Animals and tractors may not just be your business or investments but also a part of your family because they are the ones who are with you every day at work and help you earn a living. Being part of your extended family, it is important that you provide them with a suitable place to rest and be protected from natural forces. A farm shed or a barn will do this job, but not just any farm shed, but a good, sturdy and quality barn. If you already have one, you might want to check if your barn is up to standards in your area and if it provides the needs of all things you put in it. If you don’t have one yet, you might want to personally get involved with the planning of building one to ensure that it whatever you need will be installed properly and safely.
Things to Consider When Building a Farm Shed:
Farm sheds and other outbuildings are commonly used to house farm animals like horses, cattle and sheep. It can also house tractors, agricultural tools and equipments. Depending on what you will be placing in the shed will determine how big you need it to be. Especially if the land area is limited, you might need to consider constructing a second level or a third level for the barn to save space. A typical barn that can house two to three horses with space to put hay on the other side can measure 9 meters x 6 meters and modifications in terms of space can be made for provisioning other things or for future use. Your farm animals need to be enclosed in an area where they could still comfortably move but not spacious enough for them to run or do physical activities. You also need to put space for their food and water, including a space to store tools that you use with them. You also need to consider a space to put waste materials so that their food and water will not be contaminated. Tractors need to be placed in a spacious barn for you to be able to inspect it even during harsh weather and for you to be able to store your maintenance tools right beside them for easier access.
You want to put a barn that would last at least a lifetime and something durable and sturdy that can withstand natural forces. After all, this is part of your investment, including the animals and equipments you store in it. The material you use in construction will determine how long your shed would last and how will your animals, products and tractors react to it and the outside weather. Here are some materials you could choose from and help you determine what is best for your needs. You can always combine two or more materials if necessary to achieve the right kind of barn for you.
Metal – Thin sheets of galvanized steel, aluminium or rust proofed iron can be used and can be attached to metal frame. This is a good choice of material as it has a long term strength, resistant to fire, rotting and termites. This is best for countries with milder climate like Australia and New Zealand. The drawback of metal sheds is that if not properly galvanized can rust over time. Since it is also made of thin sheets, it is malleable and prone to dents especially if your area experiences hail or if you have goats that ram their heads to the walls of the shed. Metal roofs need to be cleared of snow as well because the accumulated weight can cause damage. Metal sheets are lighter than wood and PVC plastic making it more prone to wind damage.
Plastic/PVC – Pre moulded plastic or PVC is easier to install and less expensive than metal sheets. It comes in kits which you could assemble easily and can be changed again and again in the future for possible extension or adding another level or attic. It is also UV light resistant, does not rot, more resistant to dents and chipping than metal and wood, more stable and little or no maintenance needed. The great thing about plastic or PVC is that you can install modular provisions for you to be able to add accessories like shelves, windows, skylights and peg boards. The downside of a Plastic shed is that it is hard to make it look natural. With the perception of people thinking that barns are made of wood or metal and painted brown or red, you will need to hire a good painter to make it blend in the environment.
Wood – traditionally, barns and sheds are made of wood. It looks natural and it blends with background. It can be easily modified and accessories can be hammered immediately on the walls. Extension, additional windows and skylights are of no problem. Most of all, you can recycle the old materials for future use. However, if untreated with preservatives, wood will be prone to rots, molds, fungal growth, termite attacks and susceptible to wood boring animals and insects. Some preservatives are flammable and if added on wood, it will make it more prone to fire damage.
Design, Shape and Location
Depending on the weather where you are located, it is best to choose a design and shape that could help not just how your shed would look but also how to help support it to withstand the weather. Gambrels or hip roof are a good suggestion, not just for extra space to put hay but also the design (a triangular shape) reduces accumulation of water and snow on the top and diverts the wind to prevent the whole barn from receiving the full force of the wind as it hits it. Bigger doors can be made for easier access to animals and tractors. Trapdoors on the ceiling can be placed as well to store hay or food for the animals, or it can be other tools and equipments. If space allows it, you can also put an indoor corral to provide space for treatment of sick animals.
Your farm shed is like your office and can be an extension of your own home. Investing with the right material, size and design could help you with your livelihood and with your comfort, including your animals and tractors. Visit, National Sheds South West for quality sheds in Bunbury and Busselton, Australia