Building Endwalls | Bootstrap Farmer

Building Endwalls

Framing Endwalls for a Greenhouse

End walls seem to give folks anxiety. From a structural standpoint, the hoop house itself isn’t reliant on the end walls to stay up. However, having contact points to secure greenhouse plastic is very important. The other equally important consideration when building endwalls is door placement and making the structure work for you.

Why We Encourage Endwalls on a Greenhouse

We always discourage open ended designs that are not able to be closed in, ie. caterpillar tunnels. This design creates a large parasail during a storm. Storm damage is most common when wind can get on the inside of the structure. We will talk more about "caterpillar" like structures that lack endwalls and how to add them in the next article.

Hoop house Endwall

Adding Doors and Gable Vents to Endwalls

So what are your door options? For DIY kits you can make a solid end wall, a single door, double doors or gable vents. It all depends on preference and your farm's needs.

Gable vents help to release excess hot air from your greenhouse. This allows for better circulation. If you are facing extreme heat, this is a great addition.

When deciding whether to install a single or double door design, consider whether or not the single door width can accommodate harvest carts and wheel barrows. During harvest would the extra large doorway be helpful?

How to Build an Endwall for Greenhouse Kits

DIY kits are often framed like the walls in a house. A horizontal base plate supports vertical studs while studs offer support and can serve as an anchor point for door and vent frames. Vertical studs are attached by various means to the top, often with carriage bolts.

Metal kits offer the same framework, but with metal poles, square tubing, and cross bars. For metal kits this may mean less flexibility in full customization. However, you can often save time and worry with pre-designed door kits.

Attaching Plastic to Endwalls

For end wall plastic remember that you are inserting spring wire into the lock channel around the base, door, door frame, vent frames, and any uprights. The more you can secure the better.

Begin securing the plastic across the base including horizontal door and door frame pieces at the bottom.

You will then secure the plastic to the top with a second layer of wiggle wire in the end wall hoop lock channels that you first secured the plastic in when you began installing the plastic. When working the wrinkles out, think in terms of working from a central point and out diagonally.

Next work your way up the door, door frame, and uprights to the top of the hoop. It works best if you work from the bottom to the top from the middle out on one side and then the other. Securing these individual pieces after the perimeter makes the end wall skin very tight and that is exactly what you want. Lastly cut between the door and the door frame between lock channels to allow the doors to open.

Customizing Your End Walls to Meet Your Needs

It should be noted that just because a kit may have limitations does not mean that you are stuck solely with a basic end wall. You still have options to build your own add-ons for your own needs.

If your needs change over time that’s okay. Add a door later. Seal up vents in the off season. You can amend endwalls without tearing up the existing hoop house. All farms go through changes. Your ability to creatively think through solutions is what makes the challenges of farming so rewarding.

Make sure your hoops are secure first

What is the best way to attach the plastic?