post and got the building square. Next we determined the height needed to set each of the 6’ wall posts to get all of their tops on the same level plane. With post positions marked and hole depths calculated we augured 9” holes for the concrete bases for each post. Finally we got down to the job of setting the 6’ wall posts.
Over multiple days/weeks due to weather/mud & life/farm constraints we began building. We set the corner posts first; to be plumb, square and with tops on a level plane, bracing as we went to hold the positions as the concrete set. Later we filled in with the line posts keeping each on center, inline, plumb and on the same level top plane as the corner posts, once again bracing as we went. This process was actually quite challenging. I am happy to report we have success! The wall posts are all installed and they are square, plumb, inline and level! As in all building projects getting the foundation started correctly is paramount. Placement of the roof bows was not terribly dramatic being lifted and slid into place by the two of us. Yesterday we completed stabilizing the sidewalls by attaching the sill and hip boards and completing the box with uprights in the corners. You can follow the steps in the photos below.
On the next available dry day we will move on to installing the ridgepole, bracing and the end wall frames. There is definitely a hoophouse in our near future!
Please check back to watch our progress!