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Old 08/17/09, 08:11 AM
deb deb is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: WI
Posts: 1,649
Advice: Cleary, Wick or Morton sheds?

We have saved money to get a shed built for storage of our vehicles and tools. As I drive to work I've been eyeing sheds (LOL) and there's a big mix of buildings in our area. The Cleary, Wick, Morton sheds have signs near the roof so they are easy to identify and there are "no name" sheds as well. I have no way of knowing exactly how old these buildings are, but it looks like the no-name sheds don't hold up as well.

Do you have an opinion about shed manufacturers?

Are there some building features that one manufacturer does that no one else does?

We live in WI where we can have hard winters and tornadoes. Should we be looking for anything in particular?

Any other advice?

Thank you in advance!
in wi
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Old 08/17/09, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: iowa
Posts: 2,642
I had my building built by a local contractor with materials bought from a building supply (menards) and I am very satisfied yet after five years.It was a lot less money than the company buildings.I would say the company buildings are similar to each other.
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Old 08/17/09, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Illinois
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I have a Cleary. I have some grievances about it, but don't know if it would be accurate to blame the company or the local building crew.

Going with a trusted local contractor would be very supportive of local economy and community. You may also get the best job for the money.
If I were to hire again, it would be Morton. They build quickly and take more pains than any known name that I am aware of. They take their work much more seriously than other names.
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Barry Goldwater.
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Old 08/17/09, 08:55 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
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Look around at some of your established businesses in the area that provide services out of pole buildings (eg, machine shops, repair shops, implement dealers, lumber yards, marinas, etc). Ask them who built there pole building. It will likely be a local contractor who specializes in pole buildings and not one of the "package brand companies."

Our pole building was built by a local pole building contractor who has been in the area for 30+ years and was recommended by several local businesses including some of lumber yards. Every one knew "he was the man" for pole buildings. And get this, he doesn't even advertise in the Yellow Pages! We got a quailty building for a very reasonable price.
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Old 08/17/09, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 387
I'm not familiar with Cleary but do know the others and would expect that they all are of pertty similar style and quality. Walk through a few and look at the workmanship and talk to the owners. I know down here (and would be willing to bet up there) that the companies run pretty agressive discount programs if you have the building erected during the winter (keeps the crews busy) so you might about that when getting prices. As for tornadoes I have yet to see a polebarn that could take one. The doors are the weakest link - once they fail and the wind gets inside your pretty much done.
Dignatus anten nomo non
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Old 08/17/09, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 8,101
Dad put up a machine shed in 1964 himeself a and a couple of hired hands, he more or less engineered it himself with a lot of concrete for a full foundation & homesawn elm wood for most of the wood. Galvanized tin for the siding.

I had the roof painted 2 years ago, it was just starting to show a bit of wear. I need to replace some nails with screws one of these years, and wind caught one roof tin & made a small tear I need to goop up. I expect this building to be there another 40 years with perhaps one more roof painting along the way.

That thing is solid.

So, home built, or local contractor, can be much more solid - or it can be much more flimsy. Depends on what you want, what you pay for.

Company deal, Morton is the cadillac of buildings, they cost a bit more, they do well with their worrenty & make a good solid longlasting building.

The others you mention are in between, a bit cheaper, but a bit cheaper materials. Good stuiff, just a little bit lower on the line. Many of these builders hire local contractors to put their name brand building up; then it depends on how good your local people are.

Morton has their own people.

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Old 08/17/09, 01:59 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
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We checked out all three (plus the Menard's ones) when we put up the 40x80. Cleary and Wick were about the same materials. Morton uses a better steel, and really doesn't fade like the others do. BUT it's almost 2x as expensive for what we wanted. Their crew is top notch, and even our big shed was guaranteed to be up and finished in 3 days.

Cleary builders have a good reputation around the Madison/Dodgeville area. I suspect it may vary by location tho.

Do check around, as CF suggested, to see if there is a contractor in your area to put it up. Talk to the locals. They're not complicated to's really all about the materials. We ended up buying the materials and building it ourselves (loooong process, but cheap)

oh...when you decide on a color, go with something that will fade gracefully. Red turns a hideous pink after a few years, and the lovely dark green? well, that tends to turn a bizarre turquoise.
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams
(and a lot of luck - Wisconsin Ann)
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Old 08/17/09, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wisconsin by the UP, eh!
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We have a big home built machine shed - depends on the grade of steel you order. We also have a smaller Cleary that we built with Tornado money. We are very satisfied with the Cleary (our crew came out of Excanaba MI, I think). One thing we would do again if we could/had to - the top 2' of our Cleary sidewalls are a fiberglass type panel instead of the steel. It lets in a LOT of light, and even in the semi dusk you can move see enough to move around in there without barking up the shins. (we store hay & haying equipment in it).

Another difference - DH ordered 6x6 treated posts for the home built. Cleary uses 3-2x6 treated boards to achieve similar. Advantage is much less twisting, easier to align, easier to notch out for the trusses.
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Old 08/17/09, 04:52 PM
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We had a Morton built when we lived farther out. It went up quickly and was flawless, bird tight.

If I need to have another utility building and can afford it, I would go with Morton, again.
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Old 08/18/09, 08:07 AM
deb deb is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: WI
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DH would like a traditional all wood farm building, but there are money issues with it as well as potential tax issues (I have heard they are appraised higher and therefore increase the property taxes more).

Looking at the 3 company's websites we have found the sheds that look more like traditional buildings DH likes. He likes having the roof have an overhang and bigger vertical windows on each side. The no-name sheds I have seen have no overhang and have teeny garage windows.

The local shed builder closed his doors a couple of years ago which is probably why I see more newer "brand" name sheds. There isn't much building going on in our township except for the Amish and most carpenter crews are working far away these days. I have been thinking about approaching them to build it, but thought I should educate myself more about how the 3 companies built sheds first so I know what is "standard" practice.

Some of the Amish owned sheds have cinderblock walls that go up 3' to 8' and then have a wood/tin walls above. I am guessing those sheds would cost more, but the cinder block walls would be stronger and be able to take more wind. Does that sound right?

BTW I really don't want this to turn into thread that bashed the Amish. I have Amish friends and neighbors. I shop at their stores, I know their children, we've helped each other when help was needed. My only concern with the Amish building our shed is the same as with any builder: we want a crew with a lot of experience and skill. Finding the right "english" builder is simpler because they have storefronts and salespeople and the Amish builders don't have either.

in wi

Last edited by deb; 08/18/09 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 08/18/09, 12:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 387
The concrete blocks are probably to protect the lower portion of the building from livestock damage - animals and their manure (and the skidders that are often used to remove it) are pretty hard on sheet metal. Down here in tall corn territory most polebarns are for equipment storage and concrete block bases are pretty rare. The block probably are not going to add much wind stability as they are not that high and frankly unless the cores are filled with concrete have poor lateral loading anyway. They are going to add quite a bit to the cost.

We have an Amish company down here that we work with (Graber - they have their facility here and another in Indiana that I know of)that do outstanding work. Our shop building at work was built by them (140x90) and they currently are putting up a building for one of our customers that we are going to finish out on the inside. Frankly, they could erect it quicker and for a better price that our crew (we just do not work enough with metal to be good and fast at it).
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