PDA

View Full Version : Ideas for barn designs?



SkipHiLad4me
Dec. 15, 2010, 02:55 PM
I'm starting to brainstorm on the barn I'm going to be building soon (hopefully). I'm not dead set on the number of stalls or barn style but I do have some "wants" that I'd like to incorporate. Anyone have any good books or websites that show a lot of different barn layout options? I'm feeling overwhelmed when I start trying to "google".

TIA:yes:

Amchara
Dec. 16, 2010, 12:53 PM
Horse Housing and Horsekeeping on Small Acreage and by Cherry Hill and have good stuff.

Complete Plans for Building Horse Barns Big and Small by Nancy Ambrosiano

All sorts of ideas out there on the internet. There have been a few "What do you love/hate about your barn?" threads here.

dmalbone
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:14 PM
I scoured threads here and looked at pole builder websites for examples (morton, FBI, Cleary, Horizons, etc.). Once you have a better idea of what you want as far as approximate size, how many stalls, and other stuff you can post here and get more info and opinions.

Jessyka89
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:18 PM
Make sure your builder knows exactly what you want as well. We have dealt with Morton and a more local builder. Morton was above and beyond what we wanted. When we ended up moving, we went with the local because Morton was going to be much more expensive (with the quote), but even after the local builder was done we ended up paying more than the Morton quote because of the problems we had with them.

I have a friend who is a foreman for Morton and worked for FBI previously (and had his own business before that) and he says that Morton truly is the best out there. He says they are a great employer and they truly build the best structures. Definitely talk to them.

dmalbone
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:21 PM
Make sure your builder knows exactly what you want as well. We have dealt with Morton and a more local builder. Morton was above and beyond what we wanted. When we ended up moving, we went with the local because Morton was going to be much more expensive (with the quote), but even after the local builder was done we ended up paying more than the Morton quote because of the problems we had with them.

I have a friend who is a foreman for Morton and worked for FBI previously (and had his own business before that) and he says that Morton truly is the best out there. He says they are a great employer and they truly build the best structures. Definitely talk to them.Ditto ditto ditto! We used a fairly local builder (Blitz builders) and they SUCKED. The problem wasn't knowing what wanted- oh, we had it all spelled out. It was just incompetence. All of the barn building, fences, etc etc has taught me that you really get what you pay for.

Kota
Dec. 16, 2010, 01:48 PM
barnsbarnsbarns.com

and

applevalleybarns.com

happy hunting!

2DogsFarm
Dec. 16, 2010, 02:50 PM
Another vote for Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping on Small Acreage! :yes:

And ditto on going with an established barnbuilding specialist like Morton, Wick or FBI.
Unless you can see some barns built by a non-specialized builder (and talk to the customers) it is well worth the extra $$ to get what you need done as it should be.

My FBI rep asked the questions almost before I could from my List.
He even made some good suggestions and literally went to the Govt Center with me to apply for the variances.
He even offered to go to the Zoning hearing with me!

The actual crew was more than good - they added an overhang even though that was not in the plans & got the job done well within the contracted time.

6 years later the only changes I would make are due to my ideas, not any shortcoming of FBIs.
I.E.: wish I had decided on cupolas & the fancier front doors, aftermarket is Killer :(

I have a well-built, functional barn w/attached indoor that houses my horses and serves my purposes.

Once you decide do post back here for ideas & questions on the little details.
COTHers have a wealth of knowledge & experience as well as some great innovative solutions to everday problems.

ArabDiva
Dec. 16, 2010, 02:58 PM
Another vote for Cherry Hill's "Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage". You can get it on Amazon for pretty cheap. It has SO MUCH useful information about barn construction, materials to use, farm layout, excavating, etc.

MeghanDACVA
Dec. 16, 2010, 03:23 PM
Go look at alot of other people's barns. Most people are delighted to show you their barns and even tell you what they would do differently, etc.

WHen you talk to the builder about size of building, stalls, etc. be sure they truly understand that the stall dimensions you want are INSIDE dimensions. You cannot put 4 12x12 stalls in a 48' barn!! Yes, 4 x 12 is 48 but you have to account for the width of the walls!! Most builders really do not like odd sizes since they usually build on 8, 10, 12, etc foot centers. That is CENTERS. NOT inside post 1 to post 2. Be very very very sure they get that picture. VERY sure. Most will nod their head, etc but when they start building they dont' have a clue. And when they are done, it is too late. You don't want to suddenly find out you can only put 3 12x12 stalls on a 48' wall!!

And lots of floor drains. And big ones. We have "normal" sized round ones. Too small. THey get get covered over with stuff then don't drain.

Be sure the contractor understands concrete too!! I know that sounds stupid but you need enough slope in the wash rack to have the water drain to the drain. Ours assumed they had enough, despite us telling him we wanted it well sloped. Yes, it drains, but not fast enough to counter the amount of water you put down when bathing a horse.

And same discussion regarding finishing the concrete (if you are using concrete). Most concrete guys think a simple broom finish is a rough finish. Trust me, it isn't rough enough for a horse. If you can, go with asphalt.

And, check everything they do every day. With a tape measure, a level, etc. Do NOT assume they know what they are doing. Much easier to make them fix it then vs trying to fix it later.

SkipHiLad4me
Dec. 17, 2010, 08:08 AM
Thanks so much for the great suggestions! :yes: Keep 'em coming.

Not too worried about the actual construction process. My DH is a civil engineer and a construction manager for the Dept of the Navy so he has a lot of experience when it comes to building and materials. He built his own house almost completely by himself before we got married! :eek: So I'm very lucky in that aspect!

I seek out all of the barn-related threads on COTH (i.e., what do you love/hate about your barn, etc) and those have been a huge help in stirring up questions in my mind about what I want and don't want.

howardh
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:22 AM
Skimp somewhere else if you have to, but automatic waterers are heaven and a MUST. Inside AND outside.

pony grandma
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:51 AM
My biggest enjoyment is that I fenced in a barnyard. Makes the place safer and looks very homey.

And one stall has a huge slider door, it opens out to a huge hangover roof (also holds, keeps dry, round bales for winter) and the main paddock area. That stall shares an automatic waterer so there is full time access. The paddock has gates that open to all the fields. So I can rotate the fields and they have access back to water and shelter at all times. I can close the door and use the stall but it is primarily used as a run-out.

Soooo many things to consider. Delivery access, storage, drainage - these have all been discussed on the threads here and so much sound advice has been given. What a great resource for you. Good luck, enjoy the dream come true.

Bluey
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:00 AM
Automatic watereres outside, if you have larger tanks, be sure if you possibly can they have an overflow, all can be on the same line, that drains way off.
This way you can just open the overflow pipe and let them drain, scrub and clean any time you want.

If you have a strong enough well, you can let them run over in the coldest weather and that will keep them from freezing, without needing heaters to them.

I would not build today the main barns and framing with wood, not with the load of combustibles found in barns.
Since your DH is an engineer and materials expert, I guess that will be a decision you can leave to him.;)

I would also try for a main building for the indoor and stalls under overhangs from it, if you are trying to save considerably on the expense.

Having at least most of the stalls with back doors to runs will make managing much better, horses will be happier, cleaning up much easier and you still can shut horses in the stalls if needed.

Once you make plans for your currently expected needs, think several years down the road and plan for any changes or expansions into what you may build today.

If you ask any real estate person, they will tell you that barns that can be multi use will increase the value of any property much more than those with single uses.
A main barn that can be easily remodeled for a shop or storage building is more valuable at resell than one that can only be used for a single purpose.
If your barn has portable or easily dismantled stalls, if the stalls are not part of the framing itself, you can later change as your needs change, or take them clear out and transform the barn shell to some other use.
I know one such great barn that is now a dance barn and wedding receptions are held there.
They left a couple of stalls in one end and if requested, they will put two horses in there to add to the ambient in some weddings.:)

Once you decide, be happy with what you build, because when building, there is always going to be something or other you may, should or needed to have done different, in hindsight.:p

Planning is sure fun, grin and bear it.:)

HorseBabble
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:11 AM
http://equinearchitecture.com/ is where I go to dream.

SkipHiLad4me
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:21 AM
Once you decide, be happy with what you build, because when building, there is always going to be something or other you may, should or needed to have done different, in hindsight.:p

This is what I keep hearing! The lady that owns the barn where I board now told me that even after months of planning, her barn still didn't turn out much like she expected - especially when she actually started using it on a day to day basis. This is a scary thought! :) But definitely true that what looks good on paper might not be so good in functionality.

Bluey
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:36 AM
This is what I keep hearing! The lady that owns the barn where I board now told me that even after months of planning, her barn still didn't turn out much like she expected - especially when she actually started using it on a day to day basis. This is a scary thought! :) But definitely true that what looks good on paper might not be so good in functionality.

I call the planning stages "picking everyone's brains".
You can't get enough information, so you then can sort thru all that to figure what you want and what makes the most sense in your own situation.

When I moved up here 5+ years ago, I had plans that included a large indoor for 4H, ropings, barrel racing, team pennings, clinics and assorted local activities.
Some stalls under overhangs from the sides, separate enough to be their own barn.

We started at that time adding to the existing barn, to be our quarantine barn, but had to stop there.
That is what we are using now, as the situation with the horse market and personal issues keep changing.
If all goes well, eventually we may still go with the big barn, just not yet.

So, plan in a way that when you do go ahead, you can change course as you need.:yes:

saddleup
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:56 AM
HorseBabble, I just went to that site. Holy cow. Those barns are incredible.

TB Fan
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:56 PM
It can def be overwhelming. It took me a while to come up with a plan. I live in New England and work full time so I wanted a space that can acommodate me and my horse when it's dark 6 months a year. I went with a center aisle. Pretty standard 36x48. No, my stalls aren't exactly 12x12 but I can live stalls that's just shy of that. I have a large and tall center aisle.

Think about your property? How many stalls would you have ultimately? How is your turnout? What is your expected work flow? How will having your horses fit into your current schedule? Pretty soon you will have a rough idea in your head.

I also went with hubby and a good friend building the place. They are buttoning up the roof as we speak. It was a bit cheaper than if I went with a pro so I saved some money and the quality is impeccable. I feel comfortable that they are building a great barn for me. It was also nice b/c we could discuss things as we built them. I bought plans but we deviated here and there to acommodate certain things I wanted. Good Luck!

SkipHiLad4me
Dec. 17, 2010, 01:17 PM
TB - I'm leaning toward center aisle as well. I'm thinking of the cold winter months when I can close off the barn aisle doors to keep it a little warmer in the barn. I think I'd be less likely to want to just tinker in the barn or play with the horses when it's dark and cold if I had something like a shedrow barn instead.

So what about lofts? I don't think I intend to store hay in a loft for simple reasons of A) getting it up there! and B) fire and air quality issues but do you find that they come in handy for other types of storage? I plan to put in a good sized tack room separate from my feed room so hopefully I'll have plenty of storage on the ground floor for tack, brushes, blankets, etc. I've seen a few barn designs with partial lofts that only go half the length of the barn and just over the center aisle, so they don't impact the overhead clearance in the stalls or cover all of the center aisle.

shakeytails
Dec. 17, 2010, 02:45 PM
Go look at alot of other people's barns. Most people are delighted to show you their barns and even tell you what they would do differently, etc.

When we were building our barn, we had oodles of people just stopping in to ask questions/be nosy. We never objected. I've also stopped in to see other barns under construction, and without fail the owner was happy to show me around and point out special features.


WHen you talk to the builder about size of building, stalls, etc. be sure they truly understand that the stall dimensions you want are INSIDE dimensions. You cannot put 4 12x12 stalls in a 48' barn!! Yes, 4 x 12 is 48 but you have to account for the width of the walls!! Most builders really do not like odd sizes since they usually build on 8, 10, 12, etc foot centers. That is CENTERS. NOT inside post 1 to post 2. Be very very very sure they get that picture. VERY sure. Most will nod their head, etc but when they start building they dont' have a clue. And when they are done, it is too late. You don't want to suddenly find out you can only put 3 12x12 stalls on a 48' wall!!

Honestly, this isn't that big a deal. It's kinda like adding an inch to your living room- does it really make a difference? My divider walls are between the posts in angle iron, so I lose maybe an inch and a half off 12 feet. I hardly think the horses care that they have 2 square feet less of floor space. I still say I have 7 12x12 stalls along the 84' wall of my barn.



And, check everything they do every day. With a tape measure, a level, etc. Do NOT assume they know what they are doing. Much easier to make them fix it then vs trying to fix it later.

Most definitely! There's an awful lot of contractors that just suck, and have no pride in their work. That said, it's a barn, and not everything will be as perfect as a house. My barn ended up an inch and a half out of square (it's 36x84)- nobody knows but us because we were the ones measuring and building. It wasn't worth the effort to reset a corner post because it was off just a hair.

Bravestrom
Dec. 17, 2010, 05:52 PM
lots of great pics on here

http://www.dutchmasters.on.ca/projectlist.asp?thismode=list&category=100072

also

http://www.eaglespanequestrian.com/
http://www.barnplans.com/

http://www.custombarnbuilding.com/horsebarns.php

cherham
Dec. 18, 2010, 11:12 AM
Our barn was originally designed as a private 5 stall facility.....no need for an indoor washroom, heated lounge or washstall etc. but as we have taken on a few boarders and put on an addition with more stalls we found that these items became more of a necessity rather then a luxury.

A few things we forgot to plan for originally. A seperate feed room with heated water available and adequate feed storage. A seperate area for storing hay and shavings inside the main barn. I had to convert a stall to be able to do this. Most of my hay is stored in a seperate building some distance from the barn (for safety purposes) which I like but I need to bring hay up from the storage barn every 4 days which can be a pain especially in the winter/snowy months. I wish I had main barn storage to last at least 2 weeks. Keep the tack storage and locker area seperate from the lounge/kitchen/bathroom areas. Tack and dirty saddle pads smell and can make your nice "lounging and hanging out" area smell horsey.

Consider where to place your foaling stalls.....we put ours at the end of the aisle which necessitated leading mares and foals by all the other horses which sometimes proved difficult. I should have placed the broodmare stalls near the entrance to the barn to avoid having to walk by all the other horses stalls with a foal at foot.

Electrical outlets....put them EVERYWHERE. In the summer we found that all the boarders wanted fans (figured) so to avoid extension cords running everywhere we had to install new electrical conduit above the stalls with individual outlets so everyone has their own fan safely secured and individually switched.

Things we did right....automatic waterers in all the stalls (with individual shut off valves in the event you need to closely monitor water intake for a sick horse etc) We have heated lines going to the water bowls to ensure no water lines or bowls freeze in the winter months. We have automatic waterers in all the outside paddocks that provide fresh water 24 hours a day in the summer. In the winter we have electrical plugs near all the paddocks so that the horses have heated water available via large electrically heated water troughs.

Run in sheds in all the paddocks. In the summer provides shade of course and in the winter provides protection from snow and inclement weather as well as having a nice dry place to put large round bales which the horses conveniently turn into soft cushy bedding themselves.

Lots of parking and room for horse trailers to turn around. You would be amazed at how many people cannot back up a trailer. If you design your property with a large adequate turning circle everyone will thank you a hundred times over.

Make sure you have adequate exterior pathway lighting. Here in Ontario the winters are long and the days are short. At 5:00 pm we are literally in darkness. My boarders appreciate that the driveway and barn pathway and parking areas are well lit. As well the barn lights are on automatic timers to ensure no one is arriving to a dark facility.

Oh and my hubby's fabulous idea! Install cameras inside your arena with the ability to tape your ride and then take the DVD home for review. Our arena is not attached to our barn but we have video input directly wired so that anyone sitting in the lounge can either watch TV or switch to the arena camera and watch what's happening in there. Its great if you are training yourself though....pop in a DVD, hit record, go ride and then view afterwords.

subk
Dec. 18, 2010, 12:53 PM
Actually understanding the difference in usable floor space versus the space on centers can be a big deal. Because my barn is not a pole barn and has exterior and aisle walls that are block in some stalls there is almost a foot in length difference between "on center" and "actual." Just be aware of what the difference will be.

Not only should you go look at a lot of barns you should see several barns your barn builder has built. It will give you ideas but also references you can come back to when discussing options with your builder.

When you start looking a floor plans spend some time visualizing doing chores in the floor plans. Think about things like how many steps is it from the saddle rack to the groom rack or from the feed room to the farthest stall. I tried to think about how I'd use the barn as get older and less spry as well.

On one side of the aisle in the middle of the barn I have a partial loft over the tack and feed room. Stairs take up a lot of floor space and they are hard to fit in but for storage space using a ladder can be tough and make it not so workable. I don't have hay up there as I have a separate hay shed. Check with your insurance agent. We found that over time the savings in insurance in not storing hay made a huge dent in the cost of the shed.

Plumcreek
Dec. 18, 2010, 02:47 PM
This is what I keep hearing! The lady that owns the barn where I board now told me that even after months of planning, her barn still didn't turn out much like she expected - especially when she actually started using it on a day to day basis. This is a scary thought! :) But definitely true that what looks good on paper might not be so good in functionality.

I am one of many equestrian designers around the country. The above statement holds true if the builder or whoever you are working with just takes the client's "wish list" and builds it. A period of idea excange and in depth conversation is always needed to bring out the forgotten needs not thought of or understood by the client re logistics of the land or of the area, or even resale value potential. How someone will use their facilities, the flexibility to adapt to future goals, ease of operation for a barn sitter (so the owner can get away once in awhile), and knowing how a barn will function within the capabilities and budget of the owner or barn help, requires a designer or builder who has been there and done that. It is a total partnership and idea exchange between the client and designer or builder, not just "what do you want".

tasia
Dec. 18, 2010, 07:38 PM
I went with a local builder and they were great. I had been boarding my horse at a farm that they had just built the barn, so I knew their work. I would definately get the builder to show me some of there work. My builders are also horse people so that was a huge help. I have posted some pictures of my barn, check out the center aisle :)

ACP
Dec. 18, 2010, 11:28 PM
When my dad was doing things for my mom and sister and I, he would sit us down and say, "What if?" By this, he meant, "What if it rains when you...." or "What if you want to have a show or ...."

One of the most important things you can do is find out which way the prevailing winds blow, and site your barn to take advantage of cooling winds in summer and less wind in winter.

You have gotten a lot of good suggestions. I'd go see as many barns as possible. People will be happy to give you the tour, and tell you what they would change. Good luck.

chai
Dec. 19, 2010, 03:12 PM
I think Plumcreek makes some good points. I have written some articles on barn designers, builders and most recently the fallout in the barn/arena building industry from the 2009 edition of the International Code Council's model regulations that have been adopted in almost all fifty states.

Make your wish list but temper it with a hard look at the bottom line and be realistic about the permit process. Depending on your location, horse projects are being seen as more commercial than agricultural which makes a huge difference in the permitting process. The federal stormwater management regulations can also add to the cost, and manure management has to be included in the overall plan.

Even with all those things to consider, it must be so exciting to be planning your dream barn! I would love in-out stalls, individual paddocks opening to a large pasture and heated water in the barn, a silo for sawdust storage and run ins in all of my paddocks.

Have fun with your project!