Farm Structure – Do you own a farm here in sunny South Africa? Are you looking to expand your farm structures, or just build a whole new one on your farm? You are? Well, that is an excellent plan! But, have you considered what it cost to build a farm structure? The costs regarding building a farm structure ranges on the type of structures you are going to be building. In this article, we will give you the true meaning of a farm structure, as well as what types of materials you can use and what the costs will entail.
What is the Farm Structure?
Farm structures are usually different types of physical constructions that are built on a farm for the purpose of livestock and crop production. These structures help to increase the efficiency of agricultural production. Most of the farm production processes are carried out under the controlled environment in order to maximize the outcome. For example:
- Animals must be protected from nature’s elements, like rain, wind or high sunlight intensity. In protecting the animals from these harsh elements, you help to keep them healthy.
- Harvested crops must be protected from water, insects, fungi and extreme temperatures.
- Farm machinery must be protected from rain and dirt. This helps to keep the depreciation level to a minimum.
Where on the farm should I build this structure?
Farm structures should be built in suitable areas for the farmer’s ease of use. Siting is very important in the construction of any farm structures and buildings. But wait, what is sitting? Sitting refers to locating an area where the particular farm structure or building is to be constructed.
What are the factors I should consider when selecting the siting?
If the land is too sloppy, there will be high chances of a landslide occurrence. If the land is too flat, there is a likelihood that poor drainage will lead to flooding. A relatively flat free drained are is the most suitable for your farm structure.
Prevailing winds and rainfall
Windbreaks are put perpendicular to the direction of the wind so that it can reduce the velocity of the wind. Strong winds can destroy buildings. You should site the farm structures so that it is facing away from the direction of the wind, and away from the direction of prevailing rains. In doing this, you minimize the chances of water entering the buildings.
The soil characteristics and strength determines its ability to withstand any stress that is exerted by a building. Build farm structures or buildings on firm, well-drained soils.
Nearness to utility sources
Farm structures or buildings should be built near utility sources such as electrical power lines, telephone lines, and piped water. This allows for cheaper access to essential services.
The design must be in such a way the lengths are in straight lines for the ease of cleaning when the pipes are blocked. The system should be accessible to a disposal vehicle.
The area that you have chosen must be secure against theft, vermin intrusion, fire, and trespassers.
Different farm structures available and their uses
There are many types of farm structures available that are used for different purposes. Some are used for the housing of the farmers and their families, or even the workers on the farm. Some can be used for crops, livestock, and equipment. But here are a few worth mentioning:
A farmhouse is a structure used primarily as a residence for families, farmers, and workers on a farm. If desired, it can be sometimes connected to a barn.
This is a popular type of farm structure and is only used for one purpose. The barn can serve as a shelter for livestock or livestock feeds like hay, grains, etc. It can also be used to store farm produces, farm supplies and machinery.
Chicken coop or chicken house
This is a small structure that is used for keeping chickens, especially the female ones. The structure is built with the purpose to protect them from bad weather, as well as to serve as a place where they can lay their eggs for easy collection. The chickens are not kept in the coop all day. The structure has a door that allows the chickens to come outside during the day and enjoy the sunlight. At night, they have a warm cozy home to sleep in.
A brooder house is a farm structure that is used for keeping young livestock, especially poultry. This structure is known to be a heated enclosed shelter.
Also referred to as a barn, this structure is designed for the purpose of keeping cows.
This is one of the simplest farm structures available. A shed is a structure that is used for the storing of equipment or to act as a small workshop.
What are the factors I should consider when choosing my building material?
When choosing to build a farm structure on your farm, remember that there are a whole lot of factors you should first look in to. One of those factors is what type of material you are looking to use. Factors which are important in determining which material to use are:
- Cost sanitation
Different construction materials that can be used
Stones and bricks
- Stones and bricks are durable
- Easy to disinfect
- Resistant to weather and insect decay
- Easily available
- They are bulky and require skilled labor to make them.
Plastic and Synthetic Materials (Including glass, asbestos fiber and polythene materials)
- Cheap (depending on the quality)
- Easy to disinfect
- Can be molded into any shape
- Cannot be destroyed by insects and fungus
- Easily destroyed (fragile)
- Very expensive in large quantities
- Requires a skilled worker
- Can be re-used
- Fairly strong
- Can catch fire easily
- Decay happens when exposed to water
- Can be affected by fungus and insects
Concrete (a mixture of cement, sand, aggregate, and water)
- Easy to disinfect
- Cheap to maintain
- Fire resistant
- Material is expensive
- Requires a skilled worker
- It cannot be re-used.
- High strength to weight ratio
- Easily fabricated and produced massively
- Relatively cheap when compared to other building materials
- Is an alloy or iron – makes it susceptible to corrosion (can be prevented by using anti-corrosion applications)
- High maintenance costs due to having to be painted to make it corrosion-resistant
- Not fireproof
- Chances of buckling
- High expansion rate with changing temperatures.
How much does it cost to build a farm structure?
When building a farm structure, there will be a variety of materials you can choose from. But you need to consider which material suits your budget the best. Below are an estimated price of building a farm structure with the different materials:
When building a farm structure from steel that is 40×60 (2400 square foot), you can be sure to be spending R246 399.70, which works out R101.46 per square foot.
When choosing to go with wood (or rather poles), a 40×60 pole barn will cost about R507 293.50 up to R1 014 587.00 to build. This gives you R217.41 up to R434.82 per square foot. If you are looking to build a larger and more complex pole barn, the cost can range up to R1 449 410.00 when it is fully finished, costing you R652.23 per square foot.
Considering to build your structure with concrete? Well, I would advise you to reconsider. A simple 40×60 concrete slab that is 6 inches thick will cost you between R123 199.85 and R173 929.20. And this is just for the slab, not even the walls or the roof!
And the best option is…
So with all the consideration that needs to be done before you start on the construction of your farm structure, it is best to look at the best option that is affordable. With our Agri Dome, you can be sure to get the best quality of farm structures there are on the South African market. Not only is it the best quality, but it is also the most affordable structure.
Feel free to read more about our Agri Dome in these articles: