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.
Floors and approaches are another high-use item that need to be discussed when designing a new farm shop. In general, it is recommended to install a 6" reinforced concrete floor in the shop and wash bay, and 12” thick under the legs of a vehicle lift, with perimeter insulation and vapor barrier. The thick floor can handle heavy equipment; the vapor barrier reduces moisture migration into the building which can reduce R-values; and the perimeter insulation reduces conduction of cold into the building through the slab.
Will your mechanic projects benefit from a strategically placed crane? Many farmers enjoy the use of jib cranes (mounted to a reinforced section of the floor) to support projects which would be very hard to do otherwise. The base for the crane will be poured independently from the floor itself.
A surface hardener can be applied to reduce damage from dropped tools, etc. Surface sealers reduce stains and dust. Proper sealing of joints reduces dirt build-up in cracks. Be sure to discuss all these features with the concrete contractor so both are consistent in design and construction. As a reminder, there's no substitute for proper site preparation including good drainage and a proper building site. As a general “starter”, plan for a minimum of 6” of uniform compacted gravel under a 6” concrete floor.
Be sure to design exterior approaches for heavy loads and exterior conditions as exterior approaches are used by heavy equipment as much or more so than interior ones. A concrete apron outside of your building creates a work area when you can’t get equipment into the shop. In addition, frost footings through overhead door openings can assure a tight fit under the door.
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.