Due to erratic Spring weather and the general busyness of farm life, finishing the end walls of the hoophouse has taken longer than expected. I am very happy to report that we have finished the exterior portions of the building project and the structure is all closed in!
Before an expected lengthy spell of heavy rain, a drain pipe was installed in the ditch on the uphill side of the hoophouse. The intent is to carry the rainwater that will be coming off of the roof as well as any run-off from the garden above away from the site. The drain was thoroughly tested over the following week and it works well!
When the weather finally got around to cooperating we got busy closing in the building by installing the clear, single wall, polycarbonate sheets on the end walls. The polycarbonate is lightweight, tough and fairly easy to cut and install. We found a heavy weight pair of shears cut the polycarbonate both with and across the corrugations pretty well. The sheets are four feet wide so most of the sheets had multiple cuts for the arch of the bow as well as openings for the shutters, exhaust fan and doors. By holding the sheet in place we were able to draw the cutting pattern onto the sheet with a sharpie marker, then remove the sheet and place it on sawhorses to do the cutting . To attach the sheets to the wall we held them in place, pre-drilled the polycarbonate and then attached the panel to the underlying metal frame with self tapping screws and washers. Starting at one edge, and overlapping the sheets by one corrugation, we progressed across the width of the building, finishing up with covering the door frame. Once the south wall was covered with the polycarbonate we finished off the edge where roof meets wall by taking the overhanging edge of the poly roof covering , rolling it upon itself and screwing it to the vertical edge of the polycarbonate. This made for a tidy way to close the gap between the two materials and the two surfaces. After many delays we moved on to the north wall by first installing the exhaust fan in the gable above the door. Then using the same procedure of fitting, cutting, pre-drilling and attaching the polycarbonate we enclosed the second end wall. The final step to completely closing in the hoophouse was to roll the poly roof material over the edge and screw it to the polycarbonate wall just as we had on the south wall. The end walls are finished and the hoophouse project is nearing completion. Next we move indoors.
You can follow the steps in the photos below. Just click on the photo to see the brief explanation.
Hope you have enjoyed following our building project. Is there a hoophouse in your future?