Whether you’re building a barn to house animals or for hay and equipment storage, the following tips will help you save money at every step of the process. Creative ideas for reducing the cost of your barn include using salvaged or recycled building materials and alternative building methods that are environmentally friendly as well as economical.
Determine your barn’s purpose and your geographical conditions. Housing livestock may present different requirements than a simple structure to store hay and feed or farm equipment. The variety of animals you keep in your barn will also require special consideration. Your climate and the geography of your building site will also help determine which type of structure is best.
Save money by downloading free barn-building blueprints and plans as well as alternative building methods from the Internet (see Resources). Some possibilities include pole barn construction and papercrete or paper adobe building techniques, as well as using strategies to minimize the building materials needed to construct a traditional barn structure, such as adding loft space for additional storage.
Consider options that will decrease the cost of building or upkeep of your barn. Metal siding may hold up better than wood and may even be cheaper when the cost of treating wood is taken into consideration.
Evaluate your climate, which may necessitate insulating the walls of your structure. You might consider an alternative material to construct walls.
Be prepared in hot climates with additional ventilation, which can be achieved through hinged windows and roof ventilation systems. Windows and dutch doors also allow for natural light, which may reduce your electricity costs.
Install an earthen floor, which may be cheaper than a concrete floor, if a concrete foundation is not required. A rammed earth floor may be another option, in which the soil is tilled and mixed with one part cement to three parts earth and then watered for hardening.