'Barn' advice needed.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    The plumber is going out today to rough in the plumbing and the slab is being poured tomorrow hopefully...however as the plan was revised and we are no longer going with a 'pole building' but a framed structure a few different issues have popped up.

    Our barn is 30' wide by 36' long.

    Along the right side (as you face the front) we will have two 10'x12' rooms-an entry room with stairs leading up and a bathroom/laundry room.

    The rest of the ground level is open.This is where we have some issues.

    The span from the inner wall of the two rooms to the left wall is 20' more or less,this is too far to have no support for the upper floor so we have a few options:

    1. We put in floor trusses-the builder has some 15' trusses he can get cheap but that leaves 5' unsupported...or he can buy some 17' trusses but wouldn't that still leave a few feet unsupported??

    2. Install some posts from slab to ceiling-this was the original plan when it was going to be a pole building.

    3. Go BACK to a pole building.IF we do this he needs to know BEFORE the slab is poured.

    4. Build a wall 10' in from the left side so the ground level is basically three 10 'sections'-the problem with this is it 'chops' up the barn space...


    Our thoughts were to simply have posts floor to ceiling spaced evenly even though this would still break up the space it wouldn't be as intrusive as a full wall down the left side and would perhaps be cheaper than floor trusses...

    Any thoughts,advice or questions???
     
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Are those rooms downstairs going to be there forever or would you someday wish to open up the floor completely?
     

  3. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    The two rooms on the right will be permanent.Plumbing will be through the slab and the stairs to the upper level are there as well.
     
  4. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

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    It is hard to know how the layout would work without knowing window location and such, but if you built an interior wall 3.5 feet in from the exterior left wall, you would use it as some sort of butler's pantry space. That would leave the bulk of your open space intact.

    Even with trusses though, a 17 foot unsupported span might flex a little, so your second story floor might be a little bouncy. Poles or posts down the center would probably be the most solid, and probably wouldn't be too disruptive to the use of space...
     
  5. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Wow,you are pretty fancy up there in Canuckland...bulters pantry...LOL

    .That was our thought re: the poles or posts down the center...if there isn't too many needed.

    Thanks for the advice. :)
     
  6. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, this seems like a pretty significant decision/change? This would be a bit of red flag to me. Seems like changing from a pole building design to a stick built design (or vice versa) would entail more issues than just the one you listed. Both a pole building and stick-built building will obviously result in a structure being completed, but they are two different animals. I have helped a guy build a stick-built building and I have personally built a pole building that I completely finished on the inside - all utilities, insulated, painted, etc. By the time I was done messing around with the idiosyncrasies of finishing out a pole building I would have been better off just building a stick-built from the get go.

    Anyway, to answer your question given the info provided. I would do everything possible to keep the open spaces. You only get one chance to do this and you will have to live with the rest of your lives if you choose to chop it up now. However, if you leave it open now, you can always add interior walls later if you desire. I just have never liked compartmentalized, chopped up floor plans.

    Wayne
     
  7. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    It was originally going to be a pole building but we made a few changes and the builder(has built both houses and barns) said in the end it might be better to build a frame rather than a pole building.

    We will be finishing out the top floor as a 'temporary' home... :)

    As to the open space on the ground floor,I would think the posts every so many feet wouldn't break it up too much...also a thought as to the floor trusses-would they bring the lower level ceiling height down too much??
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, a barn - with rooms - and poles?

    What is the barn for? I'd think critters?

    Lots of critters? Machinery, like a tractor, manure spreader, ????

    Really have no idea what this structure is for?

    I'd hate the poles, they are _always_ in the way. Walls are even worse.

    Lots of houses have more than 20 foot spans, so I'm not understanding the problem I guess. I don't know how a 17 foot truss will span a 20 foot openning, so that just totally confuses me.

    I have a couple steel I-beams in my barn, span a 40 foot cattle pen, got many tons of hay overhead.

    Seems you are pretty late to be deciding these major issues. What do you need for head room & building size & what are the different bays, or rooms, for anyhow?

    I hate ploes & walls in an out-building, they are _always_ in the way. Did I mention that? Head room is real important too.....

    --->Paul
     
  9. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    The barn is for...nothing really.

    The upper level is going to be an apartment(well and the two rooms downstairs) for us to stay in when there doing work.

    It would also be our 'run away' place in case of hurricanes.

    I don't know about the issue of spans,etc,the original plan was to have posts/poles every so many feet....

    If this was a 2 storey home wouldn't there be upper level floor trusses spanning the entire width of the house?
     
  10. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Why not just get 20' trusses, or 20' steel joist? At our church, we have wood trusses that span 30' and are not spongy at all. My friends house has steel joists that span 20' and are not spongy.
     
  11. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Well......that makes sense.:D

    I will ask when we call him.

    I was half asleep when talking to him this morning...he mentioned the 15' trusses as being cheap and then he mentioned 17' trusses...

    It would seem that either 20' or 30' trusses would be a solution... :shrug:
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is my confusion as well. :) If you are going to have a wall (or posts) somewhere down the 'middle' of a 30' barn, then (2) 15 foot trusses will be cheaper. But you give up a lot with having those obstructions in your way forever afterwards.

    For me a barn is for critters.

    A shed is for storage.

    A combination shed/ human living space is unbelieveably complicated to do to code 'here' as you basically need the whole structure to house code which is way overkill for a shed - so something like that is just not done 'here'.

    Sounds like you want just general storage with no real need of size or use at this time.

    That's cool.

    The posts down the middle will be much cheaper to build, might as well do that. Can turn the posts into a wall at some later date if that is what you want. Or if you need storage for bigger things, you can maybe work around the posts. So, I would not do walls - unless you know you need the walls.

    I hate posts. But for your needs, the posts down the middle will be cheaper. Trusses or 2x floor are always cheaper with shorter spans.

    You coulda designed the building with your 2 room walls providing that middle support, and not needed very many posts. Not sure you are doing the most while using the least at this point, but one is where one is, and go from there. Hope your builder is a patient peson. Such drastic changes right before a pour would be difficult for a person like me to handle. :)

    My brother in law had me & 3 friends rebuild his old dairy barn into general storage this summer. He had lots of plans & ideas, then said do whatever you want to end up with this, that, & the other thing.

    His way of doing things woulda cost about 2x as much as we spent, & he woulda had a lot less storage. He was very very happy with the results which were more than he wanted, & I'm not sure he fully realizes his bill is only 60% of what his ideas woulda cost him....... The nicest thing he did was tell us what he wanted out of the building; and then stayed out of the way while that happened. ;)

    I'm just a simple dirt farmer, not a builder. In this case, being family, we could work things out.

    If I were a builder, I'd build anything you want. It will cost you whatever it costs. Your idea, your money.

    Good planning now goes a long way. Buildings last 20-75 years, be sure you get what you want, & want what you get.

    You can give a builder a plan of what exactly you want, & they will build it, whatever it costs.

    You can give a builder a general idea of what you want and let them plan it, so it will meet your needs but be cheaper (fit local codes, building supplies, use les time do to tools/ knowledge available, etc.).

    Kinda hard to do both. I think that will cost you?

    'Nuff soapbox, back to your question:

    Posts down the middle & shorter floor trusses will probably be the best way to go. Sounds like your builder is trying to save you some money.

    --->Paul
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just more random thoughts. :)

    Is the upstairs over the entire building? What is being done for the 12 feet that will have no supports at all, with no rooms under it? Is that going to have posts down the middle, with (2) 15' trusses spanning the 30' width?

    If you go with the 10' rooms, 15' trusses, & (I'm gonna guess...) 5' 2x floor supports, you will end up with:

    Two rooms10x12'.

    A 20x15' section.

    A 20x5' section.

    (2) 12x15' areas.

    Either walls or posts will effectively chop your bottom floor into those 'rooms'.

    Now, will the skinny 5x20 foot section be down the middle of the building, or along one wall? I would find that bit to be the most difficult to deal with. Just awkward.

    Draw this out on paper, and it wil be hard to store a vehicle, tractor & wagon, or the like in amongst all the mish-mash of poles - no good place to put any big door. Nothing lines up to give you a nice clear area to put things. None of the poles line up to make a nice big work area, or storage area. Seems like cramped little compartments all of un-useful sizes.

    A better thing woulda maybe been 15' trusses with poles down the middle of the whole building, and make your 2 rooms 15' and a little narrower to give the same sq footage.

    Then all the poles line up down the middle of the whole shed, the upstairs would have even support, and your downstairs would have:

    Two walled rooms 8x15'

    One side 15x36' feet.

    Another side 20x15'.

    That would be a _much_ cleaner design, it would be quicker to build with less poles, (saving you money on materials & labor), and give you much much more useable floor space downstairs. Your downstairs would be in 3 simple areas, with one area the 2 walled rooms, and the other 2 areas large & flexable for future walls or door & window opennings to allow use of the building.


    Please pardon my rambling here. :) There can be many,many reasons you are doing it the way you are, and my comments are only friendly chat. :) I see others sort of hinting to the same things I'm saying, & it is 7 degrees outside 'here', so I feel like sitting in front of the computer chatting with you rather than being outside. ;)

    Please let us know how it all turns out. Sounds like a fun start to a lot of work for you, if I remember right you are starting out a new homestead here. Will enjoy hearing of the progress.

    --->Paul
     
  14. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Buy 2 each parallam beams for the unsupported area and just use short 12 ft joists instead of trusses. Here you can see a parallem beam http://www.bobvila.com/BVTV/HomeAgain/Video-0117-01-0.html In new construction the parallam beam can be up in the ceiling the dimension of the joists.
    Sounds if your builder doesn't have a lot of experience. He should have known of options other than what he suggested.
     
  15. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    The very first thing that came to my mind also. There are at least a dozen solutions to this problem. Manufacturered trusses and wooden I joists are both capable of spanning 20' without any issues, and are probably the two easiest solutions. In both cases the supplier will do all the engineering and give a price to supply the material at no cost to the builder. Sounds like a little more research is necessary.
     
  16. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree too!!. You can put it up in the joist with hangers or underneath and let them set on it.
     
  17. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey Oz,
    I have a pole barn now, last barn was framed like a house. I prefer the pole barn because there is so much open space. I would decide against building the three 10' sections of wall because I bet someday you'd regret having chopped up the space so much. The poles in a pole barn really aren't that much of an issue, unless you plan to ride or lunge horses in it. I actually like how the poles give you the option of building a quick temporary stall for an injured or sick animal.
     
  18. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Okay,we found out what the problem was....

    When we sent the new plan,we didn't mark in the posts...being VERY literal folks they thought we didn't WANT any posts...

    Our builder thought since it looked like we wanted a big open space the floor trusses would give us that.

    Also the reason he was suggesting the 15' trusses is he could get a really good price.

    So,what we are ending up with is the two posts in the larger area.

    Thank you all for the help and advice.