Equipment shed design- door placement

We’re designing the new 24x32 shed that we’re putting up this spring. The building will be used to store tractor, backhoe, ATV, utility trailer, carts, spreader etc. All moveable stuff, so we don’t have to plan every inch of interior space. That said, I want to make sure we put the doors in the best location. So I thought I should check in with this crowd since it’s very good at calling out stupid mistakes err, no wait, I mean, very good at designing barns. :laughing:

This is a very simple building-- 24x32 clearspan, with a lean-to for tractor/farm implements along one of the long sides. Stuff that goes in the lean-to would be small carts, manure spreader, rotary mower etc. Doors: two 10x10 sliders, and one man-door, yellow highlighted in this blueprint.

My gut instinct is to have the doors on each endwall directly opposite each other, tucked as far to one side as they’ll go. That leaves 11’6" of wall space on the other side of the door. So we’d drive straight in from either side, and then back into a parking spot (blue rectangles).
The tractor with FEL is a little over 13ft long, so I’m thinking that could go in the middle parking spot, so it’s not sticking out into the doorway. One tricky thing is the backhoe-- when tractor is attached, total length is about 21ft, and you obvs need room to back the tractor up to it, to hook up. So I’m thinking the backhoe gets put parallel to the longwall, as shown.

Would a different positioning of the sliders give me any advantage that you can think of?

Maybe instead of the 2nd slider being on the endwall on the right, we put it on the long wall by the lower right corner. Then backhoe can be lined up parallel to all the other implements, and with the slider open, there’s room to back the tractor up to it, to hook up. Hmmmm

Are you SURE you don’t want the doors on the long wall, so you back your stuff up straight? Pulling in and backing a curve just seems to have a lot of potential for error, and you really have to keep that space between your doors clear for access, losing quite a lot of storage.


well, with the door on the long wall, the only straight approach is the parking spot directly opposite the door. To park anywhere else in the building you’d still have to be turning while backing up. Unless I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying? That said, like I posted in my reply just above, I’m now thinking it makes sense to have one door on the long wall, and the backhoe attachment gets parked opposite that door. But that’s just to give more space when hooking/unhooking it, not to avoid making turns.

We are both really good at backing trailers up, so I’m not too worried about making a 90-deg turn to park.

a factor I didn’t mention but probably should have-- the “open” long wall, ie the one that doesn’t have the lean-to, is on the north side of building and not optimal in terms of access due to terrain and proximity to the timber treeline. We’d have to move the whole building southward if the north side is our only entrance.

All our barns for implements have doors you back thru and then park stuff in there.
Then you back to attach stuff to the tractor/pickup when you need it.

With the doors in the middle, you could back in there and a bit to the side and park some on one side of the door, some on the other side and only have to move off a straight line a bit?

It is going to be awfully awkward to back in and turn so much to park, or to hook up and then exit, especially with other parked by what you are after, that barn and doors not being very large?

You could put some cones down and try it in different configurations to see how that would work.

Yep, that makes more sense!

Without topography, I’d set that building up with doors all along one wall–think of like a giant garage?–so each “parking space” could be accessed straight on. Additional space behind the big implements could be used as storage for lesser used stuff. There would be no pulling through, but you’d get more actual storage space because you wouldn’t have to keep that pull through open for access

But can see how the real world makes things more difficult!

Another option would perhaps to have doors all along each short side, and think of it like two garages back to back? Each implement would be allocated half the width. You’d back in straight but could also open the whole building up if needed. You’d eliminate the need for a pull through alley and gain more total storage space, but still have your access on the short sides.

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are the numbers 20,22,24 on the inside indicating post height?.. if so why so high with only a 10 feet door opening?

It’s a 12’ wall with 6ft post burial depth .

I would definitely try out backing in the implements at a 90 degree angle. If you keep the FEL on the tractor, you may need more clearance in front than you think to back like that. Actually, if your dark blue shapes are the right size, adding the tractor length means tractor + implement is darn close to the 24’. Which will be really hard for backing in as well as hitching up.

If you put both doors on one short end, you might have to slightly angle to back some things in, but it would be minimal. I suppose there’s a reason you can’t turn the building 90 degrees to make putting the doors on a long side feasible–probably to do with the lean-to.

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I would think to accommodate the lean-to and the desired roof pitch.

Metal roof? Snow? Make sure your most important doors are on the gable ends.

Lay out a grid on the ground to the dimensions of your shed with the doors where you are wanting them, then try parking all of your vehicles that you will be using it for. See how it is to get them in and then turned into their parking spot.


for sliding barn doors they can mounted in the interior if in a region of great frozen north land like where Santa lives…sure beats shoveling snow away from the retraction area of the doors to open them

Added to that, if using overhead doors, count at least 2’ clearance above them.

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for standard installation of an overhead yes two feet, however there is a low headroom installation that requires a few inches (which costs more but not that much more)

And there is a “follow the roof line” installation that keeps the overhead door close to the ceilings rather than being a flat surface as in the standard installations …we did many horse arenas with follow the roof line installations

The overhead doors for the covered arena, since the peak is at 26’, could have been framed for an almost straight up retraction.
Not really necessary, would have been harder to reach up there for that or service and repairs, so we left it at the standard 2’.

with a 26 foot side wall a vertical lift with a few feet of follow the roof line would have been easier to install … one of my business was an overhead door company, it did commercial and residential work

This is what we ended up with, framed for a progressive lift angle.
Maybe it will help someone else get ideas:


As long as you aren’t climbing over 5’ slides to get TO the doors.