Farm Shop Design Series: Floors and Approaches

February 19, 2018

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.

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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