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Windows or Dutch Doors?

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  • Windows or Dutch Doors?

    We continue to upgrade our little barn, and as we work our way through this project it occurs to me that the stalls are very dark (and dreary). There are no windows in the horse barn section. So, I would like to remedy this.

    First -- I am nixing any sky lights, based on my previous leaky sky light experience. Though I love the light, I didn't love the leaks (now fixed, fingers crossed) ... also I cannot really control that light, which I may regret when the temps soar to 112 F this summer!

    Next -- I would like to add turn-outs to the stalls "someday," but I do not have them now. Adding them will be a significant expense because three of the stalls have no overhang, and would need one ... nor would those turn outs lead directly to fenced-in pasture in our current foot print (though this could be changed, too).

    So ... Should I consider windows for each stall or bite the bullet and go ahead with dutch doors? I believe windows would be significantly cheaper and would solve my current problem. If and when we get around to building the turnouts, though ...

    Thoughts? Experience? Advice? Thanks!

  • #2
    Love our Dutch doors and I think the ponies do to, they are always hanging their heads out, good cross breeze with the aisle. If you are eventually going to need them anyway why spend $ on windows only to remove them later, just go with the doors, just my .02. Also from a saftey stand point if the unspeakable happens you have an alternate exit to get the horses out.
    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


    • #3
      If you plan to add turn out stalls it makes good sense to go ahead and do the doors now, otherwise the window money is really wasted once you have to take them out. Also, for fire or other emergencies, the doors could make the difference in saving your horses.
      Epona Farm
      Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

      Join us on Facebook


      • #4
        Have to agree with those others weighing in! My stalls have large barred windows, BUT....the property line is about 10 ft. away from that back wall, too, so there was no sense in using Dutch doors instead for me. In your case, I'd go the door route and get that expense done....you'll then have the option for the overhang and the runs/fencing later.---WILL say, I like the idea of: the top half of the dutch doors being framed/barred for 'enclosure' but airflow when you'd like just that availability vs. totally closed or totally open..(some bad storms/or horses that tend to freak and try to escape over, etc etc)
        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
        --Jimmy Buffett


        • Original Poster

          If you have dutch doors, would you mind posting a photo?

          Any experience with them being leaky? Like -- if there's a driving rain, and I don't have the overhangs done, is it going to drive right into the stalls?


          • #6
            Definitely do the Dutch doors if you can. They are so wonderful...even without private runs. I bring all the horses in and out through their Dutch doors...so easy and safe not to have them barging in the aisle, crowding the gate, etc.

            Here is a pic you can see mine in the background: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

            Mine are loved enough that I moved the pony into my young horse's stall while he is at the trainer because her stall doesn't have a door and his does. Makes me want to install one for her....so nice. Worth it...a must have for me from here on out. She has just a window because the auto watered is behind her stall. Just less convenient.

            By the way, mine have a top and bottom...if a horse is fractious I can shut them all the way in, which I have done at times like when I took a buddy away, brought a new horse in, blizzards, etc. I clip them back against the wall 99% of the time.


            • #7
              Don't have a photo, but no problem with leakage in driving rain because top door and bottom door meet in an "L" shape with vertical side on the lower door. Thus, the opening at bottom of upper door is below the top of the L and the water, if any, runs down the outside. Likewise, there is a block all around the opening on the inside where the halves butt up against the barn wall, so the water will not have direct access and will run down to the outside.

              Hope you can "see" what I'm saying.


              • #8
                I have the Dutch doors in my new barn. They give lots of light even when closed, and when the top is open the ventilation is great and the horses love to hang their heads out. I use them for turning out as well - very easy. I have an overhang so the snow does not pile up outside the doors and rain does not blow into the stalls. They were expensive but I think one of the best investments I made in the barn.


                • #9
                  KR....I'm only linking a photo of mine to give you the 'idea'....BUT....the 'kit' dutch doors, where you order the top half in bars/bottom in 'slide in your own wood planks' , etc is the 'real thing'....MY dutch doors were from an older barn tear out, so they are the 'home version'. (saved me big bucks)...but what I am getting at is: in your situation of wanting more light/air...but not necessarily at this time being able to use them as 'doors' as much as 'windows'...this idea is nice so that you can indeed leave top full open/or close it but still have a 'window'...http://s594.photobucket.com/user/ayr...00025.jpg.html
                  "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                  --Jimmy Buffett


                  • #10
                    I have dutch doors on my stalls and love them. Most of the time the doors are left open to their runs, but on occasion (think blizzard!) I shut them completely. I do have a 12 foot overhang, as well. When one of my horses was recovering from surgery he had to spend six weeks in his stall, and that dutch door was key in keeping him sane. His best friend would come into the run and just hang out by his injured buddy who was stuck in his stall.


                    • #11
                      You may at times use that back door to come and go, that is an advantage also.

                      Those outside doors should have a lip that closes them so there is not a crack for rain or snow to get thru.


                      • #12
                        I would do the dutch doors. If anything, it's an extra exit out in case of emergency like fire. Can't have too many safety precautions.


                        • Original Poster

                          Where can I find a kit? I've been searching online, but maybe not using the right terms?


                          • #14

                            just an example? lots of em out there....
                            if I find more, I'll add em!
                            "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                            --Jimmy Buffett


                            • #15
                              If your question is of the higher cost of the full doors, why not add one now, another later and so on?


                              • #16
                                also...I WILL add: if you have no overhang, but want 'openess' you will indeed most likely get driving rains/water in IF either the top half is open OR if you even only had a window. When we put in our BIG barred windows...I loved em. (still do)..BUT...we had NO overhang AND it was the back wall of a shed roof with no gutter, so yup....niagra falls. Now, when we raised the roof, added the poly panels, we also added a 3 foot overhang off that back wall, and voila. NO more leaking window grills...just needed some overhang, (not a lot (!) to divert water flow from directly down wall into window....(or open dutch if that's how you go...)
                                "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                --Jimmy Buffett


                                • Original Poster

                                  Bluey-- that's a good idea.
                                  Ayrabz, thanks for the link. Also, we do have a gutter and so a very slight overhang. Theoretically, the water would not run off the roof and into the window -- but rather just the driving rain + wind that we frequently get here. Seems like if the doors are properly built and properly installed, they ought not let in the rain?


                                  • #18
                                    Anothre vote for dutch doors!!

                                    What is your barn made of? I'll try to post pictures of mine later (if I can find them) but "my barn" was all wood and the doors looked sort of like they were cut out of the barn and then stabilized with cross bucks. My only advice with them is to put two latches on, one at the top and bottom of the door because you get crafty horses like mine that will open the door and free themselves, Also if you have a chronic pawing horse (once again had to be my horse) it will help stabilize the door and prevent them from bending the hinges or messing up your siding by trying to rip the bottom hinge out....

                                    If you do have a wood barn it would be easy to put in windows now and the bottom door later.
                                    Saddle Tree Acres


                                    • #19

                                      Our doors were cut on site, you can see in the closer photo they are cut on an angle so I don't think there would be leaking even if we didn't have the overhang, they are open 99.9 percent of the time.

                                      I also use my doors more than my aisle, just open up and let em go.
                                      Last edited by SPF10; Jun. 8, 2013, 06:09 PM. Reason: another .02
                                      "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                                      "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                                      • #20
                                        KR--yeah..with your overhang and gutter, you should be fine (!) (but if you go with the kind I really like with the barred/airflow top door vs. the solid top door you may still get water in if the overhang is slight.) Personally, I just like that 'window' air that doesn't allow my idiot boy to hop out in the middle of the night if he gets wigged out in a storm! (yes...seen him try....omg, at smaller shows that had the 'shedrow' type half doors I couldn't leave the grounds unless I hooked up a stall guard on the open top half. Yeah, ok...that was when he was quite young...but I will NOT to this day leave him somewhere 'new' without an enclosed top half....sigh. its just him.
                                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                        --Jimmy Buffett