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May 14, 2015

5 DIY Building Projects for the Farm

When it comes to farm life, the Do-It-Yourself ethos is as old as the dirt. Something about the knowledge that you and your family lives off the land disabuses one to the idea of hiring a contractor or buying off-the-shelf unless absolutely necessary. And with the advent of the Internet, finding ideas and instruction for DIY projects has never been easier.

If you're reading this now, odds are you've got it in your head to roll up your sleeves and do something, anything maybe, yourself. Here's a list of 5 easy DIY building projects for the backyard or the farm to get you started. (Note: for any of these projects, check with your local government to make sure your in compliance with local laws and regulations.)


  1. Easy DIY Fire Pit
    One of the easier and more popular backyard building projects, making a fire pit is a simple process that you can probably do with the tools you already have in your garage or shed. Dig a hole about a foot deep, and as wide as you like on a level surface at least 25 feed from houses, trees, or other flammable structures. Then, create an exterior ring another foot or two around the perimeter with bricks, loose stones, or another fireproof building material held together by mortar or cement. Let it dry, and wait for nightfall to kick back in your favorite lawn chair to enjoy and evening fire.

  2. DIY Chicken Coop
    Keeping chickens is a great way to get fresh, cheap eggs, and a must-have for anyone looking to enjoy the complete farm life package. Of course, chickens need coops. Luckily, a chicken coop isn't rocket science to build. Depending on how many chickens you want to keep, it can even be done for less money than you might expect. The basic outline of any good chicken coop is this: four walls, a floor, and a roof, with an fenced-in outdoor grazing area attached. Chickens need plenty of room to roam around, a snug place to roost, and enough ventilation to keep their health up. Other than that, you're free to be as creative or basic as you want! There are plenty of DIY chicken coop plans online, so take a look or ask your local hardware store for help.

  3. Make Your Own Compost Bin
    Composting is a great way to make sure nothing in your household or on your farm is ever wasted. Using a little soil as a base, you can create amazing, nutrient-rich compost perfect for growing amazing, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Peels, cores, eggs shells, and even coffee grounds all make for great compost. All you need is a compost bin, which only needs two things: two hold compost and let air in and out with ease. The most basic option is a wood-and-wire bin, which is just wire mesh held around a simple wooden frame. If you've got a few extra wooden pallets lying around, use one as a base, and attach four others around it as walls – voila, an all-pallet compost bin! Of course, like any other DIY project, you're welcome to get as ornate or elaborate as you want.

  4. DIY Cedar Fence
    All you need are posts, slats, a post hole digger, a hammer and nails, and some cement. Dig some holes along line you want your fence to occupy, no more than six feet apart. Set your posts, make sure they're level, and fill with concrete up to a few inches below the top of the hole (for soil backfill later). Once the cement is dried overnight, cut the posts to your desired height, attach horizontal rails, and then add the vertical fence board. Easy! A fence like this can be used practically to mark off property borders, or as a cosmetic accent to a rustic farmhouse.

  5. Build Your Own Pole Barn from a Kit
    This one's only for the experts. Buy your very own custom pole barn kit, skip the contractor, and get it up with nothing but a few friends and some elbow grease. This one's a bit more complicated than a fire pit or compost bin, but the princpals are the same: holes, wood, and cement.

    For those with the time, know-how, and inclination to make the mother of all DIY projects, head to The Pole Barn Company for the best custom pole barn kits out there. Everything you'll need (minus tools of course) is included, from roofing and fasteners to poles and windows.



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