We paid someone to build our barn. I am aware that this option may not be open to everyone who is trying to start a farm from scratch as it did cost us a decent chunk of money. But we had planned for this, and seeing as we already had animals, and winter was fast approaching, we needed reliable shelter for them and fast. We had a small pot of money that we saved to start this project with and we had dedicated a decent amount to building a barn. While we did go the DIY route with a lot of our farm endeavors, we knew that a DIY barn would have taken too long and been far less than what we wanted or needed.
We chose a local, mennonite builder that was very reasonable (Fetterville, located in Southern PA). We decided to go with a three sided tractor/loafing shed style. It is 24’ x 60’ with five 12’ bays. One bay would be for the livestock, One bay for Hubsters “shop” and the other three bays for equipment and hay storage. Our big pie-in-the-sky plan would be to build a shop and another barn to dedicate totally for livestock, and completely transition this current barn to equipment and hay storage. There were several options, we got to pick the roof and siding color and added a side door. Grand total came to just under $15,000 which I know sounds like a lot, but if you look at what we got for that price, I think we did very well. Could we have built something similar ourselves and saved a lot of that money? I’m not entirely sure. The metal siding and roofing is guaranteed for 50 years, and it’s expensive. They used big, heavy, engineered beams to make the whole front open. I love it, it’s perfect, and it took them just over 1 week to build (which includes 3 days of an epic snowstorm which they were not working at all)
Two guys with a skid loader set the support beams on Friday as the snow was starting to fall. We got almost 2 feet of snow in 4 hours (which is A LOT for Maryland, ya’ll….we are thin blooded people).
It took Hubster and I two and a half days to get completely dug out to the road, which didn’t get plowed until the following day.
The workers were back on with one extra guy Tuesday and completed the bracing and rafters for walls and roofing, which went up on Wednesday. Thursday they came back out one more time for some finishing work, putting in trim, soffits, and cleanup. It was very impressive and I am quite pleased with their work.
The sheep moved in the following week and we haven’t looked back. There’s just some more fence to finish now. Ug, not more fence. See my follow up about fencing, and the end of the fencing saga.