Why choose Premier Polytunnels?

PolytunnelWhen a bird goes “cheep” it wants attention. When a polytunnel goes cheap it needs attention! A ‘Premier’ polytunnel, however, just stands there quietly year after year while you tend your plants. Quality is not cheap, but it does offer excellent value! To buy cheap is to buy twice.

The quality and materials of our polytunnels cannot be matched. Our specialist and improved design is the only one to include all of the following as standard:

  • Larger diameter hoops than our competitors
  • 5-layer Thermal Anti Drip polythene cover
  • Wide ‘wheelbarrow’ doors
  • Universal fixing brackets for ease of construction.

We are a family business with more than 30 years experience and we are experts in polytunnel design and development – A Rolls Royce trained engineer, Martin Wood of Premier Polytunnels is the man responsible for bringing you many of the polytunnel design innovations since 1991, including Anchor Plates which have been successfully used for many years and are now used by many other companies.

All of our polytunnels, cloches, and fruit and veg cages are manufactured in-house by our highly skilled and experienced team and are regularly updated and tested on our design and development site.

But we don’t just offer the highest quality product at a great price – We also understand the importance of offering a ‘Premier’ service, including after sales support.

Premier Polytunnels are proud to be the ONLY polytunnel company to offer an out of hours Construction Advice Helpline, 7 days a week until 9pm. And when you contact us you can be sure to speak to the boss!

Our polytunnels are a great investment which will last the grower for years and years, so why not visit our Show Site in Lancashire to see and feel the quality of our products for yourself, meet the team and pick our brains. You can also click here to see what our customers say about us.

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What does a standard kit include?

All ‘Premier’ polytunnels are supplied as a complete unit ready for assembly onto a soil base. Our standard kits include an all-steel framework – made from Z35 high tensile galvanised steel and using larger diameter steel hoops than our competitors for extra strength and rigidity – including foundation tubes, hoops, corner stabilisers, and ridge. Kits for garden polytunnels include a timber door frame and hinged door at the front end and a timber end frame with a dummy door at the rear end, and kits for commercial polytunnels include timber door frames and hinged double doors at each end. All kits also include a full Thermal Anti Drip polythene cover.

When comparing prices with other companies, please be aware that unlike many of our competitors you do not need to add doors/end frames and a cover to your order to complete your ‘Premier’ polytunnel.

A full range of additions are also available and are highly recommended to enable you to customise and enhance your polytunnel to suit the needs of your chosen plants. Additions include Anchor Plate kits, Crop Bar kits, Storm Strengthening kits, Triple Ridge kits, and Timber Base Rail kits or Aluminium Base Rail kits.

All of our polytunnels, cloches, and fruit and veg cages are manufactured in-house by our highly skilled and experienced team, and are regularly updated and tested on our design and development site.

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Why is there a big price difference between some polytunnel suppliers?

PolytunnelIt is important to remember when comparing prices with other companies that “you only get what you pay for”. The tunnels available on auction websites or pre-packed on the shelves of garden centres for around £50.00 are only suitable to be used as temporary covers for short periods of time on sheltered sites; they will not stand up to being placed on a permanent site because of the lack of structural stability and the unsuitable polythene covers.

“Real” polytunnels vary in price depending on what is included in a standard kit, for example; the size of steel hoops, the type of polythene cover and doors/end frames, VAT, and delivery charges – Always check before you buy and don’t miss those extra charges on our competitors’ websites!

There is no such thing as a "like for like" comparison with a 'Premier' polytunnel.... The quality and materials of our polytunnels cannot be matched.

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How are they constructed?

Construction is simple, reliable and effective. Sections of Z35 high tensile galvanised steel hoops are placed at regular intervals and held together with steel stabilisers and ridge – similar to putting up a tent. Polytunnels are normally placed straight onto a soil base with the only preparation being a simple site clearance. Sloping ground is easily accommodated as long as the polytunnel ends are in-line with the slope. At Premier Polytunnels we have designed a simple clamping system, which is used almost universally throughout the structure, and this allows fully adjustable fixing and no worries about using the wrong bracket for the wrong job. For a standard polytunnel, a trench is dug around the outside of the framework and the one-piece cover is buried into the trench, resulting in a structure firmly anchored to the ground. Most importantly, the polythene cover should be as taut as possible.

A polytunnel is not a difficult structure to build. Constructing a standard garden polytunnel really is a two person job for a still, warm weekend.

We are confident that our simple and user-friendly design will allow even the most novice DIY-er to build their 'Premier' polytunnel without any problems.

Premier Polytunnels supply a detailed Construction Guide with every polytunnel, which includes step-by-step instructions and accompanying photographs. Together with the Construction Guide, our customers receive a detailed ‘Polytunnel Parts Check List’ to help them identify each polytunnel part. 

And most importantly, Premier Polytunnels are proud to be the ONLY polytunnel company to offer an out of hours Construction Advice Helpline, 7 days a week until 9pm. So if you do have any queries or questions, or if you just want a little bit of personal reassurance when building your ‘Premier’ polytunnel, we are only a telephone call away with all the answers!

View the most commonly asked construction questions and our expert answers via the Construction Advice page of our website.

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Do they blow away?

No. It is a common misconception that a piece of polythene stretched over a frame could never resist a British winter. Commercial growers, whose livelihoods depend on polytunnels, would not accept a structure that disappeared over the nearest hill in a gust of wind just when their tender shoots are at their most susceptible. If constructed according to the instructions, it will give many years of uninterrupted use.

For those sites exposed to extreme weather conditions, we recommend purchasing Anchor Plates, Base Rails, Crop Bars, Triple Ridges, and P Clips to act as Storm Strengthening collars.

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What can they be used for?

A polytunnel is designed for use as a plastic greenhouse and should be used to nurture plants just as you would in a glasshouse. However, over the years their uses have covered a multiple of customer requirements and if you can think of anything that requires protection from the elements, then a polythene tunnel is an economical alternative. Swimming pool covers and sheep houses are popular alternatives.

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What is the life expectancy of a polytunnel?

There is no reason why our polytunnel frameworks, which are all made from Z35 high tensile galvanised steel hoops, would not last 20 years and more. The polythene cover will need replacing periodically, although the polythene supplied by Premier Polytunnels has been developed with resistance against polythene’s deadliest enemy – sunlight. The additives in a polytunnel cover prevent UV degradation for up to 4-5 years and it is not uncommon for a cover to last 8-10 years. The cost of a replacement cover is minimal.

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Can I move or extend my polytunnel?

Yes. A polytunnel can be moved and extended, although we would suggest this is done when the polythene cover requires replacing in order to keep costs down.

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What happens if my polythene tears?

The polythene used for polytunnel covers is very strong and will not readily tear or split. Puncture holes can appear when contact with a sharp object occurs, but splits do not radiate outwards from these holes as they do with glass. Tears are easily repaired with a UV resistant repair tape and there is no reason why the cover will not last its full term.

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Can I heat my polytunnel?

Yes. You can heat a polytunnel the same as you would heat a glasshouse. Heat must not be directed at the polythene. Gas, electric, solid fuel, free standing or suspended heating units are all suitable. Using fleece and bubble insulation, sectioning off an area inside, or using a Polythene Cloche to "double glaze" your polytunnel will reduce heating costs.

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Why do Overhead Irrigation systems vary in price and design?

Polytunnel IrrigationAll Premier Polytunnels’ Overhead Irrigation systems are designed for domestic and small commercial use, with the systems being fed from a tap and hose pipe and without the use of storage tanks or pumps. This limits the supply of water available due to the size of hose used, the distance from the tap, and the water pressure – These limitations vary considerably from area to area. With this in mind, our unique overhead watering systems are designed to work under most, if not all, circumstances with a single or twin line.

A watering system that does not work can be very costly to you and your plants, therefore Premier Polytunnels have designed systems that work under all circumstances, no matter how big the polytunnel. The different systems necessary to bring water to your plants contain a varying amount of materials – hence the variation in price.

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How will my polytunnel be delivered?

Tunnels up to approximately 30ft long are delivered in disassembled bundles and boxes via a nationwide courier. Larger units and most commercial polytunnels may be delivered on pallets.

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How long will it take to arrive?

Your garden polytunnel will normally be received within 1-3 days of placing an order; however this may increase to 7-10 days during the busy period. A commercial polytunnel is normally received within 1 week of placing an order; however this may increase during the busy season. We will contact customers by e-mail (or telephone, if requested) to advise them when their order has left our warehouse. Premier Polytunnels will endeavour to accommodate any special delivery requests.

Delivery is FREE to Mainland UK, excluding some areas of the Scottish Highlands. Offshore destinations in the UK (islands and Northern Ireland), and addresses in the Republic of Ireland and France will incur a delivery surcharge. Please see our Delivery page for further details.

If you have any queries or questions regarding delivery, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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What is the 5-layer technology used in Premier Polytunnels' polythene films?

Sophisticated polythene films contain a number of special chemical additives which make up the many properties of the films. These include light diffusion, stabilisation against UV breakdown, thermal and anti drip properties, blocking of ultra violet radiation, anti mist, and others. In addition, the films are often produced using more than one base resin.

Until the introduction of multi-layer extruders more than 25 years ago, the additives and resins were all mixed in together in the one and only layer that was available at the time.

However, among the additives there are those which are incompatible or, when mixed together, give undesirable results such as haziness or reduced transparency. It was recognised that for a polythene film to be as efficient as possible it was necessary for a particular additive to perform on the upper or lower layer of the film and not randomly wherever it was found.

Polytunnel CoversThe multi-layer co-extrusion technology (first 2-layers and, later, 3-layers) allowed polythene producers, to a certain extent, to place materials where they need to be. It also allowed them to separate particular additives that were incompatible into different layers.

In 2001, Premier Polytunnels’ polythene extruders installed the first (and only one in the world) large-size 5-layer extruder, allowing the additives within the film to be divided more evenly still – making for an even more efficient polytunnel cover.

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Is the timber used Forest Stewardship Council approved?

Yes, all the timber supplied by Premier Polytunnels is FSC approved and is always traceable back to source. The batten we use is Scandinavian soft wood and is tanalised. Other timber used is soft wood tanalised (green) timber from Scandinavia or Scotland. All the timber is pressure treated with a wood preserver to protect against rot.

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Do I need planning permission?

Normally you do not need planning permission for a domestic size/garden polytunnel. However, the permitted development regulations (the rules for what does and does not need planning permission) changed in October 2008; therefore it is always best that you contact your local planning authority if you have any doubts.

If the polytunnel meets with any of the following criteria, you should contact your local planning department to determine if planning permission is required (it will not be required in all cases):

  • If the polytunnel would have any part forward of the front of the house.
  • If it is more than 3m in height.
  • If it would be within 2m of the boundary of the site and would be more than 2.5m in height.
  • If it results in more than 50% of the area around the house being covered by buildings or structures that was not part of the original house.

Planning permission may be required if the site on which you intend to construct the polytunnel has a listed building or is in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads – There are further restrictions to planning within these areas.

If the polytunnel would be for commercial use or any other use that is not "incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house".

If you want to build a large commercial polytunnel or more than one tunnel, or if you have any queries or questions, please contact your local planning department for further advice.

For further information about planning permission, please click here.

Manufacturer Specifications and Scale Drawings available from Premier Polytunnels on request.

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I still have a question.

Please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at info@premierpolytunnels.co.uk or by telephone on 01282 811250. We will be happy to answer any further queries or questions you may have regarding our polytunnels, polytunnel accessories, and polythene covers.

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