Commonly asked questions about agricultural building construction
Before taking bids from local contractors, there are a few things you should know related to the specifics of the agricultural building process that will enable you to plan ahead effectively.
Some of it may seem like common sense and some of it may be a surprise. But creating a short checklist based on the information below will enable you to weed through the bids, thereby quickly and cost-effectively choosing the best contractor. In addition, it’s always a good idea to comparison shop several different bids and compare them for the specific cost savings and expenditures associated with each.
Do I need to comply with any building codes?
Whether you opt for wood framing or the more robust steel agricultural buildings, each kit provided through a quality manufacturer will typically include explicit engineering and design instructions that will ease the process of construction, either for you or the crew you hire. So in terms of the actual building process, you should be in pretty good shape. Just make sure that the building itself conforms to the all local building codes for your area.
But in addition to the specifics related to the actual construction of the agricultural building, there are a number of other considerations that will not be included on the blueprints that a contractor would typically be relied upon to address.
How can I save on heating and cooling costs?
For example, if your agricultural building includes an open side or large sliding door, the building itself should be constructed facing east to west, minimizing the amount of sunlight exposure that’s allowed to enter the building. In the same way, buildings with large doors or those structures with only three sides should be built so that large openings face away from prevailing winds. Doing so will not only save on heating (or cooling) but also prevent any rain, snow, dust or other climatic elements from getting blown into the structure.
Does venting really matter?
When barns or similar structures are intended to store hay or livestock, make sure they’re designed to remain as open as possible in the gables (or peaks of the roof), allowing condensation to escape as the hay dries. This is actually a good rule to follow in general, even when constructing a garage for equipment or workspace. By providing ample venting, you allow condensation to escape and greatly reduce the potential for corrosion and rust within the structure itself – a consideration that is especially crucial in environments with a consistently high level of humidity.
How tall should the building walls be?
Finally, eave height should be at least 14 feet high to provide the minimum clearance for most uses. And this number may go up if you’re storing large equipment or need extra room.
How much will the agricultural building cost?
As mentioned above, the particulars of your needs and usage will dictate the exact specifications of each agricultural building kit, with factors like eave height, roof pitch, windows and doors, as well as the rating for wind and snow, all contributing to the final price. In general, here’s what you can expect to pay for common agricultural buildings.
- Open lean-to with overhang: $15 to $16 per square foot
- Enclosed lean-to with overhang: $18 to $20 per square foot
- Pole Barn (standard): $15 to $20 per square foot
- Pole Barn (indoor arena): $13 to $15 per square foot
- Garages: $25 to $32 per square foot
- Horse Barns: $31 to $38 per square foot
And don’t forget the concrete slab which, depending on your location, slab thickness and size, can run anywhere from $3 to $5 per square foot.