Steel pole barn, gravel driveway and 40' shipping container

mcmxi

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An ambitious plan for this year includes tearing down an existing and poorly built 15'x40' barn, building a new 30'x60' steel barn with a covered area for implements and trailers, putting in a new gravel driveway and placing a 40' shipping container. I'm in the process of designing the steel trusses and figuring out where I want everything to go.

As a start, here are photos of the existing barn, and my plans for the locations of the new barn (red), driveway (grey), gravel areas (grey) and container (blue).

The photos don't show the 9,000 sq.ft. of asphalt on the current driveway and in front of the garage and house.





 
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Gallows

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Looking forward to seeing your build come together.
 
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mcmxi

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Thanks for the interest. I should probably buy a drone to get some good overhead shots! 😂

First thing to do is to clear out the old barn once spring is really here, then tear it down while trying to salvage as much useful material as possible. After that I need to move a lot of dirt and get a flat area established for the barn and container. I plan to start with a gravel floor in the barn but could pour a concrete floor at some time in the future. I don't like undoing things so will most likely get the pad set up as though I were pouring a floor from the get go. It would be helpful if the grapple and box blade that I ordered from EA were here already but I'll just have to make do with the bucket and rear blade on the MX to get the dirt moved. I also have the BX with the backhoe if I need to dig out some big rocks which is the norm up here.

Once I have the area graded I'll rent a post hole digger with a 10" or 12" auger and set sonotubes 40" into the ground. Then I'll set steel pipe into the tubes, pour concrete and start working on the trusses. I'll most likely make a jib-boom for the MX loader to help with setting the trusses.

You know what they say about "the best laid plans" ... that's all for now.
 
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mcmxi

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The state of Montana mandates a minimum snow load rating of 30 psf (pounds per sq. ft) for a roof, but after running through a bunch of calculations for 4/12 and 6/12 pitches, and looking at the "50 year ground snow load" for where I live which is 58.1 psf, I get the following loads for a 30 ft span truss at 10' on center. In other words, the interior trusses need to be able to support these loads.

4/12: 12,500 lb
6/12: 11,783 lb

That's just the snow load, not the weight of the truss, purlins or steel roofing sheets. The calculations assume a steel roof, unheated, with no shelter within 100 feet.

I'm playing around with various A36 steel sections to figure out the cheapest way to build a truss that will take those loads. The factor of safety doesn't need to be much over 1.0 since the loading is based on a 50 year "worst case" event. I'll post some images of truss models when I've got this optimized.

I've decided to fabricate the trusses myself since they are ridiculously expensive to transport to Montana. Seven 30' trusses would cost a couple of thousand dollars, but when you include $5K or so to ship here it gets ridiculous.
 
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bird dogger

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The place we bought was lacking a good storage shed. After deciding to put up a 50x70 ft shop/shed, I went looking for a contractor. I was planning to do the same as you. Start with a pole barn and then at some time pour a concrete floor inside of it. The contractor advised to go the concrete route right from the start and said I'd be surprised at the cost difference. His reasoning was that the ease of working off of a flat concrete pad would save a huge chunk of labor costs to offset the concrete pad expense. He offered to draw up a bid both ways and did. The bids almost came back the same and it turned out to be one awful cheap concrete pad in place right from the start.

The concrete floor would also make the perfect spot for laying out and building those large rafters and a solid level floor to use for raising them up into place. We were lucky with them prebuilt here only a few miles away and they set them with a boom truck. The same would apply for putting your walls together.

One of my close neighbors built a nice pole barn in the 40x60 ft range. Sheeted with steel and future plans of pouring a concrete floor down the road. For the last two years he couldn't figure out why the dirt was settling so much on one side of his shed....even the end walls. No steel was buckling, yet the gap along the ground grew by up to 6 inches along the side. I set up my surveyors level (Wild Heerbrugg) and we shot levels under each rafter right next to each post. Mystery solved! One side of his building was lifting out of the ground almost perfectly and without causing any steel to buckle. The overhead door still functioned but was starting to rub in the tracks on the low side. We plan to dig down with the backhoe in one spot to see just what kind of a footing and how deep it actually is. He'll need to fix this issue before he can think about pouring his floor. He sure wished he would've built off of a nice floating slab to begin with. We'll find out if his builders scrimped on his post footings or not.

You'll have control over everything when your doing most/all of the work yourself. But it wouldn't hurt to do a cost analysis of concrete/no concrete vs. the labor savings and ease of some of the different stages of the build. Not to mention the benefit of the concrete floor right from the beginning.

Wish I was closer, I'd love to help out!!
 
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mcmxi

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The place we bought ....

... Not to mention the benefit of the concrete floor right from the beginning.

Wish I was closer, I'd love to help out!!
bird dogger, thanks for the very generous sentiment and you make a number of excellent points. I haven't priced out a concrete slab but if I were to do it myself I'd need about 33 yards (6" thick) which would cost around $3,300 at current delivery prices in this area. A contractor would probably charge me $10K for a 30'x60'x6" slab. Since the barn will be used to store tractors, implements, tools, firewood etc. a gravel floor will be fine, and although I understand your point about incrementalism, sometimes it's the best way forward. I don't foresee any heaving problems up here. The ground is very dry and I'm on bedrock of some sort. If I can get sonotubes 40" into the ground before hitting a rock shelf I'll be fine. If I hit big rocks I'll pour directly onto them since they aren't going to heave.

Everything at my place is poorly built with the exception of the important parts of the house i.e. foundation, walls and glulam beams (five) that support the upstairs and roof. I'm planning on tearing down the garage at some point and possibly replacing it with a shop and living quarters, then building a new garage attached to the house. Those would be better places to spend money on nice concrete floors. Lot's of plans but not enough time or money!

Talking of Arizona, I work for a company with a presence in Prescott and have to drive down there early next month. They don't want me to fly or else I'd need to quarantine for 14 days.
 

Old_Paint

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Hmmmn? A working vacation in Arizona next winter doesn't sound all that bad. Do they have cold beer in Arizona? :unsure:
I do in Alabama. Homemade.
 
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85Hokie

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I've decided to fabricate the trusses myself since they are ridiculously expensive to transport to Montana. Seven 30' trusses would cost a couple of thousand dollars, but when you include $5K or so to ship here it gets ridiculous.
If you use wooden gussets - glue them too. I have been making trusses for 30 plus years for boat houses to horse barns. Plywood gussets with glue nailed in place will be as strong or stronger than the gang nail plates.
 
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bird dogger

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bird dogger, thanks for the very generous sentiment and you make a number of excellent points. I haven't priced out a concrete slab but if I were to do it myself I'd need about 33 yards (6" thick) which would cost around $3,300 at current delivery prices in this area. A contractor would probably charge me $10K for a 30'x60'x6" slab. Since the barn will be used to store tractors, implements, tools, firewood etc. a gravel floor will be fine, and although I understand your point about incrementalism, sometimes it's the best way forward. I don't foresee any heaving problems up here. The ground is very dry and I'm on bedrock of some sort. If I can get sonotubes 40" into the ground before hitting a rock shelf I'll be fine. If I hit big rocks I'll pour directly onto them since they aren't going to heave.

Everything at my place is poorly built with the exception of the important parts of the house i.e. foundation, walls and glulam beams (five) that support the upstairs and roof. I'm planning on tearing down the garage at some point and possibly replacing it with a shop and living quarters, then building a new garage attached to the house. Those would be better places to spend money on nice concrete floors. Lot's of plans but not enough time or money!

Talking of Arizona, I work for a company with a presence in Prescott and have to drive down there early next month. They don't want me to fly or else I'd need to quarantine for 14 days.
Your reasoning is completely understandable! When I read your first post, I thought I'd respond and throw out some points to consider. Everybody's situation is different. Plus, somebody in the future reading your thread might benefit from all the different considerations offered. In our immediate area the soil conditions can change in the short distance of 100 yards and a wet fall season before freeze up can really cause the different soils to shift and heave up anything that's not set extra deep. Not sure how far down the bedrock is here but it seems like they can drive steel pilings down until they get tired of adding sections on top and finally say enough is enough! LOL! good luck on your project. You've already got a beautiful spot as is!! Can't imagine how nice it will be when your plans are realized.
Regards,
David
 
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mcmxi

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If you use wooden gussets - glue them too. I have been making trusses for 30 plus years for boat houses to horse barns. Plywood gussets with glue nailed in place will be as strong or stronger than the gang nail plates.
When I bought this place back in 2014, one of the first projects was to repair five wooden trusses in the garage that the previous owner had cut in order to gain clearance for a garage door opener!! I used two floor jacks and a come-a-long to get the trusses back to where they should be, then "sistered" 2x4s to each side where he'd cut them using glue and screws.

I'll be making the barn trusses out of steel which offers some significant advantages over wood. Angle is probably the cheapest and fastest option but since used pipe is very reasonable locally a combination of used and new materials might make the most sense.

It's hard to find steel as cheap as this.

2-3/8" x .188" pipe is $1.30/ft
2-7/8" x .250" pipe is $1.90/ft
 

mcmxi

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Your reasoning is completely understandable! When I read your first post, I thought I'd respond and throw out some points to consider. Everybody's situation is different. Plus, somebody in the future reading your thread might benefit from all the different considerations offered. In our immediate area the soil conditions can change in the short distance of 100 yards and a wet fall season before freeze up can really cause the different soils to shift and heave up anything that's not set extra deep. Not sure how far down the bedrock is here but it seems like they can drive steel pilings down until they get tired of adding sections on top and finally say enough is enough! LOL! good luck on your project. You've already got a beautiful spot as is!! Can't imagine how nice it will be when your plans are realized.
Regards,
David
Your post was excellent and much appreciated. I like these threads for the reason you mention and the more eyes and minds the better. My career path has been construction laborer > welder > commercial diver/welder > mechanical engineer and currently am an engineer in the firearms industry. What this means is that I know enough to be dangerous so I'll happily welcome any and all input. I'm sure as this project moves along I'll be making some changes, and I have a lot to do before I have to make a decision on the concrete slab.
 
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Russell King

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Have you considered the barns where they set two containers down and put a roof spanning the distance between the two containers?
 
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Old_Paint

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Road trip!

Also, subbed. I want to see this shop!
You're always welcome over here. As long as you don't wear anything that resembles a BullDawg. :ROFLMAO:

The new shop is still on the wish list, but I'm doing a lot of prep work for it already. About all I have to do before I get a permit is move all the heavy equipment out of the existing shed, move it, hook the power back up, and I'm golden until the slab is poured and the building is up. I'm debating a form and pour, or maybe just pour and finish. It ain't rocket science to build and level a form. Wonder how much more that would save me on getting the concrete finished?
 
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