Why Do You Need a Second Floor in Your Post Frame Barn?

Sometimes it’s a simple matter of wanting extra storage space or having an absolute need for a complete second floor or loft, but what helps you determine whether or not to move forward with a second floor in your new farm building? As an expert post frame barn builder, we certainly know why. Read on to find out!


Do you grow and store your own hay and livestock feed? Then adding a second story or a loft area may be the ideal solution for you. Lofts are the traditional, tried and true storage for large amounts of hay and other materials that farms rely on all year long.


Many farmers and other agricultural business have occasionally looked at renting space in their post frame barns or storage buildings, either as storage lockers or even as furnished apartment space. If you are looking to recover some revenue from unused space in an existing structure, or you are building a new farm building and haven’t considered this as an option, we can help you plan.


A lot can go wrong if someone tries to build a second story loft or apartment space themselves, because there are many things that must be considered from a design and engineering perspective. It’s unbelievably important to understand what will be stored in the loft, as well as how much that material will weigh per square foot. This information is vital to the structural design and engineering of the loft space. Why, you might ask?

Because post frame barns can use a wider span and spacing for framing and support, it is possible these spans to exceed the maximum code length for a floor joist needed to support a certain amount of weight. For example, a 2”x8” is a common size for floor joists in framing. The maximum unsupported span for a 2”x8” to support average loads is 12’ (code may vary in different regions). Many post frame buildings can have a width of over 24’ without any additional support framing because of the innate strength of the structure, so this makes engineering a second floor or loft space a challenge and also a job for a professional.


Conestoga Buildings has the leading experts with combined expertise of over 300 years. We can design and engineer what you want so that it not only meets code requirements, but looks great when it’s done. Contact us to request a quote and discuss your specific needs today.

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