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New barn

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Wow! you are doing the entire barn! I was thinking of just a single zone under the living quarters.
 

Bill

Administrator
Jack,
I’m not going to say it will or won’t work for you? But my brother built a 30X50 in NJ. He sectioned off 20X30 as the work shop and the rest was storage. He ran radiant heat Pex in the floor of the work shop and used an oil fired 50 gallon hot water heater to run it.

It was a dream to work in. You could lay on the floor in January.

He didn’t use it every day and I have no clue what it cost to run. He’s since sold the property.
But man that floor was nice!

Might be worth more investigating.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
How are you going to power the rest of the building if you're thinking about solar for the water pump?
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Yes, I've heard of folks using hot water heaters as boilers. I've seen mixed comments on that.

As far as solar, I was just brainstorming ideas. I plan to have 400 amp service shared between barn and house. My current thinking is to run the PEX in the slab but not to connect it to anything. I'll heat and cool with a heat pump with propane backup heat. I was just thinking if the PEX is in place whether there are low up-front cost and zero recurring cost ways of using the PEX to reduce the cost of running the main heat. It may not make sense. Just toying with ideas.

Thanks,

Jack
 

ksgobbler

5 year old buck +
Have you thought about buying a camper, parking it in the shop and living in it when it, then when it is done selling it? In a former life I was a fireman and we lived like that for 18 months while they fixed our station to make it livable. We had a bay in the city shop for us. 6 guys living in a 30 ft bumper pull.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Have you thought about buying a camper, parking it in the shop and living in it when it, then when it is done selling it? In a former life I was a fireman and we lived like that for 18 months while they fixed our station to make it livable. We had a bay in the city shop for us. 6 guys living in a 30 ft bumper pull.

Yes, I would be fine with that. I already have a 36' trailer at the pine farm about 15 minutes from the retirement property. If would be fine for me...My wife, not so much.

Another problem is that doesn't work with the county. The gateway to all other permits is the permit for a dwelling. So, without the living space in the barn, I can't get water, power, or septic.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I've moved a bit forward with the barn planning. I've met with a builder twice now and have refined my thoughts somewhat:

  • I found that keeping dimensions multiples of 8' is a bit more efficient, so rather than going with 36x60, I'm now planning on 40'x64'.
  • I have decided not to put light transmitting panels on the roof like our current barn due to potential leak and aging compared to metal. I'll use LED lighting inside instead.
  • I plan to put the living quarters directly only the cement floor without a raised floor.
  • I do not plan to add the PEX tubing in the cement due to cost, but will insulate under the entire slab.
  • I will have cement pads outside the man doors and 5' aprons in front of the equipment doors.
  • The equipment doors will be roll-up style rather than sliding.
  • There will be a ridge vent in the roof
  • It will have 1" of spray-in closed cell foam on entire barn.
  • Added floor drains in utility room and bathroom of living area.
  • Considering sealing the cement floor (Still debating this and would like to hear opinions).
  • I plan to use a heat-pump with propane backup heat for heating and cooling the living space. No heat/cooling outside living area.
My next step is to put in the 1/4 mile of driveway to the house. I'm currently working the permitting process for the public road entrance and will be meeting with contractors for that soon.

Nothing is fixed in place yet. I've signed no contracts. So, I'm open to hearing arguments for changing my mind or adding something I'm forgetting.

Thanks,

Jack
 

swat1018

5 year old buck +
A clear ridge cap/vent is an option. They work well and let in an unbelivable amount of light. My biggest two regrets were not building bigger, and not building with 14' sidewalls. I went with 12' sidewalls, so a 10' overhead door. Hard to get a travel trailer or motorhome in a 10' door.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
A clear ridge cap/vent is an option. They work well and let in an unbelivable amount of light. My biggest two regrets were not building bigger, and not building with 14' sidewalls. I went with 12' sidewalls, so a 10' overhead door. Hard to get a travel trailer or motorhome in a 10' door.

I have not seen clear ridge vent. I have seen clear ridge cap. If you have a link to a ridge vent that is clear, please post it for me. I'd like to look at it.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Well, we are making some slow progress here. I hired a guy to put in the entrance and base layer for the driveway. He pulled the permits from DOT for the entrance and started work. It only took him a day or so to complete the entrance and sculpt and culvert where needed and apply stone to 1/4 mile of driveway. We got a lot of rain in the last few days which worked out great. I was able to get down there this weekend and see how drainage will be under wet conditions. Most of it looks great. There is one spot where water is ponding on to the driveway. He came by today to check it out. The neighbor had some landscaping bushes on the easement that he was trying to preserve. I spoke with her today and she is fine will us taking them out, so he should be able to properly sculpt that section. All in all I was impressed with the work. We broadcast Winter Rye on the road banks except in the section he needs to work on. It has been so warm here I think it will probably germinate pretty quickly.

I also met with the power company folks. They staked the transformer location. To get there from the hard top road would require a bit more wire than they offer for free. They want $8/foot for wire beyond 1/4 mile. It turns out there is a closer pole on the other neighbors land but it requires an easement to get it to my land. I went over and chatted with that neighbor and he seems fine with granting the easement. So, I've connected him up with the power company folks to work it out. If it works out, it should save me money in both wire and trenching cost.

The next step is the barn permits I guess...

Thanks,

Jack
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
Glad it worked out on the easement your neighbor did you a big favor
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Glad it worked out on the easement your neighbor did you a big favor

Well, it is not a done deal just yet, but he seemed very willing to help out with that. The devil is always in the details so we will see what happens when the power company talks with him. I think granting easements to the power company is pretty common in this area. When we added power to our farm, it would have required new power lines to go across the neighbors yard and he did not want that. He talked to the guy that owned 100 acres across the private road and he had no problem granting the power company an easement so they could route the lines across the road and they did not become an eyesore for the neighbor. Folks seem to be much more cooperative and less litigious in this rural area than where we currently live.

As for the other neighbor, I was trying to head off problems. They sit on the easement and I can legally take them out but I'd have to compensate her if they have value. As it turns out, my original easement is on her property and went right by her house. I purchased a second easement from the other neighbor so I did not have to go right past her house. It not only made her happy, because the new easement was largely cleared and the original easement had mature trees, it cost me less to put in the driveway on the new easement. These bushes were only a few feet on her property and well within my original easement. While I don't plan to use that original easement, I have not extinguished it just in case. Although she would have preferred to keep those bushes, she was so happy we did not use the easement that went close to the house, she was happy to give them up. I offered to plant something along there after the work is done.

Hopefully it all works out in the end.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
My wife and I live in our barn and here are some things that worked out well for us. We put pex in the floor and heated with an outdoor boiler for twelve plus years and a year ago switched to propane. Wood heat worked great but I went and got old enough that I didn't want to cut and split wood so much. Propane heat has not been expensive. One thing we stumbled on as important was a vapor barrier under the floor. Another was insulation around the poured slab all the way to the bottom of it as well as underneath it except in front of two garage doors. There is a huge difference in the floor temperature where the insulation was put on the outside of the slab. Should have also insulated in front of doors.

Another step that was worthwhile was 1 inch of thermatex (a hard) board insulation between the metal roof and the rafters. This kept the barn cool in the summer and no dripping/"raining" resulted from condensation- That was really important to us.


When it came time to build our house about eight years ago we checked with the assessor and determined we could afford the house but not the taxes. So a 16 ft. wide sun room on a monolithic slab was added to the side of the full length of the 64 ft.barn. Wife loves it and the deer watch us daily as if we were just fish in a bowl exhibiting very minimal concern as we move about.
DSC_9987.JPG


As you can see they know we are there but they are OK with it.

Here is one of our long views to the east. The south is also glass(sliding doors) from floor to ceiling.
DSC_6213.JPG

And the two ft. roof overhang keeps the snow that slides off the roof away from the house. In addition it blocks a lot of summer sun but lets in the winter sun. It is not for everyone but it fit our outdoor life style and our building budget. It gives us 3790 sq. feet for cheap and all is on one floor. Taxes are also within our budget.
DSC_3351a.jpg

We are still working on the sun room inside to have it contain a kitchen, living room, dining area, kitchen and hot tub. Dining area with a gas fireplace and living room with a second gas fireplace and the hot tub are in place. There are no interior walls planned for the sun room. Good luck in your barn build, whether you stay in or not it is likely to be one of those things that you will really enjoy.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Thanks! A great list of lessons learned! I've discussed all of these with my builder. Where are you located? From the pics, I'm guessing further north than me. I decided against the pex for the barn based on cost. We plan to only live in a year while the house is being built. We will definitely be using in-floor heat for the house. The very small living space in the barn will be used as extra bedrooms for guests in the long run. Because we are in zone 7A, summer is a bit more severe than winter. We are leaning toward a heat-pump for the barn with propane backup heat. We will make sure there is a way to program it to go directly to propane which we will use when we are living in it. We hated the straight heat pump in our existing house and replaced it with AC and gas heat. This way a single unit can handle heating and cooling. When no one is using the living space in the barn, a heat pump will be an inexpensive way to keep it above freezing.

We currently live in the burbs where property taxes are much higher than where we plan to move. So, if we can afford the tax assessment here, I hope we can afford it when we move. The square footage of living space between the barn and new house will be about the same as our current house but all on one level. We will have more unfinished space though.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
Thanks Jack, I am located in New York just off the eastern end of Lake Ontario about 25 miles south of Watertown. And yes cold weather is a concern here but hot days not so much. Will update the avatar to show that info--had forgot to set that up. We had come from a place of higher taxes as well but we had a lot more building where we had come from than what is normal for here. When building the same size and quality of structure as where the taxes were thought to be much higher the tax estimate here for the building was about the same. Adding in a large property with taxes rising often and Bingo. Taxes on this larger property and a new house of the same size and quality that we had in our previous home in Connecticut would have not been sustainable for us. It is just fine though as the barn living actually is what we now prefer.

On heat pumps and cooling I have no experience except for the impact of the thermatex under the roof and under and around the slab.

Edit-FORGOT to mention something we learned from our first barn. We had 1/2 chip board counter sunk into the horizontal strapping. The board runs from the ground to 36 inches high to the strapping which is on the outside of the poles. Since the board is counter sunk in it isn’t quite 36 in high but the protection level is. This keeps the outside Metal of the barn buffered some in case/when something hits the lower walls from the inside. And 3/4 inch plywood full sheet width was put on each side of each corner inside the poles running from floor to rim joist. Maybe that was to protect us from the occasional winds that can hit 90 mph Here-not sure.
 
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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
They have started on my barn:

c08c9a2b-90d8-4f86-9fac-b69728afb103.jpg


I ended up deciding on 40'x64' with a side overhang. The living area will be in the closest corner in the picture. You can see the entry door frame under the overhang. There is a second man-door under the overhang for the barn itself and one on the opposite side. There are two overhead doors on either end for drive through.

I'm juggling a number of things at one time, but right now HVAC for the living is the latest. I talked myself out of running PEX in the cement for radiant heat. My first thought was a heat pump with propane backup. I can't justify the cost. It is fairly close to double a traditional heat pump with electric backup. My wife and I will only live in it for a year while the house is being built and then it will be guest rooms.

I hope to visit tomorrow with the HVAC guy to discuss options. In addition to a traditional ducted heat pump, I'm also considering a multi-zoned Mitsubishi split-system. The total of the living space is about 550 sq ft. It is divided into two bedrooms, one bath room, a small utility room and a hallway with a utility sink. Any cooking will be microwave or toaster oven or crockpot. We will mostly eat out while living there.

Any thoughts on these two HVAC options would be appreciated. I don't have a cost differential yet. Since this is inside the barn, there is plenty of room above the ceiling for either duct work or ceiling mount split.

I'm in zone 7a in central VA and not in the mountains.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Adittmer

5 year old buck +
Don’t pour concrete without pex in the floor. It it literally the best thing and totally worth it. Also your combi boilers will heat your domestic water saving space and another appliance ie a water heater.


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Don’t pour concrete without pex in the floor. It it literally the best thing and totally worth it. Also your combi boilers will heat your domestic water saving space and another appliance ie a water heater.


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I'm guessing your up north. I considered that earlier in the thread and did a pretty good analysis. It is not worth it in my situation. It is way to expensive. AC is probably more important than heat in my climate and that would require another system. They cost of running the PEX alone under the living space will exceed the cost of the entire HVAC system I'll be using. I had the builder price just running the PEX in case I found I was wrong and that was way too expensive for a just in case.

My objective is to keep the cost down in the barn. We will only live there for a year and after that it becomes spare bedrooms. Our house is a different story. It will have a basement and we will definitely be using PEX based in floor heating for the main floor. House will be much larger and the improved efficiency can be amortized over many years not to mention the improved comfort.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Adittmer

5 year old buck +
Just curious how much did a bid for 600sf of pex cost? We did our 900sf for $1400 that was 5- 300ft loops and that included the manifolds


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Just curious how much did a bid for 600sf of pex cost? We did our 900sf for $1400 that was 5- 300ft loops and that included the manifolds


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I had to go back and look at the quote. They were actually covering a 1,000 sq ft area. It would have been under the living area as well as a portion of the barn where I plan to have a workshop. They wanted $7,350 just to put the pex in the concrete. The allowance for the entire HVAC system (heating and cooling) for the living area is $6,400. I'm not sure we will be able to stay within that allowance but I'm talking to the HVAC sub tomorrow.

Thanks,

Jack
 
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