An Inexpensive, Hail Proof, PVC Pipe Greenhouse

I’ve finally built my greenhouse for my new garden. It’s a twenty by twelve foot hoop-style greenhouse with wooden ends and is covered with 11 mil woven poly. This greenhouse has some pretty cool features that I really appreciate, and I think you will too.

My third hoop style greenhouse

First of all, the poly I used to cover it is fantastic. It is a super tough woven poly that I got from Northern Greenhouse out of Manitoba. How tough is it? Well, my brother (who operates the Saskaberry Ranch near Sundre) just got pounded by hail last Sunday. The hail broke windows, shredded siding, and striped everything off of his saskatoon and raspberry bushes – but his greenhouse covered with this same woven poly was completely undamaged! Amazing! (I’ll try to post a picture if I can get one.)

Secondly, to eliminate wear and tear on the plastic, I covered edges of the wooden ends with copper pipe insulation. This foam protects the poly from the sharp edges of the wood.

Insultation on greenhouse

Thirdly, it was very inexpensive and easy to build. The lumber was under $100, the poly was just over $200, and the pvc pipes were under $100. By the time I got all the misc. stuff, I was still under $500 total. Not bad, eh?

My third hoop style greenhouse

Being so late I only got a single row of tomatoes down one side, but next year I’ll be bursting at the seams once again! If you want to build a greenhouse like this one, check out my previous post that gives step by step instructions for building this same greenhouse. Since I’ve improved the design since then, I would recommend the following changes:

  • Use wooden ends instead of plastic – and cover the ends with pipe insulation.
  • Use 11 mil woven poly instead of the 6 mil.
  • Put the PVC pipes on the inside of the frame rather than on the outside

Other than that, you should be able to follow all the other steps. If you do follow this design, be sure to leave me a comment – I’d love to hear (and see) what you’ve been doing!

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156 Responses to An Inexpensive, Hail Proof, PVC Pipe Greenhouse

  1. This was a brillant idead. We found your stranslated site (he did it with an awful translation by google) and I tried to find the original site. Finally I did. We built (2 friends in 2 different houses) saperately 2 greenhouses. he did it with yuour previous desing nad I built with your revised plan. Used OSB on the sides. Use PPRC composite pipes. Finally I finished it yesterday. the web site is facebook album. If you can’t see the pictures please e-mail me. Thank you for encoriging us.

  2. Gee says:

    Great idea. If I want to turn this into a lean too greenhouse instead of full hoop would you change anything? Thank you

  3. Paul says:

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for sharing your great idea!
    I’ve two questions: 1)- How do you protect your green house during the winter (I mean wind and snow)? 2) – What would be the durability (How many years) you think of this kind of greenhouse?

    • Dave says:

      Paul – I added a wooden beam across the top of my greenhouse. That gives it the necessary strength to withstand the winter’s snowload – wind is not an issue. So far, I’ve had my greenhouse for six year now I think and it’s still going strong.

  4. Carolyn Tanner says:

    Dave on the second version you used wood on the ends, but did you use pvc on the ends also or just wood. We love the site and are building ours for growing all year. Very excited to use your ideas. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Dave says:

      Carolyn – There is just the wood panels on the end covered with that pipe insulation to protect the poly.

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