Pole barn advice

veggievicki(7b)November 25, 2012

I've been out of the market for several years now due to a mOve into town. But we recently purchased two acres dirt cheap hahaha. There is an old pole barn which has a decent roof structure but the tin is about shot. The sides are just old garage doors shower doors anything big and flat I'm stripping it down with the intent of converting it to a greenhouse. Gh plastic on the sides which are a little less than eight feet. I was thinking of using that clear corrugated from lowes for the roof. Any advice?

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myfamilysfarm

I've used the clear corrugated in the past, they only problem we had was LOTS of heat. We used the corrugated on the roof, with light green mixed in with clear, and glass windows on sides. Very warm, even in winter in zone 5. Ours was attached to a trailer on North/East sides. Lasted for at least 4 years while we lived there, don't know how much longer it would have lasted.

I do know of one south of me, zone 6, that has been up for several years, but the corrugated is filming up. the frame was a pole barn also. They used corrugated for the sides also, with big sliding doors for ventilation.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:08AM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

Solarig Woven Plastic Sheeting Greenhouse Covers from http://www.robertmarvel.com/Greenhousecover.html

this is what i use and has lasted 9 years to date and is a lot cheaper than the corrugated stuff from lowes which i know very little about

Here is a link that might be useful: greenhouse cover

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:51PM
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veggievicki(7b)

Thanks, dirtdigging. That looks like a good solution. I'm a little concerned about getting a flexible material onto the roof without snagging issues. The pole barn was built with sawmill lumber, not the nice planed wood you get from a lumber yard. My idea on that was to staple that thin aluminum backed insulation, (cut into strips) onto the trusses.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:47PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

if it is like most metal roofs just leave the wood purloins in place and maybe as some simple ones perpendicular to then could even be one x twos. i ues cement blocks to hold down the plastic in various ways as i put it up.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:54PM
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veggievicki(7b)

It's wood 2x6 ceiling joists set 2 foot on center. 20 foot trusses. I haven't measured but by eyeball looks like either a 3 12 or 4 12 pitch. I'm guessing the joists are about 12 foot in length. What concerns me is all of the wood is sawmill lumber so fairly rough. That's why I was leaning toward the corrugated plastic. I didn't know if I could get a film product on it without shredding it.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:24PM
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randy41_1

i think those polycarbonate panels from lowes will work well. i would carefully follow the installation instructions. maybe sanding the tops of the trusses a bit and then painting them white would work. you got a picture?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:06AM
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veggievicki(7b)

here is a pic of the barn and a link to one ibc fish tank set up on youtube. there are a lot similar to this.

Here is a link that might be useful: example of an aquaponic tank

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:09PM
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myfamilysfarm

I would use the corrugated panels, whether from Lowes' or not, that would depend upon price and who else might have them.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:26PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

the film i gave the link to u are not going to hurt it. but i had the same fear when i first used it. call the supplier they will send u a sample,

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:59PM
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veggievicki(7b)

I will. I calculated corrugated panels at over a dollar a sq ft and the twin wall stuff over 2. I sure need to find something better than that. It becomes not worth it to save the structure if the covering is going to be so much more than a hoop house with film.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:45PM
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randy41_1

it looks to me you would have a shading problem because of all the lumber framing in the roof. also you would have to figure out a way to ventilate the structure.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:14AM
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myfamilysfarm

In my case, there wasn't any problem with shading. There was enough sunlight between the rafters. Our rafters were spaced 16" on center. The one that I've seen, used big doors (like barn doors). I believe they may have installed big exhaust fans in the gables.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:38AM
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veggievicki(7b)

I will. I calculated corrugated panels at over a dollar a sq ft and the twin wall stuff over 2. I sure need to find something better than that. It becomes not worth it to save the structure if the covering is going to be so much more than a hoop house with film.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:12AM
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myfamilysfarm

To start I would use the corrugate only on the roof, then as money comes in, add the sidewalls. You can get by with the construction plastic for a year or so.

After looking at prices for hoophouses, professionally done, it probably isn't worth using this building as a hoophouse, unless you can find some of the covering for free or almost.

Nice thing about the corrugate and thin-wall sides, is that you will not need to replace them as often. I believe that the film needs to be replace every 4-6 years at the max. the corrugate and thin=wall sides should last longer than that. I know our 'porch' roof lasted 7 years and wasn't showing any wear (corrugated panels from the lumber store).

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 2:52PM
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veggievicki(7b)

Well, the advantage of using the panels on the roof would be I could work my way back--wouldn't have to do it all at once. My initial thought was panels on the roof and roll up film on the sides.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:18PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

construction plastic will not last 6 months

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 9:38PM
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myfamilysfarm

Here I've had construction plastic last 2 years, barely. but I'm in zone 5 and not 7. Makes a difference. this last year, the construction plastic just lasted 1 full year, on door that got beat around by the winds. It would ONLY be for a temporary measure. Most houses around here use construction plastic for their winter covering over the top of the rest of house, especially windows. It stays up for up to 6 months without any problems.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:01AM
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veggievicki(7b)

I won't use construction plastic because when it does fall apart it is a total nightmare. At least for me. It starts falling into millions of pieces.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:54PM
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myfamilysfarm

You can get greenhouse film for about 3x the price of construction plastic. You might think about redoing part of the shed at a time, the southern part first. Then gradually change out the rest.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:18PM
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veggievicki(7b)

That was what I was thinking. I may just do the front (south facing) 20x20 section and use the rest for sheltering the tractor, kayaks, lawn mower. Basically dry storage. I had good luck in the past with just homemade pvc and construction plastic hoop house, since we have pretty mild winters. But it seems it would be nice to have at least some rigid growing space.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:11PM
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myfamilysfarm

I use our hoophouse as a garage in the winter, since I don't try to grow for markets that I don't have. Markets around here mainly go from May til Oct, otherwise there not a market.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 5:40PM
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veggievicki(7b)

Ours shuts down too early. They could easily still be going now. The temperature got up to 70 this weekend. It was beautiful. From now on, though, odds are it will be really unpleasant. Late December through January is pretty miserable, usually a lot of rain and cold overcast days. February tends to be pretty dreary as well. Ours will open in late March or early April, but there won't be much there. Most of the people going are older traditional types of gardeners. Around here hardly anybody does an early spring or late fall garden. The idea of a late garden is throwing out a bunch of turnip seed and growing turnip greens. I am seriously thinking I will focus on bread and other bakery items this year, and some of the not so main stream produce. Our market needs more diversity.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:42PM
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