I rode in one for awhile. 120' by 240' so nice and big. Bright. Winter time was awesome but the minute the temp hit 65 degrees, it became a sauna. A greenhouse. You could have had awesome tomatoes in there!! No cross breeze despite open garage doors, it was miserable. A solid 10 degrees warmer and a lot more humid. I thought I wanted one but absolutely not now. I do know of someone who has a coverall roof only with metal sides. Did not get ride in heat in it but it seemed breezier. I'd like something like this: http://www.mccarch.com/equestrian/ Open on the sides maybe with overhead garage doors you could pull down in wind/weather/winter.
"Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope
I am surprised that they are cheaper than standard barns.
When we asked for quotes, some years ago, they were, when you figure it all in, foundation and all, they were the same and for much less barn down the years, not near as durable as metal barns.
For the right uses and regions, they may just be right, for a small barn.
The bigger ones, I don't know.
All that light makes them oh so tempting, do they.
When we asked, they offered us a dealership for our area.
We were not interested after we checked them out and still today, there are not any such barns in our area.
Spending that much money, I would want something that last longer.
The main company that was building them declared bankruptcy some years ago when some had collapses, but they may have fixed that now.
Good to ask, will see what others bring to the table.
Maybe worth checking out existing coveralls in your climate belt.
Rode in one in the PNW all summer that was oriented East/West to the prevailing winds, and it had a lovely breeze right through the day until the sun dipped down far enough to be heating up the sand, and then it got really hot. But was much more pleasant than the fully enclosed indoor in the summer.
LOVE them! Had one for 7 years until a tornado took it down. But that wonderful building saved a horse in the paddock located right beside it when it literally collapsed upon itself but did NOT send splinters of wood and steel all over the place. Sadly two steel riding arenas directly beside me on either side of our property completely disintegrated and sent shards of metal and wood debris all over the place, injuring quite a few horses in the process. I swear by this building......it was warm in the winter and quite cool in the summer. Lovely riding environment. Cannot recommend this riding arena structure enough.
The metal pipe structure of them worry me, in case I or my horse go flying. I do not want to hit metal. Makes hitting footing or hitting wood seem benign.
I've ridden in one with no kick boards, but was always a bit worried about my knees, etc. If you constructed one with great high wooden walls, that might feel safer. But in so many parts of the country, the weather is rugged enough that the fabric cover would take a beating.
I'd never build one. I boarded at a barn that had one for their indoor arena and if it was mildly windy, the sides flapped around - even though they were tied down tight. The owners were constantly having to tighten and tweak and adjust the panels to keep air in or out depending on the weather. It's like being inside a giant tent, with all the associated issues. No airflow, very noisy in windy or rainy conditions, and if you're working horses in the winter and their breath and steamy sweat gets up to the ceiling, it condenses and drips back on you. So it can actually feel like it's raining in there if conditions are just right. I HATED it.
Last edited by Tiffani B; May. 21, 2016 at 07:03 PM.
I have only used one in the winter. Loved the lighting. Had kickboards. Snow came off with a loud zZZiiiip! Most horses eventually got used to it. It sweated a lot - even in winter - even with fans that would bring in fresh air, so we'd get lightly rained on as we rode. I liked that, actually. Kept the dust way down.
I love them. although I admit they are ugly. They're light, they shed snow well and I just find them more pleasant to ride in. They're common around here for uninsulated/ unheated arenas. I've never seen the problems with flapping but they can get hot if you don't take advantage of the cross breezes. I don't think I'd get one in a hot area unless I was going to build some serious ventilation in to the design.
I have a client considering one...feels it's a much less expensive option than pole barn.
If you want to keep your horses in a greenhouse this is a good choice.
I've ridden in a couple and, as noted, they were quite warm compared to the outside air at the time. In a cooler climate that might not be so bad; these were in Atlanta! I could see "sweating" being a major issue in some circumstances.
The original Coverall company went into bankruptcy as a result of a loss in a suit involving one of their buildings. I looked at the new company website and I'm just not impressed.
I'd also very closely look at any quote for a building. I put up a covered arena several years ago and bids ranged from just at $40,000 to over $120,000 for essentially the same structure. I'd have to pull the file to see how many bids I got but it was more than six. Since you're talking about Real Money, here, get real bid IN WRITING before you act. And if you don't know how to read a bid then hire somebody to teach you how! This is not a time to "scrimp."
I have one from "pre-bankruptcy" days. At that point, it was WAY less expensive (at least in California where construction and materials are pricey) then a regular metal and wood arena. BUT - be very cautious, the rep we used was not very forthcoming in the actual construction requirements. So the original quote was about half of the "real" cost. But still way less then stick built - I know someone who put in a wood/metal room arena, and hers was about $100k more then mine (same size arena).
I am in a dry climate - but even in the wet season (winter), I don't get much inside drip. ALL metal will attract and drip - I've ridden in plenty of indoor arenas, and all of them sweat. Mine was actually less sweat then most of the metal roof buildings.
We simply screwed down the bottom of the fabric cover - put 2x4s over it, bolted through it, and voila, no flapping. It creaks a bit in heavy wind - but that is about it. EVERYTHING creaks in heavy wind, unfortunately. My barn (metal and composite) included in that category.
I find it cooler then a metal roof building in the summer - mine is open on both ends. Started out with it enclosed on one end, and then it was warm and stuffy - and the horses HATED it - too closed in. Once we tore off the end, it was much nicer.
Love how light it is - lets the light in without feeling warm.
Now - the down sides...
First of all, the company and its reps SUCK! Besides the quote being unrealistic, the customer service is pretty poor too. We had a few tears in the cover - nothing major, but multiple stress points, and the company was suppose to provide a new cover INCLUDING a rep to actually do the installation. Don't let anyone tell you it is easy to put one of those covers up - it takes multiple cherry pickers and multiple strong guys! And people who KNOW what they are doing.
The company did send the new cover - and then told all their reps they were going under, so the reps all scattered. I couldn't even talk one into coming and putting up the cover for PAY! The original rep said - oh, just do it yourself, no big deal. Sorry - it is a big deal, I watched the team of guys that put it up - and it was a huge project!
It is about 12 years later - I still have the Coverall, it still has a few stress tears, but it is still standing, and the tears aren't really getting much worse. And I still have a rolled up "new" cover sitting on the property - it weighs probably 500 pounds or more, so it isn't going anywhere.
I looked at fabric arenas and got a quote when building several years ago. It was slightly cheaper than the quote for the traditional pole barn metal clad.
What turned me off on the fabric arena was the idea of having a 15 yr warranty on the cover and pro rated so if damage would be relying on the company to fix. I decided better to have a building that any local contractor could come and repair.
VERY happy with my choice because that 15 YR warranty would be over already- time flies- and the original company went bankrupt! so just consider having to replace a cover after 15 or so yrs $$$$ -if even possible.What happens if company goes out of business?
Knock on wood no repairs needed so far and is very bright with translucent panels. No maintenance, no painting or adjustments necessary. Still looks like the day it was built.
Mine is 8 yrs old. I really like it. It is an arena with two stalls (that I rarely use) and a tackroom/grooming stall at one end, which reduces the arena size to 180 X 80, from a 200 foot building. I find it warm in the winter, and in summer we just open up both ends, and it has a nice breeze through it, much nicer than riding outside in the direct sun.
It was built before the bankruptcy problems with the company, and at that time, it was more affordable than a permanent structure. It's replacement cost is now nearly twice what we paid for it. The company was GREAT to deal with, they looked after EVERYTHING, the foundation, everything was quoted, and done exactly on time and on budget. But I always figured that this was due to the dealership in our area, not all are as good as these guys were. The only things they did not do were 1) the footing and 2) the interior fence that keeps you off the metal ribs of the building (my hubby did that, an innovative design that the company said was the best idea they had seen, required no posts, uprights are yoked to the metal ribs, on a slight outward angle, and braced at the base, horizontal rails are nailed to these). Regular posts and rails on the short side, with gates at each end.
We live in a generally dry area, but cold in the winter, and some snow (usually dry snow). We get a lot of wind (but no hurricanes or tornados). It handles the wind fine. But most of the problems with these buildings have been related to heavy, wet snow build up. Also with the extremely large buildings (as things get bigger, they get weaker, even though the engineers try to account for that).
I boarded at a barn with one--part was the stabling area (2 aisles, 16 stalls, tack room, etc.) the rest a large indoor. It did not sweat at all. The light was great, though the metal ribs did concern me (no wood kickboards). That said, in the 3-4 years I was there, no one every hit one... With the barn doors open at one end and the 2 large doors open on the side it was only a little hotter than outside in the summer, but without being in the direct sun, which was very nice. In the winter it wasn't all that much warmer than outside, but no wind. Snow sliding off the roof was a problem for spooky horses,as were the shadows from the snow. However, I also boarded at a wood and metal barn/indoor (with skylights), and the problems were similar. It sounds like where in the country you are located makes a difference in satisfaction level.
"A good man will take care of his horses and dogs, not only while they are young, but also when they are old and past service." Plutarch