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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
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    SE Coastal NC
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    Default Ideas for barn designs?

    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
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2005
    Location
    Pullman, Washington
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    2,256

    Default

    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.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
    Posts
    2,108

    Default

    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.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2006
    Location
    Indiana
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    Default

    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.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessyka89 View Post
    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.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    Maryland, USA
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    248

    Default

    barnsbarnsbarns.com

    and

    applevalleybarns.com

    happy hunting!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    Default

    Another vote for Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping on Small Acreage!

    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.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2010
    Location
    Michigan
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    662

    Default

    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.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Location
    Guthrie, OK
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    Default

    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.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
    Location
    SE Coastal NC
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    Default

    Thanks so much for the great suggestions! 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! 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.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2009
    Posts
    552

    Default

    Skimp somewhere else if you have to, but automatic waterers are heaven and a MUST. Inside AND outside.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Posts
    3,578

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    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.
    About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
    -- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    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.

    Planning is sure fun, grin and bear it.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2010
    Posts
    40

    Default

    http://equinearchitecture.com/ is where I go to dream.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 16, 2006
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    SE Coastal NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    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.
    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.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipHiLad4me View Post
    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.



  17. #17
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    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
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    3,314

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    HorseBabble, I just went to that site. Holy cow. Those barns are incredible.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2003
    Location
    CT
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    309

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    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!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
    Location
    SE Coastal NC
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    Default

    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.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
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    4,535

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeghanDACVA View Post
    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.



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