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I always wanted a 40x60 pole building…


NAXJA Member #120
NAXJA Member
NE Indiana
In 2020, the heart of Covid, after the protests and getting yelled at were I lived in town when people drove by my house because of the job I do, we decided it was time to step up our game and move to the country.

We had been looking for a few years, but this turned it up and watching prices and interest rates sore recently, it was a blessing in disguise for the right time to move.

My mother passed away in Feb of 2019, my father not really interested in caring for a place on his own, decided to combine forces with us and in November of 2020, we purchased a house on 3 acres, 3 miles from town with enough house for my family of four to live upstairs and dad to live in the basement. The house checked off a lot of boxes, including a modest 24x32 attached two car garage and a 30x40 insulated and heated pole barn, we refer to it as the shop.

My previous bachelor pad turned family house was small with a 28x60 garage in town. Dad had an over sized 2 car garage and we both have a lot of jun…stuff…


This isn’t the best shot of of the house and the shop, but my buddy camped at our house one weekend early on and I snapped this photo.

A year after moving in, we started building what we call, our barn.

mac ‘more pics to come…’ gyvr
I had an area selected where I wanted to put the new building, 10 foot off to the left of the shop and and the front level with the back of the shop. Pics will make that statement make sense and my “drawing”.

A couple issues were in my way to starting the build, I had a gross tree to cut down and my property was a slice of two properties originally. In this county you can’t build across property lines even if you own both. So I had to have the county recorder fix that and I cut the tree down.

mac ‘gc’ gyvr

I hate to see any old growth tree being cut down!!!
I hate to see any old growth tree being cut down!!!
Plenty of trees here and that tree dropped disgusting crap...adios!

mac 'we planted another tree on the other side of the house' gyvr
Got the property line issue done and the tree down, next issue, was the drop from the front to the back of the building location.

There was 18 inches of drop from front to back in just 60 feet. 20 - tri-axle dump trucks, a bulldozer and a stomping machine later we had a level pad. I farmed all that out to the excavating company that originally dug the basement for my house in 1984…

mac ‘pay to play’ gyvr



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Once the pad was done it was time to build it. I hired a local Amish crew to get it done.

Interesting to note, I originally spec’d out a 40x60 with 14 foot walls. I later modified to 40x60 with 16 foot walls so I could have a 14 foot door, allowing me to park whatever I wanted in the building. I have a 31ft class C RV that was going in, expect to go back to a class A one day and after all, need to build to fit anything.

This was November 2021, lumber prices were all over the place. My build quote was estimated based on the the fluidity of the market at the time. My Amish builder was cool enough to lower prices if they went down from time of quote to being built. In the end the prices went down so the difference in 2 ft of wall height was barely noticeable.


We have some amazing sunrises at this house.


mac ‘they got after it!’ gyvr
The Amish built the barn faster than I could post photos. They were done in a couple days and the only reason it took that long was because it rained.


I did a 14x12 door, a 12x10 door on the front, and a 10x10 door on the back.

It would take 2 weeks to get the garage doors, which at the time during Covid wasn’t too bad.

mac ‘we have a shell’ gyvr
Those guys don't mess around!

Love the sunrise pic over the bunks of lumber.

The doors finally came in! I should also mention that I took some extra time with the contactor to find the right colors to make the buildings match each other.



That first winter, I shoved it all in the building. For the first time in my life since owning an RV, it was going to be under cover for the winter.

Still a stone ground, no power, and not insulated, but that will come later. For now the building was built.

Super proud of getting it built, I snapped a photo of the layout. Proud that the building fit where planned!

Stay tuned.

mac 'half the battle' gyvr
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Nice drone pic, but might make me embarassed to post pics from my $140 drone :p
From November of 2021 when the building was done, nothing much else was done that winter. It was cold, we had everything under cover and enjoyed that. I did get the tractor out a few times to plow the driveway as we had some decent snow that winter.

One fun thing I wanted to try in March was putting the JT on the trailer behind the RV and backing it into the building. Never been able to do anything like that before. I was getting ready to leave for Winterfest in March of 2022 and made it happen. There's no electric in the building at this point, so the picture isn't the best. But it worked! I was stoked!


In April or so I started putting a plan together to get power to the building and put concrete in. We had a 50 amp circuit run to the other 30x40 pole building and that wasn't enough for that building, let alone another building. I talked to the power company and long story short they would run a new line from the road underground and we could get 400 amp service. New construction meant that they would do it for free even! There was one catch, since it was going under the driveway I had to pay for the conduit that was under the driveway, in the end it was about $1200. Worth it. This solved the extra cost of adding a second meter and not having enough power for the entire property. To do this, we would have them run the 400 amps to the new pole building. In the new building we'd have a 200 amp box that would feed the new pole building and send 100 amps over to the existing 30x40 building. Two cut off switches and we'd send the other 200 amps to the house. Hopefully you're still following along. I have a picture of all that electrical, I'll post in the the next post later. Dad did run some temporary lighting in the building eventually and we buried part of the run to the house under the new pole building. Here you can see some of the electrical being installed. Also the concrete truck was coming the next day.

I suppose I should mention that my dad is a licensed and insured electrician. Having done side electrical jobs for the last 30 years, he also retired from DANA as an industrial electrician.


It was a late night getting everything set and ready and partially buried for the concrete truck the next day.


The next day, the Amish concrete guy had the trucks there and we poured the floor. I originally wanted to do heated floors. But there was a ton of work involved with setting that up and it was going to be super expensive. I have no regrets at his point about not doing heated floors. Before you ask, we did 5 inch deep concrete with some new fiberglass reinforced grating in it that makes is really strong? I dunno, we planned on a car lift, but hadn't 100% figured out where it was going, so we did the entire floor in 5 inch. Not sure what concrete runs now, but we paid $1 per sq foot per inch deep. 40x60 you can do the math. I'm told it was a good deal. The Amish concrete guy I used is the one that the Amish builder recommended and when the concrete guy asked who did the dirt work, he was pleased because he says the guy does great work.


The concrete was poured in June. They came and cut it a couple days later. I think we couldn't park on it for a few weeks. It turned out great.
This building was coming together quite nicely.


mac 'I love it when a plan comes together' gyvr
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"Hairy mud" is definitely not new, but it is a great product that helps check cracking!
At first glance, $1200 for conduit seems kinda $$, but since they were running the new line for free I would've tripped over myself in paying it!
I'm not a big football fan. But being a lifelong fan of the Cincinnati Reds, I have become a Bengals fan over the years. For the most part, you don't tell anyone. In January of 2022, they were in the SuperBowl. That Sunday, we hosted a party. That Sunday, someone hit the pole just down from our house. That Sunday we didn't have power for 4 hours preceding the SuperBowl party at the house. Long story short, we had talked about a back up genset, but that incident sealed the deal. Along with the power planning, we planned for a back up genset. How do you do a back up genset with 400 amps of power. You buy the biggest residental genset and split it to two 200 amp transfer switches. We were doing 2 cut off switches anyways, so the transfer switches would meet code. So hell, let's do it now. We did. 24k genny. Fits nicely near the electrical. Oh we have a propane tank about 20 ft away. Natural gas stops about 3 miles from the house. My house is all electric, but the shop has a propane heater in it. Before you ask, yes, 24k doesn't equal 400 amps. But get this, when the power if off, we just need the basics in the house to be normal and it works (we used it a year later, more on that later). The furnace is geothermal to keep us warm/cool and electric everything else. Anyways, genny installed and the meter with two transfer/cut off switches.


My dad engineered a way to pre-run everything to where it needed to go so on the day that the power company did their thing, we'd only be out of power for a few hours (no genset here). Pulling the big wire from the new barn to the house required some "MacGyver things" and we used our tractor and a Gladiator with a winch to make it all happen. Guys with experience (like my Dad), come up with ways to make it work.


This was the mess we were tugging on to get it to the house. By the way, this wire isn't cheap.


Getting close to the prewiring being done.


If you are reading John (Lesslimited)'s thread, you know he likes ladders. I HATE them. With the impending wiring of the barn and being in the rafters and then at some point doing insulation...I did some checking with a few friends and found a lift. I found a deal on a lift. The platform goes up to 12 ft. The ceilings are 16 in the barn. This thing would work. As it turned out, dad said, I worked on lifts like this at Dana. It was a former rental unit, and as such, the wiring in it has been rewired by my dad. Because nothing wheels like a rental. In the end, it's one of the best investments that I've made. The thing is truely a blessing. Here's the day I brought it home.


mac 'you'll see more pics of the lift, I promise' gyvr
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July 2022
I wanted to paint/seal/add texture to the floor. I didn’t want it slick and I didn’t want flecks in it. First up was letting the concrete cure, then cleaning, then etching.


Then I had to apply. I used a roller and applied the coating like paint. It had sand mixed in for texture.

Made it a family affair.

I did not get it done in one day.

Eventually, got it done and let it sit for a couple days.


mac ‘its holding up well’ gyvr
August and September 2022.

Electrical upgrade day came. Dad planned and laid it out that everything was set up and ready to go. The power company did their thing.

Wiring us up for the 400 amps, underground to the new building. Once they were done, Dad wired in the house and the shop, everything was back up and running by the time I got home from work.

My dad, an electrician by trade and recently retired got at putting up permanent lights. This lift is one of the best investments in this project.

Let there be light! 4 Large socket very bright LED bulbs.

Both buildings have lights and power! The back up genset is wired in as well.

mac 'one step at a time' gyvr
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October, November, December 2022 update

How do you insulate a building this big? I wanted to do spray foam. Everything I checked was over 20k. In the end, we decided that we would do it like a house with rolls of insulation. How do you do that? Well you build some walls. We started doing that, but before that, we needed garage door openers. We decided to do side load openers. They are great. Dad installed them.


Also in that time frame, in an effort to have a place to park a second RV outside for visitors or whatever, we installed an RV plug outside.


It worked out perfectly timed as my buddy had a theft loss of his RV at the storage place in town. He brought his camper out and we stored it all winter.


On to making it work for insulation. Dad started building walls.



Remember when I said that lift was one of the best investments...


We talked about securing the walls at the bottom and came up with this...


The nails were shot into the concrete with .22 round casings...


When we ran the electrical, we ran 1 inch pipe for ethernet from the house. It was also ran to the other building (the shop). I put a netgear switch and ubiquiti APs in both buildings.


Not the final install, but enough to get it working and now legit internet in both buildings. I made my own cat 6 cables.


Looks ugly and crazy at this point, but we would clean it up later.

mac 'it works!' gyvr
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The wall mount openers are great! Easy to install, no chain or belt to loosen up or break. And less ceiling clearance needed. I should have used one in my other garage with the 8' door and 9'4" ceiling.