building suggestions

Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:18 pm

We are considiering selling our farm, and if we do, will be putting up a building at my place for the cubs and other machinery. It will be primarily storage, but due to my health, only light maintenace will be done in it. I am presently considering a 24x30 or 24x32 building with 10 foot sidewalls to give me enough height for a lean-to on each side that can be used for trailers, some implements, etc. I plan sliding doors on each end, as well as one walk in door. The building will be metal and insulated, with a concrete floor, whille the lean-tos will have gravel floors. Does anyone have suggestions I should consider, such as things to do in building, or possibly different sizes that would work better. cost is a factor.

Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:36 pm

The biggest shop money will allow. No matter the size, it will quickly fill up.

A few year back my dad purchased an all metal building, 24' by 36'. Arched tublar bolt together metal frame. Two people put the building up in just over 8 hours on a level pad.

Plan the electrical installation, welder, provisions for heating, water and sewage before construction. They don't have to be put in during construction. Just in case the house burns down you have some place to live.

The shop building would be a good place to put the standby generator, with larger fuel tank. Might plan this into the electrical system.

One thing my son and I are going to put in a planned shop is floor anchors in the maintenance area - those recessed anchor points in the floor for chaining down machinery - parts.

A frame or suspended rail for splitting tractors.

Another thought. The entire shop floor doesn't have to be cement. Just the center section where you would work on machinery. The area to each side of the two larger doors could be graveled since this is usually used for storage


Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:26 am

My shop is 28'x55' has a 12' ceiling, two 10' roll up doors and a entry door and is too small. Or should I say full aready!

Be sure to insulate, install electrical and plumbing if wanted while building the shop. Consider how you might want to heat it in the winter too. As Eugene said the biggest the budget will allow.

Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:42 am

Hey John...Regardless of what SIZE you build your barn/'ll find out in a hurry that it will NEVER be BIG ENOUGH :!: :shock: The hardest delema for "geezers" or soon-to-be geezers like us is this: The issue of DOWNSIZING vs RETIREMENT TIME FOR HOBBIES :!: :shock:

As you git WANT to DOWNSIZE, but the MORE time you have...the MORE THINGS you aquire to PLAY WITH! :wink: This ALWAYS results in most of us building any garage or barn/shop TOO SMALL :!: :shock: SOOoooo...Use Country's Rule on shop size...Figure out how much room & stuff ya have NOW...THEN DOUBLE IT! :wink: When I designed my 28'W X 43'L X 14'H EXTRA garage for my "junk" I figured it would be HUGE! Well, I FILLED IT UP in less than 3 years of retirement...and NOW, if I want to BUY something...I have to SELL something else (i.e. 1930 Ford Streetrod meant sellin' 1946 Farmall M). Those kind of heart-wrenching decisions are just too tough on a geezer :!: :!: :cry: AND...SIZE MATTERS, so DON'T EVER LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE cause they'll ALWAYS tell ya..."You Don't Need Something That BIG" :!: :oops:

Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:24 am

I've owned 3 different buildings so far. 2 where on the property when I bought it and 1 that I built myself. If I had it to do all over I would make sure I put radiant heat tube in the concrete floor whether you plan on heating now or in the future. It can't be retro-fitted later, and it sure make it easy on my old-guy feet in the cold weather. Also, I knew a fellow who had a huge building with a car lift. He had his radiant heat set up in zones, one just around the lift so he wouldn't have to heat the whole shop just to work on the car. Pretty good thinking I thought.

Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:33 am

Hi John

We are looking at puting up a 24x40 at the farm. My uncle has one with 10' sidewalls when he put a lean to on it he ran out of head room fast. So we are going to go with a 12' or 14' side wall. I would also sugest that you build it up so floor is at least a foot above the surrounding ground. You know you drainage best. But it seems you build the floor a few inches higher and in a few years all the water wants to come inside.


Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:30 am

How about those prefab metal storage building kits? They might not be practical anymore since steel has gone up so much recently. Also, if you can have an upstairs attic, for storing all that stuff you will never use again but dont want to throw away becuase you never know when you will need it 8)

Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:00 am

I helped a friend finish a 24x32 pole barn, and it did fill up fast, but he has a 21' boat that takes up way too much space. One thing I tried to talk him into, at the time he did not think it was worth investigating, was installing a single piece of I-beam across one section of the shop at the ceiling level. He now regrets not listening to me, as it is near impossible to add once the building is finished.

The single piece of I-beam can later have a trolly and simple chain fall added and can be used for many things like an engine hoist, wheel weight lift, lift for getting heavy objects in/out of a truck or car, etc. You can also, if you plan according, install a heavy set of shelving, similar to what you see in Home Depot, at one end of the beam. There you can store extremely heavy things, up off of the floor, on shelves, where they take up much less space. One friend has 3-snow mobiles that he stores on shelving like this, and uses a chain fall to lift them in place. Works great and he now has 3 sleds sitting in one 4' x 8' floor area. This would be a great idea for storage of implements, wheel weights, extra tires, parts, etc. All could be lifted easily and placed up on shelves out of the way.

Best of luck,

Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:55 am


The things I regret not doing when I built my three bay garage:

1. Not installing a beam as Bill suggested for an overhead trolley.

2. Not putting some sort of vapor barrier under the concrete floor. I specified this, but the contractor didn't do it. I wasn't there when the floor was poured.

3. Not installing a floor drain for each bay. I have one in the center of the garage.

4. Not raising the garage a little higher as Cowboy suggests. I don't have water come in, but it doesn't drain away quickly enough from in front of the doors.

Things I'm glad I did:

1. Installed 9 foot wide garage doors, one of which is 8 feet high. I'd go with 9 or 10 feet high if you have larger tractors.

2. Installed plenty of electrical outlets, two of which are 220V for the welder and compressor.

3. Installed a hose bib inside the garage.

4. Built it with a 10 foot ceiling height.

Suggestions for you:

1. Insulate the space and make provisions for heat, even though you may not install it right away. Mine is insulated to R-13. Even with no heat currently in the garage, water doesn't freeze inside on the coldest nights.

2. Build as much space as you can afford. You can never have too much.

3. Leave plenty of wall space for shelves and work bench areas.

Hope this helps some. :)

Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:02 am


If it is to be insulated, and potentially heated, don't use slider doors. Definitely use overhead garage doors, preferably insulated and big. My biggest regret was using sliders; you can't seal out the weather well enough.

Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:19 pm

Moe thoughts.

Windows. Plan for a few.

Sky light or light tubes to luminate the shop during the day time.


Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:54 pm

i just put a fridge in my barn. having cold water or beer close by has been a treat! :lol: seriously though, will you be moving to a warmer climate and what kind of barn construction do you have in mind? some of the suggestions posted so far do hinge on what kind of barn you build. the next barn i get will be easy to maintain.

building suggestions

Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:20 pm

John I know everyone is going to metal buildings and they sure have some great advantages. However I just had a Tuff-Shed put up at my place and am very pleased. The cost was very much in line and the have anything you want. Stock units or they will custon anything you want. I would take the time to check them before you settle on anything.The warranty was every bit as good as metal and they did everything they promissed. Don't purchase through Home Depot go right to Tuff-Shed.

Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:12 pm

1. I'd stay away from the skylights. They leak and tend to break, and will not last as long as the time. That was told to me by FIL when i was building my shed. So i have no sky lights, and no leaks. :D

2. THe building code (snow weight) here (it has to be less there), allows for 9 foot spans on poles. So your dimensions should be divisable by 9. You will get an extra couple of feet for very little cost. I wish i would have followed this when building my 20 x 24 shed with 9 ft over hangs on each side. I later moved one wall out, and made it 29 x24 inside with one overhang. I can get my 5 cubs and the zero turn mower in all at once. I even have the "martha Stewart room" the attic.

3. Goes as big as you can afford. You wont regret it. I would of preferred to have big rollup doors at both ends as well. Sliders there is no way to keep heat in. If you can do the thing in the concrete with heat pump, do it. Plenty of plugs, set up 220. Let me know when you need some wiring done, i can help ya do that. :D


Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:35 pm

videodoc wrote:1. I'd stay away from the skylights. They leak and tend to break, and will not last as long as the time. That was told to me by FIL when i was building my shed. So i have no sky lights, and no leaks.

My experiencve with windows and skylights suggests the opposite. Leaks around my window have been a long term problem. Sky lights have been no more problem than any other part of the metal roof. So when I added on, I put in 2 sky lights and no windows. If I want to look outside, I can open a door.