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Trying to organize my barn improvement list...what to do first?

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  • Trying to organize my barn improvement list...what to do first?

    I've had my farm for just over 2 year (horses have been there not quite 2 years yet) and a LOT has happened!

    We've added a dry lot/outdoor arena, fenced 2 fields, done some driveway improvement (added a ditch so the driveway didn't wash away ), matted 6 horse stalls, built a run-in shed (well had someone built it for us), finished a 10x12 private tack/feed room, and we're almost done a 12x20 boarders tack room. We've also bought a drag, an auger, a tractor, and a large dump trailer. Not related to the barn we gutted and redid the house on the property, turning it into two apartments that we now have rented out and are covering the farm mortgage.

    But now that the things that NEEDED to be done "right away" have been completed, I'm torn as to what to do next. In no particular order, I would like to:
    add chickens for tick control
    re-fence 2 more fields-fencing is ok, but not in the best shape
    add a real riding arena (drylot is used daily for turnout) and add more lights to it. -we currently have a large grass arena with 2 lights in it. I want to turn it into a footed arena (not sure what type of footing)
    Build jumps-currently have 2 jumps
    redo the outside of barn-roof leaks a little bit, siding is in bad shape, dutch doors are warped and hard to open, and overall not eye pleasing
    redo inside of barn-stall fronts are ugly with rusting bars, chipped gross paint, wash stall needs to be completely redone, stall wood needs to be redone. I want to completely redo stall fronts (inexpensively) and make everything look uniform, which it does not now.
    Add run-ins to 2 pastures and 1 paddock

    Thats all I can think of right now...

    I have boarders, and I know what they want done first (lighted, footed arena) but that is also probably going to be the most expensive thing.
    I'd like to get the other 2 fields re-fenced, as one of the fence lines is in full view of all the neighbors and not visually appealing AT ALL. Then move on to redoing roof, siding, and dutch doors, hopefully build a chicken coop too. That would probably be al that could get done before next winter.
    Following year put in run-ins, redo barn interior, add jumps.
    Following year add a lighted, footed arena. This would be spring/summer of 2014.

    Money is of course a huge factor. We want to improve the property so we can charge more for boarding, but it seems like what would improve the barn the most (arena), would nearly break us budget wise.

    Thanks everyone!
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

  • #2
    Actually, I'd go with chickens first. That can be had for a song, coop and birds.
    Immediate payoff.

    Jumps. Small project. As simple as 2 steel barrels with holders or a coupe of brush boxes or a beam with holes for silk flowers.

    Then barn side/roof.
    That's more important than the ugly fence: Moisture continues to do structural damage. Needs to be fixed first I think.

    Then....I guess the fence, lights.
    The rusty/peeling metal interior can also be freshened up with a weekend paint party. Naturally doing it on the cheap - erm, economically - means lots of elbow grease. but that's how my uncle's barn was done. The wood can probably be done that way, too (I always think of how his stalls were constructed, fixing the wood up took a 2x12 cut to length and put into place.)

    Footing is the biggest expense...that I would plan for further down the road, but not too far, since it is still essential.

    Comment


    • #3
      My order would be roof and side the barn for the same reasons as Alagirl, then the fence, not because it's ugly but because if a horse gets out that is a Bad Thing.
      Then I'd put in the arena and raise the board, and the jumps would be right after that. I might add the lights as a separate later improvement. Making the interior more uniform I'm not sure will pay for itself, I don't know if people would pay more for that although they would probably be pleased at the appearance. The chicken coop doesn't benefit the tenants and I don't think you can recoup your expenses although chickens are much nicer than having to apply insecticides.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
        My order would be roof and side the barn for the same reasons as Alagirl, then the fence, not because it's ugly but because if a horse gets out that is a Bad Thing.
        Then I'd put in the arena and raise the board, and the jumps would be right after that. I might add the lights as a separate later improvement. Making the interior more uniform I'm not sure will pay for itself, I don't know if people would pay more for that although they would probably be pleased at the appearance. The chicken coop doesn't benefit the tenants and I don't think you can recoup your expenses although chickens are much nicer than having to apply insecticides.

        Well, when you do raise the board, it helps to have a nice interior to show for it.
        people are funny that way. They can see the paint, but not the base of the arena...paint is relatively cheap though, just labor intensive.

        As for the jumps, you can build one here or there, mostly add some stuff to give your existing ones a different look.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SAcres View Post
          I've had my farm for just over 2 year (horses have been there not quite 2 years yet) and a LOT has happened!

          We've added a dry lot/outdoor arena, fenced 2 fields, done some driveway improvement (added a ditch so the driveway didn't wash away ), matted 6 horse stalls, built a run-in shed (well had someone built it for us), finished a 10x12 private tack/feed room, and we're almost done a 12x20 boarders tack room. We've also bought a drag, an auger, a tractor, and a large dump trailer. Not related to the barn we gutted and redid the house on the property, turning it into two apartments that we now have rented out and are covering the farm mortgage.

          But now that the things that NEEDED to be done "right away" have been completed, I'm torn as to what to do next. In no particular order, I would like to:
          add chickens for tick control
          re-fence 2 more fields-fencing is ok, but not in the best shape
          add a real riding arena (drylot is used daily for turnout) and add more lights to it. -we currently have a large grass arena with 2 lights in it. I want to turn it into a footed arena (not sure what type of footing)
          Build jumps-currently have 2 jumps
          redo the outside of barn-roof leaks a little bit, siding is in bad shape, dutch doors are warped and hard to open, and overall not eye pleasing
          redo inside of barn-stall fronts are ugly with rusting bars, chipped gross paint, wash stall needs to be completely redone, stall wood needs to be redone. I want to completely redo stall fronts (inexpensively) and make everything look uniform, which it does not now.
          Add run-ins to 2 pastures and 1 paddock

          Thats all I can think of right now...

          I have boarders, and I know what they want done first (lighted, footed arena) but that is also probably going to be the most expensive thing.
          I'd like to get the other 2 fields re-fenced, as one of the fence lines is in full view of all the neighbors and not visually appealing AT ALL. Then move on to redoing roof, siding, and dutch doors, hopefully build a chicken coop too. That would probably be al that could get done before next winter.
          Following year put in run-ins, redo barn interior, add jumps.
          Following year add a lighted, footed arena. This would be spring/summer of 2014.

          Money is of course a huge factor. We want to improve the property so we can charge more for boarding, but it seems like what would improve the barn the most (arena), would nearly break us budget wise.

          Thanks everyone!
          Well, you have a long list, but I would agree with the thought that the roof, siding is first on the list. Mostly, because the cost of doing it will increase as the damage increases so best to get that done before it gets too far along.

          On the jumps, that's a great project that you could tackle in a weekend -- some 4x4's, 2x4's, screws and a drill and your on your way. You can even use the small landscape ties for rails (if you don't want to buy them) or use natural rails if you have small downed trees. Gates are easy to make as well -- that would be an easy and not too expensive project that will show immediate results for your boarders!

          Comment


          • #6
            What kind of fencing is currently up? When you redo that, you might be able to reuse some of the old panels and posts for jump elements, could possibly save you a few hundred in that department.

            I agree that leaks should be first priority, no sense fixing the aesthetics of the barn if you haven't fixed the leaks yet.

            I don't know what kind of weather you have where you live, so I don't know how rideable your grass ring is for all season riding. Are there many other barns around you? If there are tons with nice big rings, you might want to move the ring up on the priority list. If you don't have a lot of competition for boarders, the grass ring, if it's rideable most of the time, should be okay.
            I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
            Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
            Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller

            Comment


            • #7
              Prioritizing can be difficult for me, especially when the horses are involved (wants v. needs). So I've developed a system that works pretty well for me.

              I create a list of projects with 5 columns: Project Description, Estimated Cost, Resources Needed (e.g., helper, materials, amount of time, etc.), Need Priority Level (1 = safety issue that is absolutely necessary; 2 = would be very helpful/convenient/timesaving; 3= it would be nice, but does not affect the day-to-day operations; 4 = completely unnecessary), and Want Priority Level (1 = think about it all the time and have wanted it consistently for a long time; 2 = really want it but maybe I need to think about it longer to see if I change my mind later; 3 = great if I have or do it, but no big deal if I don't; 4 = I couldn't care less about it).

              It's amazing how many things that end up ranked very high in the "want" category but not in the "need" category. The chart is a great way for me to prioritize based on objective consideration of need v. want plus consideration of the amount of $ and time that will go into each project.

              That's probably as clear as mud...
              "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

              Comment


              • #8
                First the roof of the barn, you don't want to get into replacing beams/trusses that will eat up all the extra money in no time. Then the siding, next the fence. The inside can be done as you have time do one stall at a time. Strip and paint and then then redo the stalls when you have money to do them all.

                A lot of people will not like to hear this but you can put sand on top of killed grass to give yourself an arena. I had to do this with a place I had and it worked fine.

                Was told the arena had footing (not) they had dug up the arena and then draged it so it looked nice for the showing. then when we took over it had 3' high weeds in it. I killed the weeds and had sand (black sand) put over the now dirt footing. I did it this way so that there was something to ride on that was not hard ground and I could mix the sand back into the dirt later. When I had the money to do the footing right. It worked, It cost me $2000. for a 100X200 area.

                When I go to look at a farm to board at the first thing I look at is the fence if my horses are going to be outside. Then the barn, looking for safe stalls before pretty. Pretty is nice but will it keep my horse safe. I would be fine with a field to ride in as long as I have some place to ride. I would be over the moon if there where a few X-country jumps (good size logs) and 2-5 jumps (simple schooling standards are just fine).
                My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

                Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seabreeze View Post
                  Prioritizing can be difficult for me, especially when the horses are involved (wants v. needs). So I've developed a system that works pretty well for me.

                  I create a list of projects with 5 columns: Project Description, Estimated Cost, Resources Needed (e.g., helper, materials, amount of time, etc.), Need Priority Level (1 = safety issue that is absolutely necessary; 2 = would be very helpful/convenient/timesaving; 3= it would be nice, but does not affect the day-to-day operations; 4 = completely unnecessary), and Want Priority Level (1 = think about it all the time and have wanted it consistently for a long time; 2 = really want it but maybe I need to think about it longer to see if I change my mind later; 3 = great if I have or do it, but no big deal if I don't; 4 = I couldn't care less about it).

                  It's amazing how many things that end up ranked very high in the "want" category but not in the "need" category. The chart is a great way for me to prioritize based on objective consideration of need v. want plus consideration of the amount of $ and time that will go into each project.

                  That's probably as clear as mud...

                  perfectly clear to me. I tend to prioritize in similar manner.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Ok guys, thanks. You pretty much confirmed what I was thinking.

                    Looking into prices for redoing the roof and siding of the barn as we speak. Looks like it might be more expensive than I originally thought, but the roof needs to be done soon. Last time it rained the leaks seemed to be dripping more than usual.
                    come what may

                    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

                    Comment

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