Diy Hoop Houses: Affordable and Effective Greenhouse Solutions

  • Ella Jubaedah
  • May 27, 2023
Diy Hoop Houses: Affordable and Effective Greenhouse Solutions

What is a hoop house?

A hoop house is a type of greenhouse or a low-cost method of extending the growing season. It is a structure made of a series of hoops or arches fixed with polyethylene plastic or similar material. The material is stretched over the hoops, creating a tunnel-like structure to cover the crops. It’s also referred to as a high tunnel in some cases, and it is suitable for growing various crops.

Generally, hoop houses are designed to provide a controlled environment for plants, vegetables, and fruits that thrive in warmer temperature conditions. As a result, hoop houses help increase crop yields and enable crops to grow throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside.

Hoop houses are becoming increasingly popular among small-scale gardeners and hobbyists due to the low costs and ease of construction. Anyone with basic handy skills can build one, and the cost to construct a hoop house is relatively low compared to other types of greenhouses. This aspect alone is making hoop houses one of the most accessible methods for protecting and growing crops in any part of the world.

The principle of hoop houses is simple. They trap the sun’s heat, creating a warm environment for crops to thrive. At night or during colder months, they keep the warmth that the soil has accumulated during the day, reducing the heating bills. The plastic sheeting or greenhouse fabric used for cover is light in weight, so the structure requires minimum support and simple to handle.

The hoop house is a cost-effective method to create a polyethylene film-covered greenhouse. This flexible, light in weight, and durable material is made of several layers of low-density polyethylene and can typically last for several years when exposed to the elements. To optimize the effect of a hoop house, the material used needs to be UV stabilized and have a thickness of 6-8 millimeters to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Moreover, a hoop house does not require elaborate electrical or heating systems to maintain temperature and humidity levels. The structure design is such that it only requires simple day-night insulation efforts when needed. Combined with proper irrigation, fertilization, and pest control management, a hoop house becomes the perfect solution for more harvests, fresh produce, and reduced pressure on global food supply chains.

In summary, hoop houses are affordable, easy to construct, and energy-efficient. They create a favorable growing environment for almost any crop, increase yields, and can be adapted to suit different garden sizes and shapes. If you are looking to extend your growing season or want to achieve higher crop yields with minimal effort, building a hoop house could be a great solution.

Materials Needed for Building a Hoop House

Are you thinking of building your own hoop house? Whether it’s to extend your growing season or simply as a hobby, it’s definitely an achievable project. But before you get started, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials. Here are the essential items you’ll need:

1. PVC Pipes or Metal Conduits

The frame of a hoop house is typically made up of either PVC pipes or metal conduits. PVC pipes are generally more affordable and easier to work with, but they may not be as sturdy as metal conduits. If you live in an area with strong winds or heavy snow, you might want to consider using metal conduits instead.

You’ll need to calculate the length of the pipes or conduits you’ll need based on the size of your hoop house. It’s also a good idea to have some extra pipes or conduits on hand just in case.

2. Polyethylene Film or Polycarbonate Panels

The next item you’ll need is something to cover the frame and create a greenhouse effect. The two most common materials used for this purpose are polyethylene film and polycarbonate panels.

Polyethylene film is the most affordable option, but it may only last a few seasons. Polycarbonate panels, on the other hand, are more expensive but also more durable and longer-lasting. They also offer better insulation and light transmission.

If you decide to use polyethylene film, you’ll need to choose the right thickness, as thinner films are more prone to tearing. Polycarbonate panels come in different thicknesses and colors, so you’ll need to decide which one is best for your needs.

3. Fasteners

You’ll also need fasteners to secure the film or panels to the frame. One option is to use channels, which attach to the frame and hold the film or panels in place. You can also use screws or clips, depending on the type of frame you have.

Make sure to use fasteners that are appropriate for the material you’re working with, as some may cause tearing or cracking.

4. Foundation Materials

To ensure your hoop house stays in place, you’ll need to build a solid foundation. This can be done in a few different ways, depending on your site and budget. One option is to use pressure-treated lumber to create a frame. You can then fill the frame with gravel or sand.

If you’re building on a slope or uneven ground, you may need to use concrete footings or even a retaining wall. It’s important to make sure your hoop house is level, as an uneven foundation can cause the frame to warp and the film or panels to tear.

5. Optional Accessories

Depending on your needs, there are several accessories that you might want to consider for your hoop house. These include:

  • Heating systems to extend your growing season
  • Cooling systems to prevent overheating in the summer
  • Irrigation systems to automate watering
  • Shade cloth to protect your plants from excessive heat or sun
  • Benching or shelving to organize your plants

While these items aren’t essential for building your hoop house, they can help improve your growing conditions and make your gardening experience more enjoyable.


Building a hoop house is a great way to extend your growing season and protect your plants from the elements. With the right materials and a bit of planning, it’s a project that’s within reach of most DIY enthusiasts.

Step-by-step instructions for building a hoop house

Hoop houses are great structures for extending the growing season and protecting plants from harsh weather conditions. They are relatively easy to build and inexpensive to maintain. Here are some step-by-step instructions for building a hoop house.

1. Site selection and preparation

The first step in building a hoop house is selecting an appropriate spot for it. This should be a flat area that has good drainage and is easily accessible. It should also receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day. Once you have identified the site, remove any vegetation or obstacles that may hinder the construction process.

Next, mark out the area where the hoop house is going to be built. Use stakes and string to create a rectangular outline of the structure. The size of the hoop house will depend on the number of plants you intend to grow and the available space.

2. Building the frame

The hoop house frame is made up of hoops (or ribs) that are anchored on either side of the structure. To build the frame, you will need PVC pipes or metal conduit tubing in the desired length for the width of your hoop house. Place one pipe or conduit at each end of the structure, making sure they are level and aligned with each other. Then, bend the hoops to create an arch and insert them into the ground at regular intervals along the length of the structure. The spacing between each hoop will depend on the length of the structure and the type of plants you intend to grow.

Next, connect the hoops with horizontal supports at the desired height of the structure. This can be done using PVC pipe or metal tubing. For added stability, you can also install vertical supports in the corners and at regular intervals along the length of the hoop house.

3. Installing the cover

The cover is what gives the hoop house its protective properties. There are several options for hoop house covers, including polyethylene film, greenhouse plastic, shade cloth, and netting. Polyethylene film is the most commonly used cover, as it is inexpensive and provides good insulation.

To install the cover, lay it over the frame of the structure and secure it to the ground using stakes, sandbags, or bungee cords. Make sure the cover is tight and taut to prevent it from billowing or flapping in the wind.

When selecting a cover, consider the thickness and quality of the material. A thicker cover will provide better insulation and last longer. You should also choose a cover that is UV-resistant to minimize damage from the sun’s rays.

4. Ventilation and irrigation

Ventilation and irrigation are important considerations for maintaining a healthy growing environment inside the hoop house. You can achieve ventilation by installing vents at either end of the structure or by rolling up the sides of the cover during the day. This will allow air to circulate and prevent overheating.

To irrigate your plants, you can install a drip irrigation system that delivers water directly to the roots of the plants. This will conserve water and prevent overwatering. Alternatively, you can hand-water your plants using a watering can or hose.

With these step-by-step instructions, building a hoop house can be a fun and rewarding project. Not only will you be able to extend your growing season and protect your plants from harsh weather conditions, but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you built the structure yourself.

Tips for maintaining and extending the life of your hoop house

Whether it’s for growing plants in the off-season or sheltering animals, hoop houses are a cost-effective alternative to traditional greenhouse structures. However, like any outdoor structure, they require maintenance to ensure their longevity. Here are some tips for maintaining and extending the life of your hoop house:

1. Choose the right location

The location of your hoop house is vital to its lifespan. It should be in a spot that has good drainage, is not prone to flooding, and is exposed to adequate sunlight. Choose a location that is sheltered from high winds and has good air circulation. Ensure that the site is level and free from obstructions. Avoid placing your hoop house under trees, which can shed leaves and branches that can cause damage or block sunlight.

2. Keep the cover clean

The cover is a vital component of a hoop house, forming a barrier between the plants and the outside elements. It’s essential to keep the cover clean to ensure its effectiveness. Dirt, grime, and algae can accumulate on the cover, reducing light transmission and affecting plant growth. Periodically wash the cover with soap and water to remove all dirt and grime. Avoid using chemical cleaners that may damage the cover’s material.

3. Ensure proper ventilation

Good ventilation is essential to the health of your plants in a hoop house. During hot weather, it’s crucial to open the doors and windows of the hoop house to allow cool air to circulate and prevent heat stress in your plants. It’s also essential to ensure there is adequate air circulation to reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Be careful when selecting methods to control temperature as some can dry out plants or cause too much humidity.

4. Reinforcing the structure

A hoop house undergoes wear and tear from snow, winds, hail and even people walking into it. While it may last longer than other building materials, it’s essential to reinforce the structure to avoid damage and ensure a longer lifespan. One way to do this is to insert a ground anchor into each hoop. It drives vertical into the ground and secures the hoop to prevent it from bending or breaking with the materials that you put around it. Another way to reinforce the structure is adding braces across the top of the hoop house structure. The braces add vertical supports that strengthen the hoop house from high winds or snow buildup. Always shop around for the right hoop house to ensure the best structure for your needs.

5. Repair damage promptly

Damage to your hoop house, no matter how minor, can quickly lead to bigger problems. It’s important to repair any damage as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the structure. If you notice any tears or rips in the cover, patch them quickly with a high-quality tape or patch kit. Keep an eye on the structure to monitor any bending of the hoops or damage to the frame and repair it accordingly.

By following these tips, you can ensure the longevity of your hoop house, reducing the need for costly repairs and replacements. Keeping the cover clean, reinforcing the structure, ensuring adequate ventilation, and repairing any damage promptly can make all the difference in achieving a long-lasting hoop house.

Creative ways to use your hoop house beyond growing plants

When you think about hoop houses, growing plants is the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are many creative ways to use your hoop house beyond just gardening. Here are five fun and unique ideas to try:

1. Outdoor Dining Area

Transform your hoop house into a cozy dining area where you can entertain guests and enjoy meals with your family. Set up a rustic wooden table and some chairs, add some colorful tablecloths and a few mason jar candles for a charming ambiance. You can even string some fairy lights across the ceiling to create a cozy mood.

Your hoop house can provide a comfortable dining space all year round, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors even in colder months. It’s a perfect spot for breakfast with a view, romantic dinners, and family gatherings.

2. Fitness Space

Another way to utilize your hoop house is by creating a home gym or fitness space. This is an ideal solution for those who love exercising and don’t like to miss a workout due to bad weather. You can set up a yoga mat, weights, or other fitness equipment and get moving in the privacy of your own backyard.

A hoop house offers a sheltered area that protects you from the elements while allowing fresh air and natural light. You’ll be able to exercise in a peaceful environment, connecting with nature and your body.

3. Art Studio

If you’re an artist or craftsperson, a hoop house can be transformed into a dream art studio. The natural light and open space provide an inspiring environment for creativity and imagination. You can set up easels, tables, and storage units to organize your supplies and create masterpieces that reflect the beauty of nature.

In an art studio, you can work on painting, drawing, sculpting, and other art forms, all while being surrounded by the peacefulness of your garden.

4. Relaxation Zone

Your hoop house can also become a haven for relaxation and meditation. Set up some comfortable chairs or a hammock, add some blankets and pillows, and create a space that provides a sense of calmness and tranquility.

You can spend some time reading a book, listening to music, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. The warmth and coziness of your hoop house create the perfect environment for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

5. Animal Shelter

If you have pets or farm animals, a hoop house can serve as a shelter from harsh weather conditions. You can set up a cozy area for your furry friends to sleep or play in, providing them with a safe and comfortable space.

Hoop houses are also great for raising animals like chickens or rabbits, as they offer protection from predators and outdoor elements.

Your hoop house can be a multi-purpose space that serves both you and your pets and animals, providing a safe and cozy environment for everyone to enjoy.

In conclusion, hoop houses offer a variety of creative uses beyond growing plants. From outdoor dining areas to art studios, fitness spaces, relaxation zones, and animal shelters, your hoop house can be a versatile and functional addition to your backyard. Try some of these ideas and discover the many possibilities of your hoop house!

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