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Converting a pole barn into a wingnut's dream hangar

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  • Converting a pole barn into a wingnut's dream hangar

    Good morning everyone! So I'm beginning to get serious about my plans to convert a portion of a large pole barn I own into a hangar that would make any of us proud, but having never attempted any kind of project like this before, I thought it would be a good idea to come and ask a few questions and get a little advice.

    So here's the deal, it is a free standing 100' x 50' steel pole building with 30' wings down each long side therefore actually making it a 100' x 110' building but for the purposes of this discussion we're only concerned with the center 100x50 portion. It is 14'10" to the bottom of the trusses(I think that's the term for the arched structures that the roof sits on?).

    The upright poles seem to be 4 or 5 inch steel poles concreted into the ground spaced every ~20', while the trusses are constructed out of what appears to be 3" steel pipe.

    So my want is to pour a concrete floor, 50' x 60'on the end of the interior, giving me a 50' opening in which to install a nice hangar door and have a good size hangar, with still plenty of room left to come back latter and maybe build a nice living area in the remaining 40'.

    I will be talking with the company who sold the barn to see if I can get an inspector to come out and just verify the barn is in good order, to my untrained eye it looks fine...but best to just be assured.

    I just got the quote from Schweiss this morning:
    ~$11k for a 49' x 14' bifold strap door and
    ~$14k for a hydraulic single piece door
    And I think those are the prices for the doors and not installation. This price does seem a little high to me judging from what little information that can be found on the internet about the prices of these doors. Does this seem pretty in line with what everyone would expect to see?

    Does anyone have any experience with the fabric type of doors? Are they cheaper or more expensive compared to steel doors and are they worth considering?

    I haven't talked to any contractors yet but I was hoping to have a plan of how I want the walls done, does anyone have any thoughts on what would be the better value? Framing with wood or steel? I had a friend tell me that 14' wood walls are very difficult and therefore much more expensive to build. Does anyone have any experience attempting this kind of project before? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Another question is going to be about a helipad, obviously off of the hangar door I want to come out with a solid surface away from the building where I want to have a decent sized helipad, as a way to stay in good relations with the county I would like to build something worthy of landing LifeFlight helicopters at and offer it up to the county for emergency use.

    I was actually thinking of asphalt for the area just because I heard it would do better on the swamping terrain that is the area I'm building, so what would be a good size to build the actual pad and what's materials do you prefer?

    really just any ideas or tips for attempting the project would gen awesome! Thanks for reading everyone!
    Last edited by Mr_Brightside; 02-26-2018, 08:33 AM. Reason: Stupid phone, I did not mean for you to post yet!!! >=(

  • #2
    Can't offer any advice but sounds like it will be a nice size shop!
    Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
    Cheers,
    John Rountree

    PRA- Director, Secretary
    PRA- Business Manager

    PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
    http://www.Pra31.org

    U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
    See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

    OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS

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    • #3
      Some thoughts,

      The finish of the floor makes a big difference in how easy it is to keep clean. I like polished concrete.

      Having good power and lots of outlets makes the hangar more versatile.

      Having good air available makes it easier for lots of things with a quality compressor.

      Some sort of insulation makes a big difference as the temperature changes.

      I am a concrete enthusiast when it comes to helipads.

      Lighting is an important part of a nice hangar.

      I like having a nearby restroom with warm water to wash up.

      An outside source of water for washing aircraft is nice with proper drainage.

      I would try to work with the building inspectors as they can have a big impact on the project.

      The right contractor makes a big difference and it is nice if they have built other hangars that you can inspect.

      The door is very important and with your layout a slider may save some money.

      I would get the aircraft and learn to fly before I built a hangar just in case things didnít work out.

      I wish you all the best on your aviation adventure.
      Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Well I did something similar. I erected a 40x72 x 14 steel building on a 40x48 slab with a 24x40 basement under one end. The living quarters were constructed by me (2x6 stud walls) above the contracted basement and had one bedroom, one bath and a kitchen living room combined. The 40x48 shop area has a toilet, laundry room and a section for garbage cans. I had the walls foamed to 2" thick. This gave me a 30x24 attic storage area above the living quarters. The steel building had sloping walls..Not the best idea. We were producing the Experimental Helo magazine at the time so we added a 24X72 extension on one side and cut access thru the sloped wall. This created a 24x24 office area and a large ceramic studio for Kathy and a small shop add-on for the compressor and helo fuel trailer. We have a 40x40 helo pad (concrete) east of us. A Bell 47 and an R44 have used it as well as my Safari and my now ship the JT300. We offered for a touch down for a Cobra but they thought the down wash might damage the shop doors. The shop door is a 30x14 pair of sliding doors suspended by an overhead track. The doors on the extension involve two vertically hinged doors each suspended by an over head rail but fold in the middle and slide each way to provide a 24' opening. Now you would think that this is enough room. We have added two 40 and two 20' containers. One of the 40' contains a 15kw generator and a 5x5 cnc plasma cutter. The other 40 has fuels, oils sheet metal storage and the O/A welder. One 20 is for garden and the other stores Kathy's clay stock. The main shop houses two 40" lathes, a Bridgeport, bandsaw,
        Click image for larger version

Name:	house drone photo.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	127.2 KB
ID:	1130779
        3 different electric welders, drill press and some sheet metal equipment and still has room for two helicopters.
        Had I thought ahead, I would have raised the building a couple of feet. The vertical space in the attic is less than 6' which the scars on my head can verify. The new extension was also framed in and we now have more attic space than we can effectively use.
        I heartily recommend corrugated sheet metal over wood sidings. My building was erected in 1972 and has required essentially zero maintenance. I also recommend sprayed foam on the inside.
        The pickup with the open door and the two cars are setting on the helipad

        Comment


        • #5
          I have visited Stuart and Kathy's home/hangar and it is very nice.

          Things tend to last in the high desert unless they get blown away.

          There are big temperature changes.
          Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Vance View Post
            Some thoughts,

            The finish of the floor makes a big difference in how easy it is to keep clean. I like polished concrete.

            Having good power and lots of outlets makes the hangar more versatile.

            Having good air available makes it easier for lots of things with a quality compressor.

            Some sort of insulation makes a big difference as the temperature changes.

            I am a concrete enthusiast when it comes to helipads.

            Lighting is an important part of a nice hangar.

            I like having a nearby restroom with warm water to wash up.

            An outside source of water for washing aircraft is nice with proper drainage.

            I would try to work with the building inspectors as they can have a big impact on the project.

            The right contractor makes a big difference and it is nice if they have built other hangars that you can inspect.

            The door is very important and with your layout a slider may save some money.

            I would get the aircraft and learn to fly before I built a hangar just in case things didnít work out.

            I wish you all the best on your aviation adventure.
            Thank you very much for the tips! All of those seem like very good reasonable things to keep in mind, which I will! And while I understand your point of waiting to get an aircraft before I build the hangar, but honestly I need a good work shop anyways, so it's not going to go to waste if things don't work out, not to mention the way it will be set up, it will just make the property that much more desirable if it hits the fan and I ever decide to sell the property, it would make a great place to store farm tractors, etc. so I'm not too worried about it not being useful to me heh ^_^


            Originally posted by klyde View Post
            Well I did something similar. I erected a 40x72 x 14 steel building on a 40x48 slab with a 24x40 basement under one end. The living quarters were constructed by me (2x6 stud walls) above the contracted basement and had one bedroom, one bath and a kitchen living room combined. The 40x48 shop area has a toilet, laundry room and a section for garbage cans. I had the walls foamed to 2" thick. This gave me a 30x24 attic storage area above the living quarters. The steel building had sloping walls..Not the best idea. We were producing the Experimental Helo magazine at the time so we added a 24X72 extension on one side and cut access thru the sloped wall. This created a 24x24 office area and a large ceramic studio for Kathy and a small shop add-on for the compressor and helo fuel trailer. We have a 40x40 helo pad (concrete) east of us. A Bell 47 and an R44 have used it as well as my Safari and my now ship the JT300. We offered for a touch down for a Cobra but they thought the down wash might damage the shop doors. The shop door is a 30x14 pair of sliding doors suspended by an overhead track. The doors on the extension involve two vertically hinged doors each suspended by an over head rail but fold in the middle and slide each way to provide a 24' opening. Now you would think that this is enough room. We have added two 40 and two 20' containers. One of the 40' contains a 15kw generator and a 5x5 cnc plasma cutter. The other 40 has fuels, oils sheet metal storage and the O/A welder. One 20 is for garden and the other stores Kathy's clay stock. The main shop houses two 40" lathes, a Bridgeport, bandsaw,
            Click image for larger version

Name:	house drone photo.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	127.2 KB
ID:	1130779
            3 different electric welders, drill press and some sheet metal equipment and still has room for two helicopters.
            Had I thought ahead, I would have raised the building a couple of feet. The vertical space in the attic is less than 6' which the scars on my head can verify. The new extension was also framed in and we now have more attic space than we can effectively use.
            I heartily recommend corrugated sheet metal over wood sidings. My building was erected in 1972 and has required essentially zero maintenance. I also recommend sprayed foam on the inside.
            The pickup with the open door and the two cars are setting on the helipad
            Oh wow that is awesome! Haha, I wish I could have a basement in mine, of course it would end up being a pretty sweet in-house in-ground swimming pool lol! Out of curiosity, your pair of 30x14 sliding doors, did you build/install them yourself or did you have someone else do them for you?

            And omg if a Cobra were to touch down on my helipad...well lets just hope the LifeFlight helicopter was lined up to land right behind him because they would be hauling my butt to the hospital after the heart attack I just had hahaha!

            I've actually been talking to an ol' boy down the street who has done some good work for me in the past, he seems to think he could easily build the walls up for me for a fraction of the cost of having a contractor do it, it just wouldn't get done overnight is all...but I dunno...I mean I know he's a good guy who does good work, but in the end I plan to have a lot of money tied up in this hangar lol, I'm not sure if now is the time to try to save so much money lol.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just got a quote from a local overhead door company here in Houston... $60k ball park estimate for a 49' hydraulic folding door 😳 Whew...I think I need to have a seat here...ouch...

              Comment


              • #8
                Mr. Brightside Everything you see we did with the exception of the concrete pour and finish. We did the forms and excavation but contracted the Concrete pour. After building 2 helicopters and a gyrocopter, building this building was easy. (time consuming but easy) We assembled each of the two doors/panel on the ground, raised them and connected with the adjustable rollers, then connected up the pair of doors to make one door. This was repeated with the other pair. The hinged doors on the extension of the building noted on the right were a different hanging issue but I don't remember any special problem.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can we call you Casey ?
                  Happy Flying, Chris S.

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