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Free Web site lets you plan out a building according to your needs.

John Vogel, Editor, American Agriculturist

June 11, 2010

2 Min Read

DIY is "hot" these days. Actually, it’s always been “hot” on farms as a way to save money and make use of family labor. But CB Structures, Inc., (Conestoga Buildings) offers a cool, simple and free layout planner for developing a floor plan for a post-frame machine shed, barn, garage, office – maybe even a family room – on your own computer – for free. That way, you’re less likely to have “wish I’d done it differently” hind-thoughts.

Step 1: Click on layout-planner tool. Be patient while the tool loads. Flash Player v9.115 or higher is required.

This free website planner is simple to use via a single pop-up window. No obligation is required. However, you must login to save your plans and share them. But you can print your plans without logging in.

Step 2: Start by choosing a building – ag building, garage, horse barn or a house. Then select appropriate dimensions.

Step 3: Now, you choose size-adjustable images of what you want to put inside – tractors, combines, trucks, wagons, tillage tools, workbenches, tool carts or even office and home furnishings. Shown is a quick example of what you can do.

If, for instance, your combine crowds out other implements, it's better to find out before you build than after. It may mean you need to upsize your shed.

Step 4: When finished, print out your final design for future reference. Or save it to the CB Structures Web site. Site registration is necessary to save designs and access extra features.

This planner’s real value for DYIers is that it can help ensure that the building accommodates all that you want it for – without that “I wish I had done it this way” afterthought. You can even position wiring, lighting, phone jacks, security cameras plus outside landscaping.

About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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