How to Build a Durable Agricultural Building-315Barns, stables, sheds and other farm-type buildings require sturdy, permanent construction to withstand severe weather conditions, heavy loads, and the pounding from equipment and livestock. Shortcuts in construction become very costly when the building requires replacement or the contents become damaged.

Sturdy Post Frame Construction

Post frame-built barns and other agricultural buildings have proven to survive severe conditions better than many conventionally built structures. Following severe winds or tornados in the Midwest, post frame buildings have frequently remained standing while others nearby were flattened.

One reason post frame or properly built pole barns remain standing in extreme conditions lies in the anchoring system. Post frame buildings consist of wood-hewn vertical supports, spaced 8-12 feet apart that are sunk at least four feet into the ground.

For extra support, the vertical members can be properly anchored in concrete piers to provide further stability. As high winds strike the building, the forces transfer from the sides into the ground through the deeply set posts.

Plan Ahead

In areas where prevailing winds can kick up to dangerous levels, orient the building, if possible, to offer the least amount of exposure. The  USDA even provides a helpful tool to assist you and the designer to situate your agricultural building to avoid the maximum impact of the winds.

Use the Best Materials

Finding cheaper components is not the best way to ensure a permanent building. One essential element of a long-lasting structure is in the high-quality materials that are used. Consider that the contents of the structure may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, so saving on materials including wood, metal, and fasteners by cutting quality can be a bad economic decision.

Solid Engineering

Make sure that the design of the structure is proven and is engineered to handle the loads required. Check the credentials, references, and history of the designer to be more confident that your building is one that will last.

If a loft is to be part of the building, the support beams and trusses must be sufficiently engineered to support excessive loads. The truss to column connections must be secured with bolts, rather than screws or nails.

Secure the Right Sheathing with Screws, not Nails

High-quality hard steel panels are better solutions for durability than softer versions. Not only will these withstand harsh weather better, but the better material also resists denting from hail, equipment impact, or animal hooves.

In high winds, metal siding receives the direct force of the wind. Securing the panels with screws is the best solution for ensuring that building will remain intact.

Hire the Best Construction Crew

The best builders make the best buildings. Even though building a post frame barn or stable is a simpler that with other methods, the process must be exacting with no shortcuts or “improvisations.” An experienced crew with the right tools will construct a sturdy, long-lasting building.

Reduce Moisture

Moisture can accumulate within any building and cause problems for the building, flooring, and the equipment and animals within. A well-ventilated interior is the best answer to reducing moisture accumulation. Adding vents all around and a moisture guard like DripStop in the roofing area can prevent moisture from creating problems.

High-Quality Windows and Doors

The best doors and windows will keep the weather out and let the outdoor in whenever you choose. However, high-quality windows and doors can seal the space and keep everything dry while protecting the interior from high winds. If the building is heated in the winter, proper doors and windows will reduce your energy costs over the long haul.

Quality Saves Money

The best quality designer, construction crew, and materials can ensure your agricultural building will last a long time and maintain its initial appearance longer. Thinking ahead and sticking with the best components will pay off in the long run.