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Making Barn Plans - Need input (feed area, utility room, etc.)

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  • Making Barn Plans - Need input (feed area, utility room, etc.)

    I am planning a barn in Wisconsin for my family; it's not going to be a big commercial barn. It is going to be a 4 stall barn with a wash stall, a heated tack room, and a utility room. 2 - 24' x 24' "garage" areas will be attached, one for hay and one for our tractor and horse trailer. The whole thing will end up being about 48' x 72' including the attached 3-sided run-ins. I'm not going for fancy, but I want efficient and well-thought-out. The biggest advice everyone tells me is to give myself room to grow, so I am trying to do that without breaking the bank.


    Questions:
    1) Feed areas: I've seen quite a few people build an actual feed room. Just wondering what the advantages are of this. Can I get by with just a feed area that is open to the barn or would it be worth it to make into a separate room?
    2) Utility room: How big to make it? Should I combine it with the feed room and make it a 12 x 12 square? If I have a wash stall, do I also need a utility sink? I don't want to put one in if I'll never use it.
    3) Blanket area - Where is the best place to hang blankets to dry and store?
    4) What is the best size for a tack room. Is 12 x 12 enough?

    Thanks everyone!

  • #2
    Put up a separate place for the blankets. They make a tack room stink.

    But again, if you are in a colder area, you don't want them to hang to dry in the aisle or something alike, as they might take forever to dry up. So I would put an heated feed room, about 12x12, mice proof, where you store your feed bags, some tools, have a blanket rack so they can dry, water and a big sink, etc. Plus it is safer to have an enclosed area for the feed, in case a wise horse gets out of his stall and tries to open the bins to have a midnight snack.
    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
    Visit EdA's Facebook page!

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    • #3
      I keep my feed in the tack room with the door closed to marauding horses. So far, none of them have learned to turn the knob on the door.

      Now that I have an extra stall, I just hang blankets to dry in the extra stall, but they can take forever to dry if it's cold and damp. I will, on occasion, hang them in the tack room with a fan on them to dry them quickly...but my tack room is not heated.

      I'm not a fan of storing a tractor near hay...will you have a firewall between the two?

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd say put your utilities and feed in the same area - use the space. If you can put a sink in there, you can also use it for tack cleaning, though I would suggest that be a part of the tack room. Obviously a heated or warmed tack room would be better.

        If you wanted it all heated - re: mice issue in the winter against the grain - you could make it a 24 x 12 space, and add a few closets at one end for your utilities, then combine your grain and tack space.

        A long wall might be really good to open up blanket drying space!
        The Rodeo Project - Tracking an Event Horse

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        • #5
          For the ease of mind, masonry firewalls between the garage areas and the barn and fire stop dry wall in the heated tack room (at least 5/8 drywall)

          Or seperate the garage storage areas , you could have a covered walkway between those storage areas

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheHappyHorsewife View Post
            4) What is the best size for a tack room. Is 12 x 12 enough?
            Whatever size you built it will be just a bit smaller than you need. We have Morgans, the tack room is full, the garage is full of tack also, then there are the trunks full of stuff in the spare areas of the barn. We have overhead storage, which is also full... now that everything is full nothing more can be bought, job done.

            Comment


            • #7
              Contact your local County Extension Agent. They will have a file of plans for different barn configurations.

              Hit a big bookstore like Books-a-Million and you'll find books of barn plans. You'll also find them on Amazon, but I like to buy DIY books "hands on."

              I'd not put a tractor and hay storage under the same roof as a livestock barn. I'd use a separate building. It need not be far away, but should be separate. Hay is a significant fire hazard; tractors carry lots of POL products. Neither, IMO, are a positive in a stock barn.

              Combining functions is a Good Thing. A combination utility/tack room should not be an issue. Feed ought to have its own location as feed draws rodents and varmints. The feed area ought to be accessible to the barn cats. Cats in tack rooms can cause issues.

              You're in WI? Where they have 9 months of winter and three months of poor sledding? Heat the wash stall. And plan on using it during cold months as your farrier area. Your farrier will truly appreciate this.

              Travel around you local area and see what other folks have done. This is a great way to see both "do bees" and "don't bees."

              Specifics:
              1) Feed areas: I've seen quite a few people build an actual feed room. Just wondering what the advantages are of this. Can I get by with just a feed area that is open to the barn or would it be worth it to make into a separate room?

              An open area is OK. Just make sure you can secure individual feed bins.

              2) Utility room: How big to make it? Should I combine it with the feed room and make it a 12 x 12 square? If I have a wash stall, do I also need a utility sink? I don't want to put one in if I'll never use it.

              What will you be doing in the utility room? Make it big enough for that. If what you'll be doing is not incompatible with tack storage then combine the two functions.

              A "deep sink" is useful for lots of things. Cost is low and utility high.

              3) Blanket area - Where is the best place to hang blankets to dry and store?

              Tack room if either climate controlled or with a dehumidifier.

              4) What is the best size for a tack room. Is 12 x 12 enough?

              Yes. You'll fill 110% of it no matter how big you make it!!!

              Good luck in your project.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

              Comment


              • #8
                My barn has a 12x12 utility/feed room and a 12X24 tack room. I wish that the sizes were reversed or that I had combined them into a single room. A room where you can store feed so it is not accessible to a loose horse is a big plus as others have noted. The utility room has a stainless sink and drain board attached. I use it every day, from washing the dogs to soaking beet pulp. I have 4 feed bins stuffed in there, along with cabinets/shelving to hold supplies, a mini fridge and the water heater is in this room as well. Another thing I should have done is to install a drain in the floor with a slight slope to the drain to make clean up easier.

                The tack room has my tack, and a seating/sleeping area that we used to camp out in when I have a sick horse or foaling mare (closed circuit camera to the stalls). It's just me, so that area is enough. The saddlle racks are very space efficient as they are from trailers of harness racing friends who had no need for them. I've been toying with the idea of moving some of the supplies to that room to free up some space in the utility room.

                All the decor is in early american curb side :-).
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!

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                • #9
                  Would not put horses, tractor, and hay under same roof unless you do firewalls between, as others suggest. My biggest regret in my own barn is having hay stored in same building with horses. Although I'm not sure regret is the right word for something I didn't have much choice in at the time! But I still hope and plan to put up a separate building for hay. Someday.

                  My tack and feed are in one room, about 12x12. I have 3 horses. The space is tight but works ok. If you go with a separate feed area and then a 12x12 tack, I bet you will do all right. I prefer feed being in an enclosed room and not open. I've never had rodents in my tack/feed as I'm diligent about keeping the door closed and it was built properly.

                  I don't have to worry much about blankets drying as mine dry on the horses most of the time, but I've seen others talk about a blanket closet and I think that is a great idea. If you had something like that built into a wall near the tack or other heated room, and figured out a way to heat it...that would be such a neat thing. Have to rodent proof it too, lest they move in.

                  Good luck with your project!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a combintion feed/tack room that is 8x12. It is plenty big enough for me (no boarders.)

                    Along one of the 12' walls, I have 6 saddle racks, 2 bridle racks that hold 6 bridles each, and 3 bars that I hang saddle pads, etc. on.

                    One the short wall, I have storage drawers of various sizes that stack to make a unit - bought those at Wal Mart. They have medicine, wraps, etc. in them.

                    On the other long wall, I keep my feed and have a standing shelving unit with supplements. Have another standing shelving unit with grooming stuff, fly spray, etc. and another set of stackable drawers with misc. stuff in it.

                    It is plenty big for me and has worked great for 4 years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One thing that I did in the feed room was put a shelf where individual pitchers can be lined up on from the inside right above the grain bins. It has a drop down flap on the wall right behind it that opens out on the aisleway. Go in the room to fill the pitchers, each with the horse's name on it, then do out in the aisleway, drop the flap, and deliver 4 at the time to the right buckets.

                      It saves going in and out of the feed room more than once per feeding.

                      We started with an 8 x 12 tackroom years ago, and then during one barn enlargement (there were several), we took in the 10' wide stall beside it, and made the room 12 x 18.
                      www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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                      • #12
                        You can do feed bins in the open aisle, as long as they're horse-proof. At one barn, they constructed very sturdy bins with plywood and 2x4s. Build it as small or big as you want, and you can attach it to the wall behind it to make sure it's totally secure. The key to making it horseproof was that the lids lifted upwards and had a recessed handle (something like this). So there was nothing that a horse (or raccoon) could effectively grab to lift the lid. The other nice thing they did was to slope the floor of the bins forward, so the last bits of grain would settle at the front where it was easy to scoop up. Here is a crude drawing. I plan on building something like this once I get my barn floor in.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                          I keep my feed in the tack room with the door closed to marauding horses. So far, none of them have learned to turn the knob on the door.

                          Now that I have an extra stall, I just hang blankets to dry in the extra stall, but they can take forever to dry if it's cold and damp. I will, on occasion, hang them in the tack room with a fan on them to dry them quickly...but my tack room is not heated.

                          I'm not a fan of storing a tractor near hay...will you have a firewall between the two?
                          Yes, for sure. I wanted to keep the hay totally separate. There will be a firewall between the hay and the barn and between the hay and tractor area. Thanks for the input!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by clanter View Post
                            Whatever size you built it will be just a bit smaller than you need. We have Morgans, the tack room is full, the garage is full of tack also, then there are the trunks full of stuff in the spare areas of the barn. We have overhead storage, which is also full... now that everything is full nothing more can be bought, job done.
                            You made my husband laugh when he read this. He thought it was very wise!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks everyone! I am going to save all of your suggestions as we continue planning. I will definitely check back on this thread, though, so keep the suggestions coming if you have them.

                              If anyone has any pictures of small-medium horse barns and/or layout ideas, let me know! I love to look and see what others have done.

                              Also, we are going to look further into a separate hay storage building versus having one big building with a firewall. Please keep chiming in your opinion on this issue. Thanks!

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