Window Shopping

“I went window shopping today! I bought four windows.” -Tommy Cooper

Let’s talk about windows.

There a different reasons people design their buildings with windows.

Appearance

Sometimes windows are mostly for increasing the curb appeal of a building. We can work with you to get the right look. We have some basic standard configurations that we use if exact measurements for window spacing are not specified. However, we can customize the location of windows to meet your specifications.

Light

Often at least part of the reason for windows it to allow natural light into the building. Weather you go with our cottage style building that has a row of windows in the dormer that allow for the interior to be flooded by light, or just a single small window to let in a bit of light, we can configure your shed to meet your goal.

The first time the door closes behind you when you are getting something out of your shed you will be glad there is some light in there so you are not finding your lawn tools with your shins as you grope for the door.

Ventilation.

Most times a backyard shed is not air conditioned space. Even if you do not plan to use the building as a workshop, you may want to consider an opening window to allow cross ventilation for the times when you are organizing the inside of the shed. In larger buildings a window in the loft can add additional ventilation beyond the standard vents.

View

If the primary use for your building is storage, the view from inside the building may not be a big concern. However, if the building will be a workshop, hobby space, she-shed or man cave you will want to consider carefully the window placement. A double set of windows above a potting bench, looking out over the garden, can be the detail that makes the building a favorite place to work.

 

Some things to consider when thinking through the window placement for your shed.

Will it fit? Think not only of the window size but any trim or shutters that go around the window.

Do I need cross ventilation? If you will be using the shed as a workshop you may want to place windows on opposite walls to allow for cross ventilation.

Security. In most neighborhoods security is not the first concern, at least most houses we have installed buildings at have windows. If you are concerned about security there are a few things we have seen done. Curtains on the inside can block someone from seeing in. What they can’t see wont tempt them. Octagon or Transom windows high in the wall like in the vinyl Cape Cod pictured below let in light but are too high for someone to easily see in.

Beachy Barns Cape Cod with transome window

Cape Cod with transom window above the doors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insulated Windows. If your building will be used for a storage shed most likely you will not need insulated windows. However, if you have plans to insulate and heat your building you may want to consider insulated windows.

 

The right window set-up can enhance you building and make it even more enjoyable.

We routinely help customers decide what, if any, windows will best serve them in their new building.

Shed window with shutters and flower box

Window with shutters and flower box

Octagon window in vinyl sided barn

Octagon window in vinyl sided barn

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

Deciding what size shed you need

What size shed do I need?How big is big enough?
One of the most important decisions in purchasing a building is deciding on the size. There are many things to consider, and so we will discuss a few of the most important ones.
1. How much space do you need?

Many people look inside a building and say, we could the mower here, the snow blower over there, your workbench on that side, etc. without really measuring it out. Most larger items take up more space than you think unless you actually put a tape measure to it. Another aspect is everything has to come in through the door(s), which means you need room to maneuver around things. A common statement is we have a 2 car garage and can’t get any of our vehicles inside. After looking at buildings, a common conclusion is an 8×10 or 10×10 would be sufficient. Sorry, folks, that ain’t gonna happen. You can’t unload a 2 car garage full of “stuff” into a 10x 10 shed.
Here are a few tips on how to determine how much space you need. Gather all your things together in the garage and arrange them like you would in a shed. If you measure the area in one corner of the garage you can use the walls to gauge the space you need for hanging items, workbenches, shelves, etc. Again, it has to go through the door, you can’t just plop it in from anywhere.
Another way of doing it is to draw it out on graph paper. You can make each block on the paper  equal a foot. Lay out the building to scale including the door. Measure the items then cut out pieces to represent each one and try to arrange them inside the building. You can even try to slide them through door to see if they fit. This gives you a concept of how much room you need without using the actual items. Two items we find people often underestimate the size of are mowers and trailers.
In my 30+ years of doing this, I don’t recall ever hearing anyone say I wish we would have gotten a smaller shed, but I have heard the opposite quite frequently. The most common complaint we hear from our customers is I wish we would have gotten a bigger one.
2. The size of your yard.

Many people are concerned about how their structure will look in the yard, and rightly so. Something we hear repeatedly is, we have this small yard and a big building would just be overpowering. That may be true, but I’ve never heard anybody say, we have a huge yard and can’t get a small building because it would get lost in the landscape. The right style building with appropriate landscape design can make a larger building become part of a small yard and vice versa.
3. Building and Zoning permit restrictions.

Last, but not least are the code restrictions that apply to your area. State code allows for up to a 200 sq ft. building without a building permit (10×20 or 12×16). However, many areas are more restrictive with their regulations. A building permit deals with the how the structure is built, while a zoning permit deals with where it is placed on the property. Typically, if you are outside city limits, the county issues building permits, and the township handles zoning issues. If you have a homeowner’s association, it trumps everything else. Within city limits, check with the city building and zoning office. See a previous blog post for more details about permits.

These are just a few ideas. If you call or stop by we would be glad to discuss your specific situation in depth.

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

When I grow up I want to be a fireman

 

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Was it just me or did every kid growing up dream of being a firefighter one day?

I am not sure what happened. Here I am, sitting behind this desk without a fire truck in sight.

The 7 year old me would be so disappointed in the 40 year old me.

That is not the case with one of our customers. Firefighter Kevin followed his boyhood dream and became a career firefighter. I am sure that the realities of being a firefighter may have been a bit different than he thought it would be as boy, but he never lost his fascination with firefighting.

The part of that fascination that we are so impressed with is his fire equipment collection.

Kevin has a collection of antique firefighting equipment that would be the envy of many museums.

One of the most prized parts of his collection are the antique fire call boxes. If you are unfamiliar with fire alarm call boxes, here is a link to Wikipedia that explains it better than I can.

 Several years ago, Kevin came to us for a building to keep his collection in. Since then, he has added two other buildings to house his ever growing collection.

His most recent building is a 10×14 Cape Cod that he set up to resemble an old fire house.

Have a look at these pictures. Your inner 7 year old demands it.

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This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

Is smaller the new bigger?

Tiny house outside

Tiny house outside

 

The building we are featuring in this post is following the current “Tiny House” trend. It is a 12×24 Cottage with a row of dormer windows running the full length of the building. We

The shell as it looked when we delivered it.

The shell as it looked when we delivered it.

insulated the floor with 2” foam and installed an insulated service door. It was delivered to the Dayton area and placed on a post foundation provided by the customer. From there on, everything was done by the customer.

 

On the exterior rough sawn cedar siding milled from Ohio trees was installed over the existing siding. Windows were purchased at a local ReStore at a greatly reduced price. Sliding barn door hardware and a large window were used to craft a sliding door. Several LED lights illuminate the exterior at night.IMG_70802

Interior walls are insulated with fiberglass insulation and are covered with the same cedar as the outside. Lights are LED Edison bulb replicas and draw a total of 30-40 watts for the entire house. Immediately inside the door the center of the living room floor is mahogany wood and native stone with grout and covered with polyurethane. The rest of the living room has hardwood floor, while the kitchen and bathroom have slate floors from a local big box store. A wood burning stove/oven between the kitchen and living room heats the whole house and was provided all the cooking this winter. The wall behind the stove is covered with slate shingle reclaimed from an old Ohio barn roof. Due to the nature of his job, the owner is gone for 24-48 hrs at a time, a propane heater is used as a backup source of heat. A couch, chair, TV/dvd player, coat rack, and some firefighting memorabilia finish out the living room.

 A bar/counter separates the kitchen and living room and provides storage for kitchen items. There are plenty of wine glasses for any amount of people you could fit into this house.  There is a propane stove top, a small sink, a full size refrigerator/freezer, and shelves for storage everywhere possible in the kitchen. IMG_70652

The bathroom has a composting toilet and a beach shower that is not hooked up yet. There is a holding tank for water that is currently being brought in from elsewhere, but future plans call for a rainwater collection system.

There are identical lofts at both ends of the building. The rear loft above the bathroom is the sleeping quarters and a little storage and the front loft above the living room is the guest quarters.tinyhouse34

The house is completely off grid with electrical power coming from a 600watt solar panel system and batteries for storage. This will need to be upgraded in the near future to keep up with the demand. Also in the future plans is an outdoor kitchen and a few small modifications on the inside.

If a Tiny House is on your bucket list, this is one you will want to check in to. I was amazed at what all can fit into a little space and still have enough room to be comfortable. It is very nicely finished and decorated and we are delighted to have had a small part in the project.

From the owner: A question a lot of people ask me is why did I decide to do this, and contrary to belief, it is not just because I wanted to go green, although that does seem to be the side effect. 

I wanted to do this for independence, the cabin is self-sustainable on its own, even without the propane or internet access.  I was also looking to be debt free, and am working to that goal now, allowing me to spend otherwise wasted money on savings and retirement.

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This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

A Good Heritage

Lawrence Beachy

Lawrence Beachy

This month, March 13th to be exact, was the birthday of our founder and my father the late Lawrence Beachy and feel it is fitting to pay tribute to him in honor of the values that he instilled in us and in our company. He was born into an Amish family in 1930 as a twin, being number 9 and 10 in a family of 12, 6 boys and 6 girls. Dad was a farmer all his life, but also bought a backhoe from a local farmer approx. 1959 and it remains in the family to this day. He became the first person in the Plain City area to have a backhoe doing custom excavating on a full time basis. In the early 1971 he was ordained as a minister in the local church which led him to discontinue his excavating business to allow more time for his church work. In the early 80s land prices soared and the land he was renting sold at a higher price than he was willing to pay, so he started looking for other options. While also wanting to provide a job for me so that we could work together, after doing some research, he decided on what was then called “little red barns”, a term that is no longer applicable today. In the fall of 1981 at the age of 51 (my age today) we built several buildings and the following year was our first full year in business. As the business grew, farming was eventually discontinued.

In the early years of the Dad was involved in every aspect of the business, selling, building, delivering, buying materials, etc. As time went on, he was the primary delivery driver and did that until he was well over 70.  He spent his extra time doing odds and ends around the shop that no one else got done. Because the shop was at home, lots of evenings after supper were also spent tinkering around outside. Even though his physical and mental health declined rapidly in his last 6 months, he still showed up at the shop almost daily until his dying day.

Dad was always more concerned about giving the customer a quality product at a fair price than about making big money. He was more careful about the building he delivered to the customer, than he was about the vehicle he used to get it there. A scratch or dent on the truck was not a big deal. A little mud track on the floor of the new building had to be cleaned before it was delivered. He was a stickler for having cuts and joints fit tightly and looking neat. Higher quality materials also made for a better looking product. Taking an extra 5-10 minutes for those details was of utmost importance. He insisted on high quality materials and craftsmanship.

Did I mention Dad was not concerned about how the vehicle he drove looked? That is actually not quite true, but in a different way than for most of us. He was very concerned about the fact that he didn’t want anything he had to be stand out. His house, car, equipment, etc he wanted to be practical and useful, not for show. He said, and I truly believe if someone would have given him a luxury car, he would not have driven it because he didn’t want to be known for his possessions. He wanted to be remembered as for honesty, integrity, and providing a superior product at a reasonable price.

Even though he went to his reward in Sept 2007, it is still a common occurrence to this day for customers to tell us about how the old man with the little white beard delivered their shed. Some can go into great detail of how the whole process went 15-20 years after it happened. I don’t remember too many delivery drivers from that long ago, but he made a lasting impression on many people.

Dad is no longer with us, and things have changed over the years. What has not changed is the fact we will continue to do our best in providing the level of quality, customer service and satisfaction that has been in our DNA from the beginning. It is our goal to carry on the traditions and values that have gotten us to where we are today.

I invite everyone from customers, to former employees, to friends and relatives to share any memories you have.

–Dale Beachy

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

Blooming Bus

The best time to talk about flowers and gardening is in the spring. This time of year, when the days are getting short and there is a chill in the morning air, it would be better to talk about fall colors, combines in the fields and pumpkin spice flavored everything.

Inappropriate time of year aside, we were recently at a customer’s business location and saw something that made us stop short and get out the camera.

The customer’s business is Meadow View Growers and because this is a Beachy Barns blog, I will start by showing you a picture of the building they have from us.

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Nice little custom building that they use for a checkout building at their greenhouse.

However, the building, as nice as it may be, is not what made us get our camera out.

If the question you have been asking yourself is “What would it look like if a bus had thousands of plants growing on it?”, then here is your answer.

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Meadow View Growers planted this bus back in February in their green house.

They water it every other day and it has been driven in a dozen parades this summer.

Here are a couple more pictures.

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For more information on the bus, check out the Meadow View Growers bus page.

 

 

 

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

She Sheds

I don’t know who coined the phrase “She Shed” but I wish it would have been me.

She sheds have been getting attention lately. We have, for many years, been building sheds and cabins for every imaginable use. Recently, we have heard the term “She Shed” used to describe some of these buildings.

Beachy Barns Cottage as Featured in the Columbus Dispatch

Beachy Barns Cottage as Featured in the Columbus Dispatch

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Recently Allison Ward with the Columbus Dispatch interviewed several of our customers about their projects.

We are always interested in how our sheds are being used and we love it when someone in the media shares that interest.

Here is a link to article:

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2015/08/20/1-havens-to-betsy.html

 

 

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

2015 Photo Contest

We are live with our 2015 Photo Contest!

 

We think all Beachy Barns are good looking. It is time to show off some of that good looks.

Submit a picture of your Beachy Barn to win.

The top 6 pictures, as judged by our staff of experts, (to be clear, we are experts at building sheds not at judging pictures, but we are the judges) The best 6 pictures will receive a $25. gift card for Der Dutchmen Restaurant and Bakery.

The best picture will also receive a poly fan back rocker ($292.00 value) Great for your porch or deck.

Click the picture below for more information and to enter the contest.

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This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

This Old Barn

Recently, over on the Beachy Barns Facebook page, I commented about our old barn that was Barn top in the background of some of the pictures I post.

 

We think she was built in the 1930’s and added onto somewhere through the years. The barn has gone through changes over the years. Originally used for cows, horses and hay storage, then, in the early 80’s, instead of the sound of animals and farm equipment, the barn heard the sound of kids cheering and volleyball and basketballs slamming against the hay loft floor. The hay was gone and the loft was converted into a makeshift sports court that was the natural gathering place for the church youth group.

While the hay loft was being used for volleyball games the downstairs was being slightly remolded to serve and the shop for making the very first Beachy Barns storage sheds.

More recently, that hay loft has been tore out to make more headroom for our lumber storage.Barn back

 

Can you imagine how much that old barn has seen over the years? In the 1930’s, the country was in a depression, Hitler was rising in Europe,  gas was .10 a gallon,  bread was .10 a loaf, Babe Ruth was playing for the Yankees and big band music was all the rage. Well, at least in the city. Out here on a 1930’s Amish farm,  they would have drove horse and buggy, made their own bread and were not really that into the whole big band swing scene.

I wonder how many storms beat on this barn over the years. I wonder how many times the snow load tested her.

Through all the years and changes, the old barn has stood the test of time. Eventually, we may have to take down the old barn to make room for a bigger shop, but the character and workmanship will live on.

Today, Beachy Barns is still building to stand the test of time. We still make our buildings with an eye on the storms that we know they will need to withstand over the decades.

While we are not planning to go back to driving horse and buggy, I sure could go for a piece of homemade bread about now.aerial farm bw

 

 

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.

Floored

Let’s talk about some floor options for your building.

The floor is an important part of any building. In a small building, the floor often is not covered with floorcovering so not only does the floor support your building and everything in it, but you also have to look at it.

If you choose the correct floor when you are designing your building, you will never need to think about again.

There are four floor options for our buildings and I will discuss each one here.

1. Standard Floor.

3/4" T&G Plywood

3/4″ T&G Plywood

For the majority, the right floor for your building will be our standard floor. Our standard floor is 3/4″ tongue and groove plywood. The 3/4″ is possibly an over-kill for all but the heaviest loads. However, overkill is our goal. Tongue and groove adds significant install time but we still use it for 2 reasons. First, the T&G is stronger. The interlocking T&G joint prevents flexing and sagging between the floor joist. Secondly, the tight T&G joint prevents light or insects from coming through.

2. Treated Plywood Floor. With the same specs as our standard floor with the exception that the joist and plywood are both pressure treated. While our standard floor is a the best choice for the majority of our customers, the treated floor is a good option in high moisture situations. Examples of situations that would benefit from having the treated floor would include a building sitting in an area that stays damp and a building being used for chickens or animals.

3. Treated Tongue and Groove 2×6 Floor.

Treated T&G 2x6 Floor

Treated T&G 2×6 Floor

This is our strongest wood floor. While there are customers that have parked cars on our standard floor, if you are planning to use your building for a garage, we recommend this floor. Our Garage model comes with this floor standard and it is optional on all other buildings. Park your car on this floor and then use a garden hose or pressure washer to clean it up. Made from the same material as many outdoor decks, this floor holds up great to the elements.

4. Concrete Floor.  While it tends to be a bit more expensive, concrete can make a very nice building floor. We do not do concrete floors but we certainly can and do install our buildings on concrete floors. When we are building on concrete we make a few changes. Our walls get a treated bottom plate and we use a sill seal between the wall and the concrete. We also use sleeve anchors to fasten the building to the concrete. You can have your concrete contractor call us with and discuss specs for the pad.

Any of these floors are a great choice and your exact use of the building will determine which is best for you.

 

This entry was posted on by Shannon Martin.