I have a 30' X 60' building that I am considering putting stalls on one side of (thinking of 1 large foaling stall 12X24 and then 3 regular 12X12 stalls). Does anyone have a brand of free-standing type stall that they like/dislike or any advice? Is there any thing you would do differently than your current set-up? Example--I'm trying to decide on feeder doors
I agree with the choice of installing free standing stalls as these are consider to be furniture and not part of the building.... if you move, you disassemble them, load them up and off to the next place.... no need to buy stalls a again.
We used free standing stalls in our main barn, bought them over twenty years ago, really do not remember who made them but a wielding shop could easily reproduce them. We have 12 by 12s that are pinned together by clips on the bottom and top rails.
An added benefit was our barn is clear span and is appraised for the loan value as a garage (value as garage is over twice the value as barn) ... but the property tax appraisal is based by use.
The next ones we make will be with that small square welded wire, about 2" square and those will require again a feed door.
Those are right now the preferred type for safety, ventilation and horse's comfort.
Here is a picture of those kinds of stalls in a veterinary hospital:
Still, any type or kind you like will work fine, don't know of any that people are disappointed with.
I think that, with what we know today, going with portable stalls is the smart thing to do, even for the fanciest barns, as the different components can be made as snazzy as your heart desire and look great.
There are two things that stand out in your post that you need to keep in mind specifically when looking for a manufactured stall front. First - you are going to have a foaling stall, so whatever you select needs to be safe and strong. Second - you are in SC, possibly coastal.
The majority of stall manufacturers make their product from black steel - like our horses' shoes. It is nearly impossible to start with a rust free surface and they WILL rust quite quickly if exposed to sea air - even if they have been painted. Let's face it - the horses will scratch the paint then you have bare metal.
Although many stall fronts look similar - if you had the ability to put them side by side you would find that many companies use channel as some part of the frame of the stall (think of a u as opposed to a square tube). Or, even if it is tubular it may be very thin. There is another thread right now going on with the names of some stalls that have not performed well - and these two items factor heavily into those problems.
From personal experience I know that Classic Equine Equipment has excellent product that is durable. They use a different kind of steel that is coated to prevent rust and the stalls are very strong. I had my horses in a barn (an open barn like you describe - no posts with the stalls all tied together) that was probably 8 years old and there was no rust whatsoever. My big warmblood did her best to try and beat up the stalls, but couldn't hurt them a bit.