Putting up a polytunnel is like the biggest piece of flat-pack furniture you could imagine (a bit like putting up a Meccano structure) and although it might look and sound daunting, building a polytunnel should actually be a straightforward, rewarding experience.
Polytunnel Building Advice
Here are a few hints and tips to address a very common question… ‘How long does it take to build a polytunnel?’
We appreciate that putting anything together you’re not used to can initially feel a tad overwhelming. We are conscious that there are many factors and variables that influence the work involved when constructing a Polytunnel. You have to consider: –
These all contribute to the length of time it can take, so it would be wrong for us to advise a specific timescale. A 6ft x 8ft base rail version Polytunnel would require 6 holes digging whereas a 30ft x 90ft long would require 32 holes – phew!
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were most polytunnels. It is important not to underestimate the time involved. This isn’t something you can knock up in a couple of hours after work, or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. That said, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out how it goes together and even those with two left thumbs should be able to manage the basic DIY involved. As long as the weather is fine and the company pleasant, erecting a polytunnel can be a delightful job, and you will have the satisfaction of having built something with your own two hands.
Preparation is Key
The more preparation you do, the more likely the project will proceed smoothly without surprises. Ask to see a copy of the instruction manual before taking the plunge so you can check how straightforward they are to follow and learn exactly what’s involved. The construction guides can either be downloaded or posted out to you.
It is a good idea to take the time to prepare your site before building your polytunnel. You should remove all vegetation and cut back any surrounding trees or shrubs that may be in the way. If your polytunnel is going to be in a rather exposed location, you could also consider creating a natural wind break ahead of time. Another thing that you can do before your polytunnel arrives is get a sense of the soil on the site by doing an exploratory dig, to see whether there are many rocks, and whether the digging here will be hard work. If the digging does seem like it will be very hard going, you may need to consider hiring a mini-digger or calling for reinforcements.
Getting all tools and the right tools is a must. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in and then realising your battery operated drill needs charging or forgetting your ladders are out on loan. Prepare this a few days in advance and get all your tools and bits & bobs together before you start. Don’t forget the biscuits!
Check Your Kit
When the kit arrives, check that all components are there, and read the instructions carefully….again! How many times are we told to read the instructions before we start to use something but skip bits because we’re in a hurry? You’ll find it extremely beneficial to familiarise yourself with the construction process and component/part names. Watch our handy step by step construction videos as this will help save you time when the “big day” arrives. Call it homework (like being back at school)
With the UK weather, it can be difficult to know what it coming next. But if at all possible you should choose to erect your polytunnel on a calm, fine day. Rain can make the job a little miserable but a little drizzle never hurt anyone. Wind is far more problematic for polytunnel construction. Don’t even try to put the cover on if there is even a hint of wind. Wait for calmer conditions or you risk losing your cover before you even get started.
Ask for Advice!
Don’t forget you are literally putting together a small building (quite often the size of a swimming pool) A substantial piece of kit that is going to last many, many years and pay for itself in fresh fruit and veggies time and time again. Now that’s nothing to be sniffed at.
We do have any construction helpline readily available 7 days a week should any difficulties arise or you simply have a question. No matter how small you think the question is, just call. Our construction team is more than happy to offer help, advice and time-saving tips to all of our customers.
Ensure you end up with “YOUR” dream Polytunnel take your time and enjoy!
If you have any hints and tips you feel would be worth including just email sales@FirstTunnels.co.uk or give us a call on 01282 601253 – it’s great to get field-testing info!
Originally posted 2015-09-29 15:00:05.
Sean Barker is the MD of First Tunnels, and is enthusiastic about providing quality gardening supplies to gardeners across the UK