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How to Build A Greenhouse - Free Greenhouse Plans

May 14, 2023 4 min read 0 Comments

Building a hoop house greenhouse

How To Build A Greenhouse Free DIY Hoop House Plans Available on PDF Here

Greenhouses and hoop houses allow you to extend your growing season and have more plentiful harvests.  With proper construction and plant selection you can grow all year long.  There are a countless number of designs that you can find online.  If you're like us, you've spent months researching greenhouse designs that would be both economical and easy to build.  

 Whether you are planning to completely DIY the project with supplies you have lying around, build one of our DIY Kits using sweat equity, or purchase one of our complete All-Metal Greenhouse Kits or our newest Gothic Style Greenhouses: Please check out all of the Resources we have put together here to help you along the way.  

Hoop House Greenhouse

DIY Hoop House Plans

Hoop house style greenhouses have several benefits over other greenhouse plans for effective growing all year long. The original hoop houses that Bootstrap Farmer built were on the coast of North Carolina which are prone to high winds and rain from hurricanes and tropical storms.

  • Hoop houses provide maximum sun exposure and are resilient in harsh weather environments.
  • Hoop greenhouses can also handle some snow and are also shaped in a way that should allow some of it to slide off naturally.
  • These don't require a team of people for construction.   
  • They can be built by one person with the occasional helping hand.

This free greenhouse guide was put together after building several greenhouses on our property. It will give you detailed plans on building a hoop house style greenhouse like our DIY Hoop House Kits, that minimizes cost and maximizes ease of build.  It is our hope that you find these free greenhouse plans helpful. Although they are written to accompany one of our kits, you can easily adapt them to create your own.  

What Size Greenhouse Plan is Right for You?

How many plants do you want to grow?  How much room do they take up?  Do you want to bring equipment into your greenhouse?  These are questions you need to ask yourself before you get started.  Make sure you build a greenhouse with a size that best fits your needs.  These greenhouse plans are for both a 6 foot wide low tunnel greenhouse and a 10-20 foot wide high tunnel hoop house.  

Low Tunnel Greenhouse

The Low Tunnel Greenhouse stands 4 foot high and will be 6 foot wide usually made with hoop benders like these. The low tunnel  hoop house is a great choice when planting low-growing plants, including:

Spinach Broccoli Carrots
Lettuce Onions Beets
Peas Kale Other Low Growing Plants


High Tunnel Greenhouse

The high tunnel greenhouse plan can be built anywhere from 10-20 feet wide and approximately 6.5 ft. high structure (easily adjustable to 14 ft. or higher for 20 feet wide).  A high tunnel quick hoop house is an ideal choice if you plan to have a walk-in greenhouse.  These are great if you want to have a wide variety of plants or want to be able to work inside of your hoop house. 

The USDA offers the High Tunnel Initiative to help farmers with grant funding to put up a hoop house style greenhouse on their farm. We have put together this awesome Bootstrap Farmer Guide to NRCS, to help walk you through the grant process. 


Plan Your Greenhouse Ventilation

In the heat of summer or climates in hardiness zone 8 or higher, greenhouse ventilation is critical.   If you don't want your plants to cook in the heat, we absolutely want roll-up sides with a hand crank.   This allows you to easily manage the venting.  We also recommend roll-up sides with a hand crank for all low tunnel hoop houses as it allows for easy access to your plants from the sides. 

Roll Up Sides on Hoop House

Climate Considerations for Greenhouse

During the intense summer heat, we may need to throw a shade cloth on top of our greenhouse to keep it cool and reduce the solar radiation.  In the frigid winter, we can consider adding another layer of greenhouse film for extra insulation. Watch this video to learn about lock channel and spring wire, which is our preferred method for adding layers to your hoop house.



Location of Greenhouse

First, pick an area that is flat and not prone to flooding (More information can be found at Selecting the Ideal Location for your Greenhouse). If you have an existing greenhouse on your property you want to make sure it is at least 8 feet away from existing one. You can also find more guidance in Prequel to Building Your First Hoop House.  

Free Greenhouse Plans for High Tunnel Greenhouse

Tools Needed (See the complete list of Greenhouse Tools)

  • Hacksaw and Reciprocating Saw
  • Socket Wrench, Adjustable Wrench or Nut Drivers
  • Electric Drill with Extra Drill Bits
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Mason Line and Line Level
  • 100' foot tape measure (if building 100' long get a 200' tape measure)

Our instructions assume ground posts and bows every 4 feet.  We sink the ground posts 2 feet into the ground, allowing for higher tunnels and stronger frames.  20-24ft houses in high wind areas should make deeper ground posts and secure the plastic lock channel with extra screws.  

Step-By-Step Building Instructions

Follow the link to see Our step by step DIY Greenhouse Building Instructions

If you would like to over the building instructions for our all metal kits, they are all available free on our Instruction Manuals page in our store. 

Any questions or comments please reach out to us or leave a comment below.

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