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New Endwall Design Supports Hoop House Structures

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Posted Mar. 1, 2009

The latest trend with local hoop house growers is to construct smaller portable structures such as the hoop house designed by Tod Hanley, Norman, Okla., and the Noble Research Institute's poly pipe house. Both of these structures are low-profile, walk-in structures measuring only 7 feet at the peak. Both use rope straps extending over the top of the house to secure the poly covering to the frame. Because of their simple design, these structures are easily assembled and disassembled, and cost less to construct than similarly sized permanent structures.

One choice facing any grower using a portable hoop house structure is deciding on the type of endwall to install. Ideally, an endwall customized for use with a portable structure needs to be small enough to move without the need for machinery and strong enough to withstand the rigors of extreme weather. It also needs to provide quick and easy access to and from the structure.

At the Noble Research Institute, we have evaluated several types of endwalls used with portable structures. In an effort to build a better "mousetrap," we combined the best features of several existing designs and incorporated a few of our own ideas as well as a few recommendations from local growers. While there is no such thing as the "perfect" endwall, we believe the Noble portable endwall is a good fit for use with hoop houses 14 to 17 feet in width.

The endwall frame consists of treated lumber fortified with steel bracing. It fastens to the end hoop by means of two bolts, making the process quick and easy. Two removable braces attached to the inner surface of the frame add strength. The large double doors operate effortlessly and are designed for easy removal. Two 16-inch "legs" anchor the frame into the soil. Because the frame does not require permanently installed ground posts that can impede tractor access, soil preparation and bedding are easily accomplished when the endwall is removed.

Growers have the option of choosing PVC pipe or steel pipe to construct the endwall doors. Both have the same dimensions, making them interchangeable.

The material cost to construct a Noble Research Institute portable endwall ranges from $201 to $283 depending on the choice of door type (steel or PVC) and the hoop type (steel or poly pipe) to which the endwall is coupled.

To obtain a set of construction plans for our portable endwall, contact (580) 224-6430 or Ag Helpline Form.