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Cost of barn building-- cinderblock vs. Hardieplank and wood?

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    #21
    Originally posted by mvp View Post

    Can any of you all tell me what tends to make some of these barns trap moisture on the inside and what does not? I don't think I have been in a damp block barn.
    Climate, for starters. But also light, ventilation, and flooring.

    For whatever reason, people often install tiny windows and tiny doors, and it makes the barn like a vault. Then there is no air flow to reduce moisture and the lack of light is conducive to mold growth.

    The best ones I have been in have large doors, large windows in every space, clear skylight panels in the roof, etc.

    Dirt floors can hold moisture like a sponge. Concrete floors can sweat. Things like screenings with mats, pavers, or asphalt seem to work better for flooring.

    Also, painting the concrete blocks inside and out seems to help a lot with moisture. The best barns I’ve known are painted with something that seems particularly thick and glossy— I never asked exactly what they were using, but I’m sure it can be researched. Untreated blocks always seem more dank.

    Total change of topic, but injuries were mentioned several times. They can happen from kicking blocks. I cared for a mare whose racing career ended from a sesamoid fracture from kicking the block walls; I’ve known a few others injured as well. Yet injuries tend to be rare. I think just as many or more injure themselves kicking wooden walls. Horses seem to enjoy kicking wood more, too. I think the noise and vibration gives them some sort of satisfaction they don’t get from concrete. Or maybe it just hurts.


    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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      #22
      Definitely use concrete. My wood barn is so hot it is unusable during the summer... In full sun. It has plenty of windows and fans, but still very very hot inside. It probably needs exhaust vents in the roof peak. Or elastomeric coating... Metal exterior, wood interior.

      ​A very pretty barn, but not very functional. I'm happy to have it every severe lightning storm... Still wish they it was concrete though.

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        Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by poltroon View Post
        I've been in a few cinder block barns and always liked them, but in Southern California. The key to a nice one is to have it be very airy with metal grilles and free air space between the top of the walls and the roof.

        I've not had any experience with hardieplank around horses but if it's anything like the board I have on my house, it's not something that will take a kick or contact abuse without cracking.
        Hardieplank is often used here in Termite World. I have only seen one example of it having been ravaged by a horse and I didn't like the shard-y edges I saw. It's just cement particle board, so it seems innocuous. But I didn't like what I saw, so the one wall behind the stalls where the horses will have their back porches and short runs will be wood... or block.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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          Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by 4horses View Post
          Definitely use concrete. My wood barn is so hot it is unusable during the summer... In full sun. It has plenty of windows and fans, but still very very hot inside. It probably needs exhaust vents in the roof peak. Or elastomeric coating... Metal exterior, wood interior.

          ​A very pretty barn, but not very functional. I'm happy to have it every severe lightning storm... Still wish they it was concrete though.
          So it's a metal pole barn or the walls are wood?

          I think metal is definitely hotter than wood in the summer, though so much depends on design.

          If I can figure it out, I'll put my drawings up here so you guys can see what you think.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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            #25
            I'd go with the block, personally, but I have no idea on a cost comparison. It's very common/the norm here to have cinder block stables. Where I board the main stable is cinder block as well as the large indoor arena. I think it's great. It is a half timbered traditional German style stable. Definitely stays cooler in the summer and not too damp. All outside facing stalls have half doors with the tops open. There is a wide aisle, a door at one end, and one on the middle. If the doors were wider and at both long ends, I think it'd be even better, but as it is, it isn't bad.

            Sometimes in the fall/winter rainy season here the indoor will smell slightly musty for a day or two, but the stable itself is fine.

            I think as long as you have good ventilation, you won't battle too bad with dampness. Of course it will be humid if the weather is humid, as will any stable. The coolness in the summer is so worth it though! Definitely a difference between the big block barn vs the smaller wooden barn my horse lives in.

            From a destructive standpoint, there are a few stalls that have heavy mats on the lower half as they had kicking horses in them in the past. Not sure what kind of shape the walls are in under those. They also tiled the upper back walls of the stalls, which was a stupid idea. Don't do that. 😂
            They just break and fall off.

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              #26
              Originally posted by mvp View Post

              That's my plan.... let them figure it out. Also, buy good-minded horses and manage them well.

              Can any of you all tell me what tends to make some of these barns trap moisture on the inside and what does not? I don't think I have been in a damp block barn.
              I haven't either. But features common to those barns are: wide aisles with proper flooring material (not dirt, which holds moisture, for example.) Relatively high ceilings, large windows & doors, and the usual accoutrements (fans, etc.) One of the things that I thought was very clever at the clinic place was the way they created airflow between the stalls - the divider walls had a section where you would put bars, but instead they staggered the blocks so there were gaps that created a similar effect. Allowed a bit of safe socializing as it let the horses see each other but with less opportunity for the kind of bitey face stuff that can happen with regular bars.
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

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                #27
                I boarded at a barn that the exterior walls were concrete block. Interior between stalls were wood. Concrete aisle. I never felt it was damp. However I would paint or epoxy the walls. We had a few horses that would get hock sores in the winter from brushing the hocks against the rough concrete.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                  #28
                  A barn I boarded at had prefab poured concrete stalls with the grills built in. It was really nice, I know what the cost of the entire barn was but it had many extras like radiant heat in the aisles and a huge attached indoor, plus it was ages ago and prices wouldn't even be close now.

                  They weren't like these but kind of the same concept.

                  https://www.centurygrp.com/products/...-stall-panels/

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                    #29
                    I don’t have any pricing info either, but I can confirm that far and away the nicest barns I’ve been in are concrete block. The caveat being that they were associated with a lot of other positive design amenities like Dutch doors on the outside of every stall, skylights, tall open ceilings, tons of natural and artificial light and ventilation. And definitely painted/epoxied.

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                      #30
                      I have seen concrete block barns where the division walls between stalls were solid 5' or so, above blocks with holes exposed, for airflow?

                      A little like this picture, but the openings a bit lower, to have more air movement in there:



                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        I have seen concrete block barns where the division walls between stalls were solid 5' or so, above blocks with holes exposed, for airflow?

                        A little like this picture, but the openings a bit lower, to have more air movement in there:


                        I have seen pictures like that, too. Imagine a "picture window"-type opening in the middle of the wall between the stalls, about 4' up, 6' or so long and another 4' tall. But that was a section where the blocks were spaced to allow airflow. It wasn't as pretty as grilles because you can't look through the whole row of stalls or through them. But it I'm sure it was nice for the horses, for air flow and for safety.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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                          #32
                          My barn has a metal exterior, wood interior. Similar to this, just not as huge:

                          http://valleyviewfarm.online/images/...orton-barn.jpg

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                            #33
                            tilt wall construction is nearly the same cost per square foot as a concrete block wall, cheaper if height of wall is high as the walls can support roof trusses without reinforcement

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                              #34
                              I'm building in the south (North Carolina). My builder said it was pretty much the same cost to go cinderblock vs wood. We went with wood because I personally like the timber frame look and feel better. We're not doing a loft so the barn will have a vaulted ceiling feel to it and I think that will help with air flow. Also doing 'hay doors' where the loft would have been so we can increase air flow even more. Traditional center aisle design with dutch doors off back of stalls. For the exterior we're doing half wall height of stone and then vinyl board and batten. Fiber cement walls are easily twice the cost and require maintenance. So those were deciding factors for us.

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                                #35
                                Years ago I did self care in a small setup with a concrete block barn. I really loved it. It stayed cool in the summer until 5 or 6 PM which was when we turned the horses out for the night. It did get a little cooler in the wee morning hours in the winter but I live in the south so that is not a big problem. It was block with concrete poured in them somehow ( not sure). Anyway the horse properties belonged to the owner's first wife and he had no interest but had a big garage building right across the drive where he kept his 3 tractors ( to mow 3 acres HAHAHA!!!!) and two large boats. A tornado came through that area. When I came out of the tackroom the horse barn was undamaged but the concrete block boat garage building which was NOT poured concrete had fallen in on the boats.

                                There is another very nice barn constructed of the textured colored concrete block that you see commercial buildings built from. When I got ready to build a barn I wanted a concrete block barn. I was told it was out of my budget . So I built a pole barn with Hardi plank siding. I don't know how much more the block barn would have cost . If I was building another barn I would certainly ask how much more. I really do like them.

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                                  #36
                                  Courtney Cooper's barn on West Rd (Aiken) is concrete. I'll try and get some pictures. We're doing brick and hardiplank for ours.

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Two years ago we built a large new block barn in Central Florida. With our climate and the ever present risk of hurricanes its a no brainer to build with block. We love the barn -- its very open and airy and stays much cooler than other (even block) barns I've been to in this area. But, we have sliding outside steel doors on all the stalls that we can shut in a storm and roll down steel doors at the end of every aisle so we can close up tight in a storm. I used a builder out of Ocala who specializes in equestrian facilities and he was great. I strongly recommend that you contract with a builder who has horse barn construction experience --- there's no way a residential or general commercial builder will understand what's really needed for a horse barn and/or how hard horses can be on any structure. As far as cost vs. wood construction I can't say -- all I know is our project wasn't cheap. :-)

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                                      Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by nycjumper View Post
                                      Courtney Cooper's barn on West Rd (Aiken) is concrete. I'll try and get some pictures. We're doing brick and hardiplank for ours.
                                      Ooh! Someone local. I'll send you a PM nycjumper
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

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