hoop house build part 6: pulling plastic

this last post on building the hoop house has taken forever it feels like.  i’m frankly over it, and there are plenty of other topics i’d rather write about at this point, but i feel i need to finish this out.

were getting close to the finish line with pulling the plastic, and its the point at which it really feels like we have a hoop house.  pulling plastic is also one of the tasks where you need the most hands on deck, even with a small house like this you need at least five people to help you.  i apologize for the lack of photos in this section – i was just to darn busy pulling plastic to take photos.

for this step you are gonna need: duck tape, plenty of wiggle wire, plastic, several strong ropes, tennis balls,  batten tape or old drip tape lines, scissors, and a staple gun.

a lot of folks like to pull the plastic over the top instead of putting the plastic on the end walls first.  while i appreciate why one might what to do this – mostly cause it makes you feel like you are closer to finishing the house, i urge you to resist this temptation and instead put plastic on the end walls first.  the reason for this are a couple, 1. it makes putting plastic over the top easier, as it’s harder to get wind up underneath it and 2. it keeps you going, pulling plastic over the top makes you feel like you are pretty much all done, and it’s easy to stop.

putting the plastic on the end walls is comparatively simple – you only need one other set of hands, unless you are working on really big end walls.

cut the plastic to the size you need, plus a little extra so you have some to tug on.   then using a ladder host it up to the top and start putting it in place with wiggle wire on the end bow.  make sure you have someone who can help you pull it tight as you go, pulling both down and across. make sure to keep constantly pulling the plastic so it is good and taunt. once the plastic is in place on the end bow it’s time to work on attaching it to the framing.  there are several ways to do this, but i’ve found the fastest and cheapest is to use old irrigation tape as batten tape.  i start at the top and pull the plastic down and across as i staple the tape in place the irrigation tapes.  work slowly and make sure you do it right.  leave some extra at the very bottom so you can bury it down into the ground. when that is done, you get to move on to getting plastic over the top.


first step is to take the duck tape and cover all the spots where plastic could get caught, such at ends of channel, bolt heads, etc.

next unroll the plastic along the ground on the length of one side of the greenhouse.  throw the ropes over the top of the greenhouse from the opposite side.  find the edge of the plastic and tie  a clove hitch around a tennis ball stuffed behind the plastic.

lemon repeat this three to five times depending on how long the house is thee ropes was enough for our little house.  readers paying close attention may notice that this is in fact not a tennis ball, but lemon that i used for the sake of convenience in this photo, i couldn’t figure out where s had hide the tennis balls.

next layout your wiggle wire so it’s all in place and easy to grab, get a ladder ready so it’s handy, and start assigning jobs.  you want as many people as ropes to pull the plastic over, and two folks to help if it gets stuck on anything.

those that are pulling the rope should pull until they don’t have any slack left in the line.  then start to pull in an equal rhythm.  it’s not a bad idea to yell something in unison as you pull to help keep a rhythm.  everyone should  keep a look out on everyone else so they will know if they are falling behind or getting ahead of each other.  most plastic is printed with the name of the manufacture going down the length of it so you can use that to help determine if it is straight.  it’s surprisingly handy.  if the plastic gets stuck have someone climb up on a ladder and get it uncaught.  once the plastic is pulled over both sides, is even on both sides and straight, it’s time to secure it.  i usually start with the ends, working the wiggle wire from the very top down both sides, pulling out and down as you go to make it as tight as possible.  then secure the sides with wiggle wire pulling down as you go.

you might have to pull some wire out and adjust after you are done. sometimes you realize that there are spots that are not as tight as you want them.


next is putting hardware on the vents, doors and installing the roll up sides, but frankly i’m getting sick of writing about hoop houses, if anyone wants to know more about that process let me know and i might write about it.


2 responses to “hoop house build part 6: pulling plastic

  1. This is so risky, just using a gun tacker in building a new home for hoop. Not so advisable.

  2. bummer that you got us all into your project, and never finished it…

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