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Explore our comprehensive FAQ & Glossary covering Barndominiums, Shops, Storage, Livestock, Commercial, and Industrial buildings. Discover expert insights, essential answers, and practical tips on cost, construction, design, and industry-specific terminology for your projects.

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When seeking answers about our company’s offerings and services, it’s crucial to start by checking our comprehensive FAQ section. Moreover, this resource serves as a hub for common inquiries, providing detailed explanations about what we do and the products we offer. Additionally, whether it’s understanding our processes, exploring product specifications, or delving into service details, our FAQ page offers clarity and insight. Furthermore, by consulting this repository of information, customers can gain a better understanding of our business operations, empowering them to make informed decisions and effectively engage with our products and services. If further clarification is needed beyond the FAQ, our dedicated support team stands ready to assist, ensuring that every query is addressed promptly and comprehensively.

Barndominium FAQs

Answers to FAQs About the Construction, Costs, and Customization Options Barndominiums offer

How much does it cost to build a barndominium?

Reaves customizes barndominiums based on your needs and barndo or shouse costs are unique to each building. Here is example pricing on a fully-finished barndominium (a completed house with a finished shop):

  • House is 1500 square feet (all on 1 level)
  • Shop is 2250 sq. ft
  • Total = 3750 sq. ft
  • Then, 3750 sq ft X $125.00 to $135.00 a sq ft = $468,750.00 to $506,250.00
How long does it take to engineer and build a barndominium?

Typically, 6 months but some can take longer.

How many square feet are included in a barndominium?

The answer above for the pricing question can give you a good sense of proportion. The shop is typically 1.5x as big as the house. If the ratio changes with more house square footage, then the cost per square foot goes up. If the proportion of shop space goes up versus the house, the cost per square foot goes down.

What colors do barndominiums come in?

Most steel suppliers have a standard 20 -25 colors that can be matched up in any combination – Custom colors can be done if customer requests it.

Does Reaves Buildings Customize Barndominiums or are they one-size-fits-all?

Reaves buildings are custom engineered. That includes our barndominiums. Some have similarities but every one is different than the last and the next.

Where does Reaves build barndominiums?

Reaves Buildings has built barndominiums in SD, Iowa, Minnesota and parts of Nebraska and North Dakota – they have been built in other locations but these are the bulk of our business. Eye on Keloland featured Reaves barndominiums in a news story.

Who do I contact if I want to build a Reaves barndominium?

Fill out the Reaves contact form, or find the salesman in the area that you are going to build in. Or call us and we’ll get a Reaves salesperson in touch with you!

Is there a barndominium brochure I can look at or more information?

Yes! The Reaves barndominium brochure is short and sweet, and great for sharing or emailing. You can also check out our gallery of barndominium projects.

Is there a difference between a barndominium and a shouse?

A barndominium and a shouse are not exactly the same building, but they are very similar. Technically, a barndominium is a more traditional barn building with living quarters like bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen. A shouse is a shop house and doesn’t always look like or need to have the traditional barn look.

Do you have any tips on how to finance a barndominium? Is it different from a home mortgage?

Our credit experts at Reaves Buildings work with multiple financial lenders and institutions and provide you with options to finance your next barndominium or shouse. Our clients all have different financial needs and each situation is very unique in it’s own way. By having access to multiple lenders, our clients will be able to look at the best mortgage options that best fit their needs.

Are there any special zoning requirements I need to research or a specific type of land parcel I need?

Research is always a good thing and recommended based on the difference of city vs rural requirements. There may not be special zoning requirements but larger municipalities typically discourage them especially if they have poles in the ground and neighborhood covenants might not allow them. For example, some neighborhoods require a certain pitch and only allow a certain amount of steel on the building. They are not typically seen in cities but smaller towns are usually more receptive. Feel free to contact us about your specific situation! 

 Shops + Storage FAQs 

Essential Answers to Your Questions About Building, Cost, Maintaining Shops and Storage Areas

How much farm machine storage/shed space I need?
Location, access to doors from your property, size and quantity of items you want to put inside the shed, and budget are usually the deciding factors for most Reaves customers.


What is the difference between a farm shop, storage building, and a machine shed?

A shop is a finished building. It will have concrete, insulation, some sort of interior finish, lights, possibly an office and usually a small bathroom or a water source. A machine shed and equipment shed are the same thing by different names. A storage building is as it sounds but depending on what will be stored, it may have some or all the features included in a shop. 

How much does it cost to build a machine shed?

This can vary immensely depending on size and door configuration but a cold storage building with labor to erect it typically runs around $25.00 to $28.00 a sq ft. Buildings over 10,000 sq ft will be less and buildings under 5,000 sq ft will be more.

Is a farm shop/storage a place I can store my camper, restored cars, boat, etc.?

Yes, but if equipment is going to be stored long term, you will need to decide a few things. Do you need heat, electricity, water for your RV/Camper to be stored?  You will also want to adjust square footage, if you need space to move around and work, as well as store equipment in your farm shop/shed.

Can I build a farm shop on land that is zoned residential?

That completely depends on the location of the building. There might be size restrictions, height restrictions, covenants and access regulations.

You will want to talk with your local municipality and zoning board/commission to see what is allowable in their neighborhood. If it’s allowed, Reaves can build it!

What is the benefit of a wood frame machine shed over a steel shed?

A wood frame is easier to work with when installing, is typically more adaptable especially if appearance is important, is a renewable resource, is just as strong when engineered, easier to finish with a cleaner look, up to 30% more efficient when heating and cooling and can clear span up to 105’. Wood frame buildings are typically friendlier on your budget. Find out more about Reaves Buildings commitment to building with wood

I want to replace an old farm shop, how do I start planning that project?

The same thing as any building – location, access, size and quantity of items stored and budget. You should write a list of what you liked about the former building and what you didn’t like and address those issues with your Reaves sales professional, so they can help determine what size building will best fit your needs.

We have never heard the customer say they wish they had made their building smaller.

Is there a farm shops/storage building brochure I can look at or more information?

Yes! The Reaves farm shops and storage brochure is great for sharing or emailing. You can also check out our gallery of farm shops and storage projects.

Livestock FAQs 

Your Go-To Resource for FAQs on Building and Maintaining High-Quality Livestock Barns and Shelters

What materials do I need to build a stick frame or pole barn for livestock?
  • For a stick frame barn, you’ll need lumber for framing, roofing materials (such as metal sheets or shingles), siding materials, concrete for the foundation, and various hardware like nails and screws.
  • For a pole barn, you’ll need pressure-treated poles for vertical supports, roofing materials, siding materials, concrete for the pole footings, and hardware.
What size should my barn be for housing livestock?

The size of your barn depends on the number and type of livestock you plan to house. Generally, allow for at least 20-50 square feet per animal, depending on their size and specific needs.

Do I need a building permit to construct a stick frame or pole barn?

Building permit requirements vary by location. In many areas, you will need a permit for constructing any permanent structure, including barns. Check with your local building department for specific regulations.

How deep should the footings be for a pole barn?

Pole barn footings should typically be buried below the frost line in your area to prevent movement caused by freezing and thawing. This depth can vary but is commonly around 3-4 feet deep.

What type of ventilation is necessary for a livestock barn?

Proper ventilation is crucial for the health of livestock. You can incorporate features like ridge vents, eave vents, or mechanical ventilation systems to ensure adequate airflow and minimize moisture buildup.

Should I insulate my barn?

Insulation can help regulate temperatures inside the barn, making it more comfortable for both animals and humans. Consider insulating the walls and roof, especially if you live in a region with extreme temperatures.

What flooring material is best for a livestock barn?

Concrete is a common choice for barn flooring due to its durability and ease of cleaning. You may also consider adding rubber mats or bedding for added comfort and traction, especially in areas where animals spend a lot of time standing.

How should I secure my barn against predators and pests?

Ensure that all openings are securely closed with appropriate materials like hardware cloth or heavy-duty doors. Additionally, consider installing predator-proof fencing around the perimeter of the barn.

Commerical and Industrial FAQs 

Expert Answers to FAQs on Designing & Constructing Commercial and Industrial Buildings

What are the advantages of using a stick frame or pole barn for commercial and industrial purposes?

Stick frame and pole barn construction offer cost-effectiveness, quick construction timelines, and flexibility in design. They also provide ample open space, making them ideal for various commercial and industrial applications.

What type of foundation is suitable for commercial and industrial stick frame or pole barns?

For smaller commercial or industrial buildings, a concrete slab foundation is often sufficient. However, larger structures may require more robust foundations, such as pier and beam or reinforced concrete footings, depending on the specific site conditions and building requirements.

Can I customize the design of my commercial or industrial stick frame or pole barn?

Yes, both stick frame and pole barns offer design flexibility, allowing you to customize the layout, size, and features to meet your specific business needs. You can incorporate options like mezzanines, office spaces, loading docks, and more.

What roofing materials are recommended for commercial and industrial barns?

Metal roofing is a popular choice for commercial and industrial barns due to its durability, longevity, and low maintenance requirements. It provides excellent protection against weather elements and can be installed quickly.

Are there any zoning or permitting requirements I need to consider for a commercial or industrial barn?

Yes, before construction, you’ll need to check with local zoning ordinances and obtain necessary permits for commercial or industrial structures. Compliance with building codes and regulations is essential to ensure the safety and legality of your project.

What type of insulation should I use for a commercial or industrial barn?

The choice of insulation depends on factors such as climate, energy efficiency goals, and budget. Common options include fiberglass, spray foam, and rigid foam insulation. Consider consulting with an insulation specialist to determine the best solution for your specific needs.

How should I address ventilation and HVAC requirements for a commercial or industrial barn?

Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining air quality and temperature control in commercial and industrial spaces. You may need to incorporate features like ridge vents, louvers, exhaust fans, and HVAC systems to ensure adequate airflow and comfort for occupants.

What flooring options are suitable for commercial and industrial barns?

Concrete flooring is often preferred for its durability, ease of maintenance, and ability to withstand heavy loads and industrial processes. However, you may also consider options like epoxy coatings or specialized industrial flooring systems based on your specific requirements.

Solar FAQs

Answers to Your Solar Energy Questions: A Comprehensive Guide

What steps should I take to transition to solar energy?

Ready to transition to solar energy? Reach out to us, and we’ll guide you through each step:

  1. Help you research panel options, incentives, and your energy needs.
  2. Assess your property’s suitability.
  3. Quote and give our recommendations.
  4. Explore financing options.
  5. Obtain permits and approvals.
  6. Install panels and equipment.
  7. Connect to the grid.
  8. Monitor performance and schedule maintenance.
What are the benefits of solar energy?

The benefits of solar energy include renewable and sustainable power generation, reduced electricity bills, lower environmental impact, energy independence, job creation, low maintenance requirements, increased property value, and access to government incentives.

What is the solar panel installation process?

The solar panel installation process involves site assessment, design, obtaining permits, installation of panels and inverters, connection to the electrical grid, and inspection. 

What incentives are available for solar energy?

Incentives for solar energy include federal and state tax credits, rebates from utility companies, net metering programs, solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), and financing options such as solar loans and leases. Availability and eligibility criteria vary by location.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight hits the solar cells within the panels, it excites electrons, creating an electric current.

Reaves Building Glossary

Mastering the Language of Pole Barns & Stick Frame Buildings: Your Ultimate Glossary Companion

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


A barndominium is a type of residential structure that combines elements of a barn and a condominium, typically featuring a spacious open floor plan with high ceilings and often incorporating rustic design elements.

Bus Barn

A bus barn is a facility designed for the storage, maintenance, and servicing of buses, typically belonging to a transit agency, school district, or private transportation company.

Car Port

A carport is a sheltered structure, typically with a roof supported by posts or columns, used to provide protection for vehicles from weather elements such as rain, sun, and snow.

Clear Alley Feed Cover

A clear alley feed cover is a transparent structure placed above a feed alley in livestock housing, designed to protect feed from weather elements while allowing natural light transmission.

Clear Panel

A clear panel is a translucent or transparent component, often made of materials like glass or plastic, utilized in construction to allow natural light to penetrate indoor spaces while providing visibility and aesthetic appeal.

Commercial Building

A commercial building is a structure primarily intended for business or commercial activities, such as offices, retail stores, restaurants, or industrial facilities, designed to accommodate commercial operations and serve customers or clients.

Commodity Barn

A commodity barn is a storage facility typically found on farms or agricultural properties, designed to store bulk quantities of various agricultural commodities such as grains, hay, or livestock feed.

Concrete Hog Slats

Concrete hog slats are specialized flooring panels made of durable concrete, designed with gaps or slots to allow waste to pass through, commonly used in swine housing facilities to provide a sanitary and comfortable environment for pigs while facilitating waste management and drainage.

Cow Stall

A cow stall is a partitioned area within a barn or milking parlor designed to house and provide comfortable accommodation for individual cows in a dairy or livestock farming operation.


Cupolas are small, dome-like structures typically mounted on rooftops, featuring windows or openings on multiple sides, originally designed for ventilation and light in barns or buildings, now often used for aesthetic purposes, architectural ornamentation, or as observation points.

Deep Fascia Overhang

A deep fascia overhang is an extension of the fascia board beyond the exterior wall of a building, typically protruding a significant distance, providing protection for the underlying structure and often serving as a decorative architectural feature.


A dormer is a structural element added to a sloped roof, typically containing a window and projecting vertically from the plane of the roof, often used to create additional headroom, ventilation, or architectural interest in attic spaces.

Dutch Doors

Dutch doors are divided horizontally, allowing the top half to be opened independently of the bottom half, commonly used in residential and agricultural settings, providing ventilation and access while maintaining security or confining animals.


Equestrian relates to or involves horseback riding, horse care, or activities associated with horses, such as show jumping, dressage, horse racing, or horse training, often encompassing both recreational and competitive pursuits.

Gambrel Roof

A gambrel roof is a type of roof characterized by two slopes on each side, with the lower slope steeper than the upper, creating a distinctive barn-like appearance while maximizing interior space in the upper levels.


A gable refers to the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof, typically used in architecture to provide structural support and aesthetic appeal.

Gable Awnings

Gable awnings are triangular-shaped coverings made of fabric or other materials, typically installed over windows, doors, or outdoor spaces, to provide shade, protection from weather elements, and architectural enhancement, with the shape resembling the gable end of a roof.


Glulam, short for glued laminated timber, is a type of engineered wood product consisting of multiple layers of lumber bonded together with durable adhesives, commonly used in construction for its strength, versatility, and aesthetic appeal.

Grooved Concrete

Grooved concrete refers to a concrete surface that has been textured with grooves or channels to enhance traction, improve drainage, or provide aesthetic appeal, commonly used in walkways, driveways, and other outdoor surfaces.

Horse Stall

A horse stall is an individual enclosure within a stable or barn, designed to provide shelter and space for a single horse, including feeding, resting, and protection from the elements.

Horse Wash Down Bay

A horse wash down bay is a designated area, often within a barn or stable, equipped with water supply and drainage facilities, specifically designed for bathing and cleaning horses, providing a convenient and controlled environment for grooming and hygiene maintenance.

Hydraulic Door

A hydraulic door is a type of door that operates using hydraulic mechanisms to open and close, typically employed in large openings such as aircraft hangars, agricultural buildings, or industrial facilities, offering smooth and efficient movement and allowing for easy access to oversized equipment or vehicles.

Indoor Basketball Gym

An indoor basketball gym is an enclosed facility equipped with basketball courts, seating, and amenities, designed specifically for playing basketball in controlled indoor environments.

Indoor Tennis Court

An indoor tennis court is a specialized enclosed structure equipped with playing surfaces and appropriate lighting, designed to facilitate tennis matches and practice sessions in controlled indoor environments.

Industrial Building

An industrial building is a structure specifically designed for manufacturing, processing, warehousing, or other industrial activities, typically equipped with specialized infrastructure such as heavy-duty machinery, large storage areas, and high ceilings to accommodate industrial processes and operations.


Lean-tos are simple structures with a single sloping roof that is attached to an existing building or structure, providing additional covered space for storage, shelter, or other purposes, often used in agricultural, residential, or outdoor settings.


Livestock refers to domesticated animals raised for agricultural purposes, including but not limited to cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and poultry, commonly raised for meat, dairy, wool, eggs, or other products.


Mansards are architectural elements featuring a roof with two slopes on all sides, the lower slope being steeper than the upper, often with dormer windows protruding from the roof plane, commonly used in French architectural styles to maximize usable space within the attic or upper levels of buildings.

Mono Slope

A mono slope, in architecture, refers to a single roof plane with a constant slope, typically inclined in one direction, often used for modernist or minimalist architectural designs.

Open Front Cattle Shed

An open front cattle shed is a sheltered structure with one or more sides left open, typically used for housing cattle, providing protection from the elements while allowing for natural ventilation and easy access.


Extending beyond its main support, an overhang refers to a protruding extension of a structure, commonly found in elements like roofs, eaves, or canopies. Serving multiple functions, including offering shade, shelter from rain or sun, and adding architectural flair, overhangs contribute both practical and aesthetic benefits to buildings.

Riding Arena

Designed specifically for equestrian activities such as horse riding, a riding arena is a designated space that may be enclosed or open, typically featuring a flat surface. This specialized area provides an ideal environment for riders to train, exercise, or compete with their horses.


A shouse is a hybrid structure that combines a traditional residential home with a functional workshop or storage space, providing both living quarters and working areas within the same building.


A shed is typically single-story structure used for storage, hobbies, or shelter, usually located in a backyard or garden area, and commonly constructed of wood, metal, or plastic materials.

Shop Door

In commercial establishments like retail stores or workshops, a shop door serves as a prominent entryway, often comprising large, double-door structures. Its primary function is to facilitate the seamless movement of goods and customers in and out of the premises, contributing to the efficient operation of the business.

Sliding Door

In both residential and commercial settings, a sliding door stands out as a practical choice for its unique design mounted on a track, enabling horizontal movement to open and close. This versatile door type is favored for its space-saving functionality and effortless operation, making it a popular option in various environments.

Smoke Panel

A Polycarbonate panel in the color smoke.

Split Sliding Doors

Split sliding doors are a type of door that consists of two panels which slide horizontally, typically meeting at the center when closed, allowing for a wider opening than traditional single-panel sliding doors, commonly used in large openings such as barns, warehouses, or industrial buildings for ease of access and efficient use of space.

Step Down Side Porch

An architectural feature known as a step-down side porch extends from the side of a building, offering a covered outdoor area with a lower elevation than the main structure. Accessed by steps, it serves as a transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, providing a cozy spot for relaxation or socializing.

Close-up of the letter 'V' in the glossary, representing a key entry in alphabetical order.

Ventilated Dairy Barn

Designed with the comfort and health of dairy cows in mind, a ventilated dairy barn is specifically engineered to provide proper airflow and ventilation. This type of barn typically incorporates various features such as openings, fans, or other ventilation systems strategically placed to maintain air quality, reduce humidity, and regulate temperature within the facility.

Walk Door Entry Cover

Positioned above a doorway, a walk door entry cover is a sheltered structure designed to protect the entrance from weather elements such as rain or snow. Typically made of materials like metal or fabric, it provides a covered area for individuals entering or exiting the building.

Wash Bay

Found primarily in industrial or commercial settings, a wash bay is a designated area equipped with facilities for washing vehicles, equipment, or machinery. This area often includes water supply, drainage systems, and specialized cleaning equipment for effective cleaning and maintenance purposes.

Widows Peak

Characterized by a distinctive V-shaped point in the hairline at the center of the forehead, a widow’s peak forms an upward peak. This feature is often genetically inherited and commonly observed in some individuals’ hairlines.

Wrap Around Mansards

Wrap-around mansards are architectural features where the mansard roof extends around all sides of a building, creating a continuous, uniform profile, typically found in larger structures or complexes, adding aesthetic appeal and maximizing interior space.