Friday, November 07, 2008

Can We Revisit the Barn/Shed Thing...

Okay, I realize that I spent two days already discussing this, but I have to admit that it is what has been consuming much of my farm thought lately. Each day as I'm out doing chores and uncovering things under tarps all over the farm I am reminded of how nice it would be to have a place of storage for some small square bales, pig feed, the tractor, tools, and so much more. In fact I'm also reminded of how nice it would be when I'm in the house also because right before we started building we decided to add a room and that room ate into the storage area.

So, earlier I mentioned what the buildings were that I was considering (check the link to refresh yourself) and then after that I talked about location (again, take the link). I think that I have settled on spot number three for our location because it is good proximity to the house, the garden, the water hydrant/line, and the electrical box. Also, it is a relatively flat area with a nice flat area behind it that would be a good place to have the cattle when the rest of the farm is fairly wet.

What I can't figure out is what kind of building to build and how big to make it. The building above is what the "carport" style barn would look like and it does have its pluses. First of all I could get a 34x26x12 building for just over $6,000 and it would be installed fairly quickly. Also, this building would have three bays with all of them being 12 feet wide. That would be nice for running equipment in, and I could then live the middle bay for hay which I could stack up to the highest point of the building. I guess the down side is that it is basically a carport...

On the other had for that same amount of money I could only build a pole building with steel siding about half that size. That would mean that I would also out grow it more quickly. On the plus side I feel like it could be a bit more sturdy and it may be better if I wanted to do some additions on my own.

Lastly, I have heard the idea of a hoop building thrown around. I don't really know much about these or their costs and would love to hear some thoughts. If you have any more opinions I would love to hear them ... if not, well now you know what is going through the mind of a beginning farmer!


Anonymous said...

I once built a "3 sided", 3 stall horse barn 36 x 12. Closed in 2 stalls for horses & closed 1 in for tack & feed. Worked very well, and the initial structure was very inexpensive. Costs rose as I trimmed it out, hung doors, lined stalls, built gates, etc. By the time it was done I had spent about the same as my neighbor who paid someone to erect a 24x36 barn in which he housed cattle, show pigs, tractors, hay, etc. His stalls weren't as sturdy - they were panels. But he got more bang for his buck & I did all me own labor!!

I moved to a new place & faced same dilemma you're facing- built a house but had no outside storage. So, this time I just tossed up a pole shed out of 4x4's and stuck a roof on it to temporarily cover my stuff. I think it was 16 x 10 inside. Then as money flowed I put sides & windows & sliding door & built a lean-to off one side for my 4 wheeler and mower. Ialso built a little loft inside for junk I seldom used. It was really a cool deal for about any use. Just used pea gravel for the floor & used pallets on top of that for feed, etc.

Finally, I moved to another farm that has a 40 x 60 morton barn. Honestly, what I found is that a barn that size really needs some partitions and shed areas in order to stay useful, and keep from getting cluttered.

So, given all that, my suggestion to get the best building at a reasonable price (remember sustainable) is this:

1) Build a gabled pole structure tall enough for stacking hay & parking tractor. Buy some pre-fab trusses & put it all up yourself & cover the roof with tin. I would suggest maybe a 24' wide x 36' long.

2) As you get time and money, close in the ends & hang doors on both ends so u can drive through.

3) Eventually, you could build side sheds off of either or both sides & use them hay, animals, equipment or anything else.

You could end up w/ a barn that looks similar to the one pictured, but will be higher quality. In the process you will also get a feel for the space & make needed alterations to the layout and plan to suit you.


Mike K. said...

I just came across your posts and your question about storage on your farm. I work for Shur-Co. and we have a division called Rushmore Buildings that manufactures hoop buildings. They are some of the most affordable storage facilities around and can go up in a matter of days, depending on what type of support posts or "pony wall" that you install.

Please give our company a call at 1.866.776.5617...or visit our website at We can get you out a quote in no time and we are a U.S. company, based in Yankton, South Dakota.

Jena said...

I like the comment above and think that may be the way to go as well. I don't have much experience with the carport style buildings but I have learned that buying higher quality in the beginning is better than having to rebuy later on if the cheaper option doesn't hold up. Hopefully you can find a floor plan that would allow you to start small and build on gradually. That is what we're planning to do later on when we can afford a livestock barn.

Hope that helps a little.

Steven said...

I like the idea of building a nice
heavy board fence or wall (I guess it's called a pony wall) and building a hoop building off of it. I can't help you on price but it seems that it would be alot like a high tensile fence, fewer materials of better quality, a clean professional look and a decent price.

Rich said...

My uncle has a shipping container that he uses for storage, it is supposed to be rodent proof, cost around $4000 for a 40 ft long container (about $2000 for a 20 foot), it looks like it would last forever, has doors that lock up as tight as a bank vault, and it could be moved from the site (with the proper equipment).

If you placed two containers about 15-25 ft apart, you could then place some sort of roof structure over the space between them.

There are a lot of options for roofing material and structure.
A flat roof, gable roof, a "hoop" style roof, and coverings ranging from plastic, tarps, fabric, or metal.

Since the container is a metal structure, it would be relatively easy to cut and weld new door and window openings, add structural supports for the roof system, etc

It wouldn't fit everybody's idea of a proper barn, but it would be unique and provide the base for creating a one of a kind structure.

Wide Span Sheds said...

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