Local Agriculture

Workshop: putting up a new farm building?

If you are thinking about putting up a new barn, building stables or erecting a greenhouse, there are many things to think about. Don Reed, chief building official for Stirling-Rawdon, Madoc Township, Tweed, Tyendinaga and Desoronto spoke on September 23 at a workshop in Ivanhoe on "New farm buildings" put on as part of the Local Wood Initiative.

He pointed out each township has its own zoning by-law covering such things as set back from the road. There are other regulations to think about with farm buildings that relate to different sorts of animal, such as manure storage and nutrient management planning, and MDS (minimum distance setback) between barns and ones neighbour. which are set by the province. The best thing is to call the County of Hastings Planning Department as they can tell you about the regulations that apply to your situation. You need to know what size of barn you want, what kind of livestock that are going to be in it, and how much land you have  as you may need to develop a nutrient management plan.

Small farm building have different building code requirements. (Greenhouses are engineered buildings that have their own regulations.) With the application process, if you are building on your own property you can do your own design. However, you may want to hire someone with a BCIN (Building Code Identification Number) which gives them a licence to draw a design for a small building. Depending on scale of project your might need to hire an engineer or architect look at your design.

You need to look at the site and consider the type of soil you have. In Tyendinaga rock is close to the surface and a building may need to be bolted to the rock. In Stirling Rawdon you may be on clay or sand. Tweed is different again. The plans will change based on subsoil and bed rock. A good foundation is the key to a good strong farm building. There are many different thing you need to look up. You need to think about orientation in terms of the wind direction and the sun.

"Talk to your township, talk to your local building centre as they have all the resources to help you," said Reed.

You need to think about the about span of the building and the trusses you need. It is getting more an more important to think about snow load and wind as we are having 110 km/per hour winds. Reed has seen horse shelters blown sideways. Anything over span or not built to codes is at risk of blowing down or collapsing under snow. The building centres have calculation they can do for you.

If you are going to build in wood you can use wood from your woodlot. However if you want to use it as structural timber you need to have is graded and stamped. Most of the local mills can process and grade wood for you. If you don't get the wood graded and on inspection there is a problem you will be asked to bring in an engineer. You may need to have an engineer's stamp ion the wood f you want to use it for something like a beam in a new barn.

There are Canadian standards for wood and the building code sets regulations related to the structural use of wood. You can get graded and stamped wood from the Building Supply Centres as well as advice on such things as information about post sizes, floor joists, and beams. 

You do need a building permit for new building, other than one 10 by 10 foot or smaller. If you are doing structural repairs to a barn, which involves structural change to anything that carried a load such as repairing beams, you need a bulding permit. You need a permit if you are replacing a shingle roof with a steel one. If you are taking a building from one place to another you probably need an engineer as the site conditions will be different.

"The application form look daunting with lots of pages," said Reed "You are welcome to phone me or talk to your township."

The form has two pages and a designer sheet at the back, which has to be signed by a BCIN number holder, architect or engineer if they are involved.

New guidelines and regulations about energy efficiency came out in January 1 2015 and now all new houses have to meet these energy efficiency standards. There are also new rules about overhead power line clearance to new building and additions. It is very important to make sure you consider these.

Garnett Rollins of Rollins Building Centre, Stirling, has full line up of building supplies. As part of Rona Group he brings in steel roofing from Weston Steel. He carries a wide variety of products and has access to all pressure treated wood for Jan Woodlands. Larry McTaggart said Jan Woodlands in Bancroft produces all pressure treated products in a wide variety of timber sizes up to 24 foot long. All the lumber is stamped and graded.

Chris Rashotte Home Hardware Building Centre has a number of designs for different sorts of farm buildings, which means he to make a quick estimate of materials and costs.

It is getting to be more and more important the consider wind direction and wind and snow loads as we are getting 110 km per hour winds. Building need to be built to code to with stand snow loads. There are local truss builders who can design trusses for you and advise on what snow loading you should build to. Conditions at the south end of Desoronto is different because of the effect of the Bay o Quinte. Staff at the Building Centres can do the calculations for you.

Greenhouses are engineered building with their own specification. The uplift of wind can turn greenhouses over on their sides

If you planning anything bigger than 10 by 10 feet, do talk with your township  and find out about filling out the necessary forms. If your need to put in a wash room you need to consult a designer. 

Straw bale construction is allowed. Some are fully structural and other are timber frame with straw insideIt is important to have the right moisture content with straw bale constuction.