PVC hoop house construction
Over the next few weeks I will be putting up a cold frame to house plants for the upcoming winter months. In the upcoming summer, it could serve as a shade house as well.
As I have researched different construction methods over the last few months, I keep coming back to the hoop house design, and I favor PVC pipe as the material to make the hoops from.
I know schedule 80 is the best grade of pipe to use, gray or black is the preferred choice to white. I also realize that the wider I plan to build my hoop house, the bigger the PVC should be in diameter. I had wanted a 24 wide house, but may settle for 18'. I want it to be 32'long. As I said, this will be an unheated cold frame.
What has been your findings in life expectancy of Schedule 40 PVC pipe, before it begins to break down due to exsposure to the sun? I have found statements saying anywhere from 3 to 10 years. Because of the size of the structure I wish to build, I will have to use a larger size PVC pipe.
Using 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" PVC pipe is my thoughts at this time. Depending on whose site or message you read, I have seen spacing of 2', 3', even 4" for the hoops. What are your thoughts on this issue?
I plan to start out with just a 6 mil plastic from HD or Lowes for now. Will the wider spacing be sufficent to support this plastic?
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.