Covering the Greenhouse in Polythene

neat polythene overlap
a greenhouse frame

Last time I’d got to the point where the frame of the greenhouse was assembled.

Everything was painted where needed and it was all bolted down.

The covering had been ordered from allplas in Hertfordshire.

I bought the 500 grade clear polythene sheeting. The dome was 1.3m in diameter and the body was 1.57m high, so I worked out that I roughly needed a sheet 2m x 10m.

lower covering of greenhouse

Lower Section

The greenhouse was never going to be covered in one piece. This means it will have seams. Therefore the covering needed to be applied from bottom to top.

The first section was a one piece wrap of the main cylindrical body. This was quite easy.

tools needed to cover a greenhouse in polythene


I’m using Tacwise stainless steel staples, a staple gun, wallpaper scissors and a pair of side cutters.

You really need to avoid removing staples at all costs. The will leave a tear and a real weakness in the polythene.

small rip in the polythene covering

Tears in Covering

It’s really easy to tear the covering when using staples, I actually think it’s best to avoid stapling single layers.

I’ve learnt the hard way and would now just avoid any mid point staples.

covering detail for hubs greenhouse
The covering was wrapped and doubled / tripled in thickness before stapling.

This is all a bit like covering a chair, but with the added issue of the fabric being easy to rip. Well, it’s easy to rip if you damage it.

bottom edge detail of polythene covering

Bottom Edge

The bottom edge was folded over to form a thicker seam and then stapled.

The final gap to the floor is going to be closed with feather edge boards.

bottom edge and post detail of polythene covering

The detail around the door frame is tricky. However, take your time, fold, check, re-check and then staple.

You can see in the image that I have a quite neat finish all round the frame.

hubs detail of the lower covering
Another image from inside showing the detail around a hub.
partly covered dome

Covering the Dome

I originally tried to cover the dome in one large piece with carefully positioned folds. This just did not work.

I found that covering 2 or 3 panels at a time worked well. Again, working from bottom to top. Fix the plastic along one edge with a double folded edge. Pull the plastic taught and fix again double folded along the opposite edge.


neat polythene overlap


Working from bottom to top means the seams are in the right orientation to drain water off.

The seams are quite neat actually although I think I should have decided on a spacing / orientation for the staples and stuck to it. Oh well, it’s worked and they are not coming back out for some time.

I used a Cromar bitumen flashing tape cut into circles using the base of a coffee tin as a template and a scalpel. I tried this tape on an off cut of polythene and it properly sticks.

I thought we might lose some of the elegance by covering the greenhouse in polythene, but I’m actually rather pleased. It’s turned out rather well.

greenhouse detail
the upper shelf

Inside the greenhouse it is delightful. The covering doesn’t deter in anyway from the shape.

first plants on shelves of the greehouse

Covering the Greenhouse in Polythene has been quite a challenge, but an enjoyable challenge.


tomatoes on the shelves
Some tomatoes and onions on the shelves

I’m really enjoying my builtwithhubs dome kit. Now to just make a door and cover it…..

greenhouse polythene cracking

Brittle Greenhouse Polythene – this covering from Allplas was supposed to last 5 years…here it is at just 2 seasons old brittle and cracked.

About Nigel 380 Articles
I've been making models since I was around 7 years old and using a lathe from the age of 11, a self taught engineer with a passion for making model engines.


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