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View Full Version : Update post 19.Went inside today! Decision time! What to do with old buildings?



TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 14, 2010, 11:18 AM
I'm casually looking at a farm that I know is going to come on the market. It is 8 acres right now (I think I can get more, but at great $) so if you really think that's critical go ahead and comment. There is a gravel road on the south and blacktop on the east and a mature (i.e. overgrown) grove on the north and west.

But my real question is there are several outbuildings. This was the original home farm, so to speak, and then when they retired they built a new house on the section across the street and have been renting out this house.

There is a 40/20' or so, Morton building that looks newer, the decrepit old dairy barn (looks bad--haven't been inside--but lots of wild things probably are) and several random little buildings scattered all over with peeling (probably lead) paint.

There is also a mini-elevator. Silos, bins, etc. all connected.

So here are my thoughts and questions. What does removal run for the old buildings? Anyone ever let the fire dept. burn them for practice?

I'd almost lean towards putting some stalls in the morton and tearing down the barn, just because of pasture layout and cost. I LOVE old barns, but this one looks bad. Can you add windows/doors to an exisiting pole barn--this one is basically a plain rectangle?

Now the big question. What to do with all the grain storage? The bins look to be in good, but not brand-new shape. Does anybody rent this stuff out to farmers? Can you sell them? I really haven't a clue.

DebbieB
Jul. 14, 2010, 02:02 PM
You can absolutely rent them out the grain farmers for a pretty good price. Those bins are EXPENSIVE to put up new. You can also sell them.

Yes you can put doors and windows in the pole barn. Frame up the places for windows and cut a hole in the tin. Install windows. For doors I set a post/s for the new doorway, frame it at the top and cut the hole in the tin. You can use an electric drill from the inside to mark the corners for your cut lines .

I use my circular saw with a metal cutting blade to cut through the tin, it works great. Wear ear plugs because that tin will scream at you as you cut it. Safety glasses are a must. If you wear a loose neckline shirt with a bra underneath you will collect metal shavings. Use a chalk line to mark your lines on the tin.

It's illegal here to burn or bury old buildings. You are supposed to tear them down and take it to the dump.

If the little buildings are sound and usable you can put metal siding on them to cover the peeling paint.

The trees on the north and west are an excellent windbreak. Unless you like cold wind in the winter I would leave a good portion of it. I will also provide cooling shade in the evening in the summer.

EqTrainer
Jul. 14, 2010, 02:07 PM
Any concerns about asbestos?

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 14, 2010, 02:16 PM
Oh yes, I would just clean up the grove, not cut it down! There is a bit of dead wood and seedlings all over in there. I've been trying to find a farm on a quiet blacktop road with a mature grove. I love that it has a normal "town-sized" driveway off the gravel road (house is right on the corner, so not much gravel). Much easier for snow removal!!

The big issue, and why I haven't gotten an appt. to go inside yet, is that this one is further south than we really want to be--and it adds 20 minutes to my husband's commute ...and he has to be to work before 7:30. Mine would shrink of course ;)

How many thousands of dollars do you need to spend on a mower for 8 acres? Any feel for the time involved with different size cutting decks?

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 14, 2010, 02:17 PM
Any concerns about asbestos?

Quite possibly. I would do an inspection. They really are the kind of people you could just ask too--even though I would still do an inspection ;)

WildBlue
Jul. 14, 2010, 03:12 PM
You can also sell scrap metal. If you have someone come and remove buildings and whatnot for recycling, make sure you have a contract (and possibly a larger enforcer) that spells out what condition they leave the property and how much cleanup they do. Otherwise, you'll have plenty of volunteers to come and remove the parts that are worth $$$ and leave you a big mess.

Also, since you want to use the property for horses, be very aware of hidden 'junk'. That includes everything from old fencing that's buried in the ground to all the broken glass, nails, broken t-posts and other sharp bits of metal coming out of buildings and fencelines you burn or demolish. It can take a tremendous amount of work to find and clean up things on old farms that can lame your horse.

Regarding burning, it can be done and certainly reduces the amount of junk you need to scoop into a dumpster. However, a lot of times they want the building to be intact, meaning you can't remove things like windows beforehand to reduce the mess after and they may require certification that asbestos and whatnot isn't present (which costs money). It also can burn extremely hot, so make sure you have adequate clearance from other buildings, power lines, trees, etc.

shakeytails
Jul. 14, 2010, 03:43 PM
Grain bins are easily sold. Silos- not so much. I got rid of my eyesore of a silo (it was steel) by putting a free ad in the paper-I was deluged with calls. You can try, but I don't think most fire departments will burn buildings for practice anymore- too much liability. What most people around here do with old barns that they want removed is to dig a hole and doze it in, but on 8 acres there really isn't a lot of room to do that.

Mozart
Jul. 14, 2010, 04:54 PM
I have no advice re: the grain bins, silos, etc.

But if you want to talk old buildings...have we got old buildings!

We bought a 100 acre farm last summer in an estate sale that had been abandoned for a few years. Family members continued to cut hay and rent out pasture for cattle but the buildings were not used (well, except for one rather decently maintained machine shed.

There are about 8 buildings that need to go. The local fire department has been out to have a look and they are going to do some training exercises including search and rescue and then burn down about 4 of them. That will be quite the bonfire, the old falling down barn is full of old hay :eek:

A couple of the buildings are beautiful weathered old board and I can't bring myself to burn them, we are going to try to reclaim that wood and re-use it.

We also had piles and piles and piles of scrap and garbage to deal with. We have cleaned most of that up.

Basically, we talked to the old local farmers and found out who wanted to come and haul away scrap. So, while we didn't get the $ for the scrap, it got taken down and away and that had great value for us as a time saver.

You can do it all yourself if you want to save as much money as possible...but what a hassle.

For general clean up we also rented a dumpster for weekends. Guy brought giant bin on Friday nights, we filled it up all weekend, he took it away on Mondays and brought it back on Fridays.

We filled the bucket of the tractor, DH drove it over to bin, dumped..repeat over and over. This was for anything that did not appear salvageable or was too small to bother with.

CBoylen
Jul. 14, 2010, 07:38 PM
A friend of mine has a farm that had a metal silo (in great shape) used for cattle. She didn't really think anything of it until our Southern States dealer asked her why she was buying all her horse feed in bags and not getting it in bulk since she already had the silo. She uses it now, fills it about every three months, and is able to get her horse feed somewhat custom (added fat, minerals adjusted for the pasture, etc.) since she buys in bulk. I don't know if your silo is usable or if you have a number of horses that would make it worthwhile, but thought it worth mentioning.

JSwan
Jul. 14, 2010, 09:17 PM
I've seen silos made into apartments/guest rooms.

It's pretty cool.

clairdelune
Jul. 14, 2010, 09:32 PM
We are in SD and have an old barn on our property ,and in our county I know that buildings can be torn down and buried and it is not too expensive.
I think burying is the best option unless you are prepared to spend forever picking up nails after having the barn burnt down.You would also have to fence this area off because of the danger of the nails..and there will be hundreds and even when you think you have the last one picked up you will find more.
By the way we are selling our 10 plus acreage in Eastern SD :)

EqTrainer
Jul. 14, 2010, 11:03 PM
I've seen silos made into apartments/guest rooms.

It's pretty cool.

Pictures!!!!

JSwan
Jul. 15, 2010, 07:07 AM
This is the place; it's called the Silo Room.

http://www.innatkellysford.com/accommain.html

Also, in this issue of Farm Show http://www.farmshow.com/issues/34/04/3404.asp

There is an article called, "Living Is Easy in Grain Bin Home".

The owners moved onto a 9 acre home site and made a home out of 3 connected, 28' diameter grain bins.

They did a really great job, though the zebra stripe decor is a bit too "Vegas Elvis" for my taste.

My Two Cents
Jul. 15, 2010, 10:51 AM
If you are able to buy the acreage, here is good info on what renting your buildings and grain bins out to farmers might be worth. Depends on conditions etc. Grain bins can also be moved.

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/wholefarm/html/c2-17.html


As far as the dairy barn, check out this website before making any decisions as what to do with it. I've seen some nice renovations done but you do have to jump the hoops to make it work. We looked into it but our barn was too far gone to make it feasible. Good luck!

http://www.iowabarnfoundation.org/about_ibf.htm

Mali
Jul. 15, 2010, 07:04 PM
friends of mine made an awesome above ground swimming pool out of silo blocks! The basically laid the blocks, secured them and then put a pond liner in. It actually attaches to their back deck and looks super!

Tamara in TN
Jul. 15, 2010, 07:13 PM
[QUOTE=TrotTrotPumpkn;4978025]I'm casually looking at a farm that I know is going to come on the market.

hit up
agtalk.com
they can price you to the sq foot how much to pay and for what
from removal to installation and in between....
think of it as a COTH for real farmers...it is a remarkable wealth of information
be careful though...they can be rough to deal with,are all republicans and don't think much of non farmers in general
;) you've been warned,
but you may find what you need even in the archives

Tamara in TN

WaningMoon
Jul. 15, 2010, 08:27 PM
I'm casually looking at a farm that I know is going to come on the market. It is 8 acres right now (I think I can get more, but at great $) so if you really think that's critical go ahead and comment. There is a gravel road on the south and blacktop on the east and a mature (i.e. overgrown) grove on the north and west.

But my real question is there are several outbuildings. This was the original home farm, so to speak, and then when they retired they built a new house on the section across the street and have been renting out this house.

There is a 40/20' or so, Morton building that looks newer, the decrepit old dairy barn (looks bad--haven't been inside--but lots of wild things probably are) and several random little buildings scattered all over with peeling (probably lead) paint.

There is also a mini-elevator. Silos, bins, etc. all connected.

So here are my thoughts and questions. What does removal run for the old buildings? Anyone ever let the fire dept. burn them for practice?

I'd almost lean towards putting some stalls in the morton and tearing down the barn, just because of pasture layout and cost. I LOVE old barns, but this one looks bad. Can you add windows/doors to an exisiting pole barn--this one is basically a plain rectangle?

Now the big question. What to do with all the grain storage? The bins look to be in good, but not brand-new shape. Does anybody rent this stuff out to farmers? Can you sell them? I really haven't a clue.

If you have lead paint it will likely cost you a fortune. Most states now have what they call EPM's , essential maintenance practices. All work, everything had to be done by specially trained ppl in working with lead paint. All work is to be done wet, no dry sanding. and on and on and on. Here all rental units must have been done and the lead laws posted. My SO is right now dealing with heavy metal poisoning from our last old farm house. They are thinking that the lead paint peeling and falling into the ground by the house onto garden veg. may have been teh culprit along with lead water pipes. They will never get all landlords to comply. Seems they would rather take the consequences.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 18, 2010, 07:19 PM
Decisions, decisions!

Well we drove down to see my sister's house remodel and I took him by the acerage. The owner was outside on his lawn (accross the street) working on his flowerbed. We stopped in and he gave us the grand (1.5 hour) tour.

House: Pros: WAY nicer inside than out. 3 bedrooms (2 huge with walk-ins) hardwood floors, gorgeous woodwork, 9 foot ceilings, nice custom cabinets in kitchen (solid wood-dovetail, etc.), new roof, newer furnace, attached garage and mudroom.
Cons: needs central air added, only one bathroom, hubby is sad there is only one family room and formal dining room for common areas (really likes our rec room downstairs), garage only fits one car.

Barn is OLD with low ceilings. Roof has got about a year max left in it and it needs to be painted or sided with something else. Doors are rickety and wiring is old. Entire floor is cement. Ugh. Not sure what, if anything to do with it. The only part I really liked was the lean-to that runs along the back of it. It also has a big cement cattle yard on one side.

There is also a very decent Morton-type building on the property. Then some buildings that need to come down, along with all the bins, etc. which could be sold.

We are a bit torn.

ReSomething
Jul. 18, 2010, 07:47 PM
Sorry, but I'm a sucker when it comes to old houses, even though I am sitting here cool and snug in my newer doublewide. What got us here was going through the checklist and this one met most of the criteria, most of the important unchangeable ones, as we can always remove the doublewide and build new if we really choose to.

So I'd do the same thing if I were you. Make the list and check everything off. Can you afford to remove the old barn and build new? That slab does have value for something like hay storage, garage, workshop. How's the commute, neighbors, flooding, go through it all again. Then there is financing and appraisers that I've been reading about here are not making it easy to qualify.

Anyway, good luck, if this isn't The One then there will be another.

Bluey
Jul. 18, 2010, 07:53 PM
Can't help you much except to say that about the concrete in the barn, don't fret because so many on COTH hate concrete in barns.
Concrete floors is all we had in practically every barn I was ever in in Europe and a good share of the higher end barns in the USA and, well bedded, we didn't even have mats in those days, horses were fine in there.

When you buy an old place, you make do with what you have.
If you build new, then you get to make your own mistakes.;)

If you have concrete floors, use them like that before thinking it is a disadvantage or a no-go at all because of it.

Now, concrete in a run-in, where more than one horse may skeddadle and slide around playing or running from another, that could be a problem, needs to be addressed somehow with mats and sand over them, maybe.

sparky6
Jul. 18, 2010, 08:17 PM
Make a list of the projects you want to complete/need to be done. Then prioritize that list based on fixes that need to happen soon after you'd move in vs. things that could wait (and possibly not get done). Once you've got your list, budget out what the costs of those repairs will be, plus the house, plus the moving costs (over-estimate to be safe). If it still looks like it's a good idea, then great! If not, then keep looking-you'll find something.

As far as more living space-is the layout such that you could take the 1 car garage and convert it into a rec room, then add on a garage that will fit both of your cars? Or add a bonus room on top of the garage? Also, if the barn is that old, could you tear it down and build some sort of outdoor entertaining space on it? My uncle bought the house next to his that had burned years ago, tore it down, and uses the concrete foundation + old chimney for grilling and had his daughter's wedding reception there. It's an awesome space, if you're into having people over.

It sounds like the property has lots of potential-good luck with your decision!