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Suggestions needed to retrofit barn

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  • Suggestions needed to retrofit barn

    I guess this is a kind of spinoff from the other thread but I hope I can get suggestions/ ideas as I am considering bringing my old guy home next year:

    Steel pole barn on property, approx 36x62.Maybe 25'+ hi. Has front and back 18' hi offset sliding doors. Is totally insulated, including a ceiling. No windows.Has electricity. 8" cement floor. (used formerly for 2 large trucks- clean as a whistle though). I am planning to add windows on either side. should I keep ceiling or take it out?
    Can I bolt those doors shut and cut new ones in or is that majorly expensive?
    Any thoughts/ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    I have always boarded my horses so although the idea sounded great, now I'm waffling ..

  • #2
    Do you have pictures? I am a visual type so pictures help me . I think it is absolutely doable. I just refit a 30' x 36' barn for my horses so I understand what you are going through!


    • #3
      I have a 40 x 60 steel pole building, cement floor, one people door in a long side, one 16 foot high slider in the short side. No windows, no insulation, no ceiling, but it does have a "quarter loft" on one side, toward the back.

      Here's what I did:

      Put three stalls along the long west wall, away from the big door. Cut 4 x 8 foot doors for each stall in the wall, framed them, hung dutch doors to the overhang we built in the paddock. Bought Priefert stall components (3 fronts, 2 walls) and bolted them in to the existing barn beams. Used 2 x 6 lumber to finish stalls and 3/4inch plywood to line barn walls to keep horses from metal. Added double mats to the stalls, after putting down gravel and packed it.

      I store hay in the 12 x 12 space that would have been the 4th stall on that side. The other side is a "shop" with our tools in cabinets, wood storage (fence rails, dimensional lumber, etc.) Under the stairs to the little loft (which we use for storage of big household junk/"collectibles") is the chicken coop. Under the loft, opposite the stalls, is our feed room and bedding storage (pelleted). I had water brought in, and the hydrant is in the aisle next to the feed room, opposite the stalls.

      I have lots of space for horses and our accumulated crap, a matted aisle from stalls to big door, which I would NOT bolt shut--you'll need them! and more than enough hay storage for a year's worth. (yeah, I know--don't put hay with horses, dust, fire....I trust my excellent hay and the bedding is dustier!).

      Very doable! Cutting the metal is super easy with a Saws All, we did all the work ourselves (well, not the plumbing!) and it wasn't terribly expensive. Why would you cut different doors...unless you did what we did? How low is the "ceiling"? If it's 25' you're set! Biggest issue I see is water and how to deal with concrete floors and stalling horses. I'd cut doors and make your stalls come and go's. I love my "overhang" we added to our barn--12 x 48 leanto style, matches our barn and we built it ourselves. Allows me to turn out 12 + hours a day, saves on bedding and provides lots of shelter in crappy weather. My paddocks are mud-free ones, using screenings sized gravel.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!