A light drizzle outside made working inside sound like a good idea this weekend, so we pulled the hoop house into the barn to continue working on it. In Part 2 of this series we showed how to attach the cattle panels to the frame we had built in Part 1. This week we built the back and the front of the hoop house and put on the poultry netting.
The first step is to attach 1X4 lumber to the back upright board at about hip and shoulder level. They are glued and screwed to the upright, and attached to the cattle panels with plumber’s strapping and screws or bolts like we did with the upright board in part 2. Et Voila, the back framing is done. Simple, huh?
The next step is the door frame. We glued and screwed more 1X4’s to the bottom front board, two feet apart in the center of the opening. Triangular plywood gussets glued and screwed on the inside of the door frame hold a two-foot long header board for the door opening. You’ll want to place that header board high enough that you don’t have to stoop to get into the hoop house. We used an extra board to prop up the cattle panels so we could get a little extra height, and then attached the door frame posts to the cattle panels with the plumber’s strapping.
The door is made of more 1X4’s held together in the corners with more plywood gussets. We made our gussets for the door frame and door out of 1/2 inch plywood, cut into 8 inch squares, and then cut corner to corner into triangles. You’ll want to make the door with at least 1/4 inch gap all around, so it’s not tight inside the frame, otherwise the wood will swell and the door will stick in damp weather. Notice in the picture of the door frame, we dropped the gussets down and in a bit so they cover the corners of the door opening. This serves as a stop that the door rests against when it’s closed. You can’t see in these pictures, but we also made the door long enough that the bottom of it rests against the hoop house base when it’s closed. That serves as our door stop on the bottom. For the door, we placed the gussets flush against the edges of the 1x4’s. We also put a brace across the middle of the door, securing it with 4 inch wide strips of plywood.
The next step is to cover the back, front, and 4 feet high on the sides of the hoop house with one inch poultry netting (chicken wire). You will use a whole 50-foot roll of 4-foot wide netting. Starting with the back of the hoop house, stretch the netting across the bottom, staple it to all the wooden parts of the hoop house, and attach it to the cattle panels with hog rings or zip ties. We used zip ties in the corners to hold it while we were stapling, and we used hog rings for added strength. I think the zip ties might deteriorate outdoors in the sun. Four feet is not tall enough to reach all the way to the top of the hoop house, so you’ll need to cut another piece of netting to finish to the top. Again, staple to all the wooden parts and use hog rings to connect to the cattle panels. Where the two pieces of poultry netting meet, we connected them together with cage clips. We found the cage clips and this cage clip crimping tool in our local farm and ranch store in the rabbit supplies section.
Repeat the process to cover the front of the coop with poultry netting, covering the whole front. Once the netting is securely stapled to all the wooden parts, you can use nippers to cut the wire from around the door to allow the door to open.
Add poultry netting to each side of the hoop house, just one row high. Staple it to the hoop house base, and use the hog rings to attach it to the cattle panels.
That’s where we gave up for the evening. :-)
In the next article in the series we’ll talk about adding the finishing touches to the hoop house