Our farm shop design blog series, written by Dan Nyberg, the Sales Training Manager at Morton Buildings, focuses on a variety of farm shop design ideas to help you in planning your next agricultural building.
When designing a new farm shop, the actual shop uses help determine the interior finishes to be installed. If noise is a major concern from tools or equipment, acoustical steel should be considered. Most buildings should have acoustical panels above the 8' level on the walls. If noise is a major concern, acoustical panels can be installed in the complete ceiling. Remember to use blanket insulation above all acoustical ceilings to eliminate possible insulation migration.
In general, the most cost effective use of acoustical panels, is above the 8' level on the walls. Below the 8' level, regular hi-rib panels give a low-maintenance, moisture-resistant and light reflective finish. Peg board can be installed in areas to hang tools and supplies for easy access. Others prefer 8' high OSB to avoid possible denting of the lower portion of the building's interior. Others install an interior hi-rib steel wainscot.
The ultimate shop interior is an 8' high 3/4" tongue and groove painted plywood finish with acoustical hi-rib panels above on the walls and a steel ceiling. The plywood offers impact resistance, the painted wall surface makes for easy cleaning and lighting, and acoustical panels allow for sound absorption. The regular hi-rib ceiling allows for good light reflectance, easy cleaning and the cost effectiveness of blown-in insulation in the attic.
When planning the interior rooms of the shop, it makes sense to design decks or lofts above for storage and for gravity flow liquid supplies. It is suggested to design for a minimum of 100 pounds per square foot design load deck. Give careful consideration to stairway locations, as many farmers use these decks like shelves and don't plan for stairway access. You can have a loft all down the one side and this gives room for a workbench under the loft. Lighting works good for benches this way.
Give thought to some of the potential processes in the shop that may benefit from an exhaust fan. If you will be setting up an area for welding (which creates significant fumes) or an area where you will tend to pressure wash – a strategically placed exhaust fan can be valuable. Consider the source for intake air (often an overhead door ‘cracked open’) and place the exhaust fan where the fumes will be removed from the building quickly rather than drawn across other areas in your shop.
It can also be helpful to have portable worktables, stacked welders, and tool caddies on wheels to ease the mobility and functional space for repairs.
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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.