Monday, 26 September 2016

Progress in New Zealand - The Farm Shed

Building was finished on our farm shed in New Zealand at the start of May.  Although we will not be moving for a little while yet for us it was important to get this built ahead of time.  Firstly it is an expensive piece of infrastructure, far more so than you would pay here in Australia due to the additional engineering required by New Zealand building standards to deal with earthquakes and the high wind zone we will be living in.  But it has been built and paid for.

In addition to  the shed being built we have purchased our first water tank.  We will rely solely on rain water harvesting for all out house water and water for our animals so it is important that we have a good supply.  Our first tank is 25000 litres and will collect all the shed water and it is likely that we will add a second tank of the same size to the shed in the future and have 2 more on the house.  We could have let all the water just run out onto the ground until we arrived but now we have the option of adding stock if we want.  We do not know that we will do that yet but it is another option that is available.

When planning our farm shed we had to consider all the possible future uses and roles it might fill. Some of the prurposes the shed might fill are:
Animal Husbandry, Garden Shed, Chicken and Livestock Feed Storage, Hay Storage, Tractor Storage, Farming Implement Storage and Food Storage.  Not doubt there will be other uses as well but time will tell what those are.

Some things we know for sure it will be used for, some things we hope to use it for and then there are all the unknowns that we never thought of that will probably happen too.  From our experience on our previous farm here in Australia we had a good idea of the things that did not work with the shed on that property.
So when we came up with the design we allowed for some flexibility in future uses by keeping it open inside and this also helped us keep the cost down.

The shed is 10 x 11 metres and is what is known as a 3 bay shed which basically means that there are 3 sections running from to back that are 3.6 metres wide each,  Our shed has 2 x enclosed bays with a concrete slab and one open bay with a gravel floor (this could be changed to concrete later if we wanted.  It has been designed with 2 x personal access doors that face north where the house will be situated and a roller door facing east that opens off the enclosed area and an open bay facing the east on the south side of the shed.
The roof has clear panels included to let in light and there is also a clear panel above each of the personal access doors.  We considered having doors with a glass window in the top half of each but the builder suggested for security it would be better that people could not look in and see what was in our shed.
There is also a personal access door just beside the roller door providing access to the open bay from the enclosed shed area.

The birds eye view of the shed and the round posts at the
bottom show that the upright posts will be concreted
in the ground

The roof of the shed is fully lined with a clear builders paper to stop condensation building up but still letting the light through and we did this in the open bay as well as there is nothing worse than being dripped on while tending to animals (if they are unwell they will also benefit from being dry) and it allows us to use the area for storage too.
One of the other features we also opted for is to line the lower half of the wall between the open bay and the enclosed area (beside the internal personal access door) with plywood.  This is because on this wall the framing will be on the inside and as animals have a habit of rubbing on the walls this allows us to protect that wall.  The other 2 walls in the open bay have the timber framing protecting them.

Here are some progress shots:

Poles up and ready for the concrete footings around each pole.

Topsoil scraped back so a 10 cm deep layer of sand to be added to sit the water tank on.  Footings around each of the upright poles have been poured.

Concrete floor poured and roof framing up.

Roof on and cladding going up you can see the 2 frames ready for the personal access doors.  Water tank in place.

An inside look at the shed.  You can see that there is a pole right in the centre of the enclosed are. This is so that down the track we can divide the space up so that we have a long area with the roller door at the front with the side access into the open bay and 2 smaller areas (hence the 2 personal access doors facing the house) that can be used for different purposes.
We can divide this up ourselves if and when we want to without the cost of paying someone else.

The enclosed area was built with vermin proofing included so that we can store things like chicken food, seeds for the garden and excess produce like pumpkins without having to worry about rats and mice getting in.

This is the finished product.

It was a bit daunting having this built without being able to see it but the building company we chose were great.  They took all of these photos and more and sent them through every few days during construction.  My Dad also kept a close eye on things as well and he assures me they have done a great job which from him (a engineer who believes in doing it properly the first time) assures me they have done a great job which is reassuring.

Recently we have purchased some farming items and fencing supplies that we will need when we arrive. Fencing supplies can be expensive and as we will be converting our one big paddock into smaller paddocks we will be doing a lot of fencing.  We will not know exactly where the fences are to go until we have lived there a while and see how the land behaves but we will still need to fence in the future so we are starting a bit of a stockpile now to spread out the cost.  We have also invested in some electric fencing supplies as we will use these temporary fences to test out where we want to put permanent fences before we invest the energy and time.

Since this was completed we have moved our focus to the house plans and I will post about where things are at with that this week.


  1. Looks like a very well thought out shed and it's great that it's been built already for you.

    1. Thanks Kathy it is really hard to make sure you think of as much as possible but I guess we just do our best and go from there.


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