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Have you had a sand arena built?

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  • Have you had a sand arena built?

    Anyone care to share?

    Im getting quotes for 100x200 sand arena for jumping.

    I know a lot of factors for pricing, location, distance from materials, etc. Ive got one quote. Would like to hear what others have done.

    What was the total cost?
    How thick is your compacted base? What type of rock?
    How many inches of sand did you start with?

  • #2
    In pa
    similar size 109x205. i did a "rehab." it was an old ring getting updated. they did it for about 25k. included regraded subbase ( but very little grading since it was rehab), fabric laid down. 6 inches compacted limestone screenings. 3" angular sand (C33 concrete sand) and 1/2" of "saw dust" which is like a fine mulch. i think the subbase grading can vary widely in price depending on how level, how much rock. I just started another one in Florida that's about 140x230 and the sub-base grading alone was 16K cuz of 5' height difference on ends.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks for Sharing Emily. My quote was $50k. I about fell over. He and I need to discuss details. Hes got an 18-24" compacted base which sounds like WAY to much to me. Everything I've read says 6-8" compacted.

      Did you use geotextiles for either of your projects?

      Comment


      • #4
        I did a 180 x 100 arena in the PNW in 2003/4 timeframe (IOW, it's been a long time and materials will likely be more expensive!). All in cost was $35k, IIRC. It involved raising one end of the area by 4' and cutting 4' into a hill on the other side. I think I've posted about it before and you could probably search old threads, but (again, IIRC) it was around $12k for the grading/leveling, $12k for the materials, and $12k for footing and fencing. But it's been a long time, so I could be way off on those numbers (not for the total, which I remember, just on how it broke down).

        I think we did 8" inch and a quarter rock, 4" quarter inch minus (rolled to death), and 2 /12" coarse, washed sand. My arena is amazing....particularly in the wet NW winters, and drains beautifully no matter how much rain we get.

        18-24 does sound like an awful lot for a base. My guy said that he put down more of a base than he normally would have because of how wet we are year round. I would want to know why he wanted that much material.
        __________________________________
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW

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        • #5
          I'm putting one in now, the guy starts in a couple weeks. So far I'm right about $15k for the sub-base and base, rough math. He's removing the top layer of sod and probably down into the clay a bit to work on getting a 1% grade on a relatively flat area already. Then he'll put in french drains on the "top" side and down the short sides for how the water flows on my property. The cost also includes hauling the dirt away, $110/hr, going to a friend's place 10 min away who wants top soil, and compacting that to death, then however many inches screenings and compacting THAT to death for a six inch base. From there I am going to do 2.5 or 3 inches sand, maybe with some fiber mixed in, not sure yet, and then fence. Hoping the sand and fence won't push me beyond $25k; I'll hire someone to do the post holes but the rest of the fence will be materials and my own labor, wood posts and two board wood fence. I'll be able to report more later. If the timing works out, I'll be able to let the base sit over winter and compact again later spring 2020 and add the sand.
          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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          • #6
            I put my 100' x 150' arena in about a year and a half ago, renovating an existing "riding area" that was kind of a weird egg shape. We extended it to make a rectangle, requiring about 4' of fill in the new section, added I think 6" of M10 to match the existing arena surface, then topped the entire thing with a sand/fiber mix. Cost was $50K. I chronicled the installation at https://hedgerow-farm.com/ if you want to see the entire process from start to finish.
            Last edited by Lucassb; Sep. 11, 2019, 12:22 PM.
            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

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            • #7
              I can't remember the details on ours as it was a few years ago and I just wrote the checks (arena installer worked with my excavator guy to prep the site, and figured out what all was needed and just did it). But I am certain we did not have as much of a base brought in as OP is describing -- I want to say it was something like 8" of rock compacted, on top of the already compacted clay type soil we have here. Then topped with 2" of sand plus rubber/fiber. My situation was quite unique in that we had to cut into a hill to create a flat spot, then build 4' concrete retaining walls along the top and bottom of the arena, with french and curtain drains as well....greatly adding to the cost.

              Arena is 80'x165' and the cost to do the final site prep (so once we had a reasonably level site of compacted dirt), base gravel, and footing was around $20K. If you add in the initial excavation cost (which involved clearing out small trees), plus the retaining walls and drains, it easily tripled that. But smart people don't buy property like ours and try to force it to be horse property! I do love my ring and everyone who comes here is impressed by the quality and the surroundings.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                I can't remember the details on ours as it was a few years ago and I just wrote the checks (arena installer worked with my excavator guy to prep the site, and figured out what all was needed and just did it). But I am certain we did not have as much of a base brought in as OP is describing -- I want to say it was something like 8" of rock compacted, on top of the already compacted clay type soil we have here. Then topped with 2" of sand plus rubber/fiber. My situation was quite unique in that we had to cut into a hill to create a flat spot, then build 4' concrete retaining walls along the top and bottom of the arena, with french and curtain drains as well....greatly adding to the cost.

                Arena is 80'x165' and the cost to do the final site prep (so once we had a reasonably level site of compacted dirt), base gravel, and footing was around $20K. If you add in the initial excavation cost (which involved clearing out small trees), plus the retaining walls and drains, it easily tripled that. But smart people don't buy property like ours and try to force it to be horse property! I do love my ring and everyone who comes here is impressed by the quality and the surroundings.
                Oy! Yeah mine will be a titch smaller than yours at 70x150 (forgot to post that early) but I purposefully bought a place with no trees.
                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SCF01 View Post
                  Thanks for Sharing Emily. My quote was $50k. I about fell over. He and I need to discuss details. Hes got an 18-24" compacted base which sounds like WAY to much to me. Everything I've read says 6-8" compacted.

                  Did you use geotextiles for either of your projects?
                  I did not use geotextiles for my footing. I assume you mean GGT or something similar? i just put down the fabric barrier between sub base and the base. I have read and discussed with too many vets of the downsides of those "fancy footings" as I call them. So i stick with a sand base. I also drag religiously. And it's private use 5 horses per day. i think that impacts the decision you make with respect to fancy footing or sand.

                  You can likely cut your base in half. that will save a lot. I don't know what reason there would be to have more materials but perhaps your guy has a reason.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My base is compacted diamond dust (same stuff used on baseball diamonds) and the sub base was some form of road base gravel; I don't remember exactly what. My site was naturally almost level to start with.

                    Our farm is literally in the local gravel district zone, so I was able to use gravel from my own property. Top soil was scalped, then sub base was compacted with one of those steam roller they use for making roads. Diamond dust was brought in. The local gravel pit is less than a mile down the road and they do all the screening right there, so I had all of what I needed at very close disposal. I literally went to the pit to look at it.

                    Base layer was laser leveled with 1 degree crown and then roller compacted as well. Then it sat over a winter to make sure we didn't get any frost heaving. Indoor arena was build right over the base the next summer. (If I'd run short of money, plan B was to just bring in sand footing and use as an outdoor arena. I was lucky and we were able to go ahead with the indoor.) Since you don't mention it, I assume you are building an outdoor. If you are planning an indoor, look very carefully at the price breaks on truss spans. I originally wanted to go wider, but 62 feet was a real sweet spot. Next widest span was only a few feet more and cost A LOT more.

                    IIRC, both the sub base and base are 6 inches each, the base may actually only be 4 inches. Mine is primarily a dressage arena (although my kids did some low level jumping in it, nothing more than 3 ft.) I used some of the recommendations from the booklet on footing that USDF put out years ago. My sand footing is 2 inches deep. Start shallow, it's much easier to add a little more than to take footing out. Reread that bold. It will save a big PITA, from what others have told me. Make sure your sand is angular sand. Round sand, such as beach sand, will be like riding on marbles. The hooves can't get a good purchase.

                    I did not use any geotextiles.

                    I built this arena close to 15 years ago now, so don't remember the price off the top of my head. Also probably wouldn't be very relevant for you. My being so close to the gravel pit and also having access to gravel on my property was a HUGE saving that most people are unlikely to experience. The hauling cost is 80-90% of the cost, the material is actually quite cheap in comparison.

                    You might want to shop around to see if a pit closest to you has what you need and you can save on the hauling. On the other hand, if it is like it is here, all the major road contractors and excavators buy their gravel from the one pit near me, so there was very little variation in price. I chose my contractor based on their experience and quality of work. There was a wide disparity between knowledge levels among our local contractors; everything from real pros to mere equipment driving dirt haulers.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by EmilyM View Post

                      I did not use geotextiles for my footing. I assume you mean GGT or something similar? i just put down the fabric barrier between sub base and the base. I have read and discussed with too many vets of the downsides of those "fancy footings" as I call them. So i stick with a sand base. I also drag religiously. And it's private use 5 horses per day. i think that impacts the decision you make with respect to fancy footing or sand.

                      You can likely cut your base in half. that will save a lot. I don't know what reason there would be to have more materials but perhaps your guy has a reason.
                      Geotextile fabric, sorry I wasnt clear. The fabric barrier, stops rocks from wiggling up. Some do, some dont. Sounds like you used it.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by fjordmom View Post
                        My base is compacted diamond dust (same stuff used on baseball diamonds) and the sub base was some form of road base gravel; I don't remember exactly what. My site was naturally almost level to start with.

                        Our farm is literally in the local gravel district zone, so I was able to use gravel from my own property. Top soil was scalped, then sub base was compacted with one of those steam roller they use for making roads. Diamond dust was brought in. The local gravel pit is less than a mile down the road and they do all the screening right there, so I had all of what I needed at very close disposal. I literally went to the pit to look at it.

                        Base layer was laser leveled with 1 degree crown and then roller compacted as well. Then it sat over a winter to make sure we didn't get any frost heaving. Indoor arena was build right over the base the next summer. (If I'd run short of money, plan B was to just bring in sand footing and use as an outdoor arena. I was lucky and we were able to go ahead with the indoor.) Since you don't mention it, I assume you are building an outdoor. If you are planning an indoor, look very carefully at the price breaks on truss spans. I originally wanted to go wider, but 62 feet was a real sweet spot. Next widest span was only a few feet more and cost A LOT more.

                        IIRC, both the sub base and base are 6 inches each, the base may actually only be 4 inches. Mine is primarily a dressage arena (although my kids did some low level jumping in it, nothing more than 3 ft.) I used some of the recommendations from the booklet on footing that USDF put out years ago. My sand footing is 2 inches deep. Start shallow, it's much easier to add a little more than to take footing out. Reread that bold. It will save a big PITA, from what others have told me. Make sure your sand is angular sand. Round sand, such as beach sand, will be like riding on marbles. The hooves can't get a good purchase.

                        I did not use any geotextiles.

                        I built this arena close to 15 years ago now, so don't remember the price off the top of my head. Also probably wouldn't be very relevant for you. My being so close to the gravel pit and also having access to gravel on my property was a HUGE saving that most people are unlikely to experience. The hauling cost is 80-90% of the cost, the material is actually quite cheap in comparison.

                        You might want to shop around to see if a pit closest to you has what you need and you can save on the hauling. On the other hand, if it is like it is here, all the major road contractors and excavators buy their gravel from the one pit near me, so there was very little variation in price. I chose my contractor based on their experience and quality of work. There was a wide disparity between knowledge levels among our local contractors; everything from real pros to mere equipment driving dirt haulers.
                        Good info as well, thanks. The current contractor is shopping different pits to get as close to us as possible. He also said if he dug materials off our property, which then produces a new pond, it would be much cheaper. Something to think about I suppose.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheJenners View Post

                          Oy! Yeah mine will be a titch smaller than yours at 70x150 (forgot to post that early) but I purposefully bought a place with no trees.
                          We didn't buy our place planning on an arena (or any horse facilities at all), it just evolved over time. Crappy boarding choices had me to the point of either quitting or moving them all home, so here we are!

                          On geotextile fabric - we did not do any. I don't think my arena guy ever uses it to be honest, and he's built a lot of rings in the NW. My arena is 9 years old now and we've had some minor migration of rock from the base into the footing but nothing too bad. The first year or so, I babied the base and didn't ride when too wet and moved my track around (lunging is especially bad so I"d move all over the ring rather than stand in one place), but now I can do anything I want and that base is solid.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good to know, I bet I baby mine too hahaha. Reading Underfoot, the USDF book on arena building, says to drag daily and rake the rails every 10th day like I don't have a JOB??
                            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SCF01 View Post
                              Thanks for Sharing Emily. My quote was $50k. I about fell over. He and I need to discuss details. Hes got an 18-24" compacted base which sounds like WAY to much to me. Everything I've read says 6-8" compacted.

                              Did you use geotextiles for either of your projects?
                              We had to move a lot of material around to prep our pad. We had to raise one side and cut down the other. Shale is prevalent in our area and not something you want poking up from beneath the base. We used 8" of crushed stone for the base and 3" of sand for the footing. We did not use geotextile fabric and I wouldn't, even if I had unlimited funds.

                              The material cost adds up fast. I'd be asking your contractor why a 18"-24" base is necessary. Sounds like that it is a lot more than you need.

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