DIY How To

How to Build a Polytunnel

A polytunnel provides a great alternative to a greenhouse and you can often find them sold in DIY packs. These can be easily constructed by even those with limited DIY experience. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to build a polytunnel.

Steps to building a Polytunnel

Step One: Laying the Groundwork
The first thing you'll have to do ensure that the site you plan to build on is level. This task is best done when the ground is still soft, such as during late autumn, winter, or early spring, as the soil will be easier to work with. When you mark the positions of the feet, make sure that they're evenly-spaced.

To create a sturdier structure, anchor your frames in base plates mounted in the earth. It's highly recommended that you take your time to ensure your markers are in the correct positions. Any errors will become noticeable when it comes to connecting the frame that make up the skeleton of your polytunnel.

Step Two: Building Your Frame
To build your frame, simply connect the separate sections together and, when everything is in place, seal the joints. Check that the positioning of your fittings won't rub against the cover as this could cause it to tear.

Step Three: Attaching the Cover
Before you attach the polythene cover you'll need to make sure have some anti-hotspot tape. This is used to protect the cover against the excessive heat that builds up from the metal frame of the polytunnel during the summer. Place a strip along each hoop.

When unrolling the cover, make sure the ground is clear of any stones so you don't damage it. You then need to slide it over the skeleton of your tunnel so it fits evenly over the frame. While the rest of the construction is possible by just one individual, it's recommended that two people attach the cover. You should also avoid doing this if it's particularly windy or raining.

Step Four: Attaching the Door
The doors and door frames will not come pre-built in your pack so you'll need to construct them from timber. It's very important that the plastic over all the parts of the tunnel is connected very tightly. This prevents water from gathering on top of the tunnel, and also limits the amount of movement from the wind.

If you find you have any questions when building your polytunnel, take a look at Premier Polytunnel's FAQs. You'll also be able to find advice on different methods of construction, such as securing it via the trenching method or with a base rail.

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