Steel Building Size?

organiccowgirlSeptember 17, 2007

Hi all!

We have a 20 acre horse ranch and are putting up a steel building. We're lost on what size we need, so I was hoping to get some advice.

We have a 2 bdrm 1700 sf house with decent closets, on a slab. The attic area is going to be expanded to a 3rd bedroom.

There is a 6 stall barn with a tack room and a place for hay storage, but no extra room for other storage.

We will want two car bays in the metal building, plus need to store a small tractor and its accessories. We need a workshop with an area for tools and benches. Some of the workshop's floorspace can do double duty as the tractor's home. We'll also need to store our "toys", kid's and adults; bikes, an ATV, two kayaks, a few storage boxes, etc. It will be kept nicely organized and we have a strict budget, so we'll have to make do on some of these desires.

Also, we can upgrade to have windows, etc. in the future, so that we can get maximum size now, which is obviously much harder to change later.

Our desired budget is $25k, but our max budget is $30k.

We're near Houston, TX.

Any brilliant thoughts to help us decide? Any "been there, done that, so here's my recommendation" kind of comments?

Thanks so much!!

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flgargoyle

An old farmer once gave me advice on out-building size: "Figure out the biggest you could possibly need. Make it three times bigger, and it will be almost big enough!" This is truer than you can imagine. I would suggest you take some graph paper and make some scale sketches. If you're going to park cars (or trucks), allow plenty of room for door swing. Our 20' wide garage will fit 2 cars, but try getting out of them! Then consider whether you'll want to have to move a car to get any of the toys out. You can measure all your stuff, then draw it to scale on the graph paper. If you're really tight on space, lighter stuff could be stored overhead, such as the kayaks. I think you can do it on your budget, depending on local costs and who's doing the labor. I designed a 1200 sq/ft barn (wood) on a concrete slab for our property in SC, and the materials came to about $10K. Of course, I'd either have to DIY or hire someone. Being on a tighter budget than you, I'll DIY. Seriously- make as big as you possibly can- you won't regret it!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:18AM
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rico567

We had a Morton 24 x 48 steel (pole, as they are referred to around here) building constructed this year. It's an eave entry with 3 9x8' doors, plus a 36" walkdoor, two windows in each end, two skylights, ridge vent and finished soffits, no other extras. This breaks down to four 12 x 24 bays, and gives plenty of room for our two vehicles, a bay for equipment (mowers, tiller, sprayer, etc.) & some storage, plus a shop bay.

The building itself was $19,500, tax included. We had to bring in considerable fill to raise the site, due to drainage. Your mileage may vary on this, so I've left this cost (a few thousand) out. This also doesn't include the cost of the concrete floor; if you're on a strict budget, you may want to omit that, or just leave it for later, as floors are typically poured into these buildings after construction.

I've also left out the costs of the overhead doors (Morton doesn't do overhead doors; we had a conrtractor install three C.H.I. doors, two with openers, $2865 installed, incl. tax.) and electrification. I can't give cost on the latter since the cable was just buried last Friday, and I haven't been invoiced yet. The only DIY part of this building is furnishing the interior, including installing a 100A electrical panel and wiring....which I'm well along in finishing. An electrical panel this size is to accommodate such tools as a welder, should the need arise.

I've heard the saying before to make the building three times larger than one thinks necessary. At our time in life, this is unlikely to be a consideration. Also, that same life has taught me that the more room I have, the more room I have to fill up with junk that ten years later I can't figure out why I kept....

In any event, I'll include a link to the photo gallery showing the progress of construction. This was my first experience acting as my own general contractor. Handling the five contractors involved wasn't particularly taxing, but it would have been if I weren't retired.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garage Project Photos

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:01AM
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bas157

Rico567
You said "We had a Morton 24 x 48 steel (pole, as they are referred to around here) building constructed this year."

There is a difference between a steel building and pole building. From the outside, they pretty much look that same, but from the inside, they look much different!
This is one place that sells steel buildings: http://www.ameribuiltsteel.com/
They use all steel instead of wood for the frame, this allows an open roof space inside. The gambrel design even give you the option of having a second floor.
I'm hoping to get a gambrel one at my house in the next year or 2.
From what I can tell, there are several (many?) companies that sell the exact same buildings, at least from the website and mention of "Multibuild TM software" makes me think they are the same, just sold by different companies.
I know at least 2 places sell them on ebay if you want to get an idea on pricing. Ebay item 7626269291 for example

Here is a link that might be useful: one place that sells steel buildings

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:17PM
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rico567

"bas157" - I get the point, and we considered an all-steel building, but rejected it on grounds of appearance. We wanted a building that had conventional gables & eave overhang, and couldn't find any manufacturer of steel buildings that offered a building that met our criteria.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 6:32AM
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northernmich

My Morton is 30 x 60 and they did the overhead commercial door.

My advice, graph on paper what you want inside, visit other buildings and LOOK. I put in lofts and it greatly increases storage with 14 foot sidewalls. I added a drain and have plenty of outlets, 220 and gen plug.is something to consider as well. You can go online to Morton and do colors.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 9:00AM
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organiccowgirl

Thank you everyone, for your replies.

We are meeting with the builders tomorrow and are going to be incorporating several of your suggestions into the project.

Thank you again!!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 4:09PM
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