Yesterday I asked for some advice and thoughts on building types. We are looking at the possibility of putting up a shed this fall and I'm having a tough time wading through the available options. So, I thought that today I would confuse the matter all the more and discuss farm layout ... in particular our farm layout and our thoughts behind what we are doing. With that in mind I put together this wonderful (just kidding) layout with the powerful tools included in Microsoft Word. First let me give you a quick run down of everything and then I share some of my thoughts.
Most things in the picture are pretty self-explanatory, but here are some specifics. The house faces the south and has a large sliding door that opens to a small storage area on the west side (there is actually a mudroom on the east side I forgot). The garden is positioned so that it can have some good morning sun and still be close to the house (the window above the sink looks out over it.) Just to the south of the "proposed fence" the land starts to slope away to the south and the carries on to the "future house?" location (we would have a walkout basement). The electric transformer is an immovable object, but there is enough room to drive around it. With the proposed spots the buildings would be open to the south.
Spot #1: This location is relatively flat and probably would require any grading before building. The upsides would be that it is close to our "future house" and that it would be a bit further from the road. The downsides are that it is a long ways from water at the moment and it would be difficult and expensive to build a drive to it at the moment. Ideally if we built there we would put a drive behind the house to get to it because we would like to leave the front of the house open for a yard. Going behind the house would me quite a bit of gravel and if we ever did build the "future house" would basically become obsolete because we would then just continue our current drive to the "future house".
Spot #2: This location has a bit of a slop to the north and slightly east. It isn't really steep at this point, but it would require some grading ... especially if we went with a carport or carport barn style structure. The slope along with the fact that it would be quite a distance from the "future house" are probably the biggest downsides to this location. The upsides would be that it wouldn't take very much rock to have a drive to it making it easier to get things in and out in mucky conditions and it is close to the water.
Spot #3: This one is kind of a compromise between the two (and it is literally between the two). While it is a bit further from water that #2 it is closer than #1. Plus, it is about as close as you can get to our electrical stuff (any idea of which would be less expensive to run, water line or power line underground?). The land here is relatively flat and wouldn't require much grading, but it might need a slight amount of leveling on the east side. The good things would be that it compacts our farm the most so we have a close walk to everything, it would take just a short drive extension, and if we did go with the "future house" it would be relatively close considering the fact we would turn our current house into some sort of storage/store/whatever.
There are a few factors that we realistically have to think about, but one big factor. The biggest thing is that "future house". That is something that would be way ... way ... way down the road. I'm talking 20 years or more most likely so at that point we might have had the time to build other buildings in different places for different reasons.
Finally, here are some of my thoughts on farm layout. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments and of course your opinion on which spot you like for a building.
- There is something to be said about having your out buildings close to the house. The closer they are to the house the less you have to travel to do chores. Also, the proximity to an existing water hydrant is a good thing.
- Arranging buildings with weather in mind is always import, especially on the top of the hill. We are looking at open front buildings (all three of our options) and it just makes sense to have them open to the south if you are going to have an opening.
- We have 26 acres of pasture ground on our farm. The more we spread our buildings out, the less land we have for livestock. I want to be very intentional about our layout so that we don't waste land. Whichever location we choose for this building we will be utilizing the other area for grazing ... not for yard!