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Living in a metal barn

Discussion in 'Survival (Preps & Homestead)' started by GodspeedMetals, Sep 17, 2012.



  1. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Wifey and I are planning to move to Maine. Just. One. Problem.

    We don't have a home yet. While taking multiple trips up north, we realized that the perfect home (in our price range) does not exist. We're talking $70k - $85k in a specific location. Either the home is too small, the lot size is too small, or there are medium to massive repairs in the near future, etc.

    I was wondering if anyone has purchased a metal (steel) barn with metal roof and added wood post and beams inside? Then insulate and dry-wall.

    What do you think?

    I'm sure the cost (metal barn kit + permits + contractors) will end up something similar (hopefully less) than a stick built home, but our logic is, buy the land you want + build the home you want = happy retirement.

    Any thoughts from the experts?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
     
  2. goldie40

    goldie40 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    why not skip the cost of the metal barn kit and just build a wooden pole barn on piers and close it in? A 16X 60 ft could be built fairly cheap, made livable, yet insulated better than a mobile home, in a few yrs, an addition could be built in any dirrection and even a basement could be put under the addition.
     
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  3. TimoneX

    TimoneX Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    What about wiring? Plumbing? Foundation? Sounds like quite an undertaking. Get's COLD up there too! I wouldn't be surprised if you could get a modular screwed together for less than or similar to your barn when all is said and done. Likely be a whole bunch more cozy.

    A modular mind you, not a manufactured home. Hold the VIN #.

    http://www.modulartoday.com/Pinnacle-Building-Systems.html
     
  4. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I'll have to revisit the pole barn costs... but it appeared that the metal barn kits were more cost effective (and no termites!).

    We like the post and beam look as well and better reinforced - especially if you're looking to add a second story above.

    thanks Goldie.
     
  5. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Hmmmm, modular is about $90 - $100 per square foot.

    We're hoping the final math comes out to be $50 - $60 per square foot (perhaps I'm just dreaming).

    Insulation is key, I reckon, and site placement. We intend to wire minimum electric, keep costs down. Perhaps have the water heater heat some of the home since it's on 24/7 anyway, right? Get a wood stove and pellet stove and manage a forced heat system (for upstairs too).
     
  6. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I know just about anything you need to know about the process......we have several in the family......it is a wonderful way to get a super efficient low maintenance home as long as you are comfortable with the exterior aesthetics, all the ones we have were built as pole barns then infilled either partially or fully


    one major negative that might be impossible for you to overcome.......in our area these types of homes are not apraisable as a standard home so financing is not available through typical means and rates

    Edit:......ours are super insulated we ended up with 10"~ and 12"~ insulated total thickness walls, the current one i live in we heat/cool 36k cubic feet to our desired comfort level year round on electric ground source heat pump for about 100$ a month total electric utilites most of that electric goes for cooking etc
     
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  7. goldie40

    goldie40 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    the posts and floor joist would be presure treated lumber and by code, the post can't be set in the ground or concrete, they have to set on concrete in a http://www.strongtie.com/products/connectors/CBSQ.asp

    no termites
     
  8. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    JUST THE MAN I'M LOOKING FOR.

    We love the barn look - it's humble and feels like home (I grew up near a large red barn in Red Hook, NY). We enjoy the open floor plan inside.

    What's the cost difference between pole barns and post and beam? Any other differences I should be on the lookout? Structural strength, etc?

    Thanks for the heads up on financing. We intend to pay GIM style. Barter with copper penny rolls!

    Thanks Taz
     
  9. TnAndy

    TnAndy retired guy Platinum Bling

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    I'm not sure exactly what a "metal barn with metal roof" is.....some kind of kit ?

    I've seen quite a few folks do pole barns, then finish the insides.....but that seems like a waste of materials to me.....the whole point of pole barns is that you don't finish the inside. If you plan to finish the inside, simply stick frame the whole thing, and forget the expense of the poles.

    IF you're able to do most of the work, you ought to be able to get a decent stick framed home done in the 50/sqft range.
     
  10. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    Lots of people around here have a steel or pole barn built and then they build an upstairs apartment. It has to be at least 14 feet tall to do the upstairs. I would go with a steel sided wood frame pole barn without a slab and build an apartment upstairs. You can pour the slab when you have more money.
     
  11. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    LOL...i can feed you answers in small doses here are a few ...keep asking questions

    (pole barn) is normally in our area defined as a structure that has posts around the outside perimeter and the roof is full span trusses (the floor is open inside with no columns)

    (post and beam) is more defined in our area as columns and beams so you normally have rafers out of 2x and wood columns on a grid required to hold your roof up


    I am a open floor plan sort of guy so everything i have is the "pole barn" style with full span trusses then i built whatever i wanted inside of the big "shell" it was quicker and cheaper in my opinion

    something to think about is ....do you want a concrete floor on grade or a wood (crawl space floor) .....i have done both each presents different challenges worth considering

    following is a inprogress picture showing a 15' ceiling kitchen and common area on my lodge out in the boonies built as described with concrete floors the trusses you see are totally cosmetic and non structural sorry about the dark pic but it was all i had, and in this case with the concrete floor i used exposed spiral duct hvac you can see
     

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
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  12. arminius

    arminius Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Here's a thought.

    barn 003.jpg

    Probably in the range of 10 to 20k, depending...
     
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  13. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Impressive!

    getting a concrete slab looks to be expensive and a wood crawl space floor seems unstable.

    About how high does the concrete slab need to be?
     
  14. techguy2

    techguy2 Meh Gold Chaser

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    It is VERY common here in texas for people to metal pole barns with living quarters. Many build the pole barn as a house only, but quite a few are hybrid barn/workshop/homes. One of the guys that works for me has a brother that built/lives in one.

    Check out http://www.nationalbarn.com/ they build custom pole barns, and are relatively inexpensive. We will probably use one when we buy property further out for retirement.
     
  15. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    concrete slab is on the ground....normally 4" thick....it means after you put it in it is very difficult to put anything new under it...IE plumbing ...ducts...electrical...so most have to be ran through walls or roof cavities

    a crawl space floor is very typcial to standard home construction at least in our area 99% of homes are crawlspace or basement so it is a fine construction method and it is easy to add underfloor items later if needed


    with a concrete floor you do not lose any space due to floor thickness.......crawl space floor normally costs you 2-3' of height

    deciding what type of floor you want is a major consideration for any home construction ...lots of pro's and con's either way......like i said we have pole barn homes built both ways..

    i went with concrete because i do a lot of commercial construction and it was a natural fit ...plus i built the barns for storage then went back later and infilled them
     
  16. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Two words for insulating SPRAY FOAM. Its not the cheapest upfront but the energy cost savings pay out in the longer run.

    I also added a walk out basement under my house with the ICF concrete forms that are 2" of foam, 6" concrete and 2" of foam, comes out to like r44. Neighbor down the road from me built a two story shed slab on grade and poured 16' walls using them and ran vaulted trusses over the top for a super energy efficient building that you could almost heat with a candle.

    BP
     
  17. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I received an opinion from an architect. He's saying I'm SOL, in terms of cost savings to building a pole barn compared to a stick-built home in northern Maine. I will have to build a cape cod-style pole barn to pull it off - but he has his doubts about that too (considering that I was a 2-story home).

    If I were to venture into building a pole barn, I'll be buying a lot more 2 x 10 and 2 x 12 lumber to use for beams across the tops of the posts and even along the perimeter of the floor structure (unless I opt for concrete floors). And each pole will be 8 feet apart. My specs would need a few more poles. More lumber means more $$$. He also noted that where he is, in SE Pennsylvania, the finished product could range from $135 to $150 per sq.ft. Perhaps there's no Amish in his neck of the woods.

    As for the metal barn structure (like a gambrel roof barn), I'm waiting back for his opinion.

    Thanks for your feedback, everyone.
     
  18. Fiat Metaler

    Fiat Metaler Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    you can buy already built places for a lot less than that in most areas. why go to the boonies if real estate costs twice as much; doesn't that largely defeat the purpose?
     
  19. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I think his estimate was way over. I'll need to find a builder in Maine (duh!). If I'm real lucky, I can get in touch with some Amish builders and get an estimate.

    We're not interested in a property where we can see the whites of our neighbors' eyes. But I don't think we're looking to move to the boonies either. Just more arm's length with others and some breathing room. Up in northern Maine, many of the homes we saw had structural damage and not at all impressed with many of them (old homes with older couples unable/or not wanting to keep up with repairs). So we considered building our dream/retirement home instead. Nothing fancy. Just a barn with an open floor plan in a location of our choosing.

    I'll be making another trip up soon and network. We'll figure it out :vollkommenauf:
     
  20. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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  21. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Be sure to check the areas zoning and housing laws.

    Where we built you wouldn't get occupancy approved with any pole barn type of house, one county to the north no problem.

    It can be tricky, good luck!
     
  22. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    Hey, Arminus. That looks real familiar, like in 50 feet away from where I'm sitting.
     
  23. arminius

    arminius Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    :haha: So that's where I got that pic... Right here on GIM, LOL...

    Actually It's a structure that I admire for it's simplicity. It's what I would build if I were in the OP's shoes...

    :emotions16: Here's to you, hoarder...
     
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  24. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    OK.......i have a local brochure in my hands.....you can get built (material/labor/taxes) in my area a 40 x 60 x 12 shell for $12,249.00........or slightly more than 5$ a sq/ft.......and i know you can get one taller 16' tall with the concrete floor for under10 $ a foot........of course you need to do all the infill and utilities......so this over a $100 a foot is some kinda wild azz pricing.......usually you can infill/frame and finish out the insides for under $50 a foot and have something nice.......utilities are on top of everything of course

    as Irons said its VERY important for any kind of structure to check your local codes way early in the planning process
     
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  25. rad

    rad New Member

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  26. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yep, I'll check with the town office. I've asked locals, realtors, the guy at the general store... they give you a funny look and say: "It's your land, it's your business."

    My kinda town!!
     
  27. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I have no clue for your location....but here there are 4 entities you need to check codes for if you live in them....CIty ...county.....state.....utility............and whoever regulates sewer/septic/water
     
  28. orovicino

    orovicino Seeker Seeker

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    :banana: Some time ago I sold metal buildings in Texas, and there was this great kit structure, with integral windows, doors, insulation, plumbing, and wiring in factory made sandwich panels.
    the only thing to do was pour a slab, and bolt the panels together. :banana:
     
  29. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yea, gotta love Texas. I think they call them "Barndominiums".

    But I haven't seen any that support a second floor (yet).
     
  30. Garyw

    Garyw Am I a Retired Veteran or a Right Wing Fanatic? Silver Miner

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    I have seen it done. you can also add more tin and make a faraday cage out of it.
     
  31. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    the barn is just a shell........and Garyw yes they seem to work like a faraday cage with a full metal outside i know mine blocks cell phone siginals completely so i have to have a repeater antenna on the roof

    Godspeedmetals .....the barn part is just a shell as long as you have the height you can stick build as many floors,stairs,walls you want inside, the inside structure has very little to do with the outside shell building

    One of my concerns since i live in tornado alley was really nothing short of concrete or being underground can stand a tornado so i did build in a concrete safe room in mine that doubles as a "vault" if need be
     
  32. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    How much did you pay for the concrete foundation/safe room, if I may ask? Or did you DIY?

    I've made contact with a Maine builder and hope to sort this out for what we're trying to do. A simple steel barn setup (40x48 or slightly less) with gambrel metal roof. 2-story interior. I'll keep everyone posted as we move along. My #1 concern is keeping costs down. Retirement is more expensive these days :hmpf:
     
  33. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    It's a good point. But the metal attracts me... for some reason :fisheye:

    I suppose I can shop around and get some salvaged wood from broke down barns, etc. But it may cost me more to buy and transport to my site. And it may need to get cut to size. Perhaps too much hassle than getting a prefab kit, all the bolts and screws, with instructions in English.

    Plus, the steel barn will less likely need roofing repairs in the near future and less of a fire hazard (knock on wood). Perhaps I can get a break on my home insurance, if that's the case.

    When we first considered the idea, we figured, "just get a barn, insulate it, add windows, a front door, add a second floor, utilities, appliances, add concrete, a wood floor, furnish and relax". That easy?
     
  34. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    we did it ourselves.....laid blocks every cell filled with 4000psi cement and #6 rebar here is a picture inside and outside pre-roof pour .....i really have no clue what its total cost was.....the posts inside remove after the concrete sets....
     

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  35. Jimfrancisco

    Jimfrancisco Seeker Seeker

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    You can get a sectional building way cheaper than that - built on site. I had one done that ended up costing £60k - but that was fully fitted out, and had to be taken in 44 lorry loads - the boys that build these can put them together and plumb them up as fast as you can bring the sections in. It was 440m squared - soo00 about 4000 sqft.
    So you have a house, bathroom, heating (oil, about 40kW) for that sort of money - and who needs a house that size, regardless!
     
  36. Treasure Searcher

    Treasure Searcher Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    Since you are setting up a building up in Maine, remember the snow load.

    Whether its a kit, do it yourself or whatever, you want the roof to hold up to whatever snowfall they have.

    Local builders in the area you plan to build, probably have the most expertise on this topic.
     
  37. GodspeedMetals

    GodspeedMetals Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Agreed. I learned the snow is much lighter in Maine than the lower Northeast... less moisture. Why? I don't know.

    But snow is snow and they get a lot of it.
     
  38. Lt Dan

    Lt Dan Gold Pirate Gold Chaser

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    GodSpeed
    Just a note for your interest, we have friends moved here to Ohio and needed a place fast for their horses. They put up one of those pole barns, built it on the large size, got tired of building and just finished off an apartment on one side for them to live in. Since their kids were grown and and it was just the two of them, that was all they needed. They had land enough, the grown kids built their own homes next door. Ha! Kids couldn't move in with them and still grandkids are close. The Horse/barn/home works great for them and their horses.

    While I have been to their home/barn, I was only in the barn part and did not see how they handled the finishings such as plumbing - heating, but I'm sure it is sufficient. I'm also sure they saved a lot by just finishing off part for them to live in rather than building a separate house. Wife got a tour and said all was ample for what they needed.

    BTW, there is no building code where they bought and moved, so no BS to put up with, only thing is the septic and well requirements, which do require permits.
     
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  39. GOLD DUCK

    GOLD DUCK Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    QWAK,How about a fabric building you can move?? :hmmmm2:

    http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/cat1a;ft1_tension_fabric_buildings.html

    I have a small 10'x12' greenhouse I got from this place and I bought a tarp made out of the white and tan material to put over it.:thumbs_up:

    The clear green house material can be expected to last 5 to 7 years and with the white tarp over it almost indefinitly as storage space which I use it for at the moment. Been up 4 years and seen strong winds and ice storms.It has to be staked and ancored down but I am happily suprised how well it has held up I see no deterioration at all after 4 years! :thumbs_up::23_28_100s:

    I supose if I had to I could live in it.:hmmmm2:

    the DUCK :s9:
     
  40. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    :cheerful: next you will have them living in a tent:cheerful:
     

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