Feedpad covers, along with loafing barns and free stall barns, have become popular infrastructure projects for Australian dairy farms over the past few years.
This is largely due to the positivity in the industry and the recognition that up-to-date and forward-thinking infrastructure is essential for continued innovation and growth.
In particular, dairy farmers are looking to take advantage of the significant productivity and performance benefits of feedpad covers.
A well-designed feedpad cover will keep cows cool and comfortable and has the potential to substanitally improve milk yields. These projects can deliver excellent return on investment.
And there are other operational benefits such as less feed wastage, less labour required and opportunities for a secure water supply.
Dairy Australia along with Agriculture Victoria have delivered some very comprehensive guidelines for Feedpads and Contained Housing. These provide helpful and insightful information for project planning and delivery. You can access these, here.
You might also be wondering about the price of these projects.
How much does it cost to build a feedpad cover?
While these projects provide fantastic ROI and can often pay for themselves within several years, they can be a substantial investment upfront.
If you would like an idea of the cost to cover your feedpad, here’s a handy price guide.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Feedpad Cover?
Popular Feedpad Cover Sizes & Price List
Here are some feedpad cover sizes that have been popular in 2023 and an indicative price guide.
- A 63m x 18m x 4.5m feedpad cover with a ridge vent would cost approx. $160,000 – $190,000 including GST, footings and installation.
- A 70m x 21m x 5m feedpad cover with a ridge vent would cost approx. $180,000 – $210,000 including GST, footings and installation.
- A 120m x 24m x 6m feedpad cover with a ridge vent would cost approx. $380,0000 – $430,000 including GST, footings and installation.
- A 50m x 27m x 5m feedpad cover with a ridge vent and 5-metre canopy would cost approx. $200,000 – $230,000 including GST, footings and installation.
Please keep in mind that these are approximate price guides only and do not take the place of a formal quote. For an accurate costing of your project, call us or submit a REQUEST A QUOTE form.
If you have a budget in mind for your feedpad cover project, it is a good idea to have a clear understanding of what will influence the price.
Keep reading to learn about the factors that influence the cost to build a feedpad cover.
What Influences The Price Of A Feedpad Cover?
There are five main factors that influence the cost of a feedpad cover project. These are size, configuration, design and materials. The company you choose to work with can also impact the final project cost.
The size of your feedpad cover will directly impact the cost of your project in two ways.
The first is simply because the bigger the cover, the more materials and labour that are required.
The second is because larger-scale projects typically have to meet more requirements such as fire design and EPA approval.
These requirements will involve additional paperwork and expenses such as large water tanks, which will increase the overall cost of your project.
Our building consultants and projects team are always happy to discuss what will be required for your project and can arrange permit documentation and fire design on your behalf.
The configuration of your feedpad cover can impact how much you pay for your project.
For example, a longer configuration is typically more cost-effective than a wider design.
However, it is important to choose the configuration that is practical, works with your existing infrastructure and meets your operational requirements.
Like the configuration, the design features you choose to include on your feedpad cover will also increase the price of your project.
These could include skylights, ridge vents, custom water catchment systems and canopies over access areas.
Having said that, these design features make the feedpad cover much more functional and will usually more than pay for themselves in the long term.
A custom gutter system for water harvesting is an excellent example of this!
It is also important to remember that design features such as water catchment and ventilation are often requirements for the project to meet council and EPA approvals and industry animal welfare standards.
Materials are obviously essential to any construction project and therefore they are a key contributor to the project costs.
There are several material costs to be aware of.
The first is structural steel.
Our sheds are manufactured from Australian-made steel including heavy-duty UB columns and open web trusses. And while steel prices are lower post-Covid, Australian-made steel typically costs more than imported steel. (You can learn about 2023 steel prices, here.)
Keep in mind though, that Australian-made steel is the highest quality steel available due to the high standards and quality control in place in Australian manufacturing.
Similarly, the cladding on our shed builds is also Australian-made.
The three cladding options we offer are zinc cladding, galvanised cladding and Colorbond cladding. Zinc cladding is the most cost-effective and is used for most of the farm sheds we build.
However, for your feedpad cover project, it may be a good idea to pay more for the galvanised cladding or Colorbond cladding options, as dairies are a highly corrosive environment.
On that point, corrosion protection is incredibly important for feedpad covers. And the best way to keep your shed rust-free is to hot dip galvanise the frame.
While hot dip galvanising is by far the most effective steel coating, it is also the most expensive, having a much higher initial cost compared to alternatives like paint or pre-galvanizing.
Having said that, hot dip galvanising has the lowest long-term cost. And we don’t recommend compromising on corrosion protection!
The price of your project will largely be determined by the company you choose to build your feedpad cover.
And while the actual product is a major contributor to the cost, it is important not to overlook service.
Some suppliers will only manufacture the cover, leaving you to arrange permits, approvals and installation.
And as well as being additional costs, this takes up a lot of your valuable time – and time is money!
In contrast, Action Steel can work with you from start to finish. This means you will be aware of all the project upfront, allowing you to budget accurately and rest assured that every detail is accounted for.
That’s a wrap on the factors influencing the cost to build a feedpad cover!
How Can You Save Money On Your Project?
If you are working to a budget, there are several ways you can save money on your project – without sacrificing quality and functionality.
These include choosing a cost-effective size and configuration.
For example, our range of standard-size spans are the most cost-effective. Choosing one of these can provide a cost saving as a truss jig does not have to be set up specifically for your project. This saves both time and money in the drafting and manufacturing stages.
We understand these aren’t a practical option for every project though.
When it comes to configuration, typically a long, narrow feedpad cover will work out to be more cost-effective per square metre than a shorter and wider feedpad cover.
Remember to choose a functional configuration though! A dysfunctional design will cost more money in the long run.
Our building consultants are also able to provide you with costings on different sizes and configurations to help you work out which will be the best fit.
The other way to save money on your project is choose the company that is the right fit for your build.
This can go a long way towards reducing project costs – and alleviating stress!
We would recommend building your shed with a company that can look after the complete project.
Here at Action Steel, we don’t just manufacture the steelwork for your feedpad cover. We also apply for the required council permits, coordinate the erection stage and project manage your shed from initial sign-up to completion.
With Action Steel managing all these steps, it means building a feedpad cover becomes a much less stressful and time-consuming experience for you. And time is money!
We hope you have found these suggestions helpful! Below are some other articles and resourcs that you might find helpful.
- Dairy Sheds & Infrastructure Guide (Brochure)
- How To Budget For Your New Farm Shed Build
- What Is The Best Calf Shed Design
- How Much Does It Cost To Build A Rotary Dairy Shed?