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My 40 x 40 shed / barn

23530 Views 56 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Rogero246
I have just completed the construction of a new shed / barn. I had intended to build this a couple of years down the road but the storms of late April that came through North Alabama moved my decision up just a little. My old barn was not destroyed but one whole side of the roof was lifted up and almost thrown over the other side. ALFA insurance said it was $4100 worth of damage. With that check in hand, I decided to put it toward a new building rather than repair the old one. Some of these photos have been posted on another forum and raised some interesting discussion on building techniques from different parts of the country. I welcome any comments and will try to answer any questions. Hope you enjoy.

Photo 1; I was open to where the barn went and shot the grade to get the most level area possible.
Photo 2: This area was only off about 3 inches from level across the area that would be the slab.
Photo 3 & 4: Spreading the first load of gravel. It took just a little more than one load to do the job. This load had about 24 tons on it. The soil where my building is going has no "top soil" so to speak but is red clay and it is solid. The barn builder I hired asked me to mow the grass as close as possible which I did with my 4320 and MX6 bush hog. The gravel was spread on top of the mowed area.
Photo 5: The finished gravel spread to a string height stretched across each corner. Notice the pile of gravel i had left over from the second load.
Photo 6: The hand held post hole digger did not have enough torque to drill the 4' holes in the red clay. The builder commented on how solid the ground was. They had to go with plan B.
Photo 7 & 8: Plan B worked much better.


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Second phase of construction

Setting the framework of my barn. All these photos show the 6" x 6" pt poles being set. What i didn't picture was the actual tamping. The holes had a layer of gravel in the bottom and then back-filled around the leveled poles with the red clay and tamped, tamped and tamped some more. I thought about pouring concrete around each pole but knowing the soil and feeling confident of it's firmness, I decided to put that money elsewhere. The builder agreed.


Third phase

Preparing the slab for concrete. These photos uploaded in reverse order so photo 3 is actually the first of the sequence. You'll notice I got the boss involved placing the plastic and wire in place.


Fourth Phase

Pouring the concrete. I spread the gravel so that the middle section where the traffic will be through the barn would have a slab at least 6" thick and then sloped to 3.5" around the perimeter.

The night before we had a 2" plus rain. One of the cement trucks got stuck backing into the building and I had to use the 4320 to help him out. You'll notice it in the background in some of the pictures.

I'm very pleased with the way the slab turned out. The slab as poured took 21.25 yards of concrete which cost $1986. That includes the concrete, tax, environmental fees and fuel surcharge. I paid the finishers $440 to pour and finish the concrete and they did an excellent job.


The Fifth Phase

Work begins on the lean-to's on each side of the barn. They will add 14' of covered storage space.

I guess most of these are self explanantory. Notice in the hole picture there is no rock in this soil at least not down to 4' deep.

Olivia didn't get over in time to put her handprint in the concrete, my only disapointment in the entire project.


Setting the trusses

The builder had an unique rig that helped him pick up the 40' wide trusses.


More framing

Framing the lean-to's and once again they didn't upload in the correct sequence but you can figure out which one to start with first.


12 x 12 barrel doors installed

They had the roof on before I got home from work and didn't get any pictures of it. I had the double bubble insulation installed under the roof panels as well as the walls.

The doors are manually operated, 12' x 12' roll up doors which are incredibly easy to operate. They have a slide at the bottom to allow me to lock them in the down position. They cost me $964 each installed.


Double Bubble

Wrapping the roof and now the walls with double bubble insulation. The insulation cost me an extra $800.

Photo 4: this is the rat seal. The metal on the sides set down on this seal.


Finishing up

The siding to match the color of the siding on my house cost an extra $400. Made the boss happy, never a bad thing, that I co-ordinated colors.


Final cost?

So far, here what I have in the project:

Material (including doors) = $9100
Concrete (21.25 yards) = $1986
Finishing = $ 440
Gravel (roughly 48 tons) = $ 650
Slab prep (plastic and wire) = $ 300
Labor = $3800

Total $16,276

Still to come: electrical, plumbing (water and shop sink), shelving, etc.
That's a beautiful building Wayne! Thanks for the detailed pictures:thumbup1gif:
Very nice Wayne. What is the finish size, you said 40ft wide, but how deep and high? Very well done, thanks for the detail.

Found the answer, 40 x 40.
Very nice! And your price was great too. I need to post a thread on my 30 x 40 building so the site has a couple of "how to" for outbuildings. I added electrical, so I'll try to get that posted so you can get ideas (both good and bad) from it.

Not scraping the topsoil off got my attention. Was the clay so dense that there just wasn't enough to make it worth it? Here I have about 4 inches of sort-of top soil (the best you can get when working with clay) that I scrapped off. It's great that you had a site level to within 3". My laser level was on of those "put it off too long" purchases. Though it would be a waste of money, but since then have been amazed at how often it has been used.

In that section of land there just isn't any top soil that people normally think of as "top soil". It is a very dense clay and has to be fertilized regularly to produce. The builder helping me with the project said any other site preparation wasn't worth fooling with except to mow the grass close, which I did.
Not scraping the topsoil off got my attention. Was the clay so dense that there just wasn't enough to make it worth it?
I forgot the close-up photos of the double bubble insulation and I found one of the roof after installation.
Wrapping the roof and now the walls with double bubble insulation. The insulation cost me an extra $800.


That bubble stuff is what Morton used on my 1st building in 2009. On the new shed, they changed to a plastic outside sheet with about 1/4" fiberglass inside. I'm sure it was to save costs. Time will tell which is better. Insulating the roof is big win. Anyone who didn't do it complains about all the condensation they get on their roof that drips down on to stuff.

Year later update

A year later update. After a year I still haven't gotten everything in place inside the barn but it's very functional. I'm also very happy to report that after a year there are no cracks in the concrete floor. Several on another forum questioned the way I poured the slab especially for not scraping the grass off before spreading the gravel. But it has worked out well so far.

Since I said that, I'll probably go in tomorrow and have several cracks all across the floor but my red clay has held the concrete up just as I though it would.

One thing I wished I done different while I had the builders on site would be to insulate the side sheds where the implements are parked. I also use that area for painting, maintenance on my beehives, sharpening mower blades etc. It gets hot under there in spite of being open on three sides.

Of course, insulating is something that I could still do but.....
Wayne, that is a really nice barn and its nice to hear that the floor has not cracked.
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Very Nice Wayne, you did good. Thanks for the update.
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