Different types of out-buildings: pros/cons
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Thread: Different types of out-buildings: pros/cons

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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    Different types of out-buildings: pros/cons

    I am seriously considering an out-building of some sort for the sole purpose of extra storage space. My house only has a 26'x26' attached garage and a shed that's too small for much beyond a push-mower and a rototiller. My model M, my forge, and my tools/workbenches will stay in the garage simply because my F250 doesn't fit in the second half of the garage anyway. It would be nice to have a place to store my camper, equipment trailer, riding mower, and other stuff that isn't out in the open or crammed into every nook and cranny of the garage.

    My basic specs are a 12' tall door to get my camper through and something that is about 30'x30' in footprint. It will have a concrete slab for a floor and foundation as needed per building type. Budget is $10,000 or less. I will be doing all of the work myself so labor costs will basically be pizza and beer for whoever I can Tom Sawyer into helping me. My plan is to get just a basic building up and weather tight; insulation, heat, water, and electricity might never be something that I add to the structure. The only codes I need to worry about beyond basic structural code are property line setbacks.


    Here's what I've considered so far:

    Pole barn style construction seems to be an obvious choice based upon the height needed to get the camper into it. Plastic wall or ceiling panels can also be used to let in light. However, digging footings for the posts would be a real pain because I don't have access to a reliable backhoe.

    Conventional construction might be cheaper if I didn't have the height requirement, but I'm not sure how to go about framing something that tall. Regardless, a block foundation is still really easy to dig and set by hand.

    A Quonset hut would go together incredibly fast and not need any foundation because they bolt right to the slab. Ceiling height is only critical in the middle where the camper would get parked. I would reserve the perimeter for attachments and small machinery which doesn't need more than a few feet of airspace. Also, I think they look really cool. The biggest drawback to a Quonset hut is that they can't really be added onto in the future like a pole barn or conventionally built building.

    Shipping containers bridged by trusses are a final option as well. I can buy a pair of 20' shipping containers and have them set on a slab for around $4,000, then bridge them with trusses set on a short wall for a little extra height. Solid, lockable, and weather proof for sure, but they also break up my floor space into three inconvenient sections. My county also has no building codes for a structure of this construction which at the very least will mean a whole lot of extra research and extra leg work on my part.


    Since yous guys love spending other people's money, what are your thoughts?
    Last edited by Evergreen; 05-07-2017 at 10:09 AM.
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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    OK. Is 30'x30' going to be big enough? If it's just the right size I'd go with wood and shingles for a roof. My reasons are because I know how to work with wood and it can be added to later if need be. I'm not a cement guy so I'd get that done for me. The rest I could do with help getting the roof trusses up and the plywood on top of it and black paper. After that I could do the rest. Be nice to have help getting the shingles to the roof but wouldn't be needed. A metal roof might go faster but I'm not sold on it as shingles is easier to take care of. I have metal on my barn and it has leaks (it's old) and needs to be painted every 5 years or so. I understand that new metal might be better. I just like shingles. I understand lumber is high but we're spending your money not mine. You might also look into people that put the whole building up as their business. Some are not priced to high with you getting the cement work done before they start. Cement floor...man would I like to have that. I guess what I'm saying here is go with your talent and let others do what you can't or aren't comfortable doing. Cement floor...you're going to love that. Did I say cement floor?
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    At that size and price point, look at a steel building kit. You can get the height you want and they can support the roof load without needing support posts inside the building so the entire floor space would be open and clear. The last thing you want when backing a trailer in there is to clip a support post and take the whole building down.
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    Evergreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levi View Post
    OK. Is 30'x30' going to be big enough?
    Yes. And in fact it might be too big. One of the best things about this house are the sunsets over the hay field behind it. Our kitchen and dining room have more glass than any other room in the whole house and they both look out over the sunset. This building is going in the back corner of the lot and I don't want to do anything that will obstruct the view. If anything, I might go five feet narrower. Even a 25'x30' type a Quonset hut could still fit my camper and my brother-in-law's boat.


    Quote Originally Posted by Levi View Post
    Cement floor...you're going to love that. Did I say cement floor?
    For a building with such a small footprint, it is totally worth the money! If anything, it will give the critters a harder time getting inside the building to make a mess of things. Hooking up 3pt equipment is SO much easier on smooth pavement, and it is also easier to roll attachments around on their storage pallets... 4" casters don't really work well on dirt!


    Anything I build will most likely be a kit; steel or wood. Someone else has already done the engineering and written out the cost of materials. I've worked with steel and wood and concrete, and for the things I don't know, I have access to people who do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evergreen View Post
    Pole barn style construction seems to be an obvious choice based upon the height needed to get the camper into it. Plastic wall or ceiling panels can also be used to let in light. However, digging footings for the posts would be a real pain because I don't have access to a reliable backhoe.
    Not sure I understand this. Pole barns only need post-holes for the posts. No backhoe/foundation necessary.

    I then poured the concrete slab inside the building without footings. I did use insulation under the outside couple of feet of concrete.

    I found this approach to be the cheapest since I didn't need a complete foundation. Also, I was able to pour the concrete floor a bit later (spreading out the cost until the bank account could support it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by timmarks View Post
    Not sure I understand this. Pole barns only need post-holes for the posts. No backhoe/foundation necessary.

    I then poured the concrete slab inside the building without footings. I did use insulation under the outside couple of feet of concrete.

    I found this approach to be the cheapest since I didn't need a complete foundation. Also, I was able to pour the concrete floor a bit later (spreading out the cost until the bank account could support it).

    Tim

    I was wondering the same thing of backhoe.. Post hole 30"-36" deep put a post in the ground. Bore or dig another hole , put another post in the ground .
    Quick simple , if you want to put a gravel floor or concrete . Use painted metal for siding and roof.
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    When we built our detached garage I was seriously going to do a pole building. But because of the size we would need engineered drawings for the township and inspector. That was like 700 bucks.

    The guy that built it told us he would do a poured wall foundation and studded walls. It was like 1000 more then the pole building. Take out the cost of engineered drawings are we are down to a 300 dollar difference. Uh yes poured foundation it is. Don't have to worry about rot or animals burrowing under the slab.

    Total cost with an attic truss and porch for us was just over 30K. The attic truss added 10k to he building then normal ones.

    If you're doing the work yourself 10k seems reasonably doable. Or close to it.

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    Lots of options

    Like others said, no backhoe needed for a pole barn. You can hand dig the holes or rent an auger. Another option is to use metal connectors to attach the posts/poles to the concrete. If you do that, normally the area under the post is thicker than the rest of the floor. There are connectors that are made to be inserted while the concrete is being poured and others are attached after the concrete is set. Masonry/Concrete to Timber - Timber Frame HQ.

    Another option is to use metal trusses that are then spanned by 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 depending on the free span desired- lots of manufacturers for those and shipping can be the deciding factor.

    Finally there are companies that will ship you the entire components and either put the building up or you can do it yourself.

    If you go with a 6" concrete floor you are looking at 17 yards of concrete without any extra for footings. That's going to take a big chunk out of the $10,000 so you may need to do some serious shopping for the rest. A post building gives you some flexibility as you can have just poles and a roof and add walls as you can afford. If you are going to have walls, plan for them up front and have a flat surface to attach them the walls to, plan for attachment to the floor etc.

    Good luck - should be a fun project.

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    Even if you do a lot of the work yourself I suspect $10,000 won't go very far, especially since a concrete floor will eat up a lot of that.

    Although I don't have an outbuilding; I'd lean to (pun intended) a clear span steel framed building if I were to build one.

    Attached is a PDF file with links to all the prefab building type of stuff I have bookmarked.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by mjncad; 05-08-2017 at 02:21 AM.
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    I have more ideas than ambition.


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