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What size barn?

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  • What size barn?

    I just got a new horse and am thinking of adding a barn by my cottage so that we can both go on vacation up there in the summer for 2-4 weeks. So far I have the one horse but if I were to do this, I would be bringing a friend or two along for company. Cost aside, how many stalls would you build in this situation? This is also likely where I'll retire to so then the possibility to have 2/3 of my own and then have friends over would be there but this is many years off.

    Would you start small with just 3 and then add on if more were needed later or bite the bullet and just build as much as you may possibly want in 10/20/30 years from now?

  • #2
    whatever you build will be one stall too small, always


    • #3
      When you say "bring a friend" can I assume you mean another horse?
      How will you deal with Buddy Sour if you take one off your property?
      Even if you ride just on your land it can be an issue - ask me how I know this

      IIWM, and this is just a vacation home, I'd start with a 3-sided run-in and fence off pasture.
      You can get one that is considered portable, so no permit needed and you can sell it if keeping horses there does not work out for you.

      If/when you decide to keep horses there fulltime, then build your barn and decide how many stalls you'll need at that point.
      *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


      • #4
        Building permanent barns with stalls will mean that much more work cleaning stalls, which will take energy and time from enjoying the horses themselves.

        I agree, start with some shed type, even portable type sheds, that you can move as your needs may change.

        If you just have to have a barn, a 36' x36' basic barn is the best use of your space.
        Make it tall enough that you can have overhangs outside the sides, so stalls have pens outside or you can use the outside overhang as all one run in, opening the stalls only to put any one individual horse in there for feeding, rehab, etc.

        That size structure should not cost you much and gives you four 12'x12' stalls and a storage space and tack/feed room, with a 12' wide aisle to work in out of the weather.

        Pens out from the stalls can be only on one side, S or E, with three stalls, the other, North side one more stall for a pinch and the tack/feed room and one more open space for storage or one fifth stall if necessary.

        I would build a maybe 40' x 40' metal barn and add portable stalls inside.
        If you have overhangs, or at least one on the South side for a run in/shed, you don't need a metal wall on that side, the portable stalls can work there fine for that.

        If your needs change in the future you can easily remodel in there and if you sell, it will be an asset to anyone for other than horses, a shop, storage, garage, whatever they want to make out of it.

        A barn is good if you like to play "keep house", but for trail riding, pleasure type horses, it is not exactly necessary to keep them in a barn and all the energy, time and resources that it takes to keep a barn up, unless that is part of what gives you pleasure in having horses to care for and ride.


        • Original Poster

          Thats great! will definitely keep that all in mind. Thanks!


          • #6
            I'd start with a 36x36 pole barn shell, finish it as you need to, plan on 4 stalls, but site it such that you can add stalls to one end if you end up wanting/needing more.

            If you plan on the 4 stalls being all at one end, together, then for as long as you like, that open area can be a large run-in shed which you could partition off with a few boards or something similar.
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • #7
              48x48, it is much cheaper to build a bit bigger up front than to add on later. This would give you room for 5 or 6 stalls, a nice tack room, hay storage, and a run in.


              • #8
                It may be cheaper per sqft to build a bigger shell up front, but it's a more costly up front investment.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  What I can say from our own experience and that of so, so many, is that whatever you think now you are working for toward's the future, make it very, very flexible.
                  While it is good to plan ahead, no one knows what all will change and be our real needs down the road.

                  We ourselves and everyone I know thought they wanted this or that and would do this or that.
                  Good to provide for all that, but I have not seen it yet where there were not important changes as the reality of where our lives went changed all that.

                  Do consider being very flexible with what you do, so you can keep adjusting what you have already done to any changes.

                  You could first just put the shell up with an overhang on the S/SE, that side open.
                  Live with it as a run in with a few panels dividing it for other in there.
                  Later add portable stalls as you see the need.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                    It may be cheaper per sqft to build a bigger shell up front, but it's a more costly up front investment.
                    Right, but it will still be way less than adding on later...


                    • #11
                      In the end, yes. It's just a matter of where the $$ is now. If you KNOW, or at least strongly suspect, you'll want to make additions later, and you can afford to set up more now to accommodate that, in the end, it does work out more cheaply.

                      But if you can't swing all the up front cost, even if the end result is cheaper per sqft, then it doesn't make sense. You can still situate things such that adding later is as easy as it's going to be, even if the whole end result after quite a few years means a higher $/sqft
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                      • #12
                        Don't forget taxes, how much any improvements will add to them.
                        If you build something that is not considered permanent you may not even have added taxes.
                        Some more or less square feet may change the picture.
                        If you build a barn that is not completely enclosed, leave one side open, it may qualify for a shed, not a barn at much lower tax rate.

                        Just find out what all that may be in that location.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by clanter View Post
                          whatever you build will be one stall too small, always
                          The sequel to this is "Nature abhors and empty stall"
                          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump