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Ques. for those who have built a barn on their property

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  • Ques. for those who have built a barn on their property

    I am building a barn on my property. Found some plans online, bought them and away we go. My husband and a friend are the ones building it. They both have experience with pole barns and work very well together. Although they just got started, so far things are going well. One question they have asked, so that I am ready when they are, is what to sheath the barn with, and what to put on the roof?

    So I'm asking this incredibly knowledgable forum for their experience. I live in New England so we get heat, rain, cold, very cold, and snow. I will need something that can handle all weather. The barn is a 36x48 center aisle. I am unsure about whether to shingle or do a metal roof. If I did metal, I would sheath the roof with plywood underneath for noise and stability. As for the sides, hubby suggested T111, or we could do shiplap? I already have oak boards to line stalls with so the interior is set. While I have money set aside for this project, I'm not looking to shoot the moon. I do need to keep cost as a factor.

    Any thoughts? opinions?

  • #2
    I went with shingles (because I wanted it to match my house and not be very loud when it rained) and metal siding for low maintenance. My stalls have outside doors that open to an attached paddock and I didn't want my big beavers gnawing on the barn. Seven years later, I am still pleased with both choices. My barn is 36 x 60.


    • Original Poster

      Skyy - thanks for the feedack. I am also keeping in mind that I want the barn to match to the house. The barn will be closer to the road than the house but both are visible. What type of metal siding did you use? Do you get it from those places that sell metal buildings? I will also have dutch doors (or doors) off the long side of the barn for my horses to have attached paddocks.


      • #4
        I am in Kansas where we get Gulf of Mexico rains, Canadian snow and everything inbetween. We built a new barn last summer and the roof and sides are metal. I don't find it too loud during a hard rain but maybe that is just me. I would recommend that at least one end/aisle door be an overhead door with an automatic opener on it. You will love having that after a heavy blowing snow creates epic drifts overnight. Slider doors are useless on those days.

        Have fun and good luck with your new barn!


        • #5
          The first barn we built, while we were in a suburb in Los Angeles, had tile on the roof that matched the house. It was a lot of work to haul all the tiles up on the roof and install it (we hauled the tiles up one at a time and it took forever, plus they were heavy) - but it was a requirement in our community that the roofs on other buildings on the property match the house. It was also $$$. It's a lovely roof, but in retrospect, not worth the money and effort to install it in my opinion.

          Flash forward 10 yrs and we are living in the mountains and about to build a new barn on our 1.6 acre property. We have a different climate to consider here. We will get all 4 seasons - but not a lot of snow. We are installing a 36 by 36, wood, raised center aisle barn (from a kit) and will have a metal roof. However, we are going to add a layer of plywood under the roof both for insulation and noise reduction. This roof is a fraction of the cost of the expensive tiles we had in LA. The roof is the same color as the roof on the house, and the barn will be painted to match the house so the whole thing should tie together visually.


          • #6
            I would go with metal. I love the low maintinence.



            • #7
              I guess I did it backward--I picked the metal roof on my house to match the one I had already put on the barn! Love my metal roof--also love the insulation under it...


              • #8
                I have a 36x48 center aisle barn in CO. We have T111 on the sides and asphalt shingles (which match the house) on the roof. It's about 10 years old and has held up really well so far. We did have to re-roof after a hailstorm (tennis ball sized hail...) but my homeowners insurance covered it. The T111 is stained with something from Sherwin Williams, and has also held up well. I'm actually planning to restain this week, but staining every 10 years doesn't seem too bad to me.
                "Ponies are a socially acceptable form of child abuse." - said by a friend when asked if she was going to find a pony for her 5 year old daughter.


                • #9
                  We have metal roof with insulation underneath. Cuts the noise of rain or sleet about 90%. If you feel you need the plywood for stability, maybe a thinner board along with insulation, could be good for your noise needs. The insulation is extremely helpful in keeping heat from warming up the barn in summer, holds in heat from the animals in winter, but not excessive. We like a cold barn in winter, good air exchange is the key.

                  Does your barn kit come with a roof vent or vents to allow good air exchange? Our 60ft long barn has 3 air vents, air is always fresh, never have any smells or dampness when closed up for winter. Horses can manage cold just fine, but bad air damages their lungs, promotes sickness.

                  When we reroof the house, we think we will get a metal roof instead of the shingles again. Metal lasts longer, sure lets the snow slide off easily after storms! Horses get pretty immune fast to the whoosh of falling snow from our barn. I think a metal roof on a house looks VERY NICE. We are seeing quite a few metal roofs locally, all look good, love the new colors you can get. They offer designs in the metal, can look like tiles, shingles, other looks too. We already have a metal roof in dark green on the garage/workshop beside the house. We get compliments on it all the time since we added it. Metal went on fast, with foam insulation between old roof and metal. Really holds the heat well for winter working out there. Snow seldom stays on more than a day, whooshes off.

                  You might check with your insurance folks, sometimes metal roofs get a discount.

                  Word of warning, get a couple extra sheets of metal, both siding and roof. The metal manufacturers seem to change the ribbing designs every 5-6 years so you can't find matching metal later on. We added on to our barn later, had to go with an "almost" matching rib design. Can't tell any difference from the road, but something we learned. If you should need any repairs on the metal later, you have some on hand. We had that with son hitting sliding door with tractor, needing repair. Just pulled out that extra piece, fixed door right up.


                  • #10
                    We have hardi-plank siding on our barn, which matches our house. The roof is metal.


                    • #11
                      We aren't installing any ventilators on the ceiling as the stalls will be open to paddocks so we'll have plenty of air circulating around. Last winter (our first) we had more snow up here than the "old timers" said they had ever seen. Our horses were in sheds because we moved in, in January (unfortunately). But they did fine.I was more worried than they were) So I plan to have the barn open when it snows - again we dont get a lot of snow. And I can always close up the stalls and open up the ends of the barn aisle if we need to.

                      We have a metal roof on the house too. The first time the snow slid off the roof and crashed on the driveway I about died. WHAT a surprise that was. The horses all bolted and galloped to the end of their fields, snorting, tails up, eyes wide. We all lived to tell the tale. And now none of us even notices when the snow slides down.

                      The negative of having the snow slide off the roof, is that you can't have gutters. They will get ripped of in the sliding snow. But we've learned to live with that too.


                      • #12
                        We put dimensional shingles on the barn to match the house roof and also used the same vinyl siding for the barn and house. No complaints so far and it's been about 4 years.


                        • Original Poster

                          Wow, thanks for all the great feedback. You all have given me a lot to think about and some great ideas. We don't have a kit, just the plans. I am buying the materials as needed. We are early in the project but so far so good. I am thinking of doing wood on the side (T111 or similar) and staining it to match the house (cedar), and then a metal roof in hunter green to match the window frames of the house. So far the barn plans call for a cupula (love it), but I'm thinking of roof vents as well.

                          Keep the suggestions coming!


                          • #14
                            I <3 my metal barn

                            But it was put up by a damgood builder so I can't take credit except for picking colors that coordinated with my brick house.

                            Roof only is insulated but it stays comfy even in Midwest subzero temps - with stalls' rear Dutch doors to the paddock staying open in all weather.
                            Rain doesn;t make overly much noie unless we are having a real Nor'easter & it doesn't bother the horses even then.
                            Snow sliding off the roof is good for a onetime spook then "Meh".

                            Now I am looking into a metal roof for the house that will match the barn

                            Roof/ridge vents are great for ventilation, but be sure you make them birdproof.
                            Mine are supposed to be, but somehow I have starlings that have coopted a section of the ridge vent thus making it useless
                            Not to mention having to listen to their little tapdance every Spring

                            Your color choices sound very attractive.
                            Wish I had gotten the cupola when I was still building - aftermarket is a killer!
                            *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
                            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Linda View Post
                              The negative of having the snow slide off the roof, is that you can't have gutters. They will get ripped of in the sliding snow. But we've learned to live with that too.
                              I don't have huge amounts of snow, but I don't have gutters on my metal roof either. What I have instead are french drains along the drip line to move the water away from the barn. In May we had 18+ inches of rain in two days and I had no mud. DH thinks it is one of the smartest things he's done so far on the farm...


                              • #16
                                TB fan,

                                Definitely metal roof with wood siding! We put up a 50 x 50 center aisle barn a few years ago and have done all of the work ourselves. Our rafters are really, really close together, and are built to handle Maine snow loads (I'm in Maryland, but we had Maine snow loads last winter.........) I'm thinking they're 24" apart.
                                For siding we have wide pine boards that are stained to match the house. We will put on batten strips in the near future. Our sawmill guy said to let the boards dry out for a year before we stained and the same amt of time before we put the batten strips on.
                                Alison Howard
                                Homestead Farms, Maryland www.freshorganicvegetables.com


                                • #17
                                  I am in the Northwest, so different climate (lots of rain, very little snow, but some extreme winds as I'm at the end of the Columbia Gorge). Our home builder also put up our barn, which is stick framed and designed to match our house. We originally wanted a metal roof, as I liked the looks, but went with architectural shingles to match our house and I am SO glad -- the noise in metal roofed barns hereabouts is deafening with all our rain. We have board and bat siding and I am not sure what the actual products are called -- looks like primered, rough plywood to me, with 2" bats every 2' or so.

                                  In retrospect, I would have done something different on the side where the horses are. My stalls open up to an overhang then the mud-free paddocks, so they get to be up next to that side of the barn a lot. Which was fine with the retired horse and first youngster, then I got another youngster that chewed the hell out of the bats. And I looked at those and thought, of course, perfect little size to grab and chew - dumb idea! Eventually, I'm thinking I will pull the bats off that side and replace them with something like those trim pieces you see on wood paneling -- beveled so they wouldn't be able to get a grip. But they have to chew some more to get me to that point...

                                  As for metal siding, I don't like it when the horses can be near it (as in my situation). Everywhere I have been that had metal siding had little kick marks all over it -- for some reason they seem to show up on the metal more than wood. And I have a friend that had a horse slice her tendon on the bottom edge of a metal sided wall. Horse will hurt themselves anywhere, of course, but that and the looks turned me off metal.


                                  • #18
                                    I've been in tons of barns, new and old, as I imagine everyone on here has, but my two cents would be metal roof because of how long they last, and the low maintenance. You can add insulation panels, etc. if you want noise reduction.

                                    Honestly I rode in the indoor tonight in a freaking monsoon and there is no insulation on the roof in there. After a minute you don't even notice the sound, imo. Horses didn't care after they went to work either.

                                    I think the wood type siding with the green metal roof would look nice. You should post pics in a bit.
                                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by subk View Post
                                      I guess I did it backward--I picked the metal roof on my house to match the one I had already put on the barn! Love my metal roof--also love the insulation under it...
                                      hahahahah must be the horse person, we did the same......and love it!


                                      • #20
                                        We have metal barn roofs that are well over 60 years old and still like new.

                                        Around here, shingles just don't make it at best a handful of years, before many have blown off.
                                        No one any more uses them, even in houses, other than cheap contractors that get a special deal from the shingle roofers.
                                        My house and barn are both metal, as are all but the fanciest mansions around and some of those are then clay tile roofs, not shingles.
                                        Those with tile roofs are complaining they can't keep yellow wasps off those.

                                        Insurance will take 10% off if you use metal for your house roof, that ought to tell you what will last longer.

                                        Now, if you don't expect to live there many years, then go with what you like.