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A Kind of Magic
Aug. 10, 2011, 09:40 PM
i have a rather large property of 44.5 acres and my mom and i are planning on getting horses, i want about 8 stalls one of those stalls being a wash stall, and one a tack room, and one a sawdust storage room i also want to have a hay loft cauld i get a almish built modular type of barn like this? or i was thinking about getting a shedrow or what ever you call it, and have 7 stalls of whitch one is a tack room, one is a wash stall one is a sawdust storage place and one is a food storage room. what would be advisable or do you have any other suggestions?
:confused:

shakeytails
Aug. 10, 2011, 09:44 PM
Where do you live? It makes a big difference in the type of barn appropriate for the climate.

Bluey
Aug. 10, 2011, 09:49 PM
You may want to make a plan for the whole property, so you can then build the kind of barn that will fit it, depending on where you put it and how you want the horses to flow and the work around horses to be done.

Most people today, depending on where they live, basically can save much labor, that means have more time for the horses, by having stalls with connected runs, so horses don't stand in a stall so much and make stall cleaning a big chore you can't miss.

A loft for hay is a very bad idea, insurance will be higher if you can even get any, as today no one puts larger amounts of hay in the same building with the horses.

The danger of a fire is much greater, the horses will get more hay dust and molds from the air circulating around the hay and the horse part of the barn, just not a good idea at all, better leave as much open space above the stalls as you can.

Without knowing what kind of horses you will have, what you will do with them, if you will change and want to do other later, all that will change your plans, so make them very flexible and the barn multi-purpose.

Spend as long as you can drawing different choices, because once you build, you will be stuck with what you have and some of it you will wish you had thought of before building.

Making plans is great fun, enjoy it.:)

A Kind of Magic
Aug. 10, 2011, 09:55 PM
i live in western pensylvania and i was thinking of getting a hayloft becaus my riding instructor has one and i dont think she has ever had a fire

shakeytails
Aug. 10, 2011, 10:05 PM
i live in western pensylvania and i was thinking of getting a hayloft becaus my riding instructor has one and i dont think she has ever had a fire

It only takes 1 bad bale and the right conditions to start a fire.

A loft is handy in the Northeast because of the nasty winter weather- besides not having to leave the barn for hay, it has an insulating effect. That said, a hay loft is a fire hazard risk I wouldn't want to take, and tend to be rather expensive to build (rafters are more expensive labor-wise than trusses. I have a separate hay barn, with a hay storage area in my horse barn (6'x8') that'll hold about 40 bales- enough for at least a couple weeks with 7 in the barn.

Apple Valley (http://www.applevalleybarns.com/) has some cute barns to look at as a starting point. Something like this (http://www.applevalleybarns.com/h36x36.html) maybe?

A Kind of Magic
Aug. 10, 2011, 10:23 PM
that is a cut barn i like it! but what does it mean when it says something about $85 a barn like that cant only cost $85?

shakeytails
Aug. 10, 2011, 10:26 PM
that is a cut barn i like it! but what does it mean when it says something about $85 a barn like that cant only cost $85?

That's just for the blueprints, silly!

DiablosHalo
Aug. 10, 2011, 10:27 PM
They mean $85 for a set of blueprints - your own contractor will build it for you!

A Kind of Magic
Aug. 10, 2011, 10:35 PM
oh im not that smart i was wondering!

tasia
Aug. 11, 2011, 07:18 AM
I also wouldn't store a large amount of bulk shavings/sawdust in the barn becuase of the risk of fire.

The type of barn you choose depends on the area you live in. Go look at other barns in your area and ask the owners what they like and don't like about the barns.

SaddleFitterVA
Aug. 11, 2011, 07:38 AM
For the OP, yes, you could easily get that configuration from an Amish modular barn. I have no idea where you are located, but I used Groffdale barns in PA. They build a lovely barn.



Most people today, depending on where they live, basically can save much labor, that means have more time for the horses, by having stalls with connected runs, so horses don't stand in a stall so much and make stall cleaning a big chore you can't miss.

A loft for hay is a very bad idea, insurance will be higher if you can even get any, as today no one puts larger amounts of hay in the same building with the horses.

The danger of a fire is much greater, the horses will get more hay dust and molds from the air circulating around the hay and the horse part of the barn, just not a good idea at all, better leave as much open space above the stalls as you can.



Two points, you will still spend time cleaning, but probably won't use as much bedding.

I disagree on the hay loft being a bad idea. First off, they are pretty standard in my area, and it is a great labor saver, I don't have time to move 2-3 bales of hay at a time to the barn, from a separate structure. And, I have no issues on getting insurance. In my area, lightning strikes caused most of the recent barn fires.

I have no problem with hay dust and mold, now if only I could get bedding to be dust free, I'd be a happy camper. Besides, many people end up with a hay stall IN the barn, not another building.

With a hay loft, you don't want to buy uncured hay.

I do sweep and clean my loft a few times a year and I buy hay that is not moldy.

carolprudm
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:05 AM
http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/ub034.pdf

FWIW, I have 13 horses and transport hay from my hay barn in the back of my golf cart.

Vets and farriers have said they love working in my barn in the summer because it is very cool and breezy

fordtraktor
Aug. 11, 2011, 09:29 AM
I always said I would never have one, but bought a facility with a hay loft and love it. But the animals live outside except for their meals, so in reality it is a glorified hay barn with tack room, tractor storage, aisle and place to feed horses downstairs.

If for your personal animals I would build lovely run-ins and paddocks and a smaller barn. Think about ways to streamline the work. There is so much work to be done on a farm -- anywhere you can shave off chores, do. My barn has 6 beautiful stalls for my 4 horses, but the contractor is here putting up a large run-in today so they can stay OUT in the winter. I have 2 jobs to pay for the farm and a family, I can't spend hours every day cleaning poop. Plus, it is nice to ride every now and then.

Nes
Aug. 11, 2011, 10:33 AM
If you are brand new to horses you should start off at a boarding barn

(1) To see if you like it
(2) To have someone to help you with your horse/teach you.

2DogsFarm
Aug. 11, 2011, 10:45 AM
Visit barns in your area and see what works & looks good for your farm.

Ask questions - I know I never mind explaining to people why I did things the way I did.

I don't have a loft because I hate the idea of going up & down stairs toting 50# bales.
I've seen lofts that allow you to dump hay directly into stalls from a catwalk, but I don't like the haydust & fines that inevitably drift down into the stalls.

Like others have said, design for your convenience.
For me that means a sacrifice paddock that surrounds the barn so horses have free acess from stalls all day, every day.
The paddock opens to pastures on both sides and any one area can be closed off with a single gate.

And if you ever plan to be away - vacation or emergency - make it easy for non-horsepeople to feed/water for you.
My horses know to come in for feeding & each goes to their own stall.
But if yours aren't so accomodating consider stalls with attached runs so horses can be left out of the barn but fed from outside the stalls.

I can fill the 50gal trough in the sacrifice area and buckets in stalls from a hydrant located inside the barn.
In winter I use a heated tape to keep the pump working and fill with buckets instead of draining a hose every time I use it.

That's all I can think of for now.
Have fun - this is the best part of building your own barn: the planning :yes:

My3Sons
Aug. 11, 2011, 05:09 PM
I used Groffdale Barns in Strausburg, PA and am very happy! You are welcome to visit!!

Visit as many barns as you can and write all of your ideas down...

I would be happy to share what I learned also:)

Good Luck:) Sounds Fun!!

believetobe
Aug. 11, 2011, 05:24 PM
Barn Pros is fabulous! It's who I will use when I build a barn. Many people in my area (washington) have had nothing but great things to say. Their products are available nationwide and even internationally. They are lovely wooden barns that come in kits, many to choose from. Check out thier website www.barnpros.com

LauraKY
Aug. 11, 2011, 06:51 PM
In PA, I would want an aisle barn, not a shedrow. And a separate hay/shavings building.

Have boarded, owned in metal, insulated and not, concrete and wood, I'd take concrete block anyday.

But, if you're new to horses, take it very slow. Board first, you have a lot of learning to do.

OP, you sound very young...get some experience first.

gumtree
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:04 PM
If you are on a budget, and most of us are, go with a “prefab” pole barn. There are numerous companies through out the country that offer lots of different styles and sizes. All can be viewed on the internet and can be delivered regardless of where you are located. They can be engineered to meet building codes in your area, wind loads, snow loads, etc. You can choose siding, windows, doors, roofing based on your budget. And they are easily upgraded when money is available. The manufactures usually have a relationship with local builders they can recommend. These builders/contractors most likely have put them up before so they know how to build it fast and efficiently. Having a relationship with the manufacture means if they do something wrong they will fix it otherwise they will loose their relationship. In high wind areas metal roofing tends to have less problems and it will last a long time. But can be quite noisy in heavy rain and if you have hail to deal with it can dent and become unsightly. Everything is based on budget and compromises are not a sin. Build the basic structure so that upgrades can easily be made in the future. Center isle is the standard in most areas. But if you are in an area where you do not have to deal with extreme weather straight side by side stalls with an over hang shedrow can be the best bang for the buck. 12X12 stalls are standard size. If using center isle design a 12 foot isle will work don’t go smaller unless you have to. Head rood is another consideration. Going taller adds a bit more to the cost especially if you want a loft which I will get to latter. 8 foot works just fine for the horse but most humans feel this is to low. Contrary to popular believe most horses will not knock themselves out if they rear up. They may clunk themselves the first time but are well aware of their head room the second time. There are exceptions. Pole barns are built with an “open” floor design. Stalls can be as fancy as your budget dictates. You can order full stalls that have fronts, doors, sides, grills, etc. Or you can go utilitarian and have half doors with inexpensive grill upper and partitions made on site out of “Home Depot” 2X pine. I would advise going with full 4 quarter (terms your builder will know) tung and grove for the stall walls. All the way around. Don’t be talked into leaving the back open because it is sided. A horse can easily kick it out. One of the main things to keep in mind when fitting out the interior is eliminating as much, as your budget dictates, future damage the horses can do to the stalls and themselves. The other being workability. Siting the barn is very important. Wind direction usually changes with the seasons. In the hot months you want the winds to blow through the barn and in the winter hopefully it will blow against the the walls. Take into consideration the effects of “passive solar”. Preparing the “foot print” where the structure will be built over is the most important aspect and can be very expensive depending on the grade (flat ground, sloping, etc.) of the ground it is being built upon. Again all based on budget. The barn itself can be upgrade at a reasonable cost but changing the the “flooring” can be very expensive once it is built. There are many different opinions on what stall floors should be made of. Again budget rules. Cheapest what ever is there after the site has be leveled. Next up after grading is just adding several inches of “stone dust”. Every area has a different name for the stuff that is made locally. Next and IMO the best bang for the buck is to have it designed to drain. Again depending on your area and how rain water drains into the “natural” ground the base is built upon. Using several layers of different type stone topped with compacted stone dust. Yes horses will dig up stone dust stalls but it is any easy fix. The stalls drain well so urine does not puddle too much and it gives horses an excellent “purchase” when getting up. There is nothing wrong with the center isle being the same though it takes a bit more work to keep looking nice. I would go with asphalt it does not that add that much to the budget but make sure it is several inches think on a well compacted base. To add this after the barn is built is much more costly if done right. Having access to a covenant water source is paramount. The size of the your barn as outline and based on center isle with 12X12 stalls and 12 foot center isle will be 48’ long by 36’ wide. A very standard size. A no freeze hydrant in the middle means you only need 25 feet of hose work the whole barn. I would go with 2 hydrants on either side. But each must have a separate water supply line, this does not add much cost and if one line should leak and need to be cut off until fixed you’re not hauling buckets. And 2 people can water off with out getting in the way of each other. The cost of a wash stall will be dictated by your local building codes if code is required for barns in your area. The main expenses will be the drain and running no freeze water lines. Assuming you deal with winter conditions. If code is not required or will allow the best bang for the buck is just dig a hole large enough to put in a vertical section of say 3-4 foot wide 4 foot deep culvert pipe with a grill cover strong enough for horses to stand on and let the water naturally drain into the ground. Dig down deeper then the depth of the pipe and fill with stone for peculation. If code requires a proper septic leach field your are talking $$$$. There are ways to get around this. If you need hot water and you have to deal with winter conditions the heat source will have to be insulated. I would go with a “point of use” instant of hot water heater. Electric or gas depending on budget. You will only be heating water when you need it. The electric units are small and can be installed in a small well insulated enclosure. Lighting should be well thought out but can be expensive. This can always be upgraded as money allows. Power outlets at each stall so fans can easily and safely be plugged in. Light switches at each stall is great but adds $$. A switch for each side will do and one for the isle. Make sure to install switches that will control from both ends of the barn. Take into consideration where you will be storing muck and access to having it hauled away. Code may dictate this also. Now, there is controversy about storing hay and straw in a loft. We always have and always will. Hay fires do happened. People read about one and think that is the norm but in actuality it is the exception. Especially for those that don’t grow and bale their own hay. Which the vast majority of horse owners don’t. They get it from either a hay farmer or a reseller. Both of which have to store it in large quantity and are more concerned about spontaneous combustion then anybody. If you buy hay out of the field, well that is another thing. But most don’t. One “hot” bale even 2 or 3 are not going to start a fire I promise you. I could go into detail but I have already been long winded. We bale and store many thousands of bales for our own use. I use a hay probe to check moisture levels when being baled and check temperature after it has been “put” up. And then periodically for a few weeks after for peace of mind. Our bank barn was built in the early 1700’s and is very large by design to store a LOT of hay and straw and obviously has never burnt down. Poorly installed wiring or use of heat tape has burned down FAR more barns then anything else. That includes smokers which I am one. Dust and mold is NOT an issue. As pointed out in another post incorporating loft space will cost a bit more but IMO it is worth the extra expense.
So, there you have it from soup to nuts.

Bluey
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:30 PM
We had one fire in the hay loft.
There was a small leak in the roof, dripped a bit of water in the hay stacked there, the hay got hot inside, started smoldering and we caught it before the whole hay loft went up in flames and the whole barn below with 30 horses.:eek:

Sure, you can get by, but why build something that is less than ideal, for what we know today?

If you store hay in a loft other than a bank barn, you will also need an elevator to get that hay up there.

If whoever has to feed can't get to the loft easily every day, if it is injured or older, who will get the hay down?

If you have an old barn with a hay loft and want to take chances ... but building new, why start with unsafe, less than ideal conditions?

suz
Aug. 11, 2011, 09:08 PM
here's a couple of things to think about too.
which direction does the wind mostly blow?
where is it a bit damp or wet?
do you want to do chores facing the sunrise or sunset? i hate the sun in my eyes, so that's important to me.
do you want to see the horses from the house? i sure do, so my dream place is a u-shape of house, barn and garage/storage building.
i'd put the house on one side and the barn across from it, with the storage /garage in between at the top of the u-shape.
that way you can look out of the kitchen into the stalls, store hay over the garage, etc.

also keep an eye on neighbors---are they inclined to shoot off fireworks? are they renters?
i'd put my horses as far from the road and neighhbors as i could.
i'd add a triple row of evergreens between the road and pastures and neighbors if either were visable.

so much fun to plan---take as long as you can, look at lots of barns and homes with special consideration to ease of use--make sure you have plenty of room to store tractors, shavings, horse trailer, etc.
horses need a LOT of equipment!
have fun, keep asking questions here, this group has a wealth of info to share.

SaddleFitterVA
Aug. 11, 2011, 10:11 PM
My barn is not old. I built it 7 years ago.

If I built it again, I would put in a hay loft. Just like lots of people put in hay lofts. So long as I'm in the mid-Atlantic. If I moved further south, I'd have a different design and likely no loft.

I LIKE a hayloft and do not agree with the COTH BB OMG the HORRORS attitude about hay lofts.

I built my farm to do all day to day horse care myself, and yes, I do go up the stairs to my loft. The stairs to my loft are a nicer angle than the ones in my house. If I'm injured, I'd need help anyway and when I'm so old and frail I cannot go up those stairs, I'll either be able to afford help, or will have moved to another location.

My perfect setup includes a hay loft. I drop the hay down. Young strong men toss it up and stack it.

I don't see much difference between a hay stall and a hay loft. The labor overhead with moving hay between buildings is not something I wanted to deal with.

I had a farm for 12 years before I built this one, the only things I'd change would have taken a lot more money...but I'd still probably have a loft.

When I had a leaky roof in my old barn, we protected the hay in the loft. And IME, when my long-since baled hay gets wet, it just molds, it doesn't ferment and get hot.

Not everyone wants a loft, and that is fine, but it is not a bad choice, but you need to be smart and not buy hay straight from the field to be stacked in your loft without a moisture meter to check a lot of bales.

Oh, and my barn is cool and breezy and the vet & farrier like my barn too...and it has a loft! In fact, the drop door in the center of the loft acts as a chimney in circulating the air.

Now,I'd bet that my neighbor's barn with a loft is stuffy and does not have good circulation, but that is because it is not oriented to catch prevailing breezes.

A Kind of Magic
Aug. 18, 2011, 11:04 PM
In PA, I would want an aisle barn, not a shedrow. And a separate hay/shavings building.

Have boarded, owned in metal, insulated and not, concrete and wood, I'd take concrete block anyday.

But, if you're new to horses, take it very slow. Board first, you have a lot of learning to do.

OP, you sound very young...get some experience first.

I am young i am 14 but i have been riding since i was five and i have been working at my instructors barn in the past four years i know how to take care of horses, and so does my sister and mom together we will be able to take care of a few horses.:):)

Rivermontfarm
Aug. 19, 2011, 07:55 AM
I prefer an isle barn myself, just so you don't freeze in the winter. I don't keep hay in my barn for reasons of fire safety, I have a separate barn just for hay that is located near my main barn. I think the next barn I build though will be a concrete block barn and I will make sure I have doors on the outside of the building too, just in case there were a fire.

Trevelyan96
Aug. 19, 2011, 05:16 PM
I have a 34x36 center aisle barn with a hay loft. It was the only possible configuration due to our property size and zoning regs. Stairs go up to to the loft from my tack room, and I can drop hay right down into stalls.

Will just reiterat what others have said... buy your hay out of the barn, not out of the field. If you use a loft, make sure your barn is well ventilated and keep your loft clean.

My horses are pretty much out 24/7, with free access to their stalls during hot summer, cold winter, and rainy weather, so the loft is not a problem. I'm paranoid about barn fires in general, having experienced one as a kid, so I try to be sure my horses are locked in their stalls only when being fed or if weather is very dangerous, (i.e, hurricanes, severe thhunderstormsas) and never when we are at not at home.

Bluey
Aug. 19, 2011, 06:30 PM
The way I see it, we always are making choices in life.
We choose to wear a helmet or not.
We choose to wear a seat belt or not, although it is illegal not to.
We choose to build and use a loft for hay or not, although in some places it is against code to have large amounts of hay close to any dwellings or even in barns with animals in them.

Sure, there are places you do the best you can, just as at times you may ride without a helmet or forget to snap a seat belt.

Then, why build from scratch in a way we know is unsafe?:confused:

Foxtrot's
Aug. 20, 2011, 03:28 PM
Good thread, though I didn't read that much of it.

Went to a fire safety course and the one thing they emphasised was that flames can spread very quickly via cobwebs.

gumtree
Aug. 20, 2011, 05:46 PM
Bluey,
no disrespect but a “bit” of water is not going to cause baled hay to spontaneously combust. First, it is not the bales at the top that will “burst” into flames. If any were to get hot enough to ignite it would be the ones “down under” that are being compressed by the weight above. So yes a leaking roof could cause bales to heat up but there would have to be enough water to not only wet the top bales but enough to “leak'” down to the lower ones. Second, if one suspects they have “hot” bales, NEVER dig down to find them. As soon as you expose them to “fresh” air is when you are going to have a real problem. Call the fire department. They will dump a lot of water over all of the stack before searching for the hot ones. Third, bales that appear to be “smoking” are really, in the vast majority of cases, just giving off steam from the composting process. And I have never seen this until the bale is opened. They can be very hot to the touch but far from catching fire. Someone stated that having a hay loft will increase your insurance. I can’t speak for other states and or other insurance companies but it does not effect ours. And we store FAR more then the average horse owner barn and my insurance agents knows it. As I stated before barn fires are caused by many things but fires started by spontaneous combustion of hay is WAY down the list and is silly reason not to incorporate the convenience of a hay loft.
Yes, if the barn is not a bank barn like ours a hay elevator will be needed if you are getting A LOT of hay delivered. Most re-sellers will bring one. If not a used one is only a couple hundred bucks.

Urban myths drive me nuts....

gumtree
Aug. 20, 2011, 06:01 PM
Foxtrot; you are right. One thing that should not be in anybody’s barn these days are the old incandescent light blubs. Cobweb magnets and you can fry an egg on them. Only use compact fluorescents. The 150 watt screw in blubs only cost a few dollars these days.

Bluey
Aug. 20, 2011, 07:43 PM
Bluey,
no disrespect but a “bit” of water is not going to cause baled hay to spontaneously combust. First, it is not the bales at the top that will “burst” into flames. If any were to get hot enough to ignite it would be the ones “down under” that are being compressed by the weight above. So yes a leaking roof could cause bales to heat up but there would have to be enough water to not only wet the top bales but enough to “leak'” down to the lower ones. Second, if one suspects they have “hot” bales, NEVER dig down to find them. As soon as you expose them to “fresh” air is when you are going to have a real problem. Call the fire department. They will dump a lot of water over all of the stack before searching for the hot ones. Third, bales that appear to be “smoking” are really, in the vast majority of cases, just giving off steam from the composting process. And I have never seen this until the bale is opened. They can be very hot to the touch but far from catching fire. Someone stated that having a hay loft will increase your insurance. I can’t speak for other states and or other insurance companies but it does not effect ours. And we store FAR more then the average horse owner barn and my insurance agents knows it. As I stated before barn fires are caused by many things but fires started by spontaneous combustion of hay is WAY down the list and is silly reason not to incorporate the convenience of a hay loft.
Yes, if the barn is not a bank barn like ours a hay elevator will be needed if you are getting A LOT of hay delivered. Most re-sellers will bring one. If not a used one is only a couple hundred bucks.

Urban myths drive me nuts....

Calling the danger of storing hay on a loft "urban myths" is disingenuous, really.

I was there when we smelled the smoke down the hay drop chute and we did know not to dig to the hot spot and have a flash fire up there.
The situation was handled well and the old barn didn't burn down, but it could have.

Large fires is part of the very real dangers of storing hay in lofts and in general in large quantities in any barn.
That is why the recommendations that hay be stored in it's own building and only small amounts where animals or people live.

My point was that, if someone is building new, why not go by modern safety measures, not hope they get lucky as so many have over centuries and sadly also some did not?

ryansgirl
Aug. 21, 2011, 04:36 PM
Lots of good advice here... it also can't hurt to talk to your town officials like the code enforcement office. They may have specific requirements when it comes to horse barns.