How To Build A DIY Hoop House In Your Own Backyard

Building your own DIY hoop house to protect delicate plants from the cold is easy, fairly inexpensive, and worth the effort.

A woman plants seedlings in a hoop house
(Image credit: Igor Barilo / Getty Images)

Hoop houses are great for a variety of reasons. They can limit access to pests, keep plants safe from a freeze, warm soil earlier, and make a tidy little do-it-yourself greenhouse. The DIY hoop house is also fairly inexpensive to create and can be developed with a variety of materials. Tutorials on hoop house DIY projects are common on many social media sites but ours is an all-in-one guide. Get ready to purchase or find items and make a plan, because building a hoop house is fun, easy, and will go a long way to starting the garden.

Benefits of a DIY Hoop House

A DIY hoop greenhouse offers many positive solutions to common gardening problems. First, it is inexpensive and easy to assemble and is a budget-friendly option. Second, it has the capacity to warm the soil earlier by harnessing solar energy. This means gardening even when there might be a freeze; a DIY hoop house holds in heat and keeps frost off of plants, preserving them from harm.

Your DIY hoop house will also conserve moisture, allowing plants the water they need while keeping you from having to water daily. And finally, a DIY hoop greenhouse can prevent some pests from laying eggs in your plants. As spring rises, many adult insects are looking for a place to lay eggs which will hatch and feed on our plants. Erecting a barrier around plants will prevent these pests from making your garden their nursery.

Finally, a hoop house can be easily disassembled when the warm season returns.

Easy DIY Hoop House Ideas

You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to make a hoop house. A PVC hoop house is a simple way to protect plants, warm soil, and more benefits. It also can be made tall enough to personally go inside and weed, water, and do other tasks that are necessary for plant health. The project may be built as small or large as you need. It’s a perfect solution for the home gardener since it doesn’t require professional building skills and only requires a few simple tools and materials.

Gardeners in northern locations especially like this option because it can jump-start the growing season even while cool weather is still an issue. A smaller option for a hoop house starts with u-shaped wire arcs that are embedded in the soil and covered. The wire forms may be purchased or made.

DIY PVC Hoop House

This is really a little greenhouse that can be put up and taken down seasonally. All you need is PVC pipe (the kind used for plumbing), attaching hardware, a few tools like saws and screwdrivers, and a vision.

The material that you place over the house will vary depending on its purpose. There are fabric covers but these will be subject to weather and can rip, exposing plants to weather fairly quickly. Polyethylene is a more durable option. It can even be found treated with a UV inhibitor which makes it last much longer. There are many grades of polyethylene, with 6 mil recommended for hoop and greenhouse structures.

Materials and Tools for a PVC Hoop House

  • PVC pipes in the lengths required for the arcing beams as well as the length and base
  • Rebar- enough to stabilize each hoop and anchor it into the ground
  • Binder clips, zip ties, or staples ( Binders are easy and quickly removable while staples will make the structure more permanent.)
  • Screws
  • Treated 2x4s for the base and doorway
  • Drill/Driver if using screws
  • 6 mil polyethylene
  • Hacksaw
  • Mallet

How to Build a Hoop House at Home

  1. The first step in building a DIY hoop house is to prepare the ground. It should be flat and free of obstructions. The ground needs to be unfrozen so the rebar can be driven down.
  2. Next, build a box for the base of the structure out of the 2x4s. Make sure it is square and even.
  3. Cut the rebar into 3-foot (.91 m.) lengths. Use the mallet to hammer these into the ground outside the wooden form. Space them about 2 feet (.61 m.) apart.
  4. Slide each end of PVC over the rebar to form a u-shape. For added strength, these can be secured to the wooden base with screws.
  5. Cut wood to form a doorway and secure to the wooden base with screws. Use zip ties or screws to secure one long piece of PVC that will act as a beam and be secured to each arced piece of pipe.
  6. Finally, drape the plastic over the entire form and pull it taut, securing as you go with binder clips to the pipes or staples at the wooden base.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost to Build a DIY Hoop House?

The cost will vary by the size of the structure and where the items are purchased. A hoop house can currently be built for around 400-600 USD in most areas.

Is a Hoop House As Good As a Greenhouse?

The answer depends upon the gardener’s use. If you want to grow year-round and have any sensitive plants, a greenhouse might be the better option. The hoop house is perfect if you only need the structure to raise plants earlier in the season. Due to the lower cost and portability of a hoop house, it is often the more practical and affordable solution.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.