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Old 08-04-2013, 07:18 PM
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Putting up a garage....steel or wood???

I am about to knock down my existing barn to either rebuild it with 2 by's or metal building. I did do some forum searching, but didn't really come up with a good answer. Anyone have experience with this subject? It is a 20x30.
Thanks for the help!

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Old 08-04-2013, 08:40 PM
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My choice was a "stick build" because I could do it myself and more or less paycheck to paycheck. Took me around two years to build my 30x30. The first winter I had a one bay 15 x 30 with tarps for one wall and some amused neighbors. But some critical stuff was "indoors" and it worked for me.
Now if you are just going to write someone a check, a metal building is very hard to beat on price.
There's all kind of building types though. A "pole barn" is another home built way to go that's very practical.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:40 PM
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Years ago I would have said wood. Warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. But recently I went by the place I built back in the seventies. 36x54' wooden insulated garage burned to the ground by pranksters. What a waste, all that was left was black concrete and some random charred sticks..

All I could think of was the work I had in that building..Air and water plumbed in and pull pots in the floor. 100 anp 220 wired for machinery..

In a 40x80 metal now and freeze or bake, but metal won't burn..
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:12 AM
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Check with your insurance co. The difference in insurance cost may make a big difference in the long run. Also, some areas such as tornado alley, may not allow some types of construction.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:55 AM
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First of all, read the "Garage-Tools" Forum. There is a lot of EXCELLENT information to be found in this forum, which I used extensively when I designed my garage. It'll take you several hours to digest all of that information, but below is the short version of what I went with in my garage:

1. There is no such thing as a garage that is too big. Go with as large as you can afford.
2. I went with a metal "Versa Tube" building and am quite happy with it. Even here in Central Florida, metal buildings need to be insulated.
3. If you ever plan to install "the greatest tool known to mankind", otherwise known as a lift, you need a clear height of 12 feet.
4. I went with a two post lift which I think is great ... others prefer a 4 post.
5. My concrete slab is 6 inches thick because I couldn't figure out (on paper) where I wanted to put the lift. I considered a sloped floor for drainage, but went with a dead level slab. I'm very satisfied (for many reasons) with my level slab, and would not consider a sloped one for a future project.

Oh, I forgot that the original question was "metal or wood". Sorry, I do tend to run on a bit.

Cheers,
Grog
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:02 AM
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termites ?

I built a wood with tin roof 24 X 48 barn , 2 story in california in the early 80's, the first floor was shop, second story was the kids play room and storage, pool table, foos ball, coin operated video games. When I sold in 2001 I found a lot of termites had moved in. My next shop was a 40 X 120 metal with 16 ft walls.I had a couple iron worker buddies that were out of work so I hired them to get the skeleton and roof and 40 ft of wall before they got back on a big project in California. My new neighbor had a crane and I made a trade to have him stand up the trusses and stack the pallets of roof tin on top. We ran the electrical under the concrete floor. One mistake I made was not having radiant heating plastic tubing installed in the working end. It's harder to get a tin building completely air tight. I also should have had the inside spray foamed before I moved in. We are now building our retirement home and we built the 4 car garage out of cinder block, and had the older grand kids up on scaffolding stuffing blow in insulation down the hollow cores. My preference is the Cinder block with wood roof trusses. We got our block at an auction when a contractor that got stung dealing with Wal-mart building their stores went out of business. We did the foundation, floor and grouted in the rebar, and had our forklift helping the block layer.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:20 AM
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sloped floor ?

Another mistake I made was putting my lift in about 50 ft. After a while too many projects get in the way. The lift should have it own door on an outside wall with enough access around it . I put in a shower drain and sloped the floor. I thought I would be pressure washing under a car, or rain and snow melt run off. Now the transmission jack wants to roll and I have to block the wheels. My back hoe trailer has an open center, and I can use it to wash under a project. My lift has the cables and hoses under a metal cover under floor. I used 3/4 X 16 in anchor bolts for the lift, pre set them before the floor was poured then had adjusting nuts top and bottom. I couldn't find my bag of non shrink grout and the first time I lifted my dually. the lift base plates bent. Opps ! I re-leveled and bought some new grout and packed it right. Before I lift anything heavy again I will build a steel frame inverted U to brace the lift posts with plenty of overhead clearance.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:24 PM
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i'm a fan of stick built too. basic tools and methods that have worked for years.
my first shop was 25x30, wide enough to have the a single door on the 30 ft wall and shop space.
my current shop is 50x50 with 30x50 upstairs, you can never have too much shop
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:33 PM
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Reading this thread, I now have a bad case of garage envy... I have a 3-car which is the biggest I've ever had, but hearing about a 50x50 or 40x120 makes me drool. Tall enough for a lift, now I'm depressed too!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedanbob View Post
Reading this thread, I now have a bad case of garage envy... I have a 3-car which is the biggest I've ever had, but hearing about a 50x50 or 40x120 makes me drool. Tall enough for a lift, now I'm depressed too!
Don't be depressed Bob. No matter how big the garage is everyone still runs out of room. No such thing as a garage that is big enough so you, me and all the guys like us might just as well be satisfied with what we have.

John
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedanbob View Post
Reading this thread, I now have a bad case of garage envy... I have a 3-car which is the biggest I've ever had, but hearing about a 50x50 or 40x120 makes me drool. Tall enough for a lift, now I'm depressed too!
22x14 here, trade
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:00 PM
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John, You are so right - I would like to squeeze in a lift though...

Gearheadslife, You don't want to trade with me, go for the 40x120!
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:18 AM
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Concrete Block

I built a 30 x 30 garage with 13' high ceilings using concrete blocks and wood truss.

There 10' tall garage doors and about 26 electrical outlets.

8' Fluorescent lights and fans on the ceilings area work great.

Jimbo
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo17 View Post
I built a 30 x 30 garage with 13' high ceilings using concrete blocks and wood truss.

There 10' tall garage doors and about 26 electrical outlets.

8' Fluorescent lights and fans on the ceilings area work great.

Jimbo
the problem here is they want a footing 4 feet down and at that point might as well just have the foundation walls built 12 up..
as I don't think cinderblock walls would be any cheaper..
ah the good old days when you could pour a 4" slab and park a garage on it and call it good
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:47 AM
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cinder block

We got our blocks half price, I had a lot of the scaffolding and rebar, and we put the grand kids to work. the insulated block walls even out the temperature, it's cool on hot days, and fireproof, they don't need painting. we put stone on the front.
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