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Converting Garage to Horse Barn

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    Converting Garage to Horse Barn

    We are looking at a property for sale that has a detached garage (actually two). The one that we're thinking could be converted to a barn is quite large -- it's 3 bays wide and each bay is really two car lengths long. There's a wall between the first and second bays and I can't tell if it's load-bearing.

    For it to work for us, we'd need to convert this garage space into a 4 stall barn.

    Has anyone done this? Any special challenges that you ran into? This space has a cement floor and already has electrical and plumbing (plumbing because there's a small apartment on the other side). The upstairs is fully finished as a "play room" of sorts.

    Depends on the building.

    What's the headroom? If a horse rears will it strike it's head on the ceiling?

    What kind of concrete? It is slick or textured?

    What's the overall construction? If horse kicks the wall what will happen to horse and wall?

    How many windows are there?

    What size stalls are you looking at?

    What's the ventilation like (and were are you)?

    This will get you started but there are lots of other questions.

    Posting a photo of the garage, inside and out, and a photo of the general area would be most helpful.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


      You can make it work, especially if the stalls will have direct access to runs outside, which will let stall size be smaller if necessary.

      Concrete floor is how many top barns run and most barns in continental Europe used to be.
      Just add rubber mats and bed according to other conditions.

      Posting a drawing with sizes would help determine if there is room for stalls.
      Portable stalls will let you put some in there, adjust sides if they are a little too snug by overlapping here and there, move them later if your needs change or you see a better way to use the space, etc.

      Here is an internet picture with a garage with a portable stall in there, there is another across the overhead door there, two stalls in that garage:


        Original Poster

        All good questions, only some of which I can answer now (have only seen the place once so far). And I don't have any pictures unfortunately.

        Plenty of headroom over where I think two of the stalls would go, i.e. cathedral ceiling. I think where the other two would go is at least 9 feet, but will measure when I go back.

        Concrete is currently typical super slick garage concrete. Am thinking that I would do mats in stalls and rubber pavers in aisles over the concrete.

        The overall construction seems quite sturdy. There's a steel beam running across the ceiling holding up the second floor. It's horizontal to the wall between two of the bays. The steel beam would be parallel to the row of horse stalls, on the far side.

        There are no windows on the walls where I envision the stalls. Just solid wall and two garage doors. So we'd be replacing the garage doors with walls, dutch doors to in/outs, and windows.

        With all the garage doors open, the ventilation was good. But this is one of the things that might be a challenge. Two of the stalls would be placed where there are doors/windows on either side of the building. But the other two would just have windows in the stalls. But I think a ceiling mounted fan might solve that problem.

        This is in New England.


          have to laugh as we build our small barn with the intent that it could be converted into a garage... it may be smaller than OP's as ours is 36 by 24 have stalls on the sides with the center being open in front with a pony stall in the has five stalls currently. Used fabricated stalls that are free standing so they can be removed in wanted

          We currently have walls where overhead doors would be

          As a note the building appraised at twice the value as a garage verses a barn


            Original Poster

            Yeah, it's probably more common to do it that way! But even with the conversion this property will still have plenty of garage space, including a bay for the horse trailer. And if it appraises for less that helps with our property taxes!


              Originally posted by clanter View Post
              have to laugh as we build our small barn with the intent that it could be converted into a garage... it may be smaller than OP's as ours is 36 by 24 have stalls on the sides with the center being open in front with a pony stall in the has five stalls currently. Used fabricated stalls that are free standing so they can be removed in wanted

              We currently have walls where overhead doors would be

              As a note the building appraised at twice the value as a garage verses a barn
              We are building our horse barn with the possibility that in the future it could be a garage. Can you show me your horse stalls?