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Agriculture & Self Storage

Schneider Farms' Shop, New Ulm, Minn.

About 300 people gathered at Lori and Dean Schneider's new farm shop for a community fundraising event to improve a local baseball field. The Schneiders, owners of Schneider Farms, say their guests were impressed by the 40-foot by 18-foot hydraulic door supplied by Schweiss Doors on the south wall. "When I pushed the button and the whole wall opened up, everyone was just amazed," Dean Schneider says. "They had never seen a structure where the entire wall opened up. That just blew people away."

The 80-foot by 84-foot shop, completed in 2012, is white with red trim. The hydraulic door and the three windows in the door are outlined in red. The project included 10 inches of concrete floor for two wash basin areas that can be accessed with semitrailers on both sides of the building. The wash areas along the east and north walls have slight slopes of concrete floor that goes into 50- foot catch basins. Electrical outlets were installed on the walls for power washers.

Northstar Builders, owned by the Schneiders' son, Chad Schneider, constructed the farm shop. Dean Schneider says Chad helped with the layout and construction, and his other sons and daughter provided additional input for the design. "So this was very much a family project all the way," he notes.

Dean Schneider says he selected the hydraulic door instead of the bifold door for a couple reasons. "It's a cleaner, less busy look," he explains. "It really complemented the total interior look of our shop, plus it was easy to insulate. Plus, they told my son exactly what dimensions were needed for the doorframe. When my son fitted the door into the opening, it was flawless, just a perfect fit, and that's something when you're dealing with a space that big."

Additional features include a 24-foot by 32-foot office and break room, bathroom, in-floor heating covered by 8 inches of concrete and a utility room housing all the geothermal hookups. Additionally, 20 high-intensity lighting fixtures were built into an 18-foot ceiling, blanket insulation was installed in the walls and 20 inches of cellular spray foam was applied in the ceiling.

Dean Schneider says the shop has become a morning coffee gathering place and hot spot for an occasional happy hour later in the day. Lori Schneider helped select the colors for the shop. "I've told Dean for years that he should build a new shop," she says. "Our farm equipment is big. He and our sons take great care of the equipment, so a better facility just seemed in order."

Builder: Northstar Builders, New Ulm

Door: Schweiss Doors, Hector, Minn.,