building a new barn . . . ideas?


17 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Benton Twp., Michigan
We’d like to build a barn on the site of our old barn, and we need some input/advice.

The building I have in mind would be a 30’X20’ barn with two levels. Our old barn has a slope where you could drive the combine around back and into the upper level. I’d like to do something similar, but with maybe only a 10’ roof up there, rather than the 20’ of the old barn (we don’t have acres of hay to store, only a tractor and goat and chicken feed!).

I’d like to have 2-3 sky lights and light panels on the sides of the barn. I’m thinking metal standing-seam roof, downspouts, and 4” insulation.

Does this sound right? Has anyone got suggestions for a manufacturer? The ones I’ve looked at (Morton, Rhino) only seem to build enormous buildings; I don’t think of our barn as enormous.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
I take it you've *really* thought hard about whether you truly need a two-story barn? They are generally more expensive to build (per usable floor area) than a one-story barn with equivalent total floorspace, ESPECIALLY if the floor has to be strong enough to support a tractor or combine. Also if you store hay or straw upstairs, they are a lot more of a fire and dust hazard to anything in the 'downstairs'.

If you really want to do it that way, like if you genuinely only have 20x30' of flattish ground, then what you need is an Amish or Mennonite building crew. Really truly. (Unless you are in some part of the country where no such folks exist). Ask around -- your local feed store, feedmill, stock auction, your hay supplier, things like that. You just have to find the right people who know the right other people who know people who do it.

But it would be ever so much cheaper, simpler and frankly safer and more efficient to build it as a one-story post-and-beam or pole barn. Amish or Mennonite crews may still be a good way to go, but conventional pole-building companies are also an option or frankly you could build it yourself.

BTW I'd suggest having translucent panels high on the barn walls but NOT as skylights, as they tend to develop incurable leaks in time when put in the roof, very very annoying

Good luck,

Build in a working Cupola or two, meaning a Cupola that has a fan in it with an adjustable speed control. Makes it great in the summer to keep air flow through the barn. This is a 24' X 24' Morton barn.

Patandchickens: No, the 2nd story isn't necessary; DH suggests regrading the area and using the dirt to level out the chicken yard (the dirt ramp was probably built). BTW, the current barn WAS Amish built in the 1800's -- huge hand-cut beams and all. We hate to demolish it, but don't think we could afford to bring it to a safe, useful state.

ThreeBoysChicks: What a lovely building! That's the sort of thing I really want! Only bigger!
Well after reading your other thread I see you are just about a neighbor.

I am a licensed building contractor and could take a look at what you have, see if anything could be done to it.

If you are looking for new I could give you a bid on the entire project. I can PM you my website so you can see the quality of work I do.

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