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Steel Framed barn anyone

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larryv
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 12 Rochester, NY
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2003-09-02          63101


I am working on my barn plans. My intention is to have a 30 x 50 barn. I would like to have a loft over half of it, with sufficient height to put an office. Since I would like to have 10 ft on the base level and preferably an 8 ft knee wall on the level with the loft that would suggest an 18 ft sidewall height. I would like to have a clear span with no interior poles. So ... Trusses would reduce loft height. I was thinking about a steel frame. Has anyone gone this route? Any sense for the cost difference?
Thanks,
Larry

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-09-03          63114


Sorry I can't speak to experience and prices. It sounds like you've been into design a bit so you probably already know how wide the loft would be with 8' knee walls and a typical pitched roof for a barn. I think there'd be a fair bit of space outside the knee walls for storage maybe and the office wouldn't be very wide.

If you haven't checked codes already, there may be minimum floor loads requirements even for barn structures. Codes would dictate the type trusses needed. Steel is one option for reducing truss heights but various manufactured beams also are available.

If you haven't done so already, I'd ask my building inspector what codes apply and what needs to be done. Inspectors usually can look up loading requirements as well as the types of materials and designs that are acceptable. Of course it's easy for me to ask the inspector in my municipality of 250 people. We all know each other, and the inspector and I are on volunteer fire crew.

The one thing I'd calculate carefully is the barn door height after the loft ceiling is designed, the door header requirement is known and the type door is selected. You could end up with barn door that's too low to drive your tractor through--or maybe a tractor you'll get in the future. I guess the barn door could be in the half that doesn't have a loft over it, but adequate door height is something you want to be certain of.
....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2003-09-03          63116


We have sold some and they worked fine. The cost is more but the insureance is cheaper. I would go with what ever is right for you. Have you thought about post and beam? ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2003-09-03          63122


I used 12 foot sidewalls and steel trusses on 10 foot centers. I have enough height for a lot and have a little over the bathroom area, but do not have a gambrel roof design. My barn is 42 x 60 though.
I used a standard barn truss used in the chicken barns, which are designed for a post barn. There are a number of manufactures in AL. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7160 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-09-03          63128


As Art mentioned the initial cost of building is slightly higher, but IMHO, well worth it.

My shop at home (my pic. # 2) is a 40' x 50' with 14' wall height. I set it up with two 12' x 12' doors at one end and a 15' wide mezzanine at the other end, the washroom, workbench, etc., is all under the loft. I still have 35' of full height space, more than enough for anything I need to put in there. I found I had too much shop space used up with 'parking' so I added a 4.5 car garage onto the end later.

It has worked out very well and if I had to do it all over again the only thing I would change would be to re-arrange the layout so that I had one bay where I could drive in the front and out the back, then when I am working on a big trailer I could drive right through instead of trying to fiddle around backing up, and to allow better cross-ventilation to get rid of welding fumes, dust from sand-blasting, etc.

Best of luck. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2003-09-03          63136


I have a steel framed barn building. It is not as tall as the one that you are talking about, but I do have storage above 8 ft interior rooms. I think the roof peak is about 16 ft. My barn is 30X40 and is insulated in the enclosed areas.

I am getting ready to put in another building that will have a 14' tall door and will be about 18' at the roof peak. It will be 40 X 60 steel construction. This building will not have any interior columns and the current 30X40 does not have any either.

My last custom machine shop building that I built, I did with conventional construction to match my house on the same lot. It had 15' tall interior walls and was fully drywalled inside with heating and AC. It was VERY expensive compared to the steel buildings. ($60 per square foot) It had a hoist/trolley built into the structure, but it was not worth the extra cost.

....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7160 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-09-03          63138


I almost put a gantry crane in my shop, for loading & unloading the mezzanine, but decided it wasn't worth it for the few times I need to move something that heavy. Then I thought about a forklift, but realized I already have enough things to find parking for so went with forks on the loader intead. I'm really glad I didn't enclose the second floor, access is great with it being open, I can set a loaded pallet on the deck directly where I want it.

My next project for the shop is an elevator for the mezzanine. Stairs and I aren't on good terms, especially if I'm carrying something heavy.

Best of luck. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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arcn11thacr
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7 lake city fl.
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2003-09-03          63139


I just left the enginer's office this am, I am building at 30x60 (30x40 enclosed the rest a dirt floor to park the new tc33d i will buy soon). I am ordering schedule 40 3'id round stock (21 ft lengths) and 3x3x1/4 (20 and 40 ft lengths) angle from berman brothers in jax fl. they will ship it on a flat bed to my house where i cut it to length.
the wife will drive the loader w/my welder,the piece of metal i intend to put in place and myself in the bucket. by welding i save considerable cost in fasteners and time to drill holes etc... a given weld of certian size is equivelent to a certian size bolt in strength, you just have to know the spec's (not hard to find from your local library or welding shop). As someone posted earlier there is someone in alabama who pre fabs truses, am unsure where but will find out. they can make it cheaper than i can. As for the tin i would suggest you use a 22-27 cal. remington nail gun, put the tin in place and simply "nail" your case hardened nail through the tin into the 1/4 in wall thickness i have suggested above. trust me it works, they work great for more than JUST concrete. I intend to drop 3inch pvc pipe in the concrete before pouring (strap it good so it does not move) for electrical and air hoses, heat the end w/ a torch to make a gentle sweep (cheaper than buying and you get a beter sweep to fit your specific need in my opinion). if you intend to put a table in a certian place add pipes spcificly for that area to have air/power to the table, this keeps you from having a million hoses/cords to trip over. hense... a 4x6 table use only a 10-12 ft air hose w/a quick disconnect instead of a 50 ft hose from your air tank across the room. i will drop every extra piece of pvc i can in the floor strategicly w/caps in the end for later use since your shop is like a hot rod it's "never finished". when you decide you need a line in a certian pipe just stuff a ya'llmart bag w/a string attached in one end and a shop vac in the other and pull what ever you intend to use through the pipe w/ the string. make sure you put plenty of "deadmans" in your floor, never know when you will need to "pull" something such as a truck frame, etc... as posted earlier, make sure to follow your local guidelines lest you get into more bs than you want to. sorry it was so long, i got on a roll. hope this helps. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2003-09-03          63141


I would recommend looking into the steel building kits that are readily available. (Butler, General Steel, etc) The parts will be cut to size and all you have to do is bolt the building together. I believe that a simple 40 X 60 kit with a couple of overhead doors was only about $15K. That includes all structural metal, covering panels, doors and so forth. You do not have to shop for trusses or special parts. There are Internet sites where you can custom design and order your building kit.

The concrete pad and labor are the major additional costs, but those costs are insignificantly different and lower with the kit compared to building out of lengths of pipe and angle.

I like the idea about the pipe for running cords and hose. I have chosen to make drops from the ceiling, but those sometimes interfere with the forklift.

....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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arcn11thacr
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7 lake city fl.
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2003-09-03          63144


ac5zo, you are correct that the major suppliers do offer superior install kits ie.. no fitting pieces. my decisions was based on cost vs ability to do myself. the complete cost for ALL of the steel for the structure will be $1600.00 dollars, a far cry from 15K you mention. my whole shop including pvc,concrete,wiring,doors (made by myself) using rollers off ebay for 10-20 dollars (check out how cheep you can find those for on ebay) steel frame, and tin with enamel coating for less than 7k. thats the best deal around by far, my parents built a 25x35 just like this w/ the same welder and loader and had the whole frame up in 2 8 hour days...not bad for people over 60ys old. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7160 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-09-03          63145


The notion of running air lines below ground has been tried up here for years, inevitably, they never work.

Being the lowest point of the air system condensed moisture gathers there because of the cool (or cold up here) ground they run through, especially in warm, humid weather. The result is water being forced through or into everything, air tools included. This is a MAJOR pain if you intend to use an air sprayer for painting something, it also makes a sand blaster clog constantly. If they are steel lines they rot through in short order, and if they are rubber the constant freeze/thaw cycle does them in almost as fast and they are a nightmare to re-run after there is something else in the conduit like electric lines.

As for self-welded fastening, I wouldn't count on having any insurance coverage if it collapsed later unless you are an AWB certified welder and have the welds tested & certified and an engineer sign of on the building design.

In some areas there may also be issues with the strength of the building for reasons of snow-loading or hurricane-proofing. The big concern especially with wind damage is not your building coming apart per se, it is the welfare of the poor sod who gets hit by a piece of siding going 100+ mph, I'm not sure I would want that liability, and you can bet your insurance company won't either.

Best of luck. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2003-09-03          63147


The picture of my barn are still on the post. I would have to rerun the numbers but I doubt I have 20K in materials with full water and sewer and electric. I would need only about 900 dollars to insulate the roof and it would be fully insulated. The barn is 44 x 60 on the out side dimensions. It certainly will not blow away in a storm as it is insulative concrete forms. It has already seen 100 mile an hour winds.
The truss structure is very strong and relatively inexpensive. ....

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Steel Framed barn anyone

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2003-09-04          63198


Murf;
For low pressure clean air or gases we often used swaglok compression fittings with plastic tubing or copper tubing (plumbing). We would often make dead drops off the house air with drains, set our regulator and then run the other tubing.
A few years back I used the PEX tubing and bander to make up a mannifold for my portable air pump. I considered it the solution to running air around the shop as it will not rust and will take the pressure and is not affected by oil. I would not cost much more than 100$. Now if I can only fine the time to work in the shop and run it. ....

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2003-09-04          63210


I think that the problem with the compressed air that Murf was referring to is that the dewpoint of the water vapor in the compressed air is higher than the dewpoint of the air that was compressed. What that means is that in many (most) cases, compressing air will cause liquid water to settle out in the bottom of the storage tank and in the distribution lines. This happens when the dewpoint of the compressed air is higher than the room temperature.

Plastic lines will help with rusting in the lines, but won't directly solve the condensation problem that can damage pneumatic tools.

I use a drain valve on my storage tank that vents the water everytime that the compressor motor operates. It bleeds as such a slow rate (5 CFH) that there is virtually no compressed air capacity lost. I also use a refrigerated air dryer (compressed air dehumidifier) between the compressor and the distribution lines. Most people will probably not need to go with the refrigerated dryer, but the automatic drain is really worth doing. If you can keep your reservoir of compressed air drained of most water, it will help a lot in the rest of your system.

Taking air taps off the TOP of the distribution pipes and adding drip legs will take care of most moisture problems in a normal system. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2003-09-04          63212


AC5ZO;
I guess I was not clear; I have had to deal with compressed air that is pumped through the underground tunnels and had 3" air mains full of water.
I have also set up desscicant and refrigerant dryers, nitrogen generators and step up air pumps, but most of this was for instuments or automated equipment. I did not think this pertained.
I was considering the plastic lines more of a cost and contamination solution. The majority of the contaminates in the lines are from the water and oil reacting inside the iron pipe. You can easily buy 100 ft rolls of PEX tubing and plump for air with only a few fittings and connections. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Steel Framed barn anyone

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7160 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-09-04          63218


I was hesitant to use any kind of Poly, even PEX, because of the extreme temperature swings, between winter & summer the interior of the shop ranges by well over 140 deg. F., that and sometimes it has been used at temp.'s below freezing even. I will be heating it to a constant mimimum of about 45 deg. F. from now on, then just warming it up when I am out there. Previously when I was away for much of the winter it was unheated.

I plumbed the whole shop with 1/2" copper water pipe. I used 80 grit emery cloth to roughen all surfaces before soldering to ensure a solid 'bite' between the two surfaces for safety's sake. I also put a ball valve on each run off the distribution pipe, as well as where the distribution pipe meets the compressor so I can isolate areas for maintenance, etc., or for splitting the distribution system.

This has proved handy several times when I wanted to do something with air in the wood shop, like painting, while somebody else was doing something like sand-blasting in the yard. I 'back feed' the wood shop with a small portable compressor I have for field work, filling tires, etc., via a double male fitting I made up for such purpose. This means I can have two totally seperate systems working at the same time.

The relative large inside diameter of the copper also means that on long runs there is little if any loss, this can be important with high demand uses like painting or sand-blasting. Of course the other benefit of copper pipe is that rust through is not a concern.

Best of luck. ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2003-09-04          63224


Murf the cross linked poly is rated for 180 F at pressure so I doubt air is a problem. Low temperature is probably -60C before embrittlement as that is the Tg but have not seen stats on the crosslinked material.
It certainly will withstand freezing with water in it. I don't know how far down it would be OK as it doesnot get real cold here, but with air I would think -30 F would be no problem if not below that.
Obviously this is not a concern for you Murf, with the copper already but maybe others may want to try. I would use the banded fittings though.
Peters ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7160 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-09-05          63250


I'm sure the PEX is more than up to the task. I never even thought of using it though. At the time I was putting it in I was thinking more of speed and convenience, the copper was available at the local building center and very inexpensive.

I have used PEX for in-floor radiant heating in my cottage though, it worked great for that. I do know it was a tough stuff but freezing was a moot point because the system uses an anti-freeze mixture anyways, it serves both to raise the boil point and protect the system when it's shutdown.

Best of luck. ....

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AC5ZO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 928 Rio Rancho, NM 87144
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2003-09-05          63253


Where I live, there is only one type of special PVC pipe that is rated for compressed air service. I believe that it has a special green color to distinguish it from ordinary PVC. It also has its own high strength fittings.

PEX should work, but I don't think that it is approved for used with compressed air (only water) here. For short runs we can use the nylon or PE hose with compression fittings, but it is rated for several hundred PSI. Losses are high with small PE and Nylon tubing, so you must keep the lengths short.

I go with copper, because it is virtually the same price as the special code rated PVC and was only a little bit harder to install.

I have seen people use regular 1/2 PVC to set up air lines, but I can tell you that it is a very bad idea. Even though it may be rated for several hundred PSI, some plastics like normal PVC fracture, splinter and release the pressurized contents violently and may propel splinters of plastic at dangerous velocities. I also have my doubts about some of the quality of fittings at some local home supply stores. In a recent water system I installed, 100% of the female adapters that I used on PVC eventually failed. I had to replace all of them with male adapters which work and metallic female pipe couplings. The consequences are higher for pipe failure with compressed air, so the ratings in the code are much more rigorous.

....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7160 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-09-05          63256


I had a fitting blow off a rubber whip line, someone had patched it with a barb-type fitting but the Tridon steel hose clamp used to fix it in position failed. The fitting went across the shop then bounced most of the way back, luckily there was nobody in it's path.

Let me tell you I was VERY glad to have a shut-off nearby.

With 100 gallons of reservoir tanks at 130psi I think it might have whistled for some time before it drained the system.

Best of luck. ....

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