Multi-Use Farm Sheds

Multi-Use Farm Sheds (Pros, Cons, Ideas & Prices)

How do I create a versatile farm shed design? What is the best way to make a farm shed multi-purpose? Are there any disadvantages to multi-use farm sheds?

Multi-use farm sheds have become popular projects over the past twelve months and building one can be a smart business decision.

Building a versatile farm shed provides good value for money by allowing you to get the most out of your investment.

There are several ways you can achieve this – including concrete panels, enclosing bays and creating a dual-purpose design are some examples to consider.

Like with any option, there are both advantages and disadvantages, so it pays to also weigh up the potential drawbacks of a multi-use farm shed.

This article is a discussion around the advantages and disadvantages of multi-use farm sheds as well as versatile farm shed design ideas and prices.

We hope this is helpful and provides you with food for thought for your farm shed project.

Multi-Use Farm Sheds

Advantages Of Multi-Use Farm Sheds

For cropping enterprises, one of the most significant advantages of a multi-use farm shed is the storage flexibility it provides. 

Having flexible storage options on-farm can help take the stress out of harvest and cropping and also allows you to respond quickly to changes in your storage requirements  – or even market conditions. 
For example, installing concrete panels in your storage shed allows you to buy fertiliser ahead of time. This helps you to avoid potential shortages or price rises, saving you money and delays in your cropping program.
Multi-Use Farm Shed - machinery and fertiliser

Secondly, a multi-use shed can provide excellent value for money.

If your shed has a use year-round this helps you to maximise your investment.

An example of this is a shearing shed facility with covered yards.

While a shearing shed might only be used to its full potential once a year, covered yards can be used rain, hail or shine – and if you install hi-bay lights, at any time of the day. 

Similarly, a fertiliser shed can be repurposed for machinery storage once cropping is done and dusted. 

There is also a cost-saving associated with a multi-purpose farm shed, simply because you don’t have the cost of building multiple sheds.

For example, a machinery shed with a workshop and maintenance area will cost less than building a machinery shed and a separate, standalone workshop. Keep your operational requirements front of mind though – don’t sacrifice functionality or future growth by cost-cutting in the short term.

A multi-use farm shed can also help you plan your future shed projects. For example, by installing concrete panels in a general storage shed you might realise that a dedicated grain shed is the way forward.

Or it could be simply storing your machinery shed in your hay shed in the off-season, which will help you work out what design changes to make when building your machinery shed. 

That’s a wrap on some of the advantages of multi-use farm sheds! 

In the video below, John Bennett shares his Action experience and the benefits of his versatile hay shed – or learn about the project in more detail, here. 

John Bennett’s Versatile Hay Shed

“The consultation process was excellent … Everything we spoke about was done, plus more.”
John Bennett
Tulkara VIC

Next up, we discuss some potential disadvantages of a multi-use farm shed. 

Disadvantages Of Multi-Use Farm Sheds

It is always a good idea to be aware of any potential disadvantages of a farm shed design, and whether it will impact you. 

While they may not be relevant to every farming operation, there are several points to keep in mind when it comes to multi-use farm sheds. 
Firstly, find out whether a multi-use farm shed will be covered by your insurance policy or whether it will increase your insurance costs

For example, some insurance providers and policies will not cover co-storing such as hay and machinery stored in the same shed.
Secondly, if maintaining strict shed hygiene standards is a high priority for you, then a multi-use farm shed may not be the right fit for your storage. 
And finally, make sure you are not limiting your future growth by having additional money tied up in one shed, rather than split over two. Having two separate shed might give you more options in the future too.  
Now that we understand the pros and cons, let’s talk about ideas!

4 Ways To Create A Versatile Shed Design

There are a number of changes and inclusions you can make in the planning stages to help create a versatile farm shed design.
Machinery Shed Canopy

Whether it is a shearing shed, hay shed or general storage shed, versatile shed designs don’t have to be expensive or complicated.

For example, if you are building an open-front hay shed it can be as simple as making sure the shed height and bay spacings also work well for machinery storage. That’s very easy and cost-effective. 

Below we discuss other ways to create a versatile shed design including customising an open-front configuration, creating a two-in-one design and using concrete t-walls for flexibility. 


Choose An Open-Front Configuration

An open-front configuration is a great place to start when designing a multi-use farm shed.

We recommend an open-front configuration for two reasons.

Firstly, this configuration works well for a wide range of applications, including hay storage, machinery storage, calf sheds and commodity storage.

Secondly, there is a wide range of customisation options available to increase functionality and versatility. These include canopies, double-bay spacings, enclosed bays and concrete panels. We discuss many of these below. 

Calf shed bedding
24 Metre Span Open Front Machinery Shed

An open-front configuration is not suited to every shed use though. For example, a fully-enclosed shed is best practice for grain storage.

Or if you are looking to create a cost-effective design for long or wide machinery, then an open gable end shed would be the way to go. 

So, it always pays to keep your storage requirements in mind


Create A Two-In-One Design

A two-in-one shed design is a proven way to get the most out of your shed. 

Some classic examples are a combined machinery shed and workshop or a shearing shed and covered yards facility. 

One way to create a machinery shed/workshop is to utilise sliding doors. For example, enclosing one or more bays of an open-front machinery shed is a popular option. 

Cost To Build A Machinery Workshop Shed - Gallery 9

Installing a concrete slab and panels into an open-front, open-gable shed or fully enclosed shed is another way to create a dual-purpose design. This would be suited to grain storage and fertiliser storage – and just general machinery and equipment storage. 

This could even just be in several bays or at one end of the shed. 

As we have already mentioned, incorporating a yard cover into your shearing shed facility is a smart idea.  This is because it doesn’t just create a multi-use design. It creates a cost-effective design too – primarily because covering your yards typically costs less than having sheep on grating.

Another way to make your shearing shed dual-purpose is to upsize the wool room. The advantage of increasing the wool room size is that it becomes a great storage area throughout the year for machinery and equipment.

You can learn more about versatile and cost-effective shearing shed designs, here – How To Create A Cost-Effective Shearing Shed Design

Jakabul Shearing Shed Gallery 3
Jakabul Shearing Shed Photo


Accommodate Large Machinery

As we have already briefly mentioned, creating a versatile farm shed design can be as simple as making sure you have allowed for machinery access. 

Machinery isn’t getting any smaller and if you will be potentially using your shed for machinery storage in the future, take this into account in the planning stages. 

This includes paying attention to clearance heights and bay spacings. For example, make sure your shed has a minimum clearance height of 6 metres and consider upsizing the bay spacings. 

Another option to consider is an open gable end. For example, a two-sided configuration with an open gable end can provide easy access when storing hay – and a cost-effective wide opening for machinery storage. It’s the most cost-effective way to store long machinery too. 

Fertiliser Shed Sizes - Gallery 5


Be Flexible

Finally, be flexible!

And one great way to do this is to utilise movable concrete panels – also known as t-walls.

This is one recommendation we make when building a fertiliser shed as it gives you the flexibility of storing one product, or multiple products – in the one shed. 

So, that’s some suggestions to keep in mind! For more multi-use farm shed inspiration, check out the gallery below. 

Inspiration Gallery

Multi-Use Farm Shed Sizes & Price List

Here are some multi-use farm shed size and design suggestions – along with a handy price guide – to kickstart your project planning. 

  • A 32m (L) x 18m (W) x 6m (H) shed with concrete panels is one enclosed bay is approx. $185,000 – $205,000. 
  • A 42.5m (L) x  24m (W) x 6m (H) open gable end shed is approx. $170,000 – $190,000. 
  • A 48m(L) x 24m (W) x  8.25m (H) shed with concrete panels in the gable end is approx. $250,000 – $275,000. 

Please note: These prices include  GST, footings, and installation and are indicative only. For accurate project pricing, please REQUEST A QUOTE.


You can also access more general pricing information, here – Pricing Guide Library

So, that’s a summary of multi-use farm sheds!

There are some great benefits of building a multi-purpose farm shed, from value-for-money to flexible storage throughout the year – but it is important to weigh up the potential disadvantages too. This will help you determine whether a multi-use farm shed design is the right choice for you.

Speak with our building consultants – call 1800 687 888 – to discuss design ideas for your project. 

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