Barn – the term evokes images of a relatively large structure in an agricultural setting. Depending on the barn plans, these structures serve many functions including the storage of livestock, of produce and of farming equipment, among other uses. Many are even used as covered workplaces where farmers can perform chores while being sheltered from the elements.
Types of Barns
Contrary to the city slickers’ idea of barns as bland structures, there are many types of barn to choose from. Each one performs general and specific functions with differences from the other types. Just to mention a few of these barn types and their uses:
- Stables mainly house horses alongside the feed, equipment and other tools necessary to maintain them. Amongst all barn plans, stables are probably the most popular as these structures can serve multiple functions like holding livestock, feeds and produce.
- Round houses are extensions to the threshing barns, thus, engine machines used to power the equipment can be found inside.
- Granaries are used exclusively to store grain.
- Shippons are constructed to safely house oxen and cattle.
Other types include Dutch and English barns, longhouses, shelter sheds, and tobacco barns. General contractors, farmers and other construction professionals are knowledgeable in the features and functions of each type of barn. So, if you are going to build one, we suggest consulting with the professionals first before embarking on DIY project.
Features in Barns
As can be expected, the barn plans will contain specifications in dimensions, depths and other details in the finished structure. Most barns will have features like the following:
- Feed room for storage of animal feed like hay, grains and commercial mixes
- Tack room for the riding equipment like bridles and saddles
- Drive bay is the wide corridor for the machinery and animals
- Indoor corral along with a squeeze chute for veterinary activities
- Milkhouse where the milk from the cows are collected and then stored before shipment
You must discuss with a building professional, when necessary, about matters like placement, type and size of the abovementioned features for optimal use. You want to ensure that every available space is utilized, that every animal will be safe inside the structure and that every part of the barn is up to standards. Your profits are often tied up in how well the barn plans are executed.
Maintenance of Barns
When choosing the barn plan for your farm, you must also consider the maintenance costs involved after the construction. There’s no sense in building a barn and then letting it rot because the owners don’t know how to maintain it or the owners have little funds left for its maintenance. The following are just a few maintenance activities for barns:
- Drainage system must be regularly inspected lest the barn become clogged or flooded with water, thus, compromising its functions and foundations.
- Equipment like rubber mats, power blowers and wheelbarrows are just a few of the things that must be purchased in order to maintain the barn in good condition.
Indeed, you must look beyond barn plans when you plan on erecting the farm structure. These plans are just the beginning.