View Full Version : Crushed concrete or... ? (Porch/lean areas around barn)
Aug. 3, 2010, 08:54 AM
Our little barn (now complete! :)) has leans on both sides. One side is a porch-type area with dutch door access to the stalls; the other side will be storage space for hay and equipment. We want to put something down for footing in both these areas and generally in a footprint around the barn to facilitate drainage and prevent mud. We're also looking at a road from the gate to the barn. Right now it's pretty much all clay, particularly around the barn because of the pad buildup.
I'm envisioning my barn porch lined with railroad ties and filled in with crushed rock. The construction foreman suggested crushed granite and a base of sand and stone dust. Our dirt guy scoffed at that and told us crushed concrete right on top of the clay is the sufficient way to go. Hubby and I are clueless and not sure who's right or what we need.
What have you done around your barn areas and/or for roads? Any particular recommendations? Pitfalls to avoid? I've been told to steer clear of pea gravel. I know nothing of crushed concrete or the base required, if any.
Aug. 3, 2010, 10:05 AM
you will want the larger gravel, like #57s, on top of your clay to stabilize it. Then put crusher run on top of that - it will pack down to a nice surface. Under my run in I have stone dust as the top layer and just rake it about once a week - good for the ones who are barefoot too.
If you put the smaller gravel or sand down first the clay will eat it up and you will still have a muddy mess
Aug. 3, 2010, 11:12 AM
That' exactly what I was thinking. Clay, gravel, fine, heavy sand, stone dust. The sand and stone dust pack around the gravel, stabelizing it and the gravel allows drainage. Get better quotes. I am not sure what the porch is for, man or beast, but I don't like to stand on gravel, and hroses sure don't like to step onto it.
Aug. 3, 2010, 11:25 AM
I'm envisioning my barn porch lined with railroad ties
This is what I have, and I'm very happy with my "horse porch". Given how much my herd is hanging out there currently (judged by the volume of crap I shovel out of it daily!), they love it as well. :)
What has worked out well for me is the gradual addition of a combination of sand, a little crushed concrete, the native dirt (no clay) and bedding over time, to form a nice, soft area for them to stand. It's taken the better part of 3 years (going on 4) to get to where it is now: fairly uniform, not dusty, soft and easy to clean. A couple of areas where they congregate to pee get kind of nasty and need digging up from time to time, and I've been putting a little pea gravel down in those low spots and backfilling, and that's working out well.
FWIW, I've been using pea gravel in the few low areas of my sacrifice paddock, and around the hay feeders to keep those areas from being so churned up in traffic, and that's working out really well. Yes, I gradually lose it down into the ground over time, but after only two years of doing this (putting about a yard of pea gravel down in the fall) it has gotten to where these areas are decidedly FIRM and the gravel is no longer sinking in. In fact, I have 1/3 of last year's pile left over and won't need to buy any more this year to do the annual "touch up". My horses have no objection whatsoever to standing or walking on pea gravel.
I think if you keep your "porch" area enclosed with the railroad ties and allow it to fill in over time, you will have no problems with mud or drainage, other than from them peeing in there. The only thing I add now to my horse porch is the occasional small scoop of pea gravel when I dig out a wet spot, and every week or so I throw a bag of unsoaked bedding pellets down in there to keep up with what I muck out every day.
In the fall and spring when the weather is nice, they don't hang out or poop/pee in there much, so the hard use of the porch is limited to winter and the worst part of summer.
Aug. 3, 2010, 11:31 AM
I just put crushed concrete over packed gravel under my overhang to combat mud, and probably 10 feet out as well. I don' t have railroad ties but graded it so there is a nice slope down. So far it is working out very well.
The crushed concrete was much cheaper around here than the crusher run I would have used in WV on my dad's farm. It is a little, um, fluffier? but generally pretty similar.
Aug. 4, 2010, 05:29 PM
Another vote for stonedust/crusher run/decomposed granite - whatever your guy calls it.
Small pieces about 1/10 the size of pea gravel.
I used it inside for stall flooring and aisles and outside the stalls.
Both areas were dumped over a base of larger gravel.
Inside it drains well in the stalls so even though I now have the World Champion Peeing Pony it never reeks of ammonia.
The aisles sweep clean and in both places it has packed down so it feels like concrete to me, but horses still leave shallow imprints so it must have some cush for them.
Outside I rake it clean all Summer but need a FEL to scrape it clean after a Winter of horses w/free access who
My excavator left me a pile of surplus that in 3 years is still useful for filling in any low spots.
I even used it to make a 3' wide path for me from the barn front slider to the service door.
If I could, I'd do my entire sacrifice paddock in the stuff - No More Mud, EVER!!!