Dave Glowka – How to Build Durable, Low-cost Hoop Houses

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Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to construct a 12-ft. wide hoop house of any length.
  • Photos and drawings for every step of the way
  • A parts list, including the cost and a source for every component in a 36-ft. long hoop house
  • A list of resources for learning more about hoop houses
  • A downloadable, 3D drawing file for interactively exploring the construction of a hoop house.


About the Speaker:

Dave Glowka is a research engineer with decades of experience in energy and agriculture research. He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and specializes in mechanical design, fluid flow, and heat-transfer processes. He has explored various aspects of geothermal energy and other fascinating subjects for more than 35 years, and has served as consultant and design engineer on dozens of public and private projects that range from state-of-the-art software for calculating the orbiting temperatures of the space shuttle to downhole tools and instruments for exploring and characterizing the subsurface geology of the earth and equipment for safely handling and storing nuclear waste in a national repository. Through his company Red Rock Research, he is currently working to integrate 3D design and printing technologies into his consulting and design activities.

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QUESTION: What did you learn from or like about this presentation?


  1. davidwayne

    tks I know my next summer job this was so nicely explained

  2. Dave Glowka

    Hi, Dave Glowka here. They took out the part where I said I am not an expert on hoop houses. I’m not. I built one hoop house in reality, one in virtual space. But I will, nevertheless, try to answer your questions if you have any. Sunday is Father’s Day, so I may not respond quickly. But I will respond whenever I can over the next 36 hours. You can also send me an email message at dglowka@gvtc.com

    Have fun,

  3. Dave Glowka

    Thanks, davidwayne. I am honored if this inspired you to make a summer job of it. Please keep us informed of your progress and let me know if you have any questions.

  4. cwrench

    Hands down my favorite presentation so far and, holy cow!, a surprise ending.

    One item that is unclear to me after several rewinds and repeats is what exactly the ‘clamping board’ is and how it works/is made. A little clarification on that would helpful.

    Excellent presentation.

    1. Dave Glowka

      I think the slide with the clamp board somehow got deleted from the presentation. Sorry about that. It’s a miracle all those bits and bytes line up at all, so a glitch is to be expected every once in a while.

      The clamp boards are two small 1X4’s or 2X4’s about 4 inches long. One goes on the outside of the plastic near the end hoop. The plastic wraps around the end hoop and doubles back on itself. You you place the second clamp board inside the hoop house and line it up with the first board, with the two layers of plastic between the two boards. While pulling the plastic tight around the end hoop, drive a screw through the middle of the outer board, through the plastic, and into the inner board. Repeat this 4 more times at the corners of the boards. These five screws clamp the boards together tightly so that the clamping force is spread out over the entire area of the boards, which prevents the plastic from ripping out. This is a much more reliable clamp than the tube clamps shown in the presentation. Those tend to fly off in a high wind if you don’t use a lot more of them than you think you need.

  5. Sharlene

    Wonderful presentation and explanations.
    Thank you!

  6. Pamela Richards

    Great presentation. Thank you Dave. Do I detect a teensy weeny little bit of Australian accent there?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Pamela,
      He is a Texas through and through!
      We did a family trip down under years ago when our son was 1.
      We need to go back!

    2. Dave Glowka

      Hi Pamela, no that accent is not Aussie, but thanks, I’ve always wanted on of those.

      It’s a South Central Texas accent. Different from West Texas, East Texas, or North Texas accents. Some people claim they can tell which of the 254 Texas counties a person is from by the way they talk, but I think that’s of them tall tales.

  7. Allen Peters

    Thank you for your demonstration and explanation. This looks like a great project and relatively easy without having to purchase a great number of tools.

    1. Dave Glowka

      Thanks, yes it is pretty easy. The only special tools I would recommend are the post driver and the hoop bender. You’ll never make a smooth bend without a bender. And without a post driver, I think the top of the post would be too mangled to fit the hoop into.

  8. Gloria Cole

    swcomposerplayer.exe will not install

    (Windows 7)

    1. Edward

      Firefox wouldn’t play but chrome did.

      1. Gail

        I have watched everything on Chrome with no problems. But there is NO VIDEO HERE. I think they must have removed it. I wanted to see the surprise ending.

        1. Leza Raymond

          Watch it today–Monday! I had the same problem, but was able to (finally!) watch it
          . πŸ™‚

        2. Gail

          The video is back and glad I got to watch it. The surprise ending!!–I am SO jealous of Margory having such a smart, handy, get-it-done and good looking husband.

          1. Gail

            Margory, I just love your theme song too!!

  9. Barbara

    Thank-you so much for all this amazing information! You made it easy to understand. As an architectural designer using AutoCAD, I really appreciate all the time and effort that you put into the drawings! I had not thought of it before but now I (with the help of the grandkids) will be building a hoop house within the next year! Thanks.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Barbara, be sure to pick up the drawing package in the TGN Library. Dave did pour a ton of work into that. ANd isn’t that new 3D software so amazing? Whew, I used AutoCad back in the 80’s – whew – ho wmuch change has occured since then.

      Yes, ge the kids involved with the building.

  10. Aprille

    What a great presentation! Thank you for breaking this down into a simplified step-by-step process with clear diagrams which makes it seem much more feasible. A hoophouse has always been a dream of mine and I feel very inspired now to build one myself! I was also curious about the clamp board construction… Anyway, Great job and thank you!

  11. The Tom

    great presentation david. you might be a hoophouse newbie but you brought a level of experituse to this project great job

  12. Beverly

    There is no presentation showing here???

    1. Edward

      Firefox wouldn’t play but chrome did.

  13. Oldman47

    I am loving this construction summary. I have seen a use for a greenhouse as a firewood solar kiln but it requires that the hoop house gets a little taller from one end to the other to vent off moisture through an open vent at the high end. It seems that this design would be easily adapted to that use if the low end to the high end direction were oriented to take advantage of the prevailing wind.

    1. Razz

      Oldman47, Your adaptation would be quite easy. Just make the ground posts (that the hoops fit into) progressively taller as you move down the length of the House. Say, by 6″ each section. This would give you a mild 1:12 slope.

      The only difficulty might be the need to piece together a wider plastic cover (unless you keep the house length under 24ft, and turn the plastic sideways.

      Good Luck.

      1. Dave Glowka

        Good thoughts. You could also raise the bottom skirt on one end to keep it parallel with the top rail. That way, your 24-ft wide plastic would come all the way down over the skirt along the entire length of the house. Depending on your slope, you might have a gap below the skirt on one end that you will need to fill with dirt or another skirt board.

        My experience is that even with an aquaponics system in the greenhouse, the side and end vents were sufficient to prevent moisture buildup inside the greenhouse. I don’t know how much water drying wood will give off though.

  14. Amy

    Awww, sweet surprise at the end.

  15. De

    Big surprise at the beginning too- there is a big blank spot where the presentation should be & I can see I’m not the only one with this issue.

  16. Wil

    As 7 pm the video link is not working. All of the others do so I don’t think the problem is on my end.

    1. Edward

      Firefox wouldn’t play but chrome did.

  17. Diane

    Can you make the comments available even after the videos are no longer viewing?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Diane, the comments will be transferred to the membership area after teh SUmmit- they will be preserved there.

      1. Jim A.

        Very good Marjory. There was one speaker in this summit I refused to read the comments because it was a subject that rather indirectly you being a guest on a particular (spooky-haha) show late at night several years ago before I had any idea who you or your group was, helped to push ahead my getting very involved with it. It was the only subject here I can pretty much fully relate to and discuss. I wanted my full attention to all the comments on that one. Regrettably I fell asleep in this armless chair attempting to do that and then got a rather rude awakening and discovered that the day had changed. I was able to get to the video, but learned that all comments were gone.

        I learned who my friends were over a deserted piece of property they owned when they learned I was going through with your alternative protein subject you were being interviewed on that night so many years ago by George Noory of Coast-to-Coast.

        They did not believe me that the billionaire, Marc Cuban, already had an interest in your subject of that night. So they took away the promised property and for me, the rest is history.

        Anyway, the subject still intrigues me so it is good to find out that I also will be able to get to see those comments as will Diane and others. Thnx.

        Watch out for lotus people. Will ya?–haha,
        June 19, 2017/Monday

  18. Kimberly Tiller

    Beautiful presentation! Exactly what I was hoping to learn! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  19. Yolanda

    Great presentation. Was able to download everything so I can now add it to my Honey-to-do-list!

    And what a surprise at the end!!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Yes! I am a lucky woman, huh?

  20. Ted

    Nicely detailed with good real pictures and CAD drawings as well.

    Thanks for the information.

  21. Molly

    Good presentation. I’m thinking 12 x 36 is bigger than I need but it’s pretty clear the building process is the same no matter the size.

    Thanks, Dave. And thanks Marjory for sharing him with us. πŸ™‚

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Molly, you are most welcome.
      Once you get one hoophouse going you’ll find you want more room. LOL. Dave has already expanded ours with another two sections. And yes, the building prcess is still the same and super easy to configue.

  22. Jane

    Love this. the other video on the greenhouse left me very concerned with the off gassing.thank you for the instruction information. I have bookmarked it. Now i have to find someone to build it for me. I am a senior, senior citizen but this will get done. take care and enjoy your greenhouse Nice to have met Marjory’s husband as well.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Jane, he’s a sweetie!

  23. Shira Nahari

    There is no presentation showing here???

  24. Daphne Atkins

    Unfortunately, for some reason, I could not access your talk.

  25. Bryan Palmes

    Nothing here

  26. silkcom

    πŸ™ can’t watch it

  27. Sandi

    firstly ty to all the people who presented and provided such wonderful videos and information in a format that was free to those of us who chose it to be that way. Thank you very much Marjory Wildcraft for organising and delivering another wide and varied mismash of different views and ideas. At the very least it provided food for thought in a lot of areas. I guess sadly I have missed this one video, running late on the school run lol. looking forward to your next season of debate, information and enjoyment, it is wonderful to see so many people co-operating and enjoying themselves.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Sandi,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I absolutely love hosting these Summits. We are struggling a bit financially (you would not believe how expensive it is to produce these – and there is such huge risk involved – we do all the work upfront and income does not come in until the SUmmit airs).

      There is some question if we should continue to do them. But I really love them so much! We will figure out a way to continue.

  28. Rose

    Cant see anything

  29. Johannes

    There is no presentation here. I tried Firefox and I tried Chrome.
    All the other ones are working, so I don’t think the problem is on my side.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Johannes,

      I’ve been seeingg those comments about not being able to view. I’ve got the tech team working on it.

  30. Fran

    Hello Marjory,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful Home Grown Food Summit.

    Just want to let you know that the link for Dave Glowka’s – How to Build Durable, Low-cost Hoop Houses is not working. Could you replay it for us, please? Thank you.

  31. fiona mcmillan

    Hello Marjory,
    I am another one that can see this presentation have you know ant reason this one is not working
    Thank you for bringing these great speakers and also to you all who work so hard to get this out to us every year

  32. A

    For those people who cannot view the presentation, here’s the direct link:


    1. flip buitelmans

      Awesome, that worked. Thanks!

    2. Maria Regina

      I tried the above link, but it failed due to a network error. Please make this video available during encore.

      I also have firefox, could someone check accessibility. Thanks.

    3. Phil

      Thank you, your link worked perfectly.

    4. Desperate

      The direct link is unfortunately not working.

      1. A
        1. Nonkel D

          Funny, if I click the link, it complains with a network error, but if I copy the link and paste it in a new tab, it works like a charm!

          1. HoophousesFTW

            I just downloaded that link as a file, renamed it from extension “.bin” to extension “.mp4” and then opened it with my favorite video player (e.g. Quicktime).

  33. Donna

    I also cannot see this presentation and the direct link also does not work for me. bummer. This info sounds great

  34. Ayn

    I have not been able to play this video. Disappointed!

  35. Maria Regina

    I was watching this video at 4:12 AM PDT, but it suddenly stopped after only 5 minutes, and would not restart. Were not these videos to be available until 7 AM PDT on Monday morning (9 AM Central Time)?

    I clicked the view link for all the videos on Sunday, but it looks like all the videos have been taken down prematurely. I hope that this particular video on Hoop Houses will be replayed during the encore.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Hi Maria,
      we are replaying all these on MOnday as there are tech difficulties.

  36. Rachel

    Presentation did not come up.

  37. Kim

    I was looking forward to viewing this presentation. Unfortunately the video link isn’t available. Will it be reposted?
    Wonderful speakers and info. Thank you

  38. Dave Glowka

    Thanks to all the people who watched the video and commented. Sorry for those of you who could not see it. The team is working on that. They tell me the hoop house video will play as an encore presentation today. I will answer the comments that haven’t been addressed later today too.

  39. Dalton

    can not view the presentation. Have tried several times. All the others worked fine. Was really looking forward to this as I want to build a hoop house this fall. I have really enjoyed all the presentations. Have learned a lot. Your group has really taught me so much about gardening when I knew absolutely nothing about it. I can actually grow a garden now and I love it. I am learning about canning and preserving so that I waste nothing from my garden. We are picking up some chickens this afternoon. Next project is a bee hive or two. Thanks so much for everything

    1. Jimerson Adkins (Post author)

      Presentation is back up!

  40. Denise

    Tried both Firefox and Chrome. No video screen – only white space.

    1. Jimerson Adkins (Post author)

      Presentation is back up!

  41. Giovanna

    Not working! i tried on both Firefox and Chrome. The direct link plays with very choppy sound.

    1. Jimerson Adkins (Post author)

      Presentation is back up!

  42. Donna

    video not loading on Firefox, Explorer, or Chrome. big bummer

    1. Jimerson Adkins (Post author)

      Presentation is back up!

  43. Donna

    and the direct link doesn’t work for me either. Maybe you could email this video to us?

  44. Alicia

    Presentation not there! Can’t view it : (

    1. Jimerson Adkins (Post author)

      Presentation is back up!

  45. KB

    Same here… others on this day work but Dave’s will not load. πŸ™

    1. Jimerson Adkins (Post author)

      Presentation is back up!

    2. KB

      I tried reloading it 4 different times without any luck. When I left the comment below it triggered something and it loaded! Yea! πŸ˜€

  46. Blackthorn

    One of the finest presentations I’ve seen.
    Step by step instruction *and* downloads!
    That’s huge help.

    Astonishing that there were ANY negative comments yet I see 2 rating this as Awful and 1 as Poor.

    If you rated this low I’m trying to imagine what your expectations could possibly be.

    And if you rated it low because you were unable to see it – complain about the process, not a presentation you’ve never seen.

  47. Wes

    Excellent presentation… plus I had no problem downloading the spreadsheet and pdf files. I also downloaded, installed, and registered the eDrawings executable without any problems. I suspect there will be a learning curve to using the software, but it’s working. Now, to find someone to help me build one of these beauties!!!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      SO glad you got those files. Dave put a ton of work into them. And he wants folks to be able to use them.

  48. Heather

    I loved it! But I couldn’t find the yellow button for the grow network library so I could get the lists and downloadable 3 D drawing file. Where is it?

  49. Dave Glowka

    I’m not sure about the yellow button, but just click on the picture of the hoop house at the top of the page, where it says “Click Here to get Dave’s Step-by-Step Instructions.” Let me know if you still have problems.

  50. Fayette

    I was so happy to get a chance to catch this one. So detailed in explanation and illustration.

  51. Rory Boleware

    Dave’s video, like for many of you has not shown up on his page for me on my iPad. I tried all three browsers I have on it and none work, but I just tried my laptop and the video showed up on the page. So to me this is more of a device compatibility issue then a video issue. The video plays fine on my windows laptop, but still not the iPad.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft

      Thanks so much for pointing that out.
      Yes, I think it is difficult to get players to work with Apple devices sometimes. I will run this by the TGN tech team.

      Thanks again.

  52. Bethann

    I do accept as true with all the ideas you’ve introduced to your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for newbies. Could you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

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  54. Sara

    Thank you so much for his wonderful presentation!! I greatly appreciate the time you took to clearly explain everything necessary to build a hoop house- and giving costs was extremely helpful too. This was one of my favorite presentations and I know when we finally get around to building one my husband will appreciate your detailed plans (he has a degree in mechanical engineering and that logical mindset whereas I “ballpark” everything :). Thank you again- I really enjoyed this summit and appreciate everyone’s time in organizing and preparing everything!!

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