Barn Raising

A frequent ranch discussion/debate: what do we spend our money on? Is it worth it? This is a common dilemma for any family, couple, business owner, etc.

A new building is an investment and it isn’t a quick, easy decision. We would like to share a few things we considered before making a large purchase. We went through the following checklist of questions ourselves and were able to justify building the 55×70 hoop building you see pictured in this post. Not interested in a new barn? They same principles can be applied to many big ticket purchases.

The finished product.

What type of building or barn do you want?

Consider the purpose of the structure. There may be numerous ones: dual or multi-purpose, seasonal use, recreation- all things to think about. Is it to store hay or equipment, a riding arena, to feed or house livestock, or possibly a basketball court or a man cave? Will you want it insulated, heated/cooled, lights, doors, windows, sky lights, maybe even include living quarters, complete with running water? Do you want steel, wood structure or a hoop building? There are so many options, be sure to explore them all. You will want all of these decisions made prior to any building begins.

Where will you put it- Location?

Many of us want more acres under roof but practicality can be a challenge. Do you have limited acreage? Too many rocks or trees to clear? Lack flat land for a building site? You’ll also want it in the correct proximity so the building can complete it’s purpose. Parking vehicles in a building that is on the other side of the property doesn’t make a lot of sense; or putting a hay building somewhere without tractor accessibility wouldn’t be a wise choice either.

We have the location marked as the materials are being unloaded.

What is the cost?

This includes not only the initial ticket price, but also preparation fees, installation charges and any other hidden costs. A typical barn building investment may include dirt work, foundation pouring or setting, materials and labor. Other expenses may include electricity or concrete/sand.

Are there reoccurring expenses?

You may also consider insurance costs on the completed building? Will there be a tax increase? Maintenance and upkeep also fall into this category. These will be ongoing costs- will you be able to continually afford them?

It may look like we’re installing a roller coaster, but we wouldn’t be able to justify that expense.

How will you pay for it?

Again, this is an investment. Will you be paying cash? Do you need to sell something to generate funds? Maybe you plan to get a loan from a bank; what is the interest rate? You’ll want your finances in order before building begins. A down payment or at least an investment in materials is normally made prior to breaking ground.

We’re closer to the finished product. Love the red stripes- adds some character.

Who will build/install it?

Once you decide the “what” and the “where” you’ll need to choose the “who”. Many readers are capable of a simple shed install, but is that the most feasible choice, really? Consider the time commitment involved and the equipment needed. Knowledge and experience also play into it- especially if the building is large or complicated. You might find yourself dollars ahead by hiring a crew. Find someone with a good reputation, or even work examples. Get an idea of the time line. When will it be started and what is the expected finish date?

The hoop building seems huge, even with the dogs as a reference the photo doesn’t show the massive height.

Love It

After putting so much thought, time and money into a new fixture of your property you’d better love it! Find ways to personalize it and make it your own. Add landscaping or even decorative items to the surrounding areas or exterior walls. Hopefully this investment will be part of your ranch for many years to come- embrace it and use it to its fullest.

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