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barn and arena building questions

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  • barn and arena building questions

    Some of you may remember my thread from a little while ago about whether I should "go big or go home". Well, after obtaining some more quotes, I found that "going big", really didn't cost much more than staying small, so I've decided to go with an indoor arena that is a full dressage rings side
    Now, I am tweaking the barn plan. Barn will be attached to the long side of the arena. Here are some ideas that I am wrestling with.
    1) Do I put a loft area above the barn? My plan would be to put a large viewing lounge overlooking the ring, bathroom and maybe a laundry room up there, as well as hay storage. My concern is that I have seen many barns with fancy viewing lounges, and they seem empty most of the time. A friend did point out though that it's nice to have a warm place to change clothes, have a fridge, microwave, and couch to sleep on if someone is on foal watch or keeping an eye on a colicy horse. What about the safety of keeping hay in the barn? People say it's a fire hazard, but it seems like almost every barn around here has hay storage above. The loft does at a significant cost to the building, but would add about 2800 feet of usable space.

    2)How big does the tack room need to be? It's an 8 stall barn. Current plan has the tack room at 16x12. Is it better to have tack lockers or a communal tackroom? I am thinking of having a second "private" tack room for myself, but I would lose a stall that way.

    3) Do you think an 10x12 feed room is big enough to house grain, hay for a few days, wheelbarrows and pitchforks? Seems small to me.

    4)Should I have a heated room for hanging blankets to dry, or is that going over the top? It does get very cold around here (I'm in Ontario) so damp blankets hung in a cold barn over night basically freeze solid. Also, I hate untidy blankets hanging off of stall doors. I prefer them to be out of sight.

    5) Do I need a "man door" from the outside of the building to the indoor arena? There will be a overhead garage door and of course and entrance from the barn into the arena. I can't seen why I would need a man door, but the builder suggested it.

    6)kickboards will be tongue and groove pine. Does vertical boards or horizontal look better?
    www.saraalberni.com

  • #2
    I don't have anything helpful to add, other than - all the barns I've been at with viewing room/lounge areas, have them on the ground floor. If they're heated (radiant floor heat is nice), they're more likely to be used downstairs vs. upstairs.
    Oh - also, #6 - Horizontal kick boards, definately.
    Also, I'd like to request - could you please move your wonderful new facility (once it's built, of course) down to this area?! Good luck - sounds like you're thinking of everything!
    Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe

    Comment


    • #3
      Horizontal kick boards, vertical would be a nightmare to build as you would need horizontal boards behind them for support.

      Make sure you have good access to the barn from the gable ends, as these areas will remain free of snow coming off the roof.

      Man door nice, but not necessary.

      10x12 would be pretty small for what you state.

      Just make sure your viewing room won't be looking through the trusses of the arena. You are either going to need a very low ceiling in the stall barn, or a very high ceiling in the arena. We have 10' in the stall barn and 14+ in the arena and it would put the bottom of the trusses right at window height. I highly recommend 10' in the stall barn.

      BTW, go big the first time. We have already added a 48x48 stall barn and are figuring out how to afford adding 64' to the arena. 70x120 was huge when we built it, now it feels like a big round pen.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just an idea...

        Several boarding barns I have been to have on of the far corners of the stalls closed off and they make them in to a tack locker. So each stall has it's own tack locker and there is a tie ring up on the wall. The people just groom and tack in the stall I guess.

        Most of the viewing rooms I have seen are on the ground floor as well.

        RE: heated blanket room. I live in a cold climate as well and know all about blanket-sicles. A small room with some heat and possibly a ceiling fan would be wonderful!

        RE: Kick boards. A friend that just did a nice indoor went with vertical boards. Her reasoning was that if one got kicked and broken she would only have to replace one four foot board.
        Kanoe Godby
        www.dyrkgodby.com
        See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

        Comment


        • #5
          What fun! Planning a wonderful facility. Good for you!

          I won't say that I have absolute answers for you, but I can give you some ways of looking at things. For perspective, I have 11 stalls (5 of which are filled with my horses) and a 55 meter x 20 meter indoor, which was here when we bought the place, so my comments might or might not apply to your situation.

          Firstly, the best situation I've seen for wet blankets is at Ledyard Farm, and I think it was designed by Neil Ayer. They have a 12 x 8 "cabinet" (for lack of a better term) that runs floor to ceiling that has a heat vent at the bottom and an exhaust fan to the outside at the top. Blankets dry without stinking up the place. Brilliant!

          For sizing a tack room, assume 2 saddles per boarder, two bridle hooks (at least) a large trunk and shelf space for hard hats and what not. Lay one of these areas out on paper and see if it would work for you. Make adjustments, measure and multiply to figure out how much wall space you'll need and that will help define your tack room. I made myself a locker in my previous barn and really liked it. It had room for 4 saddles (2 above, 2 below), a shelf above them, and bridle racks on the insides of the double doors. But we had no heat in that tack room. My current one is heated and I didn't build lockers because I wanted air to circulate and maximum flexibility.

          We have a hay loft with good fire protection. We can fit a year's worth of hay and shavings up there, and not having to leave the building to get supplies in bad weather is great. I'm going to build cubbies up there for out of season blanket storage, because those just take over IMHO.

          See if you can figure out a way to have covered access to what ever your manure removal system is. We have a garage bay attached to the barn aisle for our dump truck. The aisle is flush with the bed of the dump body, so manure is just wheeled in. Also great in rotten weather.

          Think about having some separation (even a covered breezeway) between the barn and the indoor. Otherwise the dust is a nightmare.

          On your indoor, think about whatever you might need for it: jumps, a drag, water source, a place for an instructor to sit that's not in the viewing area. I really wish I had a shed attachment to mine for at least the jumps, if not the drag. Maybe someday. Also, we pull our drag with a (very) old lawn tractor. Works well and doesn't take much space. But neither it nor the drag can be left outside to freeze under the snow, so think about that, too.

          I think the viewing area is a lovely idea, but I don't miss not having one. I'd weigh the benefit of having a slightly nicer heated/ bathroom/ laundry/ couch tack room (maybe with a ground level window to the indoor?) against the viewing area.

          And as with the tack room, figure out how much feed and hay you want to store "on the floor", add up dimensions and size your feed area from that. We manage to do it in less than 13x13, but YMMV.

          Thanks for letting me play on this fun project! Please let us know what you finally decide to do, and DON"T tell my boarders about your place. They will all emigrate just to be there.
          They don't call me frugal for nothing.
          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            ok, just talked to my builder and the loft would be an additional $25,000 so that idea is out.
            A few more questions . . .
            Is a 10 foot wide, 12 feet deep wash rack wide enough? Or should I go for 12 by 12? I am thinking of stealing an extra 2 feet from the wash rack to make the tack room a little bigger.
            Also, what are the dimensions of a typical tack locker?
            www.saraalberni.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I may have missed this, but what are the dimensions of your planned barn, and what kind (as in shape) of roof are you putting on?
              They don't call me frugal for nothing.
              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                I may have missed this, but what are the dimensions of your planned barn, and what kind (as in shape) of roof are you putting on?
                Barn dimensions are 78' feet by 36'. 12 x 12 stalls and 12' aisleway. I am not sure I know how to describe what the roof line looks like. I will see if I can upload the plans.
                www.saraalberni.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Forte View Post
                  Barn dimensions are 78' feet by 36'. 12 x 12 stalls and 12' aisleway. I am not sure I know how to describe what the roof line looks like. I will see if I can upload the plans.
                  Remember 36' Wide barns will not give you true 12 X 12 Stalls. Most of them end up (if you're lucky) being 11'5" X 11'5" and a 11'8" aisle.

                  It's a pet peeve of mine that you may not mind but that extra 5" on each side really makes a difference to me.
                  Your New York Horse Farm Real Estate Broker

                  http://www.exclusivelyequineproperties.com/

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                  • #10
                    I would def. use the extra two feet for the tack room. IMO, 10' for a wash stall is plenty big for most horses.
                    Barn rat for life

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sounds like you are building something similar in size to what we recently built (and are slowly finishing on the inside).

                      The tack room sounds a bit on the small side, especially if you plan to have boarders who will all want to store some stuff.

                      Storing hay above a barn just gives me the heebie jeebies, sorry. There may be an insurance implication to that as well. We have a hay shed elsewhere and store one week's worth of hay in the barn. Back of the pickup is loaded, driven into the barn and unstacked on Sunday and that is it for the week.

                      You may find yourself adding more doors to your arena than you planned once the Fire Commissioner's office gets a hold of your plans. I too built an indoor to accomadate a full size dressage ring (plus room to ride around a ring set up inside the arena) and ended up with an indoor that is 84' by 200'. The barn is attached. Based on the size of the structure, it was deemed a "commercial" size (even though it is a completely private facility, I don't board) and they required us to have two additional exits from the arena. I do have one that I use, from time to time and people can enter the arena without going into the barn. I did want that door. However, I have one completely useless door on the far side of the arena that is never used. First person we talked to even wanted us to install a lighted EXIT sign above the door and have a push bar type door. Second person in the office did not insist on that so we didn't install those things. I wanted one human door but the other one on the far side of the arena is never used at all. So my arena has multiple big doors (so all equipment can easily get in and out and so I can open it up for ventilation when it is warm) and two human doors. Crazy.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by hudsonhunter View Post
                        Remember 36' Wide barns will not give you true 12 X 12 Stalls. Most of them end up (if you're lucky) being 11'5" X 11'5" and a 11'8" aisle.

                        It's a pet peeve of mine that you may not mind but that extra 5" on each side really makes a difference to me.
                        Good point, I will adjust my plans to accomodate true 12' stalls and aisleway
                        www.saraalberni.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hudsonhunter View Post
                          Remember 36' Wide barns will not give you true 12 X 12 Stalls. Most of them end up (if you're lucky) being 11'5" X 11'5" and a 11'8" aisle.

                          It's a pet peeve of mine that you may not mind but that extra 5" on each side really makes a difference to me.

                          Bing bing bing! Absolutely true. And don't forget that the posts supporting the interior stall walls and those walls themselves take up space. If you truly want the interior dimensions of each stall to be 13x13, make sure your designer knows that. It'll grow the dimensions of your barn a bit.

                          As to the roof, if it is the typical peaked roof (you know, like we all drew on houses when we were kids), you will already have a loft at no additional expense. You just won't be able to stand where the roof drops to meet the floor.

                          I know that there are many people who feel loft storage for hay and shavings is unsafe, and I respect that. There are many good reasons not to, especially if you can afford a separate building to house all that stuff.

                          Don't try to upload plans as I probably would ruin my computer drooling over them anyway. And ditto wcporter on the wash stall size.
                          They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I just finished my barn and arena. My barn is also 8 stalls and my arena is 94x160. I wish the arena was 200' but because it's so wide, we really don't mind the shorter length. The wide/short worked better on our property and we were restricted with size because of the zoning. We do have a man door beside the big door of the arena. I recomend it. We use it often to run outside without going through the barn and it keeps the arena warmer to not open the big door. Mozart, we had to put in exit signs as well! I do not have a viewing area, but the best one I ever saw was at the kick board height and open the the arena and everyone used it all the time. In my experience no one uses the overhead ones. My kickboards are vertical and 6' high. They are on an angle and it's much preferable to straight.

                            My stalls are all 12x12 except one 11x10 and one 12x18 foaling. My wash rack is 12x12 but I wish it were narrower. 12x10 or even 9 ft would be better, steal the space you need for the tack for sure. In retrospect I wish I had put the washrack on the other side of the alleyway to have a bigger tack room. I hate that wasted 2' in the washrack. Be cautious, I couldn't put some stuff where I wanted (like overhead doors becuase of beams and supports), so sometiems you can't use the space down to the foot like I thought I could.

                            My tack room is also a mechanical room, it is 12x20. Around 12x14 of that is tack, the rest is mechanical. We have a washer/dryer and fridge on the mechanical side. We are in the process of building 'lockers'. My barn is private and I have a few boarders who are friends. I wanted the openess of the tack room, so the lockers do not have fronts. They each have 2 bridle hooks and one saddle rack, plus other hooks, a shelf up top and three drawers at the base for storage. Minimum width for a locker with a saddle is 23", about 22" deep. Use your height, our ceiling is 10' in there. Our saddles are at 6' with everything else stored below. Works well. I did not have room for a private tack room but would have been nice. I have enough room for 8 of these 'lockers'. Each could have two saddle racks stacked if you wanted. I also have a 'kitchen' counter in there with a microwave and coffee maker and cups and stuff. I wanted to have a couch somewhere and might actually put one in the alley! ha ha. Our barn is heated, so no need for seperate heated area.
                            My bathroom is beside the wash rack.

                            My barn is an L to the attached arena, because we did not have stalls down the side of the arena, we built an overhang all along one side. I store hay, bedding, tractor and jumps under the overhang. I love this set up. I have no problem with storing hay in or next to a barn. If it's good hay put up dry it shouldn't be a problem. Mine is outside so I'm not worried at all about it.

                            My feed room is 5.5x9. It's big enough for 4 feed bins and all of our shovels/rakes. Definitely can not fit the wheelbarrow. If it were 10x9 we coudl fit the wheelbarrow and extra feed in there but I stole the space to make a chicken coop

                            My alleys are 16' wide which is nice but not nescessarry. I would recomend going with 14' if you can. It means you can turn a kubota around in there and have trunks in the alley if you want without them getting in the way.

                            Only thing I wish I had was a 'miscellany' room to put extra stuff in but I wasn't willing to give up a stall to get it. Right now we are using the foaling stall for that, and I think going forward that's what we will do outside of foaling season.

                            Have fun, so excited for you!!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We use the man door all the time, so we don't have to open the door to the heated barn if coming in from the outside. Nice if you are hosting a clinic or something and don't want a bunch of strangers wandering through your barn too. I'd make it 4' wide so you can bring a tacked-up horse through easily.

                              I like a 10' wash stall. Any wider and they sometimes want to turn around in cross-ties. Just my opinion.

                              Tack lockers will keep it neater. Like I have a surcingle with an attached girth hanging lopsided on my saddle rack right now at the barn. And a lead with a 30" chain on the end on my bridle hook. Sometimes I hang full chaps there. That's not "pretty." I have seen tack lockers around 3' wide. Big enough to fit a western saddle or an English saddle and some "stuff." Usually stacked 2 high. Usually at big boarding facilities where you aren't allowed a trunk too (we stored blankets and off-season stuff on top of the lockers though in Rubbermade containers). They will stink if people put wet stuff in there. I think with your number of stalls it makes sense to just go with whatever appeals to you. Random, but I do love barns with a big utility sink with a tack hook hanging above to clean tack with. I also like a true, enclosed toilet room that you can change in.

                              My friend has a heated lounge and it NEVER gets used as a lounge (i.e. to watch the arena). People just tend to go in the indoor so they can hear and see everything up close. If I were building an indoor, and could swing it, I would sacrifice 10' of the end for chairs (or a platform if you do clinics) and perhaps the other half of that would be a place to park a drag, put jumps, etc. as someone mentioned. I would like it walled off for safety and to keep the footing in the ring.

                              What colors are you going with? I'm very excited for you! FUN.
                              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                one thing to consider is ground level storage for hay. We switched to big squares and now wish we had not put in a hay loft.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Man doors are nice in the winter, if you have an icy wind blowing and have to open up the garage door it's not fun . BUT, be sure the man door doesn't open onto the arena track, try to have it open into the aisle or a walkway.


                                  Lofts,with hay?, sometimes the insurance isn't so good.


                                  My trainer's viewing room takes up one end of the covered arena and they built it by making a little box with a deck on top and store mainly carts up there. In another barn it was fancy jump standards on top of the tack room. Nobody seems to want to climb stairs for an upstairs viewing room.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have seen western commercial barns here with a viewing room and bathrooms below and the office/some times judging stand above.

                                    I agree, don't store large amounts of flammable, hay and bedding, in the same structure if you can avoid it.

                                    Why don't you ask the local fire department to come by and see what pointers they can give you?

                                    I did here and they want if possible to have water sources away from buildings for their trucks, at least 100' between buildings and easy access all around any buildings, with bigger gates away from them where their trucks can get around them to fight fires from whatever side they need to approach.

                                    We have two 20' stock tanks close but on the other side of the parking lot, where they can get water pumped onto their water tankers.

                                    They also helped with the placement of electric boxes/main breakers, etc.

                                    Once you build, ask them again, so they can help with exits and fire extinguishers by them.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      1) Do I put a loft area above the barn? We have it above - adds insulation and also have a small viewing room up there - mainly use it to store extra tack and blankets in the summer. You could easily add a little area to hang blankets up there. We also have a separate building for the round bales/tractor.

                                      2)How big does the tack room need to be? It's an 8 stall barn. Current plan has the tack room at 16x12. Is it better to have tack lockers or a communal tackroom? I am thinking of having a second "private" tack room for myself, but I would lose a stall that way. I would have lockers - just give yourself an extra big locker. We don't have lockers but if I had to do it over again I would do lockers.
                                      3) Do you think an 10x12 feed room is big enough to house grain, hay for a few days, wheelbarrows and pitchforks? Seems small to me. Not big enough

                                      4)Should I have a heated room for hanging blankets to dry, or is that going over the top? It does get very cold around here (I'm in Ontario) so damp blankets hung in a cold barn over night basically freeze solid. Also, I hate untidy blankets hanging off of stall doors. I prefer them to be out of sight. Put space in your viewing room for this

                                      5) Do I need a "man door" from the outside of the building to the indoor arena? There will be a overhead garage door and of course and entrance from the barn into the arena. I can't seen why I would need a man door, but the builder suggested it. I think it is a good idea

                                      6)kickboards will be tongue and groove pine. Does vertical boards or horizontal look better? Vertical is easier to replace if one gets kicked or broken in the future.

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