Author Topic: Hoop House Construction  (Read 8274 times)


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Hoop House Construction
« on: October 18, 2009, 11:44 PM »
I was unable during the construction to take photos of the process, but they wouldn't have really shown anything more than photos of the completed project, so with great thanks to John, here's the new hoop house we braved the coldest day of the season so far to put up. Here's the text and photos as I posted them to my blog.

John Kirby came by last Sunday with some materials and expertise, and helped me get set up with my first hoop house. My trees have been languishing with the small windows as you see in the shop behind the hoops. So here we are with a great place to work on and store my trees. I can't thank John enough.

The first photo shows the back of the house which I had to cover with exterior plywood paneling. As you can see, the back of the shop also has new siding on it. This is the west face, from which we get all of our heavy winds and weather. In fact, we've been working on storm damage since May and have finally gotten it all just about taken care of.

I couldn't take any photos while we were working, since it was just the two of us, but I hope I can show enough of the construction to give a good idea of how it is built. Each hoop is two full 10' pieces of toprail for chain link (hurricane) fence, bent and joined at the top. We used 1X4 pressure treated lumber for corner bracing to hold up the two end hoops which we then tied with a perling at the top. The straps you can see at the perlings really clamp the thing together and strengthen the structure.

Once the ends were up, we put up the two middle hoops and tied everything together with two more perlings. Then 2X6 lumber to tie the ends of the hoops into a structure, and we used more 2X6s laid flat across the ends. We framed a 48 inch wide door at each end, starting with the top of the jamb which we just centered and tied to the top of the hoop with "plumber's tape" and then went from there. There wasn't a tremendous amount of careful measurement needed, and we used screws to attach all the lumber.

This is the east end, which I covered with more plastic. The black nylon strapping you see is what we use to staple through to keep the plastic secure. That will also reveal the shape of the framing. You can run your angled lumber all the way up to the top, but we were limited in the lumber we had so worked with the lengths we had. It became incredibly sturdy by the time we were finished!

In all, it was a great day working in the coldest weather so far this season, and John went a long way out of his way to help me do this. I can't thank him enough.


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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 01:20 AM »
Man you guys make me feel guilty about winter. To be honest I do nothing other than bring a couple bougainvillias and a varigated jade into an unheated room. We've had so little frost the last couple years I guess I've gotten spoiled. If it's going into the low 30's I might throw some row covers over the shohins but that's about it.
You are fortunate to have a good bonsai friend to help with your winter prep.
Mary B.

John Kirby

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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 08:31 AM »
It was fun- you deserve it, I hope you have some fun this winter with the trees. It is funny though how much faster they go up now than the first ones did- I think the first one took a month and all those bolt holes drilled through the frame (the first one) weakened it so much it collapsed under a light snow. It looks like now you are ready for the first snows of winter. Remember- it is worth going outside in the middle of the night to knock off that accumulation of ice or wet snow during the big ones.

MaryB, just remember our taxes are lower.......




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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 10:42 AM »
Nice looking job there.  I wish I had the room on my property to build something like that.  Hope it all works out well for you in the winters to come.

HB Smith

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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 02:10 PM »
Congratulations Chris.  I hope you really enjoy it. 

John is a great guy.  He teaches us what the true spirit of bonsai is all about.


joe cervantes

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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 11:29 PM »
Many Happy and Healthy Bonsai to you both!! Great job guys!!


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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 01:09 PM »
Chris -

I'm putting up a similar hoop house right now.  Are you putting a door on yours? 



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Re: Hoop House Construction
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 01:18 PM »
The door is 48 inches wide, so I will use a piece of exterior grade plywood paneling for that door, too. So I don't have to frame a door jamb and hang hinges, I will just use four screws to hold it in place, and remove them when I want to go in.