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Old 10-31-2018, 09:32 AM   #1
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Machine Shed / Pole Barn recommendations

Hi. We have a farm and in the next year or two we will need to replace our aging, large open-air barn. In addition to the tractors, skid steers, and other farm equipment I’ll be storing there, I’m obviously going to try to accommodate a 28’ Airstream trailer and 3/4 ton pickup, and this time the machine shed will be fully enclosed.

I’ve seen photos of some pretty nice garages on this site. I’m wondering if any of you have worked with companies who specialize in the manufacturing and construction of these pole barn/post frame buildings and have any recommendations to share.

I worked with an architect on a design for a large machine shed and woodworking shop design (over 10k square feet) and it was a nice architectural statement but the projected costs far outweigh the intended purpose. So I’m looking to go a little less “Gucci” on this round.

I’m in Illinois, but my my experience with this sort of thing is that these companies will work with you anywhere. I’d also be keen on any advice you might have for the spatial and functional requirements for Airstream storage (I’ve been taking notes on bits and pieces of knowledge scattered across other threads, but perhaps this would be a good one in which to consolidate?)

Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:44 AM   #2
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I had a Gucci “barn” built to house our Airstream, pickup, exercise equipment, pool table, etc so I can’t help you on design. However, I do recommend having enough room around your pickup to be able to open doors on both sides as well as your tailgate when the barn doors are shut (I chose to put budget into the interior so didn’t give myself this luxury of space). It would be real nice in inclement weather. 2’-3’ on each side of the Airstream seems to be all I need for walk-around space.

Gonna be a fun project for you! Post pics when it’s completed!
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:28 AM   #3
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I have a pole building to store our “toys”. It was built by a local company that specializes in ag buildings. My recommendation is for you to talk to neighbors that may have used local companies to build ag buildings in your area. There are a couple of major (nationwide) builders out there, for me, they could not complete with the locals in price vs quality.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:56 AM   #4
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there are ads for many firms that make small shelter and buildings in the back of Popular science and Popular mechanics etc.

maybe look into them
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:26 PM   #5
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I had our carport design through Elephant Structures - they also do garages and barns - these are all metal. I am very happy with the structure I had built. Here is their web site: www.elephantstructures.com
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:11 PM   #6
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I had my "barn" built by Morton Buildings. They did an excellent job and I highly recommend them but I should have made my building bigger!
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nryn View Post
. . .
I’ve seen photos of some pretty nice garages on this site.
. . .
You may already know this, but FYI the new search function in the blue box above works great. Here are the results for "pole barn" in case some new threads/posts come up in the results:

https://www.google.com/search?q=pole...com&gws_rd=ssl

Utah Man [Ron] has a good older thread on his barn:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...ge-147004.html

Good luck,


Peter
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
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I second Morton Buildings. I had them build a barn for toy storage before we had an Airstream. We’ve moved now and want a similar building, but with a taller door this time. They did an outstanding job.
Rich

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Old 11-01-2018, 02:05 PM   #9
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We went the barndominium route, and love it.

I built a 60' x 80' red iron building and lumber framed a living space over a 4 car garage. It left a 50'x 60' Airstream hanger.

The building company we used told me 60' wide was the break-over point on width. Any wider and cost went up exponentially.

60' is deep enough to leave the TV and 27FC hitch and close the door.

Full hook-ups are plumbed and the space is heated so no more winterizing!

It has been the right thing for us.


Regards,


JD
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:37 PM   #10
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https://www.sandcreekpostandbeam.com/

Check these guys out...my friend just had one built for his MH...it was really nice, only took them a week to come in and install this kit. Prices are pretty good also...
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:16 PM   #11
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In Texas, as shown in our avatar, we have a 40x30 ft. pole barn from Mueller Metal Buildings. It is 12 ft. high on each side,a nd we paid a crew to bolt it together. Mueller reinforced it for our severe weather. Works well for one trailer and vehicles.



Later our son purchased a similar sized trailer, and they store it in the pole barn. 30 ft. wide is too narrow to easily place vehicles between the trailers. Wish we had a 40 x 50.

We are glad we invested in the concrete floor. Roof saves us from more Texas hail damage.

73/gus
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:53 PM   #12
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I have 2 pole barns in Wis. and am going to have another built in western Illinois. Changes I am going to make are 1. for the Airstream a 12' opening on either end for a drive through convenience 2. Make it red and look like a barn so it's not so ugly. 3. A 200 amp service and 3. foam sprayed insulation at least on the inside of the roof with the foam that rodents can't eat through. I hate how noisy they are without the foam when it rains.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:06 PM   #13
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We are across the country, but MQS in Stevensville, MT web site would be a good source for post & beam construction ideas ... We have a considerable snow load around here which dictates healthy design for wind and ice accumulation. The lean to addition on one side makes it versatile for the tractor, truck, and Eddie Bauer for all seasons. The sliding barn doors provide much better access and security over the roll ups... with less hassle in the winter and less drifting snow in the winter for the enclosed area.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rg416 View Post
I second Morton Buildings. I had them build a barn for toy storage before we had an Airstream. We’ve moved now and want a similar building, but with a taller door this time. They did an outstanding job.
Rich

Attachment 326782
We too are building our RV home for the Airstream and welcome the comments regarding Morton Buildings. Our pick as well. Working on the plans now. Our 30 ft. Airstream will be right in the middle of the living room/party room, next to my Flamingo sculpture. Thanks for making me feel even better about our choice of builders.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:00 PM   #15
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We did 12 foot sidewalls and scissor trusses across a 24 foot span, which yields 15 feet at the peak in the building center...really nice for getting on top of or inspecting the roof of your Airstream.

In our 40 foot building, I installed three HiBay lights, right down the length of the building at the peak. In retrospect, it would have been a lot smarter to install four, putting two on each side of the ceiling, about halfway between the peak and the top of the side wall. Right now I get too much shadowing when doing work on either side of the Airstream.

Hydronic heat is a blessing in cold climates. A bit spendy, but worth the extra money.

Have fun with your project. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:23 PM   #16
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Wow, great responses. A few things:

@otra15: about 95% of my Airforums reading is on an iPad or iPhone. As far as I can tell, the search box in the Airforums app tokenizes each keyword in a search string. So a search for “pole barn” seems to return the combined results for “pole” and “barn”. This is fine for search strings that have a relatively unique term, but not for strings containing multiple generic keywords. I have in the past gone to google and used various search syntax, limiting the search to “site:airforums.com” though I will admit I don’t always do that from my phone. Anyway, I thought I’d let you know. In any case, there are some pretty great (and different) responses in this thread as well as in the one you linked to so thanks for tying them all together (a special talent of yours, I’ve noticed... )

As for the other responses, Morton was at the top of my list and I will contact them tomorrow to see what their process is like. @gypsydad—that Sand Creek outfit you posted a link to does some real nice work. I’m pretty keen on a metal structure to cut down on maintenance costs, but I will also reach out to them to see if they have low-maintenance options.

As for local outfits, I’m still looking. There are plenty of places that will put up your run-of-the-mill ag building. We’re looking for something a little nicer that can accommodate a variety of vehicles, a good sized workshop and perhaps other things (but living quarters will not be necessary). May end up being more than one building, but some of the examples on Morton’s site and those posted on this site seem just about right.

We will probably go with a heated concrete floor for any parts of the building(s) where people will be spending any time. Mixed on whether or not that will include the garage for the Airstream, though if it ends up being a separate enclosed space, that might make sense.

Thanks as always, everyone, for the great input.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:24 PM   #17
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To my mind the first question is what is your budget. You have asked a wide open question without regard to funds available. If you have a million I will give you a million dollar place to house the trailer. If you have 15 thousand they you will get answers more directed to your possible situation.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:15 AM   #18
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. . .
Anyway, I thought I’d let you know.
. . .
Thanks for the details and hat-tip, I always forget how different the App is. On the iPad at least, fortunately you can toggle on the traditional desktop version of this site, and avoid the limitations of the App, as we do on our iPad Mini.

Peter
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:41 AM   #19
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I'm in the process of building one myself, and since I live in the coastal NC area, I am considering a gravel rather than a concrete slab as a base for my pole barn. Can someone give me pluses or minuses to these options?
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:02 AM   #20
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If you foresee ever wanting to jack up the trailer, tujeese, in order to change tires/wheels/bearings etc., it would be good to have at least some portion of the floor be a concrete slab IMO. A slab is also much easier to walk on, keep clean, and maintain.

Lots of variables about potential uses -- what are your plans?

The illusion of saving money on a new cheaper tool often leads to bad decisions IMO. In the overall scheme of things, add up your total investment -- in the trailer, tow vehicle, pole barn, etc. -- and then compare the up-charge for a slab over gravel. As a percentage of the total, what is the additional cost? Maybe 1% or so?

Quality tools pay for themselves many times over IMO.

Good luck,

Peter
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