How to build a cold frame hoop house : GF Video

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Plans for a simple cheap cold frame hoop house in this GardenFork video. Using the cold frame as a cheap greenhouse allows you to harvest greens later into the fall, and start your vegetable seedlings in winter. Follow these cold frame plans, using recycled lumber and PVC pipe will make this a free hoop house. We use 3 mil plastic from the hardware store, you can also use greenhouse UV rated plastic.

Click here to buy the thermal greenhouse vents. Depending on your local weather, you may have to use two thermal activated vents, one on each end of the hoop house greenhouse. The vents open up at about 50F and close around 35F, pretty neat to use.

We use the thermal vents because a hoop house greenhouse can get real hot in the middle of the day. Solar power is pretty powerful. The vents open up and allow the hot air to vent out. If one does not use some sort of vent, you will have to go out on mornings where it will be sunny and prop open the hoop house, and then remember to go back out and close the hoop house greenhouse at then end of the day. I’m all about simple, and the automatic heat vent makes my life simple.

Our cold frame hoop house greenhouse is based on those built by Eliot Coleman in his book, Four-Season Harvest. Click here to purchase book.
and if you follow the procedures outlined by Elliot in his book, you can harvest food all winter. nice.

A cool thing with the hoop house cold frame greenhouse is how it can warm the soil in late winter, watch this video we made about winter seed starting with our cold frame here.


Click here to watch How To Set Up a Hoop House GreenHouse


Click here to watch How to build a cold frame video.

Do you use a cold frame? have you built one? let us know below:

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  1. says

    Hey guys, I have to say I have tried to make a couple of cold houses myself to no availe : ( BUT now I am going to do another one or two or three, and it won’t be an eye sore lol.

    Thank You very much!

    By the way forget about the math crasher we’re a bunch of veg. heads, as long as I get to grow, I am happy.

  2. Ezekiel says


    Our neighborhood farm group is going to build these hoop houses/cold frames that we seen on gardenfork.

    Do you know of a chemical reaction when the plastic and PVC pipe come together with the sun?

    Can we paint the PVC pipe and is there a special paint to use?

    Thank you.



  3. admin says

    we’ve never had a problem with the pipe and plastic reacting. the plastic wears out after a while. you can paint the pipes with outdoor latex paint if you want. thx.

  4. Justin says

    Just watching the you tube video and had to point out your math is wrong, but you lucked out to get the right answer as 2 x 2 is the same as 2 squared. As mat said, the circumference is equal to diameter (or 2 x radius) x pi. Area is equal to pi x radius x radius.

  5. says


    Thanks for your safety video on using chainsaws. After the video I went to your website and saw this video of your building a cold frame hoop house. You are classic and unique, so don’t change. Your common sense approach and the background input from your camera person and others makes DIY projects fun to learn. I hope you don’t feel dumb making mistakes, or repeating things a second or third time, because we all have done it and will continue.
    God Bless You,

  6. krista says

    Hey- I just found your site. You guys are GREAT. I love your humor and the camera persons additions are nice too. Keep up the work it is very helpful and interesting. I’m thinking my husband will be making me a cold frame for lettuce and kale and beets. Yummo thanks!!

  7. Ree says

    Bad math and all ( and I really would not know because I’m no good at it either [ you may want to put a note in your write up for those of us who can’t tell so we don’t do the wrong thing ] ) I have to say I enjoyed this video more than any other instructional video I’ve ever watched ( including those professionally produced ). All three of you have great chemistry and it makes it fun to watch ( in addition to the information ). Looking forward to watching more !


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