Business profile: Alpine Buildings

Farm Trader checks out Alpine Buildings' quick and easy kitsets to build a shed

When Okato agricultural contracting firm JFM Contracting needed to have a shed built, there was a lot to consider. With a long list of equipment, including mulchers, trailers, harrows, drills, planters, levellers, tractors, and more, owner Jared McBride decided on a shed design in a clearspan style that was protective and easily accessible for large tractors and machinery. He also needed an attached, secure workshop.

Jared had been looking into various shed designs when a unique new innovation from Alpine Buildings caught his attention. Alpine Buildings’ Hot-Box Rafters use a hot-dip galvanised box-section rafter that eliminate places for birds to perch and nest in the rafters.

“Alpine’s perch-free design is brilliant,” says Jared. “The birds fly in and fly straight back out again because they can’t perch in the rafters. And if they can’t perch, they don’t nest. That means no bird droppings and mess on the machinery and that’s a huge benefit.”

With more than 20 years in the industry, Alpine Buildings has always focused on continuous development and on looking for ways to do things better. “Alpine’s Zero-Bird-Perch™ rafters have been designed with the protection of valuable equipment in mind,” says Alpine Buildings sales manager Almanzo Boakes.

“Bird droppings are acidic and can cause serious damage to expensive gear. They can also spread lice and create fire hazards with their nesting materials.”

The result of more than 10 years of research and development, the Hot-Box rafters use hot-dip galvanisation, which is regarded as the best rust protection available. The hot-dip process coats the steel with a coating two-and-a-half times thicker than any other steel protection coating. As a result, the Alpine steel rafter system is a breakthrough towards stronger, better-looking, and longer-lasting sheds.

Jared says the process of designing the shed couldn’t have been easier. “The team at Alpine were fantastic to work with,” he says. “Nothing was ever too much trouble. If I had any changes to the design, they’d get on to it straight away, and it was always sorted easily.”

Quick and easy kitsets

Alpine Buildings are supplied as complete kitsets. “In fact, Alpine was the first company in New Zealand to supply complete kitsets. We’re also the fastest and easiest-to-install kitset sheds on the market,” says Almanzo.

Jared’s shed measures 28.8m by 15m and is 6.8m high at the apex, taking around three weeks to build. “Everything arrived in kitset forms like a giant flat pack,” he says. “The builder was pretty surprised. He fully expected there to be something missing, but everything was spot on. The team at Alpine made sure everything went as smoothly as possible. They’d ring every couple of weeks to check on progress. Nothing was a problem and they were quick to sort out any minor issues.”

“We’ve had a lot of excellent feedback from builders using our kitsets,” says Almanzo. “They love how simple they are to build, how much time they can save, and how easy and hassle-free the whole process is, from design to delivery.”

Finding strength

Jared, who grew up on a farm and has always loved working with machinery, founded JFM Contracting in 2004. After working within the engineering industry for eight years, an opportunity arose for him to start his own contracting business.

“I researched the local farming community to find out what service was missing and saw a need for a hedge mulching operation. That was in April 2004, and the business has gone from strength to strength ever since.

“We now offer just about every imaginable contracting service – from hedging to hay baling. Our list of gear is always growing so having a solidly built shed to store equipment and carry out repairs and maintenance makes a big difference,” he says.

Alpine uses both timber and steel in the design of its sheds. “It’s proven that both are great construction materials, with each having their strengths and weaknesses,”says Almanzo. “So we’ve used both timber and steel, maximising the benefits of timber while utilising the strength of the structural steel.”
Despite being an engineer by trade,

Jared says he is a big fan of timber. “It’s a big advantage having timber framing. You don’t get the echoing or drumming effect you usually have with an all-steel shed, especially in bad weather.”

The timber framing also makes internal fixings such as wiring, workbenches, and shelves easy to install. “If you want to attach something to the walls, you just bang a nail in the timber. You don’t need to get a tech gun out and rivet stuff in,”says Jared.

Timber is also known to be a better insulator, which helps the shed stay at a more consistent temperature and minimises condensation or ‘shed sweat’.

Alpine timber roof purlins are strip-stacked to dry before packing into a kitset, which means they’re lighter and straighter as well as easier and safer to build.

The pre-welded J-hangers of Alpine’s steel rafter system make the install of purlins quick and easy. And with the triple checking, extra grading, and pre-cutting of as many beams as possible, customers are assured of the fastest building on the New Zealand market to install.

Size matters

Alpine Buildings design each build according to the unique environmental conditions of the site, including wind and snow loadings. The in-house design team work alongside site owners to customise a shed to suit – from implement and storage sheds through to workshops, hangars, and animal shelters.

The shed sizes range from 9m to 30m plus with custom heights, bay sizes, and unlimited lengths. The buildings are available in three different construction options: Gable Steel Rafter, Lean-to Steel Rafter, and Tidyspan Steel Portal. Each uses the highest quality components and includes a 50-year building consent – the longest available in the industry. All timber is H3.2 tanalised or greater and poles are H5 treated.

With a service area spanning from Rahotu in the south to Oakura in the north, JFM Contracting is looking forward to another busy year in 2017.

“We’re proud of our strong history and good reputation in the area,” says Jared.

“The new shed is already proving to be a great investment for the business and will help ensure we’ve got our clients’ needs well covered in the future.”

Photography: Claire Smith

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