Farm Storage Facility Loan Program Enhanced by USDA

On Monday, March 10th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in a news release that they’re expanding on their Farm Storage and Facility Loan program. This program provides low-interest financing to producers for grain storage systems and other commodity storage and sorting equipment.


What does this mean for local farmers and farm-property owners? It means it may be easier financially to expand and/or upgrade your grain storage facilities.

Here are some new enhancements to the USDA program:

  1. Security requirements have been eased for loans between $50,000 and $100,000. Before the recent change, all loans higher than $50,000 required a promissory note or additional security, such as a lien on real estate. But now, loans that are up to $100,000 are secured only by a promissory note.
  2. Low-interest funds can be used towards building or upgrading permanent facilities to store eligible commodities such as grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables. The qualified facilities include grain bins, hay barns and cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.

If you want more information regarding the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility loan program, contact your local FSA office or visit

We’ll be happy to help, as well. Call Gateway FS Construction Services and we’ll give you the details to design your new or upgraded grain storage solution with the help of this USDA program.

Walters Building Guide

Spring is FINALLY here and now is a great time to start building or planning the building process on your dream structure, whether it’s suburban, commercial, or agricultural.

At FS Construction Services, we want our customers to be aware of the entire building process, while also educating them on the importance of the building components that go into each and every structure we build. In that regard, we like to reinforce a start-to-finish process developed by Walters Buildings. The Walters Building guide has been implemented so that no step is overlooked and each building aspect gets the appropriate attention that it needs.

In addition, the guide’s purpose is to outline each building component and why they’re vital for the completion of your structure. With this instructional and educational guide, it helps us to demonstrate our building standards and the qualities of the products we use to build your dream building. We believe in accuracy, efficiency and reliability.

We also believe that having an overall understanding of the building and its progression gives our customers a stronger involvement during the building process. It’s important to us that we provide our customers with comfort and ease, especially when it comes to completion dates and the overall integrity of the structure.

If you have questions regarding the Walters Building guide or you’re thinking about building a new structure, contact FS Construction Services today at 866-551-3454 to get in contact with our building specialists.


Boomer’s Corner – Extension Poles

There are endless advantages to rolling when using an extension pole. The most important advantage is that they allow you to get the job done faster by being able to reach higher without wasting time. Extension poles allow two-hand control on your roller while you’re painting inside or outside the house. Plus, there’s nothing better than stepping back from the job you’re doing to see exactly what you’re covering.



Accidental falls from ladders happen at an alarming rate. Using a pole reduces your chances of getting hurt while working on a project. There are many types of poles for many types of jobs. A 1-to-3-foot pole is excellent for closets, hallways or other tight areas. In addition, you can have the length without hitting the opposite wall. They also work exceptionally well for heavy furniture that’s difficult to move. The next pole is 2-4 feet, which is a really good size for interior walls that are 8-feet high. This size is perfect because you won’t have to stand on a ladder and it’s easier to carry when the pole is collapsed to only 2 feet.

For painting ceilings, the 4-to-8-foot poles make it easier to reach over covered furniture. And the last poles are 6-to-12 or 8-to-16 feet. These poles are great for high interior walls and exteriors. You can use a brush and tool holder with the pole or cut in the trim and corners and then reach the rest safely from the ground.

When selecting an extension pole, be sure to look for the following features:

-Large diameter composite handle

-Non-slip rubber grip

-Anodized aluminum or composite slider

-Positive locking mechanisms

-Rugged die-case metal threads

-Quick tool-changing feature for rollers and other tools

I hope this will help you paint a little safer this year! If you’d like to get a bid on a paint project, feel free to give me a call. Ask for Brian “Boomer” Garleb at 618-282-3454 or try me on my cell at 618-972-9516. I’d be happy to look at your building and give you any recommendations.

Walters Buildings’ Color Guide

What’s more exciting than planning a new building project? Seeing what it looks like before it’s built!

You’ll love the Walters Buildings’ online creative color guide that allows customers to mix and match potential colors of their new structure – whether it’s residential, equestrian, commercial or agricultural.

You even get the color detail down to the roofing, siding and trim. Honestly, it’s fun just exploring the color combinations offered by Walters Buildings.


If you’re in the planning stages of a new building, visit the Walters Buildings’ color guide and experiment with the color schemes for your very own structure. Even if you have no plans for a new building, we encourage you to try it out and experience it for future building purposes.

For more information and tips on building your new Walters Building, contact FS Construction Services today at 866-551-3454. We’re here to help you through the initial planning and entire building process.


Raynor Overhead Doors – Time to Insulate!

It seems the brutal winter temps are already upon us and are showing no sign of backing down. Our main concern this winter is keeping your residential or commercial area protected from the below-freezing temps through insulated and energy efficient overhead doors.

In most residential areas, garages are connected and sometimes adjacent to living spaces such as living rooms or bedrooms. This is when you’d definitely want to look into insulating your garage door in order to cut down on cost and being as energy efficient as possible. Insulation will keep those rooms more comfortable especially in a climate with extreme winter temperatures such as ours.



When it comes to commercial doors on any stand-alone structure, insulation isn’t necessarily a necessity unless you’re storing materials or equipment that cannot withstand the harsh winter temps. Depending on what you keep in your storage spaces will determine what kind of insulation options are best fit for your structure.

As an authorized dealer of Raynor overhead doors, we offer an entire energy and thermal efficient line of doors for both residential and commercial buildings. These lines include the Innovations Series (residential), TC Series, ThermaSeal, TH160, and TC200 (commercial). All these products contain polystyrene or polyurethane foam that promotes unsurpassed energy efficiency and maximum thermal protection.

If you’re looking into options on insulating your overhead door this winter, contact FS Construction Services today at 866-551-3454. We offer a wide range of products and services for energy efficient doors and we’ll help you find the best fit for all your insulation needs.


Boomer’s Corner – Concrete: The Other Surface

Winter is knocking on the door, which means it’s time to be inside and caught up on all my articles, right? I’ve talked a lot about outside buildings, roofs, house siding and this month in my paint corner, I’ll be talking a little about concrete. Now, most of you probably want to stop reading right here, but concrete shouldn’t be a bad word! I’ll be explaining why concrete can actually be fun to work with and why painting concrete isn’t as bad as you’d think.

Paint is the least expensive and easiest way to transform bare concrete into something with character and personality for your residential or commercial area. Concrete is a very porous material, so you’ll want to use a paint designed specifically to adhere to concrete. Using regular house paint will not work for this kind of surface because of eventual peeling.

Water-based stains would be a better option for the job. These are typically a blend of acrylic polymer and pigments that tend to seep into the pores and bond to concrete, becoming a more permanent part of the surface. Water-based stains provide a tough shield and don’t fade, peel or flake like a regular paint.

Another great option is cement dyes that are available in water or solvent-based varieties and produce a range from monotone to translucent. Dyes penetrate concrete quickly and leave virtually no residue and no room for error because the application is very quick.

Cement stains and dyes are completely safe and very easy to use, and most come in a one-step system, which is commonly a stain and waterproof sealer in one. Now, you know why concrete isn’t as bad as you thought! If you have a job that you would like to receive a free estimate on, feel free to email me at or call me at 618-972-9516.

Early Season Grain System Specials – GSI, Hutchison, Lowry and More!

With the early arrival of cold weather and fall harvest coming to a close, maybe you’ve been thinking about a grain system upgrade or new options for your grain drying or handling? Whatever the case, Gateway FS encourages you to take full advantage of our early season specials going on right now on grain systems including drying, handling and storage.

FS Construction Services offers many brands of grain systems such as Sukup, Shivvers, Brock, GSI, Grain Handler, Hutchison, and Lowry. These brands and FS Construction Services are dedicated to helping you find the most innovative and cost-efficient grain systems that fit all your grain storage, drying and transfer needs, whether it be an equipment upgrade or new addition.

If you’re considering making the investment but are unsure about which grain system upgrade will be most beneficial, we suggest contacting our Grain Systems department at 866-551-3454. We’ll be happy to explore your options and discuss our early season specials.

Boomer’s Corner – The Right Way to Sand

Author: Brian “Boomer” Garleb, Paint Specialist

This month in my paint corner, I will be discussing something that I know not many people particularly like and that’s sanding. Most people who read my column have sanded once or twice before and I have a few helpful hints and tips to carry out this task more efficiently and hassle-free.

A lot of people who embark on a paint project don’t think sanding is necessary. If there’s a nick, scratch or divot in the paint surface and/or flaked off paint or even drywall that has seen better days, just simply painting over it without sanding first will show all the unwanted imperfections. When looking for that smooth surface, sanding is exactly what you need and it ensures good adhesion with an overall finished look.

Remember, when you do sand, all dust needs to be removed or the paint will not stick. To strip a surface of previous coatings, I recommend starting with 60-80 grit abrasive. This is done when you wish to go back to bare wood. Once you have the bare wood, you can then go to a finer grit of 200-400 to smooth the surface. If paint is loose or flaky, you might consider power washing prior to sanding, especially when the painted or coated surfaces require more attention. The goal in this step is to remove any heavy build-up of paint.

Now that you have the surface carefully washed, I would recommend 100-150 grit with a power sander. This will feather the edges well and help the primer and topcoat look uniform. Also, if you have pre-primed surfaces, scuffing is a highly recommended step. Using 180-320 grit will help with topcoat adhesion. Finally, use a tack cloth to remove all the traces of your sanding. You don’t want to leave any trace of dust that could lead to a paint failure!

If you have questions about sanding or painting, you can call me at 618-972-9516 or email me at

Grain Drying Systems: Sukup, Shivvers, Brock and More

Now that fall harvest is coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to evaluate your current grain drying system and make sure its running at the best quality possible. It’s always important to examine your equipment after a busy planting or harvest season. Having a great plan of attack and head-start for the next season will ultimately maximize next year’s crop while keeping it dry and mold and toxin-free.


You may find that a grain system update is in order if you’re finding mold from inefficient dryers and/or faulty grain transport systems. That unwanted mold and spoilage is a helpful indicator that your drying system isn’t working fast enough or drying the crop evenly, which is an unfortunate financial situation you need to avoid.

Now is a great opportunity to begin exploring your options in investing in a new grain drying system and if you’re currently in mid-harvest, we recommend taking a look at the FS Grain Drying Guide on our site. You’ll find 60 pages of information on different drying systems and the specifics for drying corn, soybeans, wheat and milo.

Monitoring moisture and maximizing your crop during harvest is the most important task at hand, as well as closely inspecting your grain systems to ensure the best overall outcomes of your crop. Our Grain Drying Guide will come in very handy for your future harvests.

The facts in the guide can lead to a true increase in your harvest revenue – something vitally important with our unpredictable weather. Contact FS Construction Services at 866-551-3454 for any additional questions or information, or to discuss a grain handling and drying system built to handle our wide variety of growing season weather.

Six Signs You Might Need a Paint Job

istock_000003105317xsmallWe know it’s a pretty tough call to make when determining whether or not it’s time for an exterior paint job. The process alone seems somewhat daunting and deciding when to do it can be tricky. The first and sometimes toughest step of the process is simply taking the time to closely examine your building. We, at FS Painting Services, have compiled a few warning signs that indicate when your home or building is a prime candidate for a few fresh, new coats.

  1. Dry Rotting – This is usually caused by a specific species of fungi that digests parts of the wood that typically gives it its durability and overall strength. Examine your exterior boards carefully.  It may be necessary to replace some boards prior to painting.
  2. Extreme Cracking or Breakage – For any type of structure, when cracking or breaking of the base building material occurs, it’s a great indication that it’s also time for new paint.
  3. Chipping or Peeling – If you can visibly see the paint chipping or peeling from your building, it’s time to act before things get worse.
  4. Color Fading – Your building might look a bit dull and doesn’t quite stand out or carry its former healthy glow. Our variety of weather and direct sunlight will cause paint to deteriorate and fade over time.  Get your color back and protect your exterior.
  5. Your Caulk is Shot – Good quality caulking is designed to last 10 years or more.  If the caulking around doors and windows is cracked, dried and/or coming off, it’s probably time to revisit your overall exterior protection, including paint.
  6. Timing – If you can’t remember the last time you’ve painted your building or if the previous five items have you nodding in agreement, you should give us a call.

FS Painting Services will be able to assist you in all of your exterior painting needs. Now is a great time of the year to call and set up an appointment with one of our professionals before your home or building is subjected to the wide variety of fall and winter weather.

We can completely transform the look of your building with just a few coats.  Contact us at 866-551-3454 to keep your place looking great.