Your Barn, Your Way
KiwiSpan has been paving the way in the New Zealand outdoor building and shed market since the early 2000s. Whilst KiwiSpan started out with the kiwi dream of building the very best shed, over the years we have innovated into many different types of outdoor buildings to suit the New Zealand landscape, for example, a growing trend is the popularity of farm sheds and barns.
What is a barn?
A barn by definition is a large building used by farmers to store equipment or crops. Depending on whether it is a hay barn, or machinery storage shed, a barn’s framing system is one of the critical elements to maximising the use of your new space.
The second important element in building a barn in a rural location is that it is made to last. The KiwiSpan range of farm sheds and barns have all been designed with New Zealand’s harsh environment in mind, built with hard-wearing durable steel of a higher spec than many other options in the market, and by expert builders with years of experience. So you can rest assured your KiwiSpan shed will stand the test of time.
How can I customise my barn?
Perhaps the most exciting feature is that your barn can be customised to your exact farming or lifestyle requirements. Optional extra’s include partition walls, awnings, garaports, as well as being able to design a variety of sizes, lengths and heights.
‘Barn living’ has become an international trend overseas, with more and more people leaving their city surroundings for a simpler life. KiwiSpan’s barns can be customised to include a home or hobby office or even a “man” cave. Your new barn can also easily be personalized with different choices in colour cladding, different window and door choices. This trend is growing in popularity because it represents the best of both worlds – a functional working space for your equipment or farm supplies, coupled with space that you can make your own – we’re thinking a man/ she-cave or new office.
Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your new barn project.
No Consents Required
One of the hardest and most complex parts of building or renovating is the consent process and dealing with the council, but there has been some exciting news for homeowners in late 2020.
Recent changes mean that low-risk building work, such as sheds, carports and sleepouts, in many cases no longer need council consent to be built.
So if you’re considering a new addition to your home or property, it’s important to note that in a majority of cases, for the new building work not to require Council consent, these must be built by a manufacturer like KiwiSpan, or a licensed builder. With that in mind here are some options that no longer require Council consent;
- Buildings up to a maximum floor area of 30 metres – (these still can be built by non-professionals but require restrictions on building materials in accordance with the Building Code)
- Ground Floor Veranda’s or Awnings up to 30 metres
- Carports up to 40 metres
- Single-storey pole sheds and hay barns up to 110 square metres (but only in rural zones).
It’s important to note that any plumbing work to a new or current building still requires a building consent, and any electrical work will still have to be carried out by a registered electrician. Different councils can also have different local by-laws but some, like Auckland Council, have a handy online tool to check if your shed needs consent
For property owners, this has been welcome news, as it will save time and money when thinking about a new building or addition with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) predicting it will cut out the need for over 9000 consents and $18m worth of consent fees for homeowners.
However, it is also important to note that KiwiSpan is available to ensure that whatever your building size, shape or usage, that you will fully comply with the local council regulations before we commence building. Because KiwiSpan builds are entirely customised, we can give you a world of possibilities.
Whether it’s a shed, farm barn or carport, KiwiSpan has the solution for you.
Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your next shed project.
Thinking of Building Stables? Here’s What You Need to Know
If you’re considering getting some stables made, you probably don’t need to be told that there’s a bit to consider. Unlike other types of storage units, stables are used to house living, high-maintenance animals. And as we’re sure you’re aware, rearing horses is more of a lifestyle than it is a hobby, and requires a ton of time and effort – so you’ll also want to get their accommodation just right (remember, the better they feel, the easier they’ll be to handle).
To help make this process a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when planning your stables (although rest assured, when building with us, we’ll be with you all the way).
Being active animals, horses don’t like being stabled. In fact, they’d rather be out in the field all day and night. So in order to make their stay that little bit more comfortable, you’ll want to make sure they’re given enough space to rest comfortably.
The minimum size requirement for a sleeping bay is 3.6mx3.6m, but you should go bigger if you can. The general rule of thumb is that all sleeping bays should be big enough for the horse to lie down comfortably in, without having to bunch up against the wall.
Likewise, you’ll want to keep any entrances as wide as possible, giving your animals plenty of room to pass in and out of (this is typically between 1.5-2m).
When it comes to internal structures (such as the walls between individual sleeping bays), we recommended you use a mesh-like design rather than a solid wall.
This allows for two things. Firstly, the animals will be able to see each other, which will make them less prone to distress (and again, make them easier to work with).
You’ll also experience superior ventilation around the stables, which is optimal for the health of its residents. These are also good reasons to include a few windows in your stables too (not to mention the increase in sunlight they’ll allow for).
Getting the right locks for your stables is a fine art. Because you’ll often be guiding an animal whilst dealing with, locking and unlocking your stables, you’ll want a locking system that’s simple enough to operate while multitasking (and often with only one hand to spare).
That said, horses are not unintelligent animals. It’s not unheard (no pun intended) of for horses to figure out how to unlock a simple hatch lock and go for a nightly galavant. In fact, it’s even been reported that some horses will not only break themselves out but will then also proceed to bust their friends out too. Whilst you can’t fault their loyalty to each other, this could be somewhat disastrous to deal with.
As with so many things in life, finding that perfect locking system is all about balance.
There are quite a few options when it comes to stable flooring, each with their own pros and cons.
- Sand is probably the flooring that is used most often. It drains waste/water very well and is gentle on the horses’ hooves and legs. However, it will need to be replaced somewhat often, and seeing as horses tend to eat off the floor, it can get in amongst their feed and can cause health issues if too much is digested.
- Wood is another common (and more traditional) flooring option. It’s easy on the animals themselves and is warm, and slip-resistant when dry. It will need to be treated as not to retain odour and stand up against waste, however, and repairing it over the years will build up in cost.
- Concrete has become quite popular in recent years. It’s durable, affordable and low maintenance. What it isn’t, however, is good for the animals long term, and you may need to consider fitting certain areas of the stables with rubber mats for the comfort of your horses.
- Lastly, we have asphalt. It’s easier on the animal’s legs and can be long lasting when applied correctly. However, due to its porous nature, it will need to be disinfected somewhat often and can crack if applied too thinly.
Happy homes make for happy horses. Contact us here today to get the ball rolling on your next shed-based project.
The A-Z’s of Sheds
The dictionary definition of a shed reads as simply “a structure on your property that isn’t connected to your home”. By that definition, the options of what a shed is, and what it can do for you is pretty limitless.
With our customised approach, this is a pretty accurate description. We understand that everyone has different needs, and we pride ourselves on our ability to meet those needs, whatever they may be.
However, sometimes, with such a wide range of capabilities and options, it can become harder to nail down exactly what you want (and therefore need) in a shed. So we’ve put together a rundown of the different basic categories of sheds to help you find a starting point for your next project.
For those of you that grew up with parents that had a humble shack in your garden to store gardening equipment – that was technically a storage shed (although nowadays we tend to think bigger).
As the name implies, the purpose of these sheds is to, well, store things. The details of what specific features these sheds have will largely come down to what exactly it is you’ll be storing.
However, regardless of what you put in them, these sheds need to be able to protect your stored goods and keep them in pristine condition (read how we protect your valuables from NZ’s harshest conditions here.
Another shed type that says what it does in the name – habitable sheds are sheds that can serve as short term accommodation or as an extra, detached bedroom for your main residence.
These sheds can also be combined with other shed types (such as garages and workshops) to serve as an area to relax in between long hours on the workbench (read: mancave).
We’ve all got an image of an old, red farmhouse when someone mentions the term “barn” (and we probably got it from a painting or childhood storybook).
Unsurprisingly, a barn has traditionally referred to a shed that is specifically for agricultural use. Their trademark shape and design actually come from this original usage, as they were built to accommodate for windy days and getting the most out of the passing sun.
Nowadays, barns can be used for general storage, and their trademark design is more for show (as weather mitigating technology has advanced a bit). With their aesthetically pleasing appearance and spacious interior, they are a great general-purpose asset for storage and vehicle housing, as well as continuing to excel in their traditional agricultural usage.
Has this helped clear things up? You can always contact us for further info or to discuss your next project here.
Why Custom is Always King
These days, there are more options than ever when it comes to building and owning a shed. And if you’ve been thinking about becoming a shed owner, you’ve probably taken a gander at some of the different options on offer.
We’re pretty confident that custom made sheds (such as ours) are still the way to go (and we’re not being biased, we promise).
Customizable to hobbies
Firstly, the great thing about getting a custom shed means it’s made specifically for you. Sure, you might not be the only person who plans on getting a shed, but your specific needs could be totally different from those of the next shed owner.
Are you looking for a new home office space? We can do that. Or maybe you’re hoping to make your shed into a space for that specific hobby of yours. Talk to us, we can probably offer plenty of customisation that’ll help you do what you want to do. Pre-built options, on the other hand, can only offer a one-size-fits-all approach. And sometimes – that’s not enough.
Colour and design
Another advantage of getting a custom shed made for you is that you get some input on the design and colour. KiwiSpan has several design options on offer.
Perhaps you’re looking to match your home or another building on the property. Or maybe you have a particular colour in mind?
We can help you implement any design choices you’d like to see with your shed, all in order to bring to life something that is truly yours.
We pride our sheds on their ability to withstand the elements too.
Despite its relatively small size, New Zealand weather can vary pretty drastically depending on the region you’re in. And since most places in the country are relatively close to the water, buildings have to be resistant to high levels of salt in our air. Furthermore, due to that big old hole in the ozone layer above us, we’ve also got to make buildings that can stand intense, direct UV rays.
In short – buildings in New Zealand need to be built to withstand the elements. We understand this and ensure our sheds are always up to the task.
We speak from experience when we say owning a shed is awesome – but if you are having to replace or perform unneeded maintenance each passing year, that feeling will diminish in no time.
Get a shed that can hold its own against whatever the environment throws at it – we know ours can.
Convinced? Feel free to browse our range of sheds and check our 3D shed designer to explore some of the possibilities on offer here.
It’s Now Easier to get a Barn (and Why You Should Consider it)
Hay there, have you heard the good news about barns?
If not, we’d love to tell you about it.
Building a barn is now easier.
This used to be a bit of a process. It wasn’t just about finding land and building materials. You also had to acquire a building consent. This was a process that would take time, money, resources and require several permissions.
All this was before you can even think about building the thing.
However, it’s been announced that single-story barns under 110m2 are now exempt from this requirement. Provided you stick to those specs, you’re good to go.
The only other catch is that you actually have to use the barn as a barn. So, as cool as converted barn bars/wedding venues/stores are, you’ll still need a building consent for this kind of work.
But it’s worth noting that this exemption covers any sort of structure (enclosed, semi-enclosed or open) used for farming-related activities in rural areas, not just hay barns (despite the earlier pun).
Okay, that’s great – but why should you care?
Well, despite the stereotypical idea of an old, red wooden building found on old-timey farms, modern sheds are actually an incredibly useful utility building with a range of valuable uses. KiwiSpan offers a wide range of custom barn solutions for a multitude of uses.
So using a barn as a place for keeping various animals is probably the most obvious one, but you don’t necessarily need to be a livestock farmer to make use of this.
Raising animals can not only be a profitable, and fun activity. Studies have also shown that raising children around animals can help with allergy immunities and self-confidence.
More and more people are choosing to raise chickens (scrambled eggs for breakfast anymore?), and for all the rider’s out there – barns can also serve well as a stable for horses as well.
Thanks to the recent influx of “cute cow playing with beach ball” videos online (Who would’ve thought that cats’ time in the spotlight was limited?), adopting a cow as a pet rather than a future meal has also become more popular in recent years.
Actually, storing a lot of things.
If you have a larger property to maintain, then a barn is the perfect place to store some of your larger equipment, such as ride-on lawnmowers, without cluttering up the garage.
KiwiSpan barns are also much more weather resistant and much more stylish than the old weighted tarpaulin solution too. In fact, even if you don’t have a fleet of farming machinery to keep out of the rain, a barn can make for a pretty solid storage option for any property, and it’s not all about work.
Barns provide plenty of storage for play too. Keeping your toys, as you can store quad bikes, cars and jet skis and boats
Interested? Get in touch with us to see if your planned shed meets these requirements. Or feel free to browse our range of barns and other shed solutions here.
5 Everyday Hobbies You Can Take to the Next Level with a Custom Shed
It’s not only the woodworkers and the sheep shearers that benefit from having a trusty shed around. A shed that’s customised to facilitate your specific hobby is the perfect way to get the most out of your free time activities.
Home Gym / Yoga Studio
We all know the hardest thing to do at the gym is turn up. The second hardest thing is having to wait for your favourite machine to free up. So by having your very own personal space nearby to get your sweat on, you’ve already made keeping in shape that much easier.
Pumping irons not really your way of keeping active? Our sheds can also serve perfectly as home yoga studios for you and your favourite stretching buddies. Not only do you get to choose the music (every time), you can also talk to us about setting up some kitchen facilities too (because every yoga studio needs a juice bar).
DIY and Upcycling
If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that one man’s trash is another man’s really trendy (and often profitable) new conversation piece.
A shed makes for an ideal workshop for those looking to take their old furniture/pallets/beer crates (and so on) to the next level. It’s also a great place to use your inventive, upcycled creations if your significant other isn’t into the whole “pallet coffee table” trend.
The cliche about the noisy next-door neighbour who always decides it’s time to practice the violin during the worst possible moments exists for a reason.
A custom shed can make the perfect space to practice your art of choice. From experimental interpretive dance to your own personal painting studio, KiwiSpan can help you build the ideal place to express yourself, without gaining the neighbour’s ire.
There’s nothing quite as cool as the art of taking a run-down car and injecting new life under the hood. And whilst this popular pastime of the mechanically inclined has typically taken place in the garage, this can cause issues when it’s already occupied by other vehicles (and to be fair, ones that actually run).
A larger shed can serve as an equally suitable holding zone whilst you restore your latest find at the scrapyard to its former glory. It’s also an ideal venue for the big unveiling party, so that’s a bonus.
Furthermore, there are quite a few custom features KiwiSpan can offer you – such as footings for a hoist to take on some of the heavy lifting involved.
Having your nearest and dearest around for a cold one (two, three and four) is possibly the most iconic of all the great kiwi pastimes. And having a backyard bar on-site only makes it greater. Not only does it provide you with a space to host an event, but you’ll also get a bar to serve the drinks and a space to store them between get-togethers.
More and more, folks around the nation, and beyond, are getting trendy outdoor entertaining spaces built in preparation for the long summer evenings. And it only takes a quick google for inspiration to see why.
Do you indulge in any of the above hobbies? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to take another pastime to the next level with a shed? Feel free to peruse our wide range of shed plans here, and get in touch to talk through some of the personalised options we can offer you.
How to Make a Small Shed Feel Bigger
When it comes to sheds (something we’d like to think we know a bit about), there’s this idea that short of owning a multi-acre section, sheds are just a place to store tools and collect lichen.
Frankly, this is something of a tragedy, as there’s nothing quite like owning a shed. Whether it’s a man cave to escape too or a sleepout that provides your eldest with a small brush with independence (and more you-time for you) or a place to spend some quality time on a passion project.
The bottom line is, just about anyone, with any sized section (yes, even city folk) can own the kind of shed worth spending time in. However, if size still seems like an issue for you, here are a few tips you can use to make any small shed feel bigger.
Interior designers have been using colours to manipulate how big or small a room seems for years. Whilst dark colours tend to create a cosy and intimate (or simply put, a smaller) atmosphere, lighter, more neutral colours have been shown to make indoor areas seem instantly more spacious.
Our favourites lighter neutrals include Zincalume, Tatiana, Cloud and Gull Grey. You can make further use of this trick by incorporating the chosen colour of the walls into your furniture (i.e. a similarly painted workbench for a workshop, or by using the same shade in your furniture upholstery for sleepouts), as this will strengthen the feelings of extra spaciousness.
Invite in the Natural Light
Whilst aiding the “largening” effect that neutral colours create, natural light is also a reliable tool unto itself when it comes to making smaller spaces feel bigger – due to the airy and relaxed atmosphere it creates.
KiwiSpan offers a range of window configurations and translucent shed roofing. Consider making use of this natural resource when designing your next shed.
Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
One of the simplest ways to keep a smaller space from feeling claustrophobic is to keep it from becoming overcrowded, either due to excess clutter or by having too much furniture.
The easy fix for this is to simply opt for multi-functional furniture when possible. A common example of this would be to use a workbench that also has a compartment for storing your tools. Other common examples include a sofa bed for sleepouts.
Have any of these tips inspired you? If so, feel free to check out our website and custom shed designers to explore what possibilities may be available to you as a future shed owner.
Your Space: How to Create the Ultimate Mancave/Sheshed
The idea of owning a room just for yourself – and no, we aren’t talking about your bedroom – but a room specifically designed for you, and only you, is something just about all of us have dreamed of owning.
What we’re describing has historically been known as a “Mancave” – and if you like that title, by all means, stick with it – but regardless of whether you call it that, or a SheShed, a MeShed or just “My Room” – here’s how to put together the ultimate space to elevate your spare time to a new level.
Planning is never the part of a project you most look forward to, but it’s vital to ensuring you end up with the best end product. You don’t have to have every detail down, but there’s a few things to consider before you start.
What are the features you absolutely can’t live without? How much space do you have to work with? Do you have enough power sources available? Is there adequate lighting? Will you need to install some form of climate control (i.e. heating or air-conditioning)?
Basically, what you’re ultimately figuring out is “how will you be able to achieve the space you’ve envisioned for yourself given the space you’ve got to work with?”
Filling it Up
Now comes the fun stuff. The only right way to create the ultimate “you space” is to fill it up with whatever works best for YOU. However, should you find yourself needing a little creative nudge, we’ve got you covered with some hints, suggestions and a few general must-haves below.
- Comfort – regardless of what you’re into, your space should be a place of relaxation, so comfortable seating should be your no.1 priority. Grab more than one, because sometimes the best ‘you time’ is spent with your best mates.
- Mini-Fridge – in the spirit of relaxing, an easy beverage should always be nearby so you aren’t constantly having to get up and leave just to have a drink. What those drinks are – beer, soda, or good old water – is largely immaterial, just as long as what you want is always nearby. Same goes for snacks.
- Coffee Machine – And whilst we’re on the subject of having your favourite beverage nearby, for many of us – that’s a good cup of coffee. Thankfully, the days when paying a barista was the only way to experience a warm cup of quality espresso are gone, as the user-friendly home espresso machine market is blooming. Making it incredibly easy and not too bank-busting to make your own café favourites without the café. So where better to enjoy some homebrewed caffeine than your private space?
- Themes – Make this place truly yours. The traditional image of a man cave often involves a big TV to catch the game, and if that’s what you’re into, have at. If you’re more of a movie buff, consider said big TV but with a surround sound system and a few movie posters to boot. If you have a particular passion, why not go all out with it? Fill it with maps, books, hang guitars on the walls – Whatever you’re into. You could even put up some relevant memorabilia on the walls. Create a place to totally immerse yourself in what you love.
Have we given you mancave (or she-shed) brain? Why not browse some of the sheds we offer.
Is It Time You Built a Sleepout Shed?
From a quiet home office to an extra bedroom for teens, sleepout builds have only grown in popularity across New Zealand in recent years. These smaller spaces are a great way to add extra habitable space to your home and have the ability to increase your property’s value.
A flexible space
As a separate entity from your main house, a sleepout has a host of possibilities: a hobby room, extra storage, an art studio, a music room, a gym, a guest room, a home office and more. Whatever it is you need, you’ll have a space that’s versatile and adaptable, designed to meet your growing needs.
Boost your income
With a new space comes new opportunities; ones many Kiwis are tapping into. Using your sleepout as a short-term rental investment makes the build unquestionable value for money – an invaluable chance to increase your income.
Get building consent
Like anything, there are rules and regulations. With the help of your local KiwiSpan team, you’ll need to check you have consent before building a sleepout or cabin. This will include having your plan ready detailing:
- Dimensions of the project (height, total area)
- Location on property where the project will go
- Size of property in square metres
- Total area of your property currently covered by buildings
- Total area of your property currently covered by hard surfaces, for example, concrete or paved areas
We offer a range of stylish sleepouts and habitable sheds to suit everyone. Built with New Zealand fabricated steel, they promise strength, style and comfort.
Every one of our builds can be finished with quality insulation and aluminium joinery, ensuring full protection from harsh weather conditions.
We can help you build the sleepout of your dreams – adapting design to suit your specific needs.
Design your own or make an enquiry today.
We should note that not all KiwiSpan licensees offer habitable sheds as a service. Be sure to check with your local KiwiSpan team to understand your options – they’ll be happy to help.