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.
Putting Together the Perfect Workshop
The list of people who could benefit from having their own workshop is a lengthy one. Whether you’re an avid hobbyist or creating things in the garage is literally how you pay the bills, your life will only be made easier from having a reliable workspace.
The problem is, however, a great workshop is much more than just a space set aside for work. A perfect workshop should be built for purpose, efficiently laid out and containing everything you need to get your work done as effectively as possible.
At KiwiSpan, we believe that the best approach to creating such a workspace is a custom one. When working with a customer, we make sure we get a full understanding of what they want and need, and create a workspace that will allow them to achieve this.
Here are a few things to consider to help determine what you’ll need to create your ideal workspace:
Many shed building companies only offer standardised shed sizes. KiwiSpan, however, allows you to design a shed to whatever size you need. As a bonus, our sheds don’t need a centre pole to remain standing, which means you’ll have more space for fixtures and storage.
Finding the ideal size itself is a bit of a balancing act. You’ll want to ensure that there’s enough space for everything you’ll need (tools, machinery, etc) plus adequate working space for yourself. On the other hand, you’ll have to take into account that most councils require your shed to be spaced its own height in distance from all boundaries on your property (e.g. a 3m tall shed will need to be 3m away from the nearest fence). Aim for somewhere in the middle.
You’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary workspaces sorted too. Even if it’s just a simple workbench, make sure there’s more than enough space to work and play in.
Overestimation of how much space you’ll need is never a bad thing – we speak from experience when we say that none of our customers are ever upset by having too much space.
For those of you with more ambitious projects in mind, you’ll want to take stock of what machinery you’ll need – and whether it requires storage or if it will need to be built into the workshop itself.
Lastly, but absolutely not least – health and safety. Sure, it’s not the most exciting thing to think about, but it’s particularly important when it comes to workshops – be it an emergency off switch or a dust extractor.
After all, the perfect workshop should be one that doesn’t involve injuries right?
Has this helped you determine what sort of workshop you’d like? Get in touch here to make it a reality!
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.
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.
5 Reasons You Need a Shed
Sheds have a lot more to offer than people might initially think. Improving your quality of life, they have the ability to transform your day-to-day in a number of surprising ways.
Here are just a few of the reasons it might be time to consider building a shed:
Having an outdoor storage space will automatically add value to your home. The added bonus of more space is a huge attraction to homebuyers, meaning you can enjoy the short-term benefits knowing the long-term also pays off.
Our hard-wearing, New Zealand Steel manufactured sheds provide complete protection against the elements. That means your vehicles or more expensive items won’t be ruined by moisture exposure and rust.
Build the right kind of shed and you’ll have a versatile and adaptable space that can change and grow with your lifestyle and situation. What might be a place for extra storage now may well be an art studio in five years time.
Everyone needs storage. A shed is the perfect solution for packing away Christmas decorations, toys, tools and more. Freeing up room in your living space and giving you a lockable area that can even serve to childproof your home.
We all need time to ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of family life. A shed makes room for hobbies, old and new. A workspace without distraction that allows you to work more efficiently or in a more creative way – opening the door to a whole new world of opportunities.
And these are just some of the reasons! With KiwiSpan, there are many styles of sheds to choose from, each easily adapted with our innovative 3D Shed Designer tool. You can create a model of the building you want, take walls out, add lean-tos, or rollers doors and more.
To start planning your shed contact your local KiwiSpan licensee today.