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building a new barn

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I am in the planning stage of building a new barn. As our life "revolves" around the barn I want to make it as functional as possible. Efficient use of space is a must, working facility under roof, washrack, office, feed room, square bale storage, tack room - you get the idea. I haven't won the lottery so we have to keep a budget in mind. Any suggestions or ideas?

we put up corrugated walls/cork so we can hang things on the walls. Keeps it off the ground & makes it neater. Also a sealed feed room that is rodent proof is good
Plenty of drainage also
Make it so there is a good breeze way through. It's amazing how that can cool a barn down


Are you looking for fancy or functional?

There is no better, cheaper dry storage that is rodent proof than a sea cargo container.  A 40 footer will run you between $2500-$3500.  Folks down here are starting to incorporate them into barns.

We built a new show barn about two years ago.  Cost me around $15K not counting tin (we already had it from a building we had "deconstructed).  A few lessons-learned:

We turn out calves at night into large (1 acre+) pens with grass or hay.  We built 10x12 stalls.  I still think that is a perfect size. 

My washrack is 10x22.  10' is not wide enough.  I wish it was 12' wide to allow plenty of room to walk behind a big steer tied up to the rail.

I like a high roof with completely open sides to allow air movement.

If you have pens on both sides of an aisle, make your gates big enough that you can open them and fasten them together to make giant pens.  This is great for keeping cow/calf pairs in immediately after calving it you want them out of the weather.

Keep in mind that although the summers here get very hot (90+ degrees, over 100 at times) we still have below zero temperatures in the winter. Don't need to have a palace but still needs to look nice as most of our customers come to the barn to buy cattle.

Don't scrimp on the concrete or door work.  That is where the mice get in.  We have been fighting mice since my new doors don't seal up to my "Scottish" concrete work.  Learn from my mistake!!

I have to agree with Chambero....the washrack is a must!


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