As farm machinery continues to get larger and more expensive, many farms need to grow their machine storage space. A storage building can protect equipment providing more reliable performance. This protection can protect valuable parts and eliminate down-time and repair costs. Other benefits of a new storage building include more capacity for larger machinery, more security and improved convenience. If you are planning for a new building, consider these guidelines as you shop and compare.
Before you get start evaluating and making choices for your new building, make sure you have a good understanding of the purpose and use of the building. Buildings used for workshops or for storing items that require environmental control have many more requirements than a building used simply for shade and shelter. The use of the building will affect traffic flow and size along with the need for insulation and HVAC systems.
A new storage building should be located near the machinery traffic area. Security and noise should also be considered, keeping it near enough to the house for improved security, but distanced enough to reduce noise inside the house. The site elevation must provide good drainage to keep water and moisture from getting inside. Think about door locations and access to driveways and roads while also protecting the openings from prevailing winds.
Before making a decision on the size of the new building, have a good understanding of what is going to be stored inside. Estimate what floor space is needed for each piece of machinery allowing additional room for open space around each piece of equipment. Then decide on the traffic pattern and accessibility in and out of the building. Remember to think about how your future storage will grow or change so you can allow room for additional or larger machinery.
Picking a Style and Layout
Machine storage buildings can be designed in a variety of shapes or styles including long, narrow buildings with open fronts, or square enclosed buildings with large endwall or sidewall doors. The location of the building on your farm, the frequency of machinery use, and the traffic flow patterns will help to determine the best style.
Before finalizing your plans, decide on the amount of lighting that will be needed and how ventilation will be controlled. Proper ventilation in the storage building will reduce condensation by keeping indoor and outdoor temperatures similar. Remember to screen any vent opening to keep out birds.
Choosing a Building Supplier
Post-frame or pole buildings can be purchased from manufacturers, builders and lumberyards. In order to choose the best building for your needs, it is helpful to compare the options offered by each.
• One of the most important comparisons is the engineering and design loads. A pre-engineered building is one that has been designed and engineered as a complete building package and is designed to meet code requirements, wind and snow loads for the actual location of the building. Some building providers offer engineered components, such as trusses, but the complete building has not been engineered together. Ask about meeting code requirements for your location, the design load, wind load and unbalanced snow load.
• Post and truss spacing also varies by the building supplier. Examples may be 4’, 8’, 10’ or 12’ and can be considered standard or an option. If you have special needs or style requests be sure to ask if custom designs are available. Once you have organized your machinery list, be sure to compare allowances for clear and wide spans.
• To provide strength and integrity, compare hold-down blocks, type of columns, column connections and purlin types as every building supplier varies on size of blocks, type of columns and method for hanging purlins.
• Evaluate who will provide the labor to construct your new building. Is it a project you want to tackle yourself, or does the supplier provide the labor? Be sure to ask about the training and experience of the builder and their crews.
• Before making a final decision, remember to talk about door options, windows, and other accessories that will complete your building package. Then, compare the warranty offered for things like columns, painted steel, doors and windows.
By taking the time to plan for the location, size and style of your building and then comparing the building packages offered, you can assure you will get a new storage building that protects your machinery and provides a life-time of value on your farm.