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Metal barn vs. board and batten?

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  • Metal barn vs. board and batten?

    Would love opinions. Metal is cheaper. I'm fine with the look - would prefer the look of board and batten but it's significantly more expensive, plus more maintenance. Good? Bad? (barn would be in VA, good breezy location on hill, center aisle)

    And opinions on metal roof? Too loud?? He said they could plywood underneath which helps. Please tell me your experiences....did you get metal and wish you hadn't or vice versa? Thanks!

  • #2
    Practically every structure like barns, garages and warehouses around here are metal clad, most also metal framed.

    I don't see any disadvantage to it, you can insulate as you wish, spray foam or other, you need to cover where horses may live against the barn anyway, metal or any other, or they can scratch, bend or tear it.

    We have not had any such problem, but have seen where some barns have been damaged some where horses had access to the sides of them without some protection.

    The least wood you use, the more fire proof you can make your barn, also taking into consideration what else you have in there that is flammable, of course.

    Here, wood is imported and very expensive, the closest mills are in NM/CO in the mountains and the quality today is not very good, plus so much of it is too green to use without later problems.

    Metal roofs without some insulation are noisy with rain and hail, but then, how much and for how long does it rain where you are?

    On the other hand, we have metal roofs now a good 80 years old that are still like new, while any shingled roofs here have to be re-roofed very often, costing on the end way more than any metal roof ever did.


    • #3
      My barn has a metal roof with OSB sheets underneath it. I also have outside run-in shelters with metal on the roof but w/out the wood underneath. The outside shelters are MUCH louder when the rain is falling than the barn.

      Now my barn roof is quite high - 32 feet at the peak which probably also contributes - but i have never regretted doing the OSB sheets an not insulating.


      • #4
        We have bare metal in the shop and it is LOUD, it can be sprinkling outside and sounds like cats and dogs inside. My trainer has a fully insulated roof and her interior walls have full lining, kickboards on the bottom and some sort of pretty beadboard on top. It only sounds like a deluge inside when there really is a deluge outside.
        My DH wishes they'd insulated the shop just to make it more useable year round.
        Metal lasts longer than boards and needn't be painted half as often, but sometimes it does need paint or to be replaced - I'm thinking of the galv roofing panels that start to rust.
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible


        • #5
          My b/o put up a 120x200' metal building that houses the indoor arena and attached barn. She insulated everything, including the ceiling. While it can get loud in a real downpour, it really doesn't make that much difference most of the time. The funny thing about the metal roof it that it always makes it sound like it's raining a lot harder than it usually is.

          She put skylights in, but has mixed feelings about them. They leaked after a few years, but they were reset and have been fine since.
          Providence sometimes takes care of idiots. Agnes Morley Cleaveland in No Life for a Lady.


          • #6
            I did metal on the exterior everywhere except behind the stalls under the run in - that is T&G to kick height and T1-11 above. Horses have never touched it but it can take a kick with out too much damage to the wood or the horse.

            We did a shingle roof on the barn because at the time the distributor was running a great deal on 30 year arch shingles so we bought enough for the house and the barn - DH did both buildings so our only cost was materials.

            When I stand in the barn during a heavy rain I am glad I didn't go with a metal roof because it is so much quieter.


            • #7
              We have a metal building with a metal roof and love it. Our previous barn was wood and it was constant maintenance. The metal just requires a power washing once in a while.

              The underside of our metal roof is foam insulated and that keeps the noise down. We have a faux stone on the lower part of the barn that boarders the pastures.
              A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


              • #8
                We have a composite roof to match our house and board and batten exterior on the barn. We were going to go with metal roofing at first, then decided to match the house and I am so glad we did as it is so much quieter than metal. And we get a lot of rain here! I will add that the metal roofed barns I've been in here have been either uninsulated or barely insulated so there are probably quieter options. Cost was a factor as well as metal at that time was significantly higher priced than going composite.

                On the exterior, we wanted something to go with our house, which has a very NW Craftsman feel, and metal wasn't right aesthetically. Plus, I'm just not a fan of metal barns. So we did board and batten and found that was a mistake on the side with horse access (my stalls open out to an overhang area on one side, then paddocks...horses have 24/7 in/out access). The bats were just the right shape and size to provide hours of entertainment, chewing and yanking them off! We added on to the barn last summer and had all the remaining bats pulled off the horse side and just have sheets of Breckinridge (textured plywood stuff, same as rest of exterior) there. No more fun for the boys! Rest of exterior with bats is fine. Just have to watch if you do any slider doors that they aren't going to catch the bats and get stuck or pull them off.

                With our barn, it stays nicely cool in summer and warm in winter and is much more comfortable than metal barns I've been in around here. I get the fire concern, going wood over metal, but really have to think that what's going to go up in flames will be all the stuff inside (shavings and hay in particular), so even if we have a metal shell standing in the end, how much good is that? But I'm not in a dry area where fire might be more of a constant concern.


                • #9
                  While we're on the subject, any idea what a 25'X25' metal building for a barn approximately costs? (just the delivered kit, nothing else)

                  I need to set up a barn later this year at my hobby farm in New Hampshire (driveway, well and septic is in, yay!!).

                  All I need is two 12X12 stalls, the 12 by 25 aisle, and I'll just set it up on footings and paver the aisle. Foam sheet insulate the roof and sides, hinged stall fronts, etc....


                  • #10
                    We have a metal barn with an insulated roof; I like the sound of the rain so that doesn't bother me. The only thing I don't like about a metal building is the dings/dents. I want to frame out our corners and door frames in wood, horses just seem to tear them up and once they're torn up they're dangerous.

                    I'd probably prefer wood if given the option.
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                    • #11
                      We have a 6 stall (well, 5 + tack room) metal barn with an insulated roof. We built it about 15 years ago and it looks just about new with very little maintenance, just a pressure wash every couple of years. The insulated roof plus some shade from the trees out back keep it nice and cool in the summer. I would agree with cowboymom that the dings are probably the most annoying thing but that said, we haven't had much trouble with it as my guys don't get too crazy outside of the barn. We did wood sliding doors for the stalls which are probably the biggest maintenance issue. The doors on the paddock side need repainting every couple of years. The middle stall on the front side of the barn has a big slider. I LOVE the big slider. In the past we've stored the tractor in there. I've also used it for shavings - I can back the truck right into it and unload the shavings, then access them from the aisle side during stall cleaning. If I ever add another set of paddocks on the front I figure I'll open it all the way up and use it as run in shelter. It has made the barn very versatile, probably the best feature we chose.

                      Here are pics of ours from about a year ago:

                      Front Side:

                      Back/Paddock Side:

                      Aisle Side (Don't judge me for the redneck tarp area... We were mid-chicken coop build and clearly behind on some lawn mowing ):


                      • #12
                        We have a 6 stall (well, 5 + tack room) metal barn with an insulated roof. We built it about 15 years ago and it looks just about new with very little maintenance, just a pressure wash every couple of years. I would agree with cowboymom that the dings are the most annoying thing but I haven't had much trouble with it. I've only got paddocks on one side and they can't get to the corners so I haven't had issues there. We did wood sliding doors for the stalls, and the middle stall on the front has a big slider. I LOVE the big slider. We've used it to store the tractor and if I ever add another set of paddocks on the front I figure I'll open it all the way up and use it as run in shelter.

                        Here are pics of ours from about a year ago:



                        Don't judge me for the redneck tarp area... We were mid-chicken coop build and clearly behind on some lawn mowing


                        • #13
                          I know it sounds weird by check CL for metal buildings, (there is also a website specifically for used metal buildings).

                          I bought a 48 x 36 building, new, never put up (minus the lumber) for 7k from CL
                          I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                          • #14
                            We have a metal barn, uninsulated, center aisle, six stalls plus feed room and hay storage. Attached run in. I love it. It's almost 20 years old, virtually no maintenance. Everyone who comes here comments on what a nice barn it is ... I can't take credit, it was here when I bought the place.

                            As for me, I LOVE the sound of rain on the roof. One of my favorite things is to plunk myself down on a bale of hay, listen to the rain on the roof, horses munching away in their stalls all comfy cozy .. And watch the rain pouring down outside. Wouldn't trade it for the world!


                            • #15
                              I have a board and batten barn where there is a small section that the horses can get to. They have chewed off the battens several feet up : ( I am undecided at this point what I am going to do, but I don't think I am going to replace them....


                              • #16
                                My parents (non horse people!) built my me and my sister a barn when we were teens. Best parents ever, right?' We did board and batten. Freakin love it. My dad and his buddies built it about 15 years ago and it's still perfect. We're in central va. We have 2 front stalls, a large tack room and an extra hay storage area/4th stall. On the back side we have a huge over hang where we keep tractors/equipment. An extra plus is that one of the stalls backs up to the main (sacrifice) field and hasn't run in off the barn

                                ETA I've had 5 or 6 horses here over 15 years and none have chewed the barn.
                                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.