Quality = 5.0
Value For Money = 4.9
Ease of Construction = 4.9
Customer Support = 5.0
- good range of sizes to choose from
- high quality materials
- ability to customise
- easy-to-follow instructions and videos
- excellent customer service
- 14-day money back guarantee
- more expensive, but great value for money
- building it can be quite daunting, but the instructions and videos make it an easy task
Polytunnels are a great alternative to greenhouses, as they work just as well, but cost less. In our First Tunnels review we share our experience with our first polytunnel with you.
Every vegetable gardener will, at some point, consider getting a greenhouse or polytunnel to prolong the growing season or to grow more exotic fruits and veg.
We know we did. We were considering getting a greenhouse or a polytunnel for a while, but decided to opt for a polytunnel, because we could afford to buy a bigger tunnel than a greenhouse.
If you are still choosing between a greenhouse and a polytunnel, our article comparing both might help.
But if, like us, you have decided to purchase a polytunnel, you might wonder where best to buy one.
We think that polytunnels from First Tunnels are the best, and you can find out why in this First Tunnels review.
In Depth First Tunnels Review
We did a lot of research before choosing which manufacturer to go with, as we wanted to get a quality polytunnel that will be able to withstand the weather we get, given that we live in an exposed rural area.
First Tunnels build domestic as well as commercial polytunnels, so they know what they do. This and the fact that they have a reputation for quality products convinced us to buy from them.
To make this First Tunnels review as useful to you as possible, we will share our experience in different areas, such as order process, delivery, customer service and construction.
One thing we really loved about ordering our polytunnel from First Tunnels was that we could choose exactly the size we wanted.
They offer a range of widths and lengths, so whatever your space, you will find the perfect polytunnel for you.
They recommend buying the biggest tunnel you can fit in your space, and we are glad we heeded their advice, because we would have run out of growing space otherwise.
And then you can add a wide range of extras to customise your polytunnel that will ensure that you get the perfect polytunnel for your garden or allotment.
These extras include:
- covers – you can choose between three different polythene covers that will be suitable for different uses
- foundations – depending on the ground your polytunnel will stand on and also how much wind it will have to endure you need different foundations
- cover fixings – there are different ways to fix the cover in place, which you can choose when you order
- belts and braces – you have the option to add further braces to make your polytunnel even sturdier, so it can withstand anything the UK weather throws at it
- ventilation – depending on what you want to grow, you might want to add some ventilation too
- doors – you have the choice between hinged and sliding doors, and you can have them on both sides if you want
- useful accessories – these include irrigation, ground cover, staging and a polythene care pack
To help you make the right choices, each section gives detailed explainations and some even have videos.
This makes it very easy to order exactly the polytunnel you need, and it’s also quick.
For us, that meant an 8ft by 20ft polytunnel, with anchor plates as foundations and extra braces to make sure it will withstand the windy weather we get in our part of the UK.
One thing we really liked about the order page was that the illustration of the polytunnel on the left changes depending on what you are choosing. So you can see what you will get.
You can also get discounts if you spend certain amounts. You can get 10%, 15% or even 20% off.
That means it can be cheaper to get a certain accessory you are not sure about because it will mean you get a discount. And it will tell you exactly how much you save, which is very convenient.
First Tunnels also offer a 14-day money back guarantee, so you can buy with peace of mind. Not that we would ever want to give our polytunnel back!
The next aspect we want to discuss in our First Tunnels review is delivery. First I should say that you get free delivery with First Tunnels, which is great.
We were really impressed with the speed of delivery. We ordered on 23rd March and the order arrived on 31st March, so only 8 days.
And the delivery driver gave us a call to let us know that he was on his way, so we knew exactly when our order would get delivered.
When he arrived, he asked where we wanted it, so that we could put it straight into our garage. That was really convienet.
We knew how many packages we were expecting, so could easily check that we got everything.
Building Our Polytunnel
Now we come to one of the most important sections in our First Tunnels review, building our new polytunnel.
I am not going to lie to you, we were considering using First Tunnels construction service, but after we looked at some videos we decided to try it ourselves.
However, if you are not physically able to put it up yourself, then this service will be very useful indeed.
Besides, the detailed instructions that came with the order and helpful videos gave us confidence that we could build it ourselves.
We did enlist the help of a friend though, who, unlike us, is quite tall and this was definitely a good idea. Not just because he could reach parts we couldn’t, but also because having more people helping made it more fun.
We did cook a delicious curry for him to thank him for his help and he has had lots of produce from our polytunnel since.
In total, it took us 2-3 days, so not a quick job. But there are a lot of steps and we wanted to make sure we did it right.
As it was the first time we undertook such a project, we did read the instructions very attentively and often more than once. We also watched many of the videos First Tunnels provided, which might be why it took us a bit longer.
At first the prospect of putting up our own polytunnel was quite daunting, but once we got to it, we realised that it was basically just like building a huge flat pack.
Don’t get me wrong, some things were quite tricky, but there were other things that looked difficult at first, but were actually fairly simple, like putting on the sliding doors.
Once the polytunnel was all up and covered, we had this great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. You can’t beat that!
To finish our new polytunnel off, we bought some pallet tops on Facebook Marketplace to use as raised beds, and we laid a floor with stone slabs.
Not only do the stone slabs look nice, but they also store heat during the day and release it slowly during the night, thus keeping our polytunnel at a higher temperature.
We went with First Tunnels because they have a reputation of producing amazing quality polytunnels, and we weren’t disappointed.
The frame is made of strong aluminium hoops, which, once put together, give you a strong framework. We could see how sturdy it would be as soon as it was up.
Especially after we fixed it in with the anchor plates, which gave us confidence that it won’t fly off when the wind attacks it.
And we had quite a few storms since we put it up and had no problem at all. There was no damage at all.
The Super Therm cover felt strong too and was thicker than we expected. No wonder, as it is made up of three layers of high performance materials.
And if that hadn’t convinced us that it was good quality, then the 7-year gurarantee definitely will.
As we have already said, we were very happy with the prompt delivery.
But once we started to build our polytunnel we noticed that one of the packages split and as a result, we were missing a staging leg. We also got a wrong pack of screws.
We contacted customer support and the next day First Tunnels told us the missing items were dispatched. What excellent service!
While it wasn’t ideal, they sorted it out quickly and that’s always good to know. Because such mistakes can happen, but what’s important is the way the company deals with them.
Result: Veggie Overload
Now that we have shared our experience with you about the order process, customer support and construction, we would like to include a section about the growing results in our First Tunnels review.
We didn’t expect too much, because we started rather late, due to having to build the polytunnel first. But oh boy was our first growing season in the polytunnel successful!
All the plants we grew did so well, that at some point the tomato plants overgrew the path in the middle. This was of course our fault, for not pinching out all the side shoots, but we were just so taken aback by how well and quickly everything grew.
And it’s not just that the plants grew really well; the crops they produced stunned us.
We tried to grow peppers, aubergines, cucumbers and chillies in a mini-greenhouse before, but weren’t that successful.
The chillis, although really hot, were tiny. The aubergines and peppers were small and we didn’t get many. The cucumbers didn’t go too bad, but we only got a few.
But now that’s all changed! All these veggies have done phenomenally well. We were still eating homegrown cucumbers in November.
And the amount of tomatoes we got well into November was just breathtaking. I couldn’t preserve them quick enough.
Plus, we haven’t bought tomatoes since July, because we had our own. Together with all the other vegetables we grew, we probably saved about £10 per week on our food shop.
And the chillis exceeded our expectations by far. We now have enough chopped hot chillis in the freezer until next year’s crop is ready. With several jars of pickled jalapeños we can add to pizzas, burgers and hot dogs for the rest of the winter.
Just need to dry the habanero chillis, and we won’t have to buy any chilli flakes for a good while.
To conclude our First Tunnels review, we can only say we recommend their polytunnels to everyone who wants to prolong their growing season.
Their domestic polytunnels might not be cheap, but they are definitely worth the money.
You will receive a quality polytunnel that will last you for years, that can be customised during the easy order process and will be delivered promptly.
The construction is not very difficult and if you get friends to help, it will be a lot of fun and give you a great feeling of satisfaction.
So if you are looking for a polytunnel for your garden or allotment, First Tunnels are the best choice in our opinion.