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stukndapast
stukndapast New Reader
5/17/20 2:29 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

times 10 on radiant heat.  It will always be a drafty barn.  Don't heat the air because it just throws money out the cracks.  Heat surfaces.  My shop at work has an overhead gas radiant heater (Vangaurd is the brand).  It will melt plastic 12' below it on the floor if you crank it up.

Always go way bigger than you think you need.  If you were on a 1/4 acre, I'd say just put what you're allowed.  You're on 5 acres.  My dad's property has a 40 x 40 AND a 36 x 42 (or 48... I forget) and until we get all of our toys in there, you can't even walk around them.  Sardines.  Just go big.  It's way cheaper go with a 50% larger building than it is to build another structure later.

THIS ^^^^  Whatever you build, in 3 or 4 years you will wish that you made it bigger.  Guaranteed.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/17/20 2:42 p.m.

In reply to SVreX (Forum Supporter) :

I'm gonna say much the same back to you about being kinda accurate but not exactly.

 

Distribution efficiency IS performance efficiency. The distribution of the hot water is vital to it's performance.

 

In huge houses with multiple floors I've poured basically rat slabs for thermal mass. The outside walls usually have their own circuit with denser, but shorter overall, coils. The inside is less dense and another circuit. Usually there's a number of how long they want each circuit to be. So the outside wall zone could be 110 feet while the inside zone could be 120 feet or something, I'm pulling numbers out of thin air. Multiple floors also means that the upper floors get less circuits and less dense coils for obvious reasons.

 

There is absolutely valves on some, especially when we start talking about either outside sidewalks or say a garage. These need to be available to blow out separately if the owners leave in winter and don't need or want to heat their sidewalks. The damage to concrete is never worried about, which is annoying to me, mostly because rat slabs don't matter and if it isn't in a rat slab.....they don't seem to care.

 

I've worked on a few many million dollar homes, usually log homes actually,that want radiant heat to be the only heat. While I think it's stupid and inefficient to use it as an only heat source it's "green" and "outdoor friendly". The radiant heat systems can get stupidly complex and huge. One job the plumber told me there was several thousand gallons in the floor of the 5 story house and several dozen circuits. I can't say I tested it to see but it was roughly a 35k square foot house.....and we poured something like 80 yards of light concrete inside for thermal mass.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/17/20 3:46 p.m.

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

I'm glad we agree they are circuits. wink
 

I didn't say there are no valves.  Every loop always has a valve. But that's different than a zone valve. 
 

The valves are used for balancing the system, or isolating for flushing, etc.  They are usually manually controlled.
 

A zone valve would have a controller on the valve, usually controlled by a thermostat, etc.
 

There is no reason you couldn't attempt to use zone valves, it just wouldn't do much.

I agree that distribution is important to the systems ability to heat the house evenly. But poor distribution wouldn't change how many BTUs are burned to heat the house, because of the thermal mass of the slab.

Picture a house with a single loop 800' long. The water would start hot, and would only be able to heat let's say the first 100' of the loop. After that, it would be cold.  It would return to the boiler and be reheated. 2nd pass, it would heat 120 LF.  Etc, etc.  
 

At some point the first 100' of the system would be up to temperature, even if the opposite end of the building has not begun to heat.  When the delta between the temperature of the slab and the temperature of the water in the pipe is zero, there will be no heat transfer to the first 100' of the loop.  The remaining 700' will begin to heat quicker.

The total BTUs consumed will be the same.

The house will be uncomfortable because of the uneven heating, and it will take forever to bring the last 100' up to temperature, but the slab will retain the heat because of the thermal mass, and the overall BTUs will be similar. Crappy system, but not worse overall thermal efficiency. 
 

Yes I know... there are a lot of exceptions to this (like LF of exterior wall, transfer to the soil underneath, and thermal transfer through the walls), but that's the basic concept.

keithedwards
keithedwards Reader
5/17/20 7:11 p.m.

I built a 30X60 pole barn, on 3.5 acres (years ago). For purposes of Virginia Beach, it was an agricultural building.

 

I chose to build it as a pole barn, because I had some experience dealing with pole barns as a kid. I also happened to have a tractor, PTO-driven post hole digger, and a grater box. The plan was for 4 bays, the last of which was to have 2 horse stalls and a tack room.

 

I built it piece-meal, in this order:

Place ten 6"X6"X16' posts

Construct eight 2"X12"X15' sandwich beams (two 2X12s with 1/2" plywood or OSB glued and nailed)

Install sixteen 30' span manufactured trusses, purlins, and 5V crimp galvanized roofing

I think this is the point where the final city inspection was performed.

Then I graded down 4", and built forms for the concrete.

Scheduled concrete finisher, who helped me coordinate the concrete order and delivery (2 separate pours).

Next came the studs and T111 panels. The 2 walls directly across from where the garage doors would be designed to be removable, for when I wanted to be able to pull-through my truck and car trailer. I never utilized this feature, however.

Installed 2 15' garage doors.

Any electrical lighting, etc. was temporary (officially). There was no plumbing, but we designed a dry-well between the location of the 2 horse stalls, to hose down the stalls. Concrete was finished around the dry-well.

This setup wouldn't be ideal for everyone, but it worked well for me.

Rotaryracer
Rotaryracer Reader
5/18/20 7:50 a.m.

Man, you guys are really delivering in this thread.  This is EXACTLY the kind of feedback and insight I was hoping for….thank you.  Lots of great callouts and things to consider in the design.  I had started to respond yesterday, but the Internet ate my post – here’s a few additional pieces of info….

Size/Height – 

The agreement with my sainted wife is that the outbuilding can’t be larger than the house, so my max square footage is 2,400.  Although I have 5 acres, only about 2.25 is cleared and the lot is rectangular (330’ x 670’).  I’m thinking of placing it approximately where the white box is below (ignore scale/size – it’s not remotely correct).  There’s about 153’ from the house to the property line on that side, minus a 25’ mandatory setback from the line.  Aside from the setback, there are no other zoning restrictions (height, front setback, size, etc)

There’s also a 27’ pool to the side of the house that is not shown, so basically about 100’ of workable width.  Keeping it towards the front/side of the lot makes for a shorter driveway, easier run for electric/plumbing, and I don’t have to trudge 400’ through knee-high snow to the barn.  :)

On height, I was originally thinking 14’ on the chance that I someday get a 5th wheel trailer and want to pull it in there.  Realistically (by the time that happens), it may end up heading South for the winter anyway.  12’ walls/doors would be fine for everything else I would work on in there.

Heating/Cooling –

Although I initially mentioned in-floor radiant heat as it’s supposed to be awesome, the reality is I think it will be more expensive and have a slower recovery time than I want.  A few folks have mentioned radiant heat, which is what I have in my warehouse.  That works GREAT, in that it warms up 1,250 sq/ft (with 16’ ceilings!) quickly and seems to be pretty cost efficient.  I have one 40’ radiant tube down the length of the warehouse, but for the new shop, will want to look at BTUs once square footage is finalized.  I think I’ve seen them with one burner and a long U-shaped radiant tube, or might do two separate units, one on each side lengthwise?  

For insulation, any recommendations for a pole barn?  I’ve seen spray foam as well as standard fiberglass batts used.  For interior finishing (if it matters), I was thinking 4x8 sheets of particle board as the first course at the floor, then probably do metal panels above that for walls and ceiling.

The doors will be in the short end of the building facing the street, and I will probably put a 8’ roll-up door or double man door at the back corner, facing the house, for crossflow ventilation during the summer.  One or two Big Ass Fans in the ceilings is probably a good idea.

Plumbing –

I have a septic system, and the junction box is about 18’ off the front of the house. The hope is that I can tie into that system, but not sure if that can be done to code.  I’m really trying to avoid a separate system for one lousy bathroom.  :)  I’m also hoping to tap off of the house water to avoid a separate water utility charge.  That said, having a sink, toilet, and shower in the barn will be important, as when I’m doing working on a project, I often look like I took a dive into a vat of grease and then rolled around in the dirt.

Electrical –

I’ll have a two-post lift, 220V welder, maybe a tire machine and balancer at some point, plus normal other stuff...drill press, bandsaw, etc.  I’d like to do LED lights, with enough light to outshine the sun...need to do some research on these as far as style/type.  Tapping off the house would require upgrading the house panel to 400A service (currently 200A), which I think can be done, but need to have RG&E out to inspect.  I did want to run a separate conduit from the house with CAT6 to extend the network.

Floorplan/What’s Going In There –

There’s been a couple of mentions of segmented areas, which was exactly what I was thinking.  General idea in my head is to take the rectangular building and divide into four general areas….back right corner is for the lift/longer term repair, front right corner is for movable projects or quick daily driver repairs), back left corner would be for vehicle storage, front left corner would be for….other stuff?  Heavy duty shelving down the side walls for parts/supplies storage whereever there’s not floorstanding tools, probably using these.

The far back wall across left and right sides would be workbenches and toolboxes.  Need to figure out where to put the bathroom, but if I can tap into the house septic system, then front left area would be the shortest run to the box.  I’m going to spend some time with that floor planning tool that buzzboy suggested to see if there’s a chance this will all fit.  smiley

Vehicles requiring indoor storage would include my road race Camaro, stage rally Honda, and a motorcycle (just one for now, but I’ve had up to 5 at one time).  I’m missing an Answer...at some point, I think Mrs Rotaryracer and I will need a Miata (or Little British Car), so that will need indoor storage as well.  I also have a single cab long box 4WD truck (with plow) and a crew cab long box DRW truck that I’d like to be able to pull in for maintenance during the winter…..ideally, I’d like to store the dually in the barn during the winter, but that’s not mission critical.  I have a Subaru wagon I use for daily driver status and TSD/road rallies that will get serviced, but will not require storage.  Finally, I have a 26’ enclosed trailer (probably 34’ overall length?) that I’d like to be able to back in on the left side of the barn for trailer work (rewiring, etc) and then pull right back out again.

All the lawn care/homeowner detrius will get moved to the two car garage attached to the house, so no need to store lawn tractors, etc.  No woodworking equipment or other hobbies need to share space...sadly, I'm pretty laser focused on vehicular-related pursuits.  

Thanks again all....

stukndapast
stukndapast New Reader
5/18/20 9:22 a.m.

In reply to Rotaryracer :

My shop is a pole barn, 36 x 48 (TOO SMALL) and it has T1-11 siding, metal roof and a full ceiling (15') using the same metal as the roof.  I have 6" fiberglass batts in the "attic" with another 12" or so of blown-in insulation on top of the batts.  I had the walls insulated with a spray foam which remains exposed (it's as hard as a rock).  It is like being inside a Yeti cooler.  I have a 5 ton HVAC unit and keep it heated at 62 or so in the winter and cooled and de-humidified at 80 in the summer. My power bill is very reasonable, never had a bill over $80/mo, and it is always nice and comfy at any time of the year.  I highly recommend the spray foam on the walls.  The batts and blow-in in the attic works fine, but you lose storage capability up there, even though I only have a small pull-down stairway to access the space, so I couldn't put anything large in the attic anyway.  One key item is having insulated roll-up doors and making sure they seal tight and their weatherstripping is intact.  My largest door is a 10'W x 13'H roll-up so I can put my class-A motorhome inside.  10' is too narrow, should have been 12' wide.  I have to fold in the mirrors to get it in.  Point is, go larger than you think you need for EVERYTHING.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
5/18/20 9:58 a.m.
Rotaryracer said:

For insulation, any recommendations for a pole barn?  I’ve seen spray foam as well as standard fiberglass batts used.  For interior finishing (if it matters), I was thinking 4x8 sheets of particle board as the first course at the floor, then probably do metal panels above that for walls and ceiling.

There are tons of different ways to insulate a pole barn. The general idea with any approach in your climate is that the cross section of your walls should go something like this:

Outdoor air >> exterior material >> Semi-permeable moisture barrier (Tyvek, etc) >> framing/insulation >> impermeable vapor barrier >> interior wall material >> indoor air

What you choose for interior and exterior wall materials doesn't really matter much. You want a moisture barrier on the outside to prevent bulk, liquid water from getting into the wall cavity, but it has to be permeable enough that any moisture that might find it's way in can vent to the exterior. It also gives a nice substrate for spray foam to adhere to if you go that route, so that it doesn't force it's way out of any seams in the exterior material or bulge it out. It also lets the exterior material be removed without having to cut out/redo a bunch of spray foam. The impermeable vapor barrier on the inside will keep anything from passing all the way through the wall (keeps indoor air indoors and outdoor air outdoors). Lots of people get confused about moisture barriers and vapor barriers so watch that. You absolutely do not want more than 1 vapor barrier in the same wall or you'll end up trapping condensation and getting moldy.

As far as insulation goes, closed cell spray foam is the best because it air seals and insulates really well at the same time. It's pricey though, especially for a building like you're envisioning. When it's applied 3-4 inches thick, the foam itself acts as the vapor barrier. That's probably all you'd need though for the ceiling and walls.

If that's out of budget, the next best approach is similar to what's known as "flash and batt", where they have a small amount of foam as the outer most insulation to stop a bunch of the air infiltration/drafts and then insulate with more traditional insulation for the bulk of the R value. This usually saves money but adds some time/complexity to the process.

I did a "Hack" flash and batt approach in mine. Instead of paying a premium for spray foam, I used 1.5" thick rigid foam panels (closed cell polyiso is the same stuff as the spray foam) that I procured from Craigslist for a decent discount. I ripped them down so they'd slide between the horizontal girts, and to the outside of the poles. Then, I framed between posts with traditional lumber 16" on center and insulated with R19 fiberglass. So I'm around R29 in my walls and there's almost no air infiltration. It's also quieter which is nice. Some people space framing further apart, or run horizontal "bookshelf" girts it just comes down to budget and how you think you'll use the building. I wanted vertical studs, 16" on center so that I could hang anything, pretty much anywhere but it added cost.

You can of course just do the fiberglass insulation and be ok too, but a little bit of foam in the right place makes a noticeable difference in comfort and I highly recommend it. They also offer wide fiberglass blankets that you can hang between poles if you don't want to frame anything out, and some even offer a plastic vapor barrier facing to save a step.

Blown in cellulose is usually the cheapest R value per inch of thickness, so that's what most do for ceiling insulation. R50-R60 is suggested for a ceiling in your region which would be about 15" of cellulose.

One thing about insulation that many people overlook (including me) is the slab. Even if you don't do radiant heat in your floor, insulating under the slab can really reduce the heat loss in the winter which saves money on energy bills, but may also mean smaller/cheaper HVAC as well. I had some HVAC sizing calcs done on my shop and having my slab insulated would've reduced the heating/cooling loads enough to downsize my HVAC. Just another thing to think about, and more potential compromises to weigh.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/20 11:20 a.m.

Electric is often overdone for a small shop.

My old shop had all the equipment for a full blown cabinet shop AND welding shop. But it was basically a 1 man shop, so the reality was I would never use more than 1 large machine at a time. 
 

I had a 100A panel, but I could have run it off a 30A breaker (no central heating or cooling)

Do you really need 200A?

Rotaryracer
Rotaryracer Reader
5/18/20 12:46 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

Electric is often overdone for a small shop.

My old shop had all the equipment for a full blown cabinet shop AND welding shop. But it was basically a 1 man shop, so the reality was I would never use more than 1 large machine at a time. 
 

I had a 100A panel, but I could have run it off a 30A breaker (no central heating or cooling)

Do you really need 200A?

SVreX, that's a great point.  As I start putting together the spec, I'll take a look at startup and overall draw to see what's a realistic max load.  This will typically be a one man shop, so while there could be times where I've got a few friends coming over using multiple resources simultaneously - one mounting tires, one running up the lift, and someone else welding - I'd bet 99.9% of the time it will be me solo in the shop.  Here's my initial guess at electrical stuff that could be running simultaneously:

  • 60-80 gallon dual stage compressor
  • Radiant heat blower(s)
  • Tire machine...or welder...or lift (but not all at the same time)
  • Lights (LED, but lots of 'em)
  • Lower amperage stuff - 18V battery charger, shop stereo and/or TV, beer fridge, video surveillance system, laptop, wireless router

Based on how packed my house panel is, I still think I'm going to need to upgrade service at the house.  I had a 50A subpanel in our old house, but that was just for the welder and was easily fit into the existing panel.  If I have to upgrade house service no matter what, is there a cost difference between 300A (if that's a thing) and 400A?  I defaulted to 400A split equally, even though I agree it would be massive overkill for the shop.  If there's a good sized price savings between "right sizing" versus "super sizing", I need to get out my calculator and figure out what I can get away with.  smiley

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/18/20 12:54 p.m.

I dunno. My barn is powered by a buried 10 ga cable from the house (with a double breaker) to a separate 30 amp panel in the barn itself. Then I have two 15 amp circuits, one for the lights and one for the outlets. What I don't have is 220. I've been able to work around that for all these years, but it would have been nice to be able to run a real welder, a better air compressor, run full power to my travel trailer, etc.

I guess my philosophy would be that it's better to have too much electrical capacity in a shop than not enough. Cost is always a factor, of course, but if I was starting from scratch, I'd make sure I have all the juice I could ever need.

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
5/18/20 1:11 p.m.

I have a dedicated 200 amp panel. I have big LED panels and outlets on every pole of my shop. I have 5 240V circuits, and my panel is only half full. So there's probably some truth to what SVreX is saying about excess capacity.

However, one thing to consider as it relates to future proofing electrical could be electric vehicle charging too.

A 240 circuit would be enough, and could be used for other things if there is no EV, but if there is an EV in the future, or for a future buyer, it might be nice to have the capacity to charge the car and weld, or run a lift, etc at the same time. If you get your power from the house panel, and there's a load of laundry in an electric dryer, and an EV charging, could you use the lift at the same time? I'm not saying you have to go huge, but I'd want a little extra capacity if you don't have much headroom right now.

 

Shadeux (Forum Supporter)
Shadeux (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/18/20 1:23 p.m.

I know a guy that lives in Idaho and gets huge snow and ice build up on the daily drivers. They pull into the garage with a heated floor slab and floor drains. Come down next morning and the cars are snow & ice free. Pretty cool!

 

Rotaryracer
Rotaryracer Reader
5/18/20 1:40 p.m.
STM317 said:

I have a dedicated 200 amp panel. I have big LED panels and outlets on every pole of my shop. I have 5 240V circuits, and my panel is only half full. So there's probably some truth to what SVreX is saying about excess capacity.

However, one thing to consider as it relates to future proofing electrical could be electric vehicle charging too.

A 240 circuit would be enough, and could be used for other things if there is no EV, but if there is an EV in the future, or for a future buyer, it might be nice to have the capacity to charge the car and weld, or run a lift, etc at the same time. If you get your power from the house panel, and there's a load of laundry in an electric dryer, and an EV charging, could you use the lift at the same time? I'm not saying you have to go huge, but I'd want a little extra capacity if you don't have much headroom right now.

 

Electric vehicles are definitely in our future...not sure when, but probably in the next 2-5 years.  I'd love to upgrade my wife now, as for the type of driving she does, she's the perfect candidate....but she loves her CX-5 and doesn't want to let it go.  Even if she does, the irony is that the charger and associated 220V would probably have to be off the house panel at the house garage.  I'd still like the option to be able to charge at the barn, though.  My Dad has a Tesla Model S, and that "welder plug" in the garage came in handy when he drove up a few years ago.  

None of this needs to be there day one, but having the headroom to do so at some point would be good.  Hell, our old house was 150A with the 50A subpanel built in and I never tripped anything, but don't want to start tripping breakers in the house because I fired up the compressor or some such thing.

nocones
nocones UltraDork
5/18/20 1:42 p.m.

One thing I've decided is in my dream every car gets a door.  Don't block vehicles in with others.  With that many vehicles needing storage I would consider an P shapped building.    Have a long narrow unheated section with side entry doors for car storage and you could put parts racks along the back wall.  something 20-22' deep.  Then have a larger rectangular building at the back that is the heated workshop section.  

I quickly took your overhead and sketched this up in Sketchup to comunicate my suggestion.  The building as drawn is 2400 sq-ft, with 1000 sq-ft for the ~4 car storage area, and 1500 sq-ft in a 40x36 workshop.  

  

 

This serioulsy took like 10 minutes so if you have any other concepts (even not mine) that you would like quickly drawn up let me know.  I know how valuable these quick renders can be in getting people on board ideas.  I suspect if you got some pictures from the road of the house and treeline you could easily convince the SO to tollerate a larger building.    It's a big property with a wide front.  If you decide to put a building that has 40' of width facing the road you really won't notice if it's 60' (2400 sq-ft) or 80' or even 100'.  Once you settle on a rafter width (8' dimensions are most common, so your probably looking at 32, 40, or 48) adding length doesn't cost that much (Relatively speaking).    

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/20 1:51 p.m.

My point about capacity wasn't really about capacity.  If you are upgrading, it makes no sense to go too small.

But if you don't have to upgrade the servic e and can make do with a much smaller load to the shop off the existing service, THEN you'd have a cost savings.

Sounds like you will need to upgrade anyway.

stukndapast
stukndapast New Reader
5/18/20 1:55 p.m.

Can't tell from your overhead shot how the power is run from the street to the house.  But, I would recommend that you have a separate power feed from the street to the shop with it's own meter.  If it is overhead, it shouldn't be a big deal at all for the power company to bring you a 240V feed from a pole transformer, which is how mine was done. If it is underground it might be a bigger deal.  Depends on the utility company and where you live.  It's nice to have the power metered separately and you pretty much have all the power you want without touching the house circuits.  It is probably easier to permit too.

Also... depending what is on the street... there could be the possibility to run 3-phase to the shop... the holy grail...

mfennell
mfennell Reader
5/18/20 2:09 p.m.
nocones said:

One thing I've decided is in my dream every car gets a door.  Don't block vehicles in with others.  With that many vehicles needing storage I would consider an P shapped building.    Have a long narrow unheated section with side entry doors for car storage and you could put parts racks along the back wall.  something 20-22' deep.  Then have a larger rectangular building at the back that is the heated workshop section.  

I quickly took your overhead and sketched this up in Sketchup to comunicate my suggestion.  The building as drawn is 2400 sq-ft, with 1000 sq-ft for the ~4 car storage area, and 1500 sq-ft in a 40x36 workshop.  

Wow.  I love that.  It does seem like it 'wastes' some of the floor space but that's just 500sq ft garage (where I've managed to put 4 cars, including one project) thinking.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/19/20 5:12 p.m.
stukndapast said:

Can't tell from your overhead shot how the power is run from the street to the house.  But, I would recommend that you have a separate power feed from the street to the shop with it's own meter.  If it is overhead, it shouldn't be a big deal at all for the power company to bring you a 240V feed from a pole transformer, which is how mine was done. If it is underground it might be a bigger deal.  Depends on the utility company and where you live.  It's nice to have the power metered separately and you pretty much have all the power you want without touching the house circuits.  It is probably easier to permit too.

Also... depending what is on the street... there could be the possibility to run 3-phase to the shop... the holy grail...

I agree, but that doesn't solve his need for a charging station at the house...

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/19/20 6:16 p.m.

I've considered a medium-ish central shop with two wings that look like mini-storage units. Just a string of repeating single car garages that can be added on to as I get more cars. Each car gets a stall, each stall is big enough for general maintenance and storage. Big work gets moved to the main shop. There is a hallway that connects all of the single bays. I can also set up individual bays for things like paint or welding/grinding/fab that I don't want to spread around. 

I do worry that by the time I build something like this I won't have the motivation/energy/youth to actually do all of those things, but it's good to dream. 

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