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Show me your shedrow barns!

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  • Show me your shedrow barns!

    We are house hunting north of Columbus GA, and it looks like I get to build a barn! Very few of the properties we're looking at already have one.

    The two barns I've really enjoyed were U-shaped shedrow barns with the stalls facing inward, large overhangs, and a courtyard in the center.

    I'm coming from Phoenix where we get maybe 10" of annual rainfall. Columbus easily gets five times that, and is heading for a record of over 70" this year.

    Will I regret not building a "normal" barn in a much wetter climate? I'm thinking that even with the rain, there will be more hot and humid days where I want shade and *air* than there will be cold and rainy days where I'd want to be inside.

    This is a backyard barn, I'm only planning on 3-4 horses. And as it's just a hobby, I don't *have* to work with them in nasty weather.

    Any advice on barns in the SW Georgia climate, and pictures of your shedrow barns are appreciated!
    ... and Patrick

  • #2
    There is a poster from NC, I think, that has posted pictures of her shedrow barn that she is very happy with.

    We used to have one for our race horse training barn, but I really think that a roof over our heads is a more sensible solution to being out of the weather.
    You can make a roofed barn just as airy as you want to make it, shedrow barns don't have any advantage on that.

    Here is our old 22 stall shed row barn, that had four sides with a courtyard in the middle:


    To me, it was a fire trap, as they only made one entrance on one corner and the six back stalls had exits to runs.


    • #3
      Lucky! Where are you looking? We looked at nice property out near Waverly Hall about a year ago that already had a great barn and on 30 acres, so there are some nice places out there. I'm sure you'll find something great.

      The Midland Foxhounds right outside of Columbus has the shedrow type barn. It's been a while since I've been there and I don't have any pics but maybe you can get in touch with someone over there or go and check out how it works for them. That way you can see how it works for someone who deals with the same conditions you'll be dealing with.

      I know for me it was wonderful to have a fully roofed barn. The rain we've gotten this year is ridiculous. In fact its raining right now and we were only able to drop feed this morning because our horses are no longer in the roofed barn. Most people in this area have the fully roofed barn but I have always loved the shedrow style and I'm sure you could make it work for you, especially if you have a really large overhang.

      I think if you just focus on the summer climate you should be fine. Open and airy is a must. Also take into consideration that we frequently have severe weather, this includes tornadoes, so having solid shelter is necessary. And especially this year, heavy flooding rain is typical. Luckily the water drains very quickly out here so we don't deal with the mud like I have in Idaho but while it's raining it can be quite crazy and you definitely need good drainage. But for the most part it's a pretty mild climate and really easy as far as horsekeeping goes, so you shouldn't have any problem having the type of barn you want.


      • Original Poster

        Decisions, decisions... I forgot to include a picture of the look I'm imagining:


        (Though I'll start with a pole barn structure, it's easier to re-purpose as something else if we need to sell and the new owners don't have horses.)

        We're looking around Hamilton, Waverly Hall, Shiloh, and over as far as Geneva, GA. There are some beautiful pieces of land, but unfortunately we're having trouble finding something with nice pasture _and_ a house we like.
        ... and Patrick


        • #5
          I really really like that. I bet that would work great around here. That overhang is great and makes it possible to still muck and groom on those stormy days. Although from that model I would make sure mine had bigger windows or dutch doors on the back for even better ventilation. Hamilton and Waverly Hall are awesome. I would love property up there but it's getting so darn expensive.


          • #6
            Nice barn!

            We have a shedrow with overhang--three stalls, double stall sized tackroom that is enclosed. However, the stalls have grill fronts so no way to keep the horses out of the wind or yourself if the wind is out of the east. While Texas doesn't get as cold as Colorado where we used to live, it's a damp and cutting cold. The wind tends to howl for days and taking care of the boys can get pretty miserable.

            In other words, I'd kill for a barn with a center aisle where we could get out of the wind, work with the horses (brushing, etc) out of the wind or rain, not have to tromp through the mud to get to the stalls to feed, etc. An overhang over the stalls would be a must--ours have 24/7 turnout with access to their stalls.
            They use their overhang to get out of the rain and out of the sun.


            • #7
              Well, not in GA, but in VA...close enough?

              I ended up converting an 'outbuilding' for now...but even before making that decision, I knew a 'shedrow' style was what would fit best, and what I wanted---however---my chosen style was to have the equally deep 'overhang' 'enclosed'.....so that: in the summer, the doors into the "aisle" (each end, if best, or only one end) could remain open for airflow, but in the winter, they could be closed to keep out the elements.
              So you'd basically have a shedrow that the 'overhang is totally enclosed, doors on both ends to open for summer, close for winter. I like a design that would have full end walls (with the larger doors) but would have a half wall on the long side of the 'aisle' with windows above for ventillation in summer, and for light/viewing out (into the adjoining arena?) in winter.
              Just 'MY' dream barn! )
              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
              --Jimmy Buffett


              • #8
                Hey wsmoak! So great to know the move is still a go!! As you know, I live in Columbus and am in the process of building a barn.

                Although I LOVE the look of the shedrow/courtyard and really, really considered it I just knew long term I would be happier with a CAB.

                A few reasons:
                *Weather around here (and I am sure everywhere) can come in from all directions making a shedrow hard to "mask" from driving rain/wind.

                *I know we are in the South but it can get pretty cold here (for us Southerners). For instance as we speak it is around 38 but it feels like 30. It is windy and raining now and has done some sleeting. I am constantly watching which way rain and wind move and it just varies by storm.

                *A few barns around here have invested in heating elements to go in the wash stalls so they can bathe in the colder weather. So much more toasty bathing inside a CAB especially if insulated which leads me to my next reason.

                *Although possible, it will be harder to insulate and get full benefits (warmer in winter, cooler in summer) with a courtyard/shedrow type.
                It also does get pretty darn hot here in the summer but insulating a CAB easily drops the temp by at least 10 degrees (depending on how insulated and to what extent).

                *One great "amenity" of the south is the mosquitoes, gnats, bugs, etc during the summer. Considering we usually dont have a Spring here (it usually goes from very cold to hot, miserable, muggy) the flying bugs are apparent from March to October and sometimes November or December. Therefore, integrated into my barn plans will be very large screen doors at either ends of the barn aisle. This way I can leave the aisle doors open, have the breeze (whether natural or by artificial means) and still have a relatively reduced fly problem. My guys like to be in during this time and flies they dont constantly have to swat will make them so much more content. Alot harder to escape the bugs with a shedrow.

                *I am a chicken when it comes to cold weather. Even more so when it is cold AND raining. Cant stand it. Barn chores for me are so much more pleasurable when I am completely absent from the outside elements. I often have to take many layers off when I am working. Harder to do if you are cleaning stalls with rain coming in sideways in a shedrow.

                I am not discouraging the shedrow as I think they are so classic but I do want to give you some things to consider so you can make the very best decision. Most importantly it has to work for YOU.

                My old trainer has just been hired as the trainer out at Midland Foxhounds. Her place before was a CAB and yes Midland is courtyard. I can put you in touch with her if interested. She cannot stand the cold and is very hot natured like me. Midland does have some washstalls that are pointed inwards (IOW they would be facing the side of one stall) at one of the ends of the courtyard. Not sure how that works out. However, most of the time tacking is done outside in the courtyard area. I will try to see if I can find some pics to post. It is very classic looking and is in the Tudor style.
                I know another barn has recently been built on the Hardaway property and I do believe it is a CAB. It is not visible from this barn and I have not seen it yet.

                Either way, please feel free to PM me should you have questions. I have thought about this barn building process for years and have lived in Columbus since '83 so I know the climate well.


                • #9
                  that's my favorite style of barn!
                  i have a three sided one with courtyard planned for our land someday. i'm thinking of four stalls on each of the three sides, which gives me plenty of room for four horses and the chickens and goats. plus tack, shavings, tractor, etc.
                  dh thinks we should cover the courtyard with trusses and a steel roof. i'm all for it if we can afford it, and think we may even install a water fountain in the center of it. something functional like a nelson waterer, but old fashioned looking like a stone fountain--our neighbor is a stone mason, and our land is full of rock, so we may be able to pull it off relatively inexpensively.
                  of course the opening will face the south, in this new england climate it will be a great place for the critters to spend their days in lousy weather.


                  • #10
                    I would be concerned that the Horizon barn in your pictures might not be tall enough. In the summer, it is nice to have a high roof to help keep the barn cool.

                    We built a barn at the house we had in SW VA when a daughter was in school there with her 2 horses. Her barn was 36x24. There are 3, 12x12 stalls with a 12x36 aisle in front of them. The builder convinced us to close in the aisle rather than leaving it open as a shedrow. The large barn doors on the ends of the aisle can be left open, so the horses can use the aisle as a run in shed.

                    The builder was right to advise us to close in the front of the aisle. Whenever there was unexpected driving rain or wind, we were happy that the horses had good shelter in the aisle. The stalls stayed nice and cool in the summer time because they were always shaded by the aisle. She used 1 stall as a feed room and for hay storage. Because the roof and walls were high, she could store quite a bit of hay there. The barn doors could be closed in bad weather so the farrier could work in the aisle despite bad storms.


                    • #11
                      I live in Indiana, so nothing crazy dramatic as far as weather either way, but I would never want a shedrow. If it was that or nothing, sure.... but I couldn't begin to tell you how many times i was out in the barn and got stuck in a pop-up storm, wind blowing from bizarre directions, hail, etc. (of course usually the day the farrier's supposed to be there, or there's a sick horse and you NEED to be out there). A lot of peoples' "shedrow" barns are really simple center aisle barns with aisle wide sliders. If you have two sliders at the end of each aisle and dutch doors on all of the stalls (which I would always do for safety anyway) then you get the best of both worlds.


                      • #12
                        Here is a photo of my place when I lived in MD. It's now owned by my friends-they always joked they were going to live there, and that was 5 or 6 years BEFORE. We had NO idea they'd eventually own it. Funny how stuff happens.......


                        I live near Buffalo now, and this design wouldn't do well here. In all the years I lived in MD, we only had one bruiser of a storm where the snow was about 6" below the top of the bottom door. That involved HOURS of shoveling to get the horses out so they could make snow angels.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AKB View Post
                          The builder convinced us to close in the aisle rather than leaving it open as a shedrow.
                          This is something I was thinking about after I posted as I was contemplating shedrow/courtyard type configuration before I settled on CAB. Great idea but I would take it a step further and put barn doors or roll up garage doors all the way around the front of the closed in aisle. This could be used in the summer and you could then close them up when weather was bad, winter and wanting to bathe, winter and farrier was coming, etc.
                          Very similar to this:


                          • #14
                            Darn it! I don't have any good pictures of the shedrow/courtyard barn we had for awhile (unfortunately, the land lady was UBER-crazy, otherwise, I'd still be there. I plot of ways to bring her down so I can buy the property and love it for always ). This is the very best I can do, and unfortunately a very ratty looking 3 yr. old is taking up most of the picture http://pets.webshots.com/photo/24176...Jqn?vhost=pets (the next picture is the after and it is looking OUT of the courtyard).

                            The barn was about 80 years old and unfortunately had wiring that was probably almost as old. It was built into the hill a bit, so the the three stalls at the back were very insolated. One of the "arms" was partially dug into the hill, too, so that made them pretty insolated as well.

                            All the stalls were quite open. They all had half doors but no top doors and the top half of the outside walls were actually slatted, drop down windows (we left them up...80 year old hardware, too). It sounds like it would be frigid, but the stalls were VERY toasty...we rarely had more than a little ice in the buckets (this barn was in Northern VA). They were very cool in the summer, too, and I don't think we ever felt like we needed fans. The barn was sited very well so that the winter wind did not whip into the courtyard and whirl around into all the stalls. It was protected enough that snow almost never made it into the open stalls, and the eaves hung over enough to almost always leave a path around by their doors. But it got cool breezes in the summer and had some big, old shade trees to help, too (only problem with those trees were that they were walnut and in the fall you often thought you'd all of a sudden ended up in Bagdad when the walnuts would pummel the tin roof!!).

                            The biggest issues to look out for from building one from the ground up (instead of having to deal with 80 year old issues):
                            • Site the barn right. You really want to make sure it is sheltered in the winter but, more importantly in the GA summer, that cooling breezes can move around the barn and into the stalls.
                            • Be smart about water placement. Our one and only hose was at the end of one of the arms, which meant having LOTS of hose to drag around. Keep water in the middle if you can, or have it in more than one spot.
                            • While tacking up wasn't an issue (the stalls worked fine for us), batheing and clipping were a big issue and there was no good spot for the farrier to work out of the elements. Plan for that! Whether you have a stall converted to a wash/grooming stall that the farrier can work in or what, give yourself and the farrier and vet a good spot to work around the horses with good lighting.
                            • Our lighting sucked, but I think that was an 80 year barn issue and not a shedrow issue. That needs to be addressed properly no matter the barn style!
                            • Realize that if someone breaks out at night, there will be no barn doors to keep them in the barn. I suggest having a way to close the horses into the yard when you are not there (our courtyard was only accesible from a gate, which we closed at night).
                            • Don't forget to have adequate feed, hay, and tack storage (again, a no brainer no matter the barn!).
                            I think you'll really like the style and they are great in places in the south. We actually rented an ADORABLE 4 stall shedrow in Aiken, SC one winter that was PERFECT. Well thought out, warm on the cool nights but cool on the warm days. And the horses love them because they get to see all the action, all the time!


                            • #15
                              what is the concensus if building a shedrow barn to have the open side facing?
                              save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                              • Original Poster

                                One reason I like the shedrow style is that if they have to be kept in, the horses can see what's going on. And I can look out my window and see them.

                                I plan to have doors on the back leading to runs (which hopefully connect to pasture... I need my husband to be able to turn out without haltering and leading.)

                                Closing in the front is interesting, but kind of defeats the purpose! At that point, unless you're doing shedrow because of space limitations, you might as well put in the other row of stalls...

                                I do plan on having a grooming stall (thinking two stalls and tack room down one side, then grooming stall and two more stalls down the other. The third side to make the U would be later, if ever -- that's for the lounge and viewing area, so it depends on where the arena is in relation to the barn.)

                                A well lit space out of the elements for the farrier and vet is *definitely* in the plans. With only a few horses, I try to take good care of them so they'll keep me on the schedule!

                                Which way to orient the barn depends on the prevailing winds and where the nastiest weather comes from.

                                Thanks for all the ideas! Keep them coming, and I'll sure come back once we've actually bought something and lure a few of the Georgia contingent down to tromp around and figure out where things belong.
                                ... and Patrick


                                • #17
                                  Please take a look at what we built, this is our second barn of this layout, which I designed for HOT HUMID eastern NC weather, which I am sure is the same in Georgia! We had Carolina Carports put up the shell, 20 x 100' with an enclosed 20 x 10 feed room at one end. We then built the stalls ourselves, very cost effective and not hard to do, shell was up in two days!



                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                                    Please take a look at what we built, [...]http://good-times.webshots.com/album/569459911nWMeoO
                                    Neat! The drop-down windows on the back side are clever.

                                    We will do most of the construction ourselves. Otherwise, I will first have to pay the contractors extra to put up with "help" and then I will have to listen to years of complaining about how it was not done right.
                                    ... and Patrick


                                    • #19
                                      I am currently leasing a small farm in Lexington Ky that has a shed row barn. I absolutely love it! The barn has 3 10X14 stalls and a 10X14 tack room with a loft above. The thing I like most about it is how open the stalls are, one of my ponies has always hated being in a stall and would practically run you over to get out of her stall. Since moving her to this barn she loves to come inside and doesn't even mind being in the barn alone because she can still see her friends. The only thing I wish the barn had was a wash rack/grooming area under cover. There is a 10 foot over hang in front of the stalls that has come in handy when the farrier has been there while it was raining, but I still wish I had an actually cross tie area. The barn is cool on warm days and warm on cool days. The back of the barn is facing the way that most of the storms come in so that keeps the stalls from getting any rain or snow in them.

                                      Here is a picture of my shed row barn:
                                      ~Three phases, Two hearts, One Passion~


                                      • #20
                                        I have a small shedrow

                                        with a small overhang and tack and feed room.

                                        The whole thing was about $12K.

                                        It's bascially 12 x 48 with three stalls. Two on one end and to teh far left is the last stall/run in. I was going to enclose it, but it is great for situations like.... farrier..... equine dentist, etc.
                                        All my stalls have dutch doors that open off the back. I have a nice 5 1/2 foot overhang out front. I should have gotten a 10 or 12 foot over hang, but live and learn.
                                        We have had 11 -12 inches of rain in the last 40 days. I am up to my ankles in mud at the barn....mainly because the TB does not want to get wet ever and hates mud...so he mills around the barn 24/7. I missed my chance to have stone dust added during the last dry out...before Thanksgiving!
                                        Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!