January 1, 2018

Farm Shop Design Series: Building Location and Orientation

Farm shops have evolved in a similar fashion to farms. As the average farm size and complexity has increased dramatically over the last 50 years, so has the farm shop. A farm shop was once only a corner in a small outbuilding used to store a few tools. Then as machinery storage buildings became popular, the farm shop became an area that was designated by a concrete floor and a workbench. As repair cost and equipment size increased, more and more machinery area was taken up as the repair area, that is, the shop.

Today’s farmer/businessman knows that a farm shop is an essential tool needed to assure the continued success of the operation.  This blog series, written by Dan Nyberg, the Sales Training Manager at Morton Buildings, will focus on a variety of farm shop design ideas to help you in planning your next agricultural building. 

Location and Orientation of the New Shop

The most important factor to consider when building a farm shop is location.  Location determines satisfaction with the final product. Can you locate the doors on the south side? In most cases, this is a better option as when doors open you avoid cold northerly wind and the solar gain on south sidewall can be significant.

The shop building should be central to the farming operation so tools will be handy for use. If a shop is properly located, tools will be returned after use, the facility will be used to its maximum potential and the shop will become an asset to the farmstead. Remember that the shop is not just a place to work in when it's cold.  Think of the shop as a giant tool box utilized by several different people simultaneously. While one piece of equipment is torn down inside, another may be outside being worked on in the staging area.  Another person may be using the workbench. Thus, it is important that the shop be centrally located.

Also, when planning the location of the farm shop, remember that every shop needs hot and cold running water, plus a bathroom with a shower.  Finally, you will want to consider the visible ‘connection’ to the balance of the operation.  If you have a grain leg with load and unload – being able to see that from inside the shop – without opening a big door – is very valuable.   Being able to “keep an eye” on the house – and those coming and going there easily is a real plus if possible.      

Browse more completed farm shop projects!

About Dan Nyberg, Sales Training Manager, Morton Buildings 

Dan Nyberg has been employed with Morton Buildings for 28 years, where he held a variety of positions such as sales consultant, regional manager, and director of sales.  He has also served as a board member of the National Frame Building Association for nine years. Dan has been involved with farming most of his life, from living on a dairy farm as a child, moving back to a mixed livestock and grain farm in high school, to managing a personal farm in Colorado focused on horse-drawn events.  He has experience with beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, horses and mules.  Dan currently farms 72 acres with a herd of 23 Devon/Hereford cattle and owns three Morton buildings.

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