If moving a shop onto the farm is step two, you may be asking yourself what was step one? Well, any normal person would just assume step one would be a home, because of course you want to LIVE at your farm, right? Wrong. In some twisted turn of events, my husband convinced me not only to get a barn (step one) before our house, but he also got a shop! But don't worry, I have my fingers and toes crossed that step three will be our home...
Meet our newest addition to the Williams Family, Clay's Shop
Moving versus New
We hadn't really been looking for a shop, and most certainly weren't thinking about relocating an existing shop to our farm when we started the yard building process. We had actually been to a farm auction sale the summer before when we first set our eyes on our new bundle of building. The coal mine that operates nearby had bought out a farm in order to expand their excavation and in turn, the farmer was having a dispersal sale. While the shop was not for sale at that time, Clay had actually mentioned how much he would enjoy a shop just like it (of course because he only had a dumpy "shed"... you can see how it gets annoying, right?).
A few months later we found out the shop was for sale, so we ran some numbers. By purchasing and moving this shop, including a cement foundation, we would save approximately $28,500. We came to that number based on the cost of a 60 x 40ft pole framed, insulated building from the same company that built our barn- Goodon Industries. We also got the added bonus that the shop to move came with wiring, gas lines, the hot water heater and some additional shop supplies. (Wahoo!) So while the shop to move will need more sweat equity and is a bit older, the arch ribbed shop felt like the right choice for us.
Building the Foundation
Here is where we ran into some snags. The contractor we hired to complete the foundation didn't quite meet our expectations. While we booked the contractor before September long weekend, it wasn't until some very forceful/panicking phone calls the week before the move (mid- October) that they started the project. In fact, they only started 7 days prior to the scheduled move. This was a BIG issue for us. The rushed construction really took a toll on our project...
We were told by our basement builder (note that is most definitely a different contractor than we used on our shop foundation), that he doesn't recommend placing a building on an ICF Cement foundation for a minimum of 3 weeks after pouring. We were also told that at the very least, cement should receive 48 hours of curing before any placement on top. In fact, after 48 hours cement only has 75% of its strength total strength...
Well, on day 4 of the foundation build, there was still no cement. I mentioned the impending deadline to the contractors (and by mentioned, I mean full out panicked in their direction!) but because Day 5 and 6 were a Saturday and Sunday, they wouldn't pour the cement until Monday. We set the shop on the new foundation EXACTLY 24 hours after the cement was poured... This is still giving me anxiety as I type, because we won't know the strength of the cement for at least a week... AHHHH! This also meant we couldn't anchor our new building to our foundation... Yes, our new shop, AKA wind sail, is just exposed on the wide open prairie, waiting for the next wind storm to blow it to Brooks... Insert anxiety attack here!!!!
Keep your fingers crossed!
The day before the big move the guys from Wade's House Moving & Heavy Hauling in Taber met us at the shop. The day consisted of un-screwing the existing anchors from the cement foundation, tearing out the old benches, bracing the shop from the interior and loading it onto the trailer. We were very pleasantly surprised at how efficient the Wade's Crew was. They were in and out in a flash! We had no complaints and were very happy that Wade was able to brace the building with minimal damage (some is always to be expected). The only word of advice I would give others, is that you should go through the building thoroughly before the move and do any salvaging/removal yourself. Wade's crew said it themselves, they are excellent at demolition, they are not a salvage crew. They get things done fast & efficiently!
The location of the shop was only about 20 miles from our new farm yard, so the actual travel time was quite short. It took only about 45 minutes all in all. The video shows the shop moving onto Highway 36 and heading north before turning off onto gravel to it's new home!
The only snags we ran into on this part of the journey was that we have two sets of Texas Gates going down our driveway. We had to torch one gate, un-bolt the other and cut some barbed wire fence to get the access wide enough for the 40ft wide shop to fit through. We also had to keep our cows from mixing with the neighbors, and our bulls, but luckily that went smooth (yay for tame cows!).
I am not sure why I thought moving the shop was the hard part, but it was definitely setting it down on its foundation that was the challenge. The shop arrived on location at 10am but the shop wasn't set on it's foundation until 3 pm. I must give kudos to the Wade's Crew. They did a phenomenal job! Here are a few photos of sliding the building onto the foundation...
At the end of the day we are very excited to have another check mark on our list of farm yard to-do's, even with the few bumps in the road. However, we do have a lot of work ahead of us to make this shop workable for the ranch- power, water, gas hook ups, floor poured, backfilling, landscaping and much more! So if you are interested in our adventures keep stopping by- we will have lots to report on!
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