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I am doing some site/elevation design for our new home that we plan to build in a few years. I plan on building the barn before the house.

I started to rethink some of my ideas once I moved out a small 10x7 hunting blind I am working on. It looked so large sitting 800 foot off the road that it got me thinking of what a 40x80 barn with 14' walls would look like.

So, I started working with our designer at work and he is trying to get me into a L shaped barn. It would probably sit on a 45 degree angle off to one side of the house.

Issues:
1. I want to have a specific section of the barn set aside as a heated area to wash cars and work on them in the winter. This must be accessible from the driveway and have nothing else in it.

2. I want to be able to pull in a 45' boat on a trailer.

3. I need to be able to access quads and a car without a huge issue.

4. The main home will have a large 2 car garage and the barn will be a 3rd car storage, so it will be fairly close to the home and accessible.

5. I need room to store some friends jeeps and cars without getting in the way.

6. I has to look nice next to the new house.

Seems like a lot to ask. Anyone have pictures or ideas?

I am guessing I would have 4 garage doors. 1 for the car wash, 1 for the 3rd car garage, one for quads, tractor and small stuff, and the last for large stuff. I will use a small corner behind the wash bay as a work area, but i will not have a dedicated large area for a workspace. I want to try to make it fairly mobile.
 

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Brian:

Sounds interesting to say the least. Not knowing the design background of the designer you are working with keeps me from commenting on whether his ideas are good or not. Some floor plans would help us comment further. Just the simple single line schematic floor plans that builders hand out as brochures in the model homes are adequate for comment by the group.

The only thing limiting you are your imagination and budget, and money is the one that usually spoils the party so to speak.

At the end of 2007, my wife and I bought 35-acres and the plan was to first construct a 60' x 40' x 16' outbuilding that would act as shop, construction office and materials storage for the house to be constructed.

After the recession clobbered housing values and our mutual funds that were to fund our last home before checkout; I've been giving thought to combining the shop outbuilding and house into one structure to save on duplicated efforts of HVAC and other services. Of course that's assuming we won't have to sell the dirt in 2011 and we can financially justify resurrecting our project.
 

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Brian,

I have been doing a lot of dreaming along the same lines as you over the past 3-4 years - the light of day, and finances, often allow me to interpret them into a reasonable projection, I think......

The first thing that pops into my head is the wash bay. I too want/wanted one, but just can't justify the cost. If you can do it outside, great, but inside is a pretty big commitment of space and money. I'm guessing that MI has harsh winters like we do, so you'd be without an outdoor washbay for part of the year.

You want to have room to work on a 45' boat, or store it?? How may 'friends' need to store their Jeeps there??

How much of this monster do you want to heat?? How do you want to heat it?? In floor?? Radiant??

Do you have any interest in a hoist??

Do you need 220V? Air lines??

Do you want a bathroom in there?? Beer fridge?? Mancave??

As far as aesthetics go, what will your house look like?? I'm a huge timberframe fan, so if I could start from scratch I'd do a timberframe barn/shop, or at least one with timber accents to match the make-believe timber house that I dream about. Plan your shop to match your proposed new home.

The second floor of a shop/barn would make for a great office/den/man cave/music room etc. Throw a wood stove in there, a flat screen, a poker table and away you go!!

-Jer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe some of this is a lot of dreaming, but more of it is planning in my mind :lol:.

The home is not designed yet. Our current designer has asked us for a list of what we want to do in each room and we are getting that together. My assumption is that it will end up being about 3,200sq feet with 2 stories. The second only being 2 bedrooms with walk in closets and a bath. Most of the home will be bring or stone and the accents will be a cedar.

So, the barn, in my mind, cannot stick out. It need to look like it was made to be there. I have a certain teed cedar siding that rocks. It is crazy thick for siding and is incredibly detailed. It will not be cheap to use it on the full barn, but the barn needs to look like it fits in.

The wash bay is a wish. Seems simple enough. I would heat it with a gas forced air heater. I have one in my current garage and it works ok. The only costs this seems to add is the studs and metal walls. I plan to have a section of it available for heat and working on stuff in the winter anyhow. I will need 220 for the the air and power washer. Thats no biggie.

Fitting a 45 foot boat. Well, prior to kids, I have always been on the water, either fishing or relaxing. We had a 29' Fountain for a few years and sold it once we had our daughter. It just was not practical. Someday, maybe, I might find an older 42 and play again, or I might not.

There will be no bathroom or man cave. I need to store 2 tractors and equipment, a lawn mower and equipment, 2 sidexsides, 4 quads, a gator, jeep and jeep stuff, a small section for working, and room to wrench on my stuff or someone else's.

I do not have any plans for a lift yet. Part of me would like one, and the other part does not.

I have 50K to spend on this place. I have to guess with the roof and siding that I am adding 10K to a normal barn costs.
 

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Regarding the wash bay: When I built my house (I was the GC) I wanted to put a drain in the garage (insulated, and heated) and slope the floor to it. The idea was for winter washing and general rain/snow runoff. Well, the County would not let me do it unless I put in some insanely expensive oil/water type separation system in case the car driped a little oil or something...Your area may be different-but you'll need to check on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I GCed my home also in 2004. I currently have a heated wash bay in my attached garage. 2 floor drains, hot/cold water, and 220 power. No issues. I know certain areas can be bad, but mine seems to be fairly open to stuff as long as its not used in commercial applications.
 

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Here in NC my garage at home has drains. If only the concrete guys had got the slope right... At the fire department, we put in drains but since it was commercial we needed the fancy pants oil separator tank.

Here in NC if you can wait a week or two, you can wash outside. I put hot and cold water at the house garage where the pad is very sloped. It's quite useful for getting salt rinsed off of cars.

Here's a shot of south side of our house before the tractor garage went in. You can see the hose hanger by the hot and cold. South facing garage pad is big win cause ice and snow go away much faster. You can wash you car off and in a few hours of sun it's dry, even in winter. The tractor garage went in where the dirt pile was. I've got one free bay there that gets used for various things. If it gets too cold, I can take the antennas off the truck and park it in there. Up above the garage is my electronics work area/office. The garage is separated from the house by a 16' long by 8' wide "mud room". The isolation is in case the thing catches fire (house and garage have sprinklers). You can also see a conduit sticking up marking where the pipes were for the future tractor garage.

yeah, if the concrete clowns had got the floor right it would have been sweet. I was the GC for the house, used a design-build firm to do it, but concrete, truss installers and plumbers were subs under the design build group and they were miserable. I did all the electrical (low and AC), and was in charge of all exterior groundwork.

Shed roof design is just because I hate roofs and wanted a roof with no seams, valleys, hips, crickets, dormer etc. 50 year life, that's more than I have left. It turned out that not having all those complicated intersections save an incredible amount of money on the roof design. We have boring bees here (i.e. make holes in open wood as apposed to they'll put you to sleep if you watch them). So siding is Hardi-plank.

Anyway, there's a shot of a 4 banger for you. As with anyone who's built a house, I could type a book...

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just had another talk with the designer and he has a ton of ideas, but the biggest issue I have is the size. Obviously a straight 40 by 80 is not going to fly in his book or the wife's. So I am looking at an L shape. I am looking at the main box being 40 x 60 and the side being 30x30. The 30x30 will most likely have 2 12w x 10h garage doors. The tricky part to me is the other 12 foot door. where do I put it so that I do not spend a fortune in concrete to get to it and I can still get something very long into it.
 

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I agree with you that matching the style of the house is important, not only in finish (stone & cedar), but in shape. If you have elevation changes on your house, maybe put on the barn too, so that it doesn't look just like a Quonset with some rock and cedar on it.

Any chance you'd be allowed to (or interested in) building this attached to the new house?? Maybe you could convince your other half that it'll be good for 'storage'????

Are you going to put concrete down in the entire area?

Have you considered a 'lean-to' or carport type area for the vehicle storage, just to cut down costs??

If you're not going to get a hoist, i'd at least leave provisions in place for one. There are quite a few out there on the used market for a good deal.

If you can do this for 50K, I'd like to fly you, and your contractors, up here to build me one!!! There'll be an unlimited supply of beer, steaks every third night, and lot's of evening football games...... I'll even arrange some Rider tickets!!

Sounds like a fun project Brian.

-Jer.
 

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Well, we started drawing it Jer and its changing by the minute. The 30 foot section turned into a 36 foot wide section due to the two doors I wanted. So, it looks like I need to figure how to drive into this thing with my site plan.

I truly think 50K should do it, ONLY because of who I work for and the connections. Without the connections from here, the design nor the construction would be feasible.

I have some time before I build this, but I need to get some things figured out soon. My designer is probably going to retire in 4 years and I want to be complete in 5 years. My house to this guy is somewhat of a laugh. His norm is 4.5 to 18 million dollar buildings. There is no magazine article to follow my home like his normal ones...:lol:
 

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Any kind of drawings/sketches would help here... Need to see the "big picture"
of final house and tractor areas.

The more I think about your sizes, the more I like two areas (house and tractor) connected by a heated walkway/mudroom. Good for fire separation, good for your two stage construction.

If you think back to my picture, I put all the pipes in for the tractor garage and built it later. While you're sketching, consider where the next building goes, or think about breaking out the big L tractor barn into two buildings or phases.

Pete
 

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I cannot connect the two (house and barn) for tax purposes. They would nail me and I would be over the maximum square footage for a garage.

I have to build the barn in one stage because the house will go up the next year after this is built. Plus it would cost me more to do everything twice.

Right now I am trying to work out a driveway that will service the barn in 2 locations and the home garage.

Once I get a scetch I will post it. I am still in the idea phase of looking at how things line up.
 

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Local codes kill creativity. Max size for a garage? sigh.

For an overview of structures, driveway layout, etc. see:

36 05.365N, 79 09.695W

Pete
 

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I have been doing a lot of dreaming along the same lines as you over the past 3-4 years - the light of day, and finances, often allow me to interpret them into a reasonable projection, I think......
Same here...nothing wrong with dreams...heck I've been dreaming of my shop for a while now, and EVENTUALLY it will come, in the meantime the dreams and the related babble to sit on the brain and after some fermentation up there actual useable real world ideas come of it. Trust me, my Power Rake was a "dream" at one point too..

Floor Drains, Up home everyone has them, I had been planning on it till "word on the street" down here said it was a no-go....looked into it and while the DEP does not reccomend it, you CAN install a floor drain if there is "little to no" possibility of a toxic spill...In other words, if you tell them you'll change the oil in your car there and tinker with car engines, no dice. If you tell them you'll just park and wash your wifes car...A-OK.
Trick I've seen done here when it was nixed was to install in your drain as you would normally..and just place a piece of 1/8" luan or so over the drain fixture...they come pour concrete and float a skim of concrete OVER the luan and drain, Build your shop....they come inspect..case closed. When the coast is clear a small ball-peen hammer makes quick work of the skim of concrete & luan, install your drain grate and Voila!
 

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I just had another talk with the designer and he has a ton of ideas, but the biggest issue I have is the size. Obviously a straight 40 by 80 is not going to fly in his book or the wife's. So I am looking at an L shape. I am looking at the main box being 40 x 60 and the side being 30x30. The 30x30 will most likely have 2 12w x 10h garage doors. The tricky part to me is the other 12 foot door. where do I put it so that I do not spend a fortune in concrete to get to it and I can still get something very long into it.
OK, I can see keeping the wife happy; but the designer works for you, and if an 'L' shaped shop is going to break the budget and/or not work for your needs, he/she needs to know that and design accordingly.

The home is not designed yet. Our current designer has asked us for a list of what we want to do in each room and we are getting that together. My assumption is that it will end up being about 3,200sq feet with 2 stories.

There will be no bathroom or man cave. I need to store 2 tractors and equipment, a lawn mower and equipment, 2 sidexsides, 4 quads, a gator, jeep and jeep stuff, a small section for working, and room to wrench on my stuff or someone else's.

I do not have any plans for a lift yet. Part of me would like one, and the other part does not.

I have 50K to spend on this place. I have to guess with the roof and siding that I am adding 10K to a normal barn costs.
Not knowing your age, and your home site, can you go one-story? Personally I hate stairs and have for some time now, and I'm only 53. I had one two-story home in my life and never again although it was built OK. Using standard residential HVAC systems, it's almost impossible to get the upper floor cooled properly in the summer, and the main floor heated properly in winter. If I got the upstairs cooled to a reasonable temperature in the summer, the main floor was cold and uncomfortable. If I had the upper floor at the right temperature in winter, the main floor was cold and uncomfortable. Now one can design a HVAC system for a two-story house that overcomes the shortcomings I mentioned; but it adds $$$$ to the cost. Then there were those dam stairs.

Well, we started drawing it Jer and its changing by the minute.

I truly think 50K should do it, ONLY because of who I work for and the connections. Without the connections from here, the design nor the construction would be feasible.

I have some time before I build this, but I need to get some things figured out soon. My designer is probably going to retire in 4 years and I want to be complete in 5 years. My house to this guy is somewhat of a laugh. His norm is 4.5 to 18 million dollar buildings.
Yep, the design will change constantly at first; but it will be to your advantage to nail it down soon. Change orders during construction will kill your wallet quickly. Is your designer working on this as fill-in work? If the designer is working on this steadily, he/she should be able to get the design including working drawings done in 6-months or less.

It's good you have connections; because what I see getting built for $50k around here is disappointing to say the least.

Local codes kill creativity. Max size for a garage? sigh.


Pete
Isn't that the dam truth.
 

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I just Google Earthed your lat-lon numbers and that's quite a place you have.
I think the standard reply is "Yeah, we like it".

The birds eye view is nice when you're looking for examples of public vs. private access, outbuilding placement, and it even shows the break from the house to the garage. You can see the tractor garage, the solar panels, even the little inverter building. The ground all beat up to the south is where some of the geothermal lines went in, that area needs a lot of clean up- what a wonderful problem!

On the topic of stairs, we built the place so that the two of use can live completely on the 1st floor. The 2nd floor of the house has two bedrooms and a open area. If there were kids, this would be their area to hang out and trash. For us it's guest rooms. My electronics work area is above the garage, so I have stairs to get up into it. It's a space and cost compromise. If I can't make it up and down the stairs a few times a day, then it's close to time to move to a retirement center where all maintenance is outsourced. I'll let you know how that works in 20 years...

The basement has stairs to it. It has the utility rooms, metal working area (conditioned space), low voltage wiring room, and a lot of unfinished space. We did put in a full bath. Probably the next user of the place will appreciate having some latitude to put in what ever they thought we left out.

Brian, the process of playing with designs tends to pull out preferences you have and bring them into better focus. There's a lot of stuff you can think about and know you like or dislike, but there are usually some subtle things that are best discovered by reacting to a rough room layout, structure layout and site layout. I like the idea of working with a drafting type and bypassing the architect. In retrospect, I wish I had done that. Architect had too much ego, we had constant wrestling matches. He had a few good ideas that I would not have come up with, but I'm not sure they were worth the cost.

I'd also plan for whatever the final 10 year down the road site layout would be. So you should have a rough drawing of the garage(s) and the house. Putting pipes in the ground for the tractor building and "things to the South" was a huge win for me. I have some other places around the house with conduit and water lines just in case. In both our old house and this one, we have unfinished space. Saves money and lets you roll with life's punches down the road. There's got to be a way to plan your initial garage with the firm knowledge of how you're going to add on to it later.

I'm putting in another building just for storage (replace a building that failed last winter). It will be 400' from the house, but that's OK it's just storage. I have the main tractor garage close to the house. There is no good way to add more buildings close to the house without impacting the views both from the house and as you approach the house. This is a restriction I was aware of and accepted back in the initial design of this place.

The hardest part of this whole process is actually figuring out what you like and want to do, and accepting that your final outcome may limit your future options.

Something I try to tell the young pups about the design process (and it's the same if it's an electronics thing, software, or a house):

What you leave out is far more important than what you put in.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This will be the third house we built, so we are correcting and expanding on ideas from each build. We keep learning more and more. We took a 30 minute drive and went by some of the places we know have nice homes with large barns in the area to get an idea about our driveway. Right now, that is my main concern. I need to find a way to make it feasible to have so many drives.

The wife wants a 2 story. She grew up in one. Our living area will all be on the first level. HVAC is a big concern to me since I want in floor heat through most of the home. I have some good connections in designing this.

I guess its no secret, I work at an architecture firm. I can move as fast or as slow on this as needed. The only consultant I do not have in my pocket is a geotechnical guy and I doubt one is needed.

I have got a hook up for some sand to come in and I need to get the driveway area somewhat set. The barn is still a year or two off. This is one of those projects that I want to do 100 percent correct because I might not move again after I build this house.
 

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I'm 3 for 3 with bad luck with architects, I hope your work group is the exception. The reoccurring problem is a lack of attention to detail. Too much big picture, not enough fit. Factor in my engineer "I love details", well, you can figure it out... Having time is good. The problem with this house is the architect was in too much of a hurry. He committed to the truss design and structural analysis without telling us, and there were several items left on the layout punch list in the design. Every time he'd go back with our list, he'd only do about 60% of the items. To this day I don't understand what was going on.

Yep, house three will probably be it for you. Each one takes more energy to do. A guy I know had done 4 houses. His advice is to always re-work the house your in and fix the problems. He said that when people do "the next house", they always fix what they don't like, but often forget to include what they did like about their current house.

Sounds like the driveway plans will force you to do the "big picture at the end" view of it all, that's good.

What I did to avoid the two story HVAC woes is to put the stairwell off to the side of the house, on an outside wall. This meant that heat/air had to travel a long way horizontally. There is insulation on all interior walls, and between the 1st and 2nd floors. Finally, there are 14" ducts from the HVAC unit to the 2nd floor so I can move some air if I need to. When this combines with the per room zone control from the home automation, it should be good. Test during the peak of summer and winter show pretty good results. Can't wait to get the automation fully operational.

The homes I've seen with problems had the stairwell in the center of the house and with no interior insulation.

Someday, we'll have to talk automation :empathy3:

Pete
 

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Please see interspersed comments.

I like the idea of working with a drafting type and bypassing the architect. In retrospect, I wish I had done that. Architect had too much ego, we had constant wrestling matches. He had a few good ideas that I would not have come up with, but I'm not sure they were worth the cost.

The problem with most architects is that they think of themselves as artists, and they bought into all that artistic/intellectual/highbrow drivel in architecture school.

I'd also plan for whatever the final 10 year down the road site layout would be. So you should have a rough drawing of the garage(s) and the house. Putting pipes in the ground for the tractor building and "things to the South" was a huge win for me. I have some other places around the house with conduit and water lines just in case. In both our old house and this one, we have unfinished space. Saves money and lets you roll with life's punches down the road. There's got to be a way to plan your initial garage with the firm knowledge of how you're going to add on to it later.

Good advice.

Something I try to tell the young pups about the design process (and it's the same if it's an electronics thing, software, or a house):

What you leave out is far more important than what you put in.

That's good, and I always said that good design is born of common sense.

Pete
The wife wants a 2 story. She grew up in one. Our living area will all be on the first level. HVAC is a big concern to me since I want in floor heat through most of the home. I have some good connections in designing this.

In floor heat on a 2-story is doable using some of the subfloor products (e.g. Warm Board) designed for such a purpose. It becomes more complicated when you go with the "light weight" Gypcrete floor. Friends of my wife's had a similar issue and they put the PEX in the concrete floor in the basement, used a Warm Boards strategy for the main level, and the small loft used baseboard heat. Unfortunately that doesn't address the AC issue that requires duct work. Again this is doable using motorized dampers and multiple T-stats to control the temps on each floor; but now the cost goes up.

I guess its no secret, I work at an architecture firm.

I've worked with enough architects in my life that I'm offering you my condolences.

This is one of those projects that I want to do 100 percent correct because I might not move again after I build this house.

That's the smart way to go, plan like this will be your last house before checkout.
I'm 3 for 3 with bad luck with architects, I hope your work group is the exception. The reoccurring problem is a lack of attention to detail. Too much big picture, not enough fit. Factor in my engineer "I love details", well, you can figure it out... Having time is good. The problem with this house is the architect was in too much of a hurry. He committed to the truss design and structural analysis without telling us, and there were several items left on the layout punch list in the design. Every time he'd go back with our list, he'd only do about 60% of the items. To this day I don't understand what was going on.

I only worked with two architects that I truly respect for their common sense approach to the discipline, the rest were your typical architect and then they wonder why people call them archijerks.

Pete
 
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