EMT Green House Design

williammorgan(6b)November 12, 2011

I'm planning to build a greenhouse and I'm looking for affordable solutions. I tried pvc and concluded it's too weak(especially the fixtures). So i started exploring other option such as galvanized fence posts/railings. Then I remembered EMT pipe which is much cheaper.

My concern though is strength in high winds. I'm in SE MA and we had a pretty bad hurricane this year and several strong storms with severe winter storms to come.

I haven't exactly chosen the design but plan to use a car port/canopy design because the fixtures offer many possibilities. One thing I do know is I don't want to go too simple. The roof will be re-enforced structurally. Even the main posts(10') I would cut in half and add horizontal pipes to give more stability.

After watching a guy bend EMT pipe to make his greenhouse I'm a little worried a nor'easter might do the same thing if it's cemented in the ground. I realize covering could be removed however this summer we had some ferocious storms. I'd like to keep a cover on and get an early start next spring.

Worth it? Or go with fence posts(1 5/8 1 7/8)? Although it should be noted i'm not finding too many fittings for fencing. That's why i'm exploring EMT pipe...that and it's much cheaper.

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wm I live in the northwest and had the same wind related problems, mostly in the winter though. I ended up at stevesgreenhouses .com for my 10x30 greenhouse. It is made of 13/8" steel conduit and it has stood up to all our weather including a freak 3' snowstorm a couple of years ago. It was one of the best priced houses I found doing my research and it included the poly cover. The owner was very helpful.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 6:32PM
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thanks for the response. In the mean time I've been hunting on google. After watching some guy bend the EMT with a pipe bender I became a little bit concerned.

One problem I had was terminology and what was available. I wound up finding some fixtures for 1 5/8 and 1 7/8 inch galvanized fence railing pipe. These canopy websites sell lots of cool fixtures to make all sorts of shapes.

We've had freak 3 foot snow before and some punishing wind. The EMT is probably strong enough but I never seen it outside here but seen plenty of fencing. I think I'm going to go with the fence railing. I think it's actually the same gauge as EMT but I think that's deceiving because EMT must be cheap for a reason. I think it has a nice thick coat of the shiny stuff.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:48PM
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hi Will,

i dont know how handy you are but you want to use 1 7/8 TOP RAIL fenceing for your framing not EMT.

TOP RAIL has a bell end where EMT dose not witch means you need to use electrical emt couplings.they will not hold up in the wind.

if you use 1 17/8 top rail your going to buils a A-frame green house not a hoop house. theres no easy way to bend 1 7/8 pipe into a hoop.

in saying that, you will need
1 7/8 top rail bell end "home depot $ 9.50 "
some 3/4 EMT + 3/4 "2 hole straps metal"
self tapping bolts like 5/16
dont know if you live near Fall River but they have a Habor Freight. for a $ 100.00 you will need 12 Ton Hydraulic Pipe Bender. sounds big but its not... " you will need to use the 2" die for the bending the 1 7/8 pipe
goto habor freight.com and look at the bender.

i will stop here to see if that is what your looking to do...
how big are you going to make your green house??

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:03AM
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