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who has building plans for covered arena

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  • who has building plans for covered arena

    where the roof frame is wood instead of the steel buildings? I keep seeing pictures of folks riding in riding arenas made with wood but when I spoke with a builder he said you can't build the rafters strong enough for a clearspan out of wood. I told him I have seen plenty but he was not convinced. Is this just a north/south thing? Here in the south, everything is made out of that very expensive steel.

  • #2
    I wonder if you have seen the pictures of Gluelam type wood arches they use in european clear span barns?
    Those are very expensive in the USA, metal is cheaper.
    You really need to build with whatever the builders in your area are familiar with, because that is what is best for the area, what is more economical and what they will do you their best.
    That is one compromise some dismiss at their peril.
    Like a friend, that could not find anyone to build a timber framed house in this area, finally found a brave sould that would try.
    The first storm, not even that big one, just framed, before it was even enclosed, the whole thing fell down like toothpicks.

    If you are talking trusses, metal or wood, that are those engineered skinny triangles, not true clear span framing, then you can only go so far across and maybe your structure is wider?

    More details would help.


    • Original Poster


      That's the word I was looking for. I see pictures of folks riding all the time in buildings up north...they have to be built for snow loads where here in the deep south, we have a dusting of snow every ten years. It's just that covered arenas are few and far between down here and the builders just are not familiar with the "need". When you do see a covered one here, it is the $120,000+ ones built out of clearspan steel. I just wanted to see the plans for the wooden trusses so I could show him.


      • #4
        Have you asked commercial builders, those that build warehouses and churches and such, that are many times using the cheaper wood trusses?


        • Original Poster

          yeah, I have

          I even spoke with a local company that builds commercial wooden trusses, they told me it can't be done safely. I even printed out a picture for him, he just shook his head and said..."well, I don't know". Which is why I had hoped to find the actual plans for one so he could see the "numbers".


          • #6
            Ok, I googled it for you.
            Here are two pictures, one with metal clear span, the better way to frame these kinds of buildings, the other the wood trusses, that are cheaper, just as strong as metal, when engineered for it and just standing there, but more apt to collapse if anything goes wrong, especially the wider you go with your span:


            Many still build with trusses, as they save some in materials and much on labor, making them cheaper all around.

            Then, they won't last as long as metal barns and will need more repairs, many more as they get older, unless you are very careful to keep everything tip top in there, no leaks and replace any lumber that starts to go.

            For the money, metal is better today, although if you just don't have that money and want a building, trusses may get you there with less money.

            I don't know if you have put the numbers together, but if you add such a barn to your real estate, the taxes will go up, so check how much, it may be more than you want to pay and if it is not a multi-purpose building, that can be used for storing cars or a shop or whatever later, you may not get your investment back when you sell.
            You also may need permits for such structures, depending on where you are.


            • Original Poster


              I actually had run across that site too, but it still does not offer actual plans on how to build the trusses for load bearing, that's what I am looking for...the blueprint plans.


              • #8
                Originally posted by paintjumper View Post
                I actually had run across that site too, but it still does not offer actual plans on how to build the trusses for load bearing, that's what I am looking for...the blueprint plans.
                You can't "buy the plans and build" the trusses without an engineer signing the work order.
                Even the companies building them have to get every order set stamped by an engineer.

                You need a builder that will take care of all that for you, or if you want to be the builder, get that company to sell you the right trusses for your building, once you have someone that will build it for you and so plans for the dimensions.


                • Original Poster

                  I found some plans....finally!!!!

                  I've been looking for 2 years or more. Now I can take them for him to see. Ya!!!


                  • #10
                    Of course you can get trusses 60' wide made of wood. My local truss company doesn't recommend any wider than that, though. Anyway, a covered building (without full walls) is going to require more framing members and different connection methods to make it solid enough to withstand uplift and such.

                    My ideal "indoor" would be a ring with half walls on the bottom and "cow curtains" on the top so that it could be opened up in summer to catch the cross breezes.


                    • #11
                      This is interesting, becuase practically every single indoor I have ever ridden in has had wood, not steel, trusses. The two with steel were huge barns owned by pros that host big clinics/indoor shows. Some of the wood trusses are very old too. We are in tornado/wind area too? We had 70 mph winds just this past week. The barn is fine. This isn't one single piece of wood doing the clear span.

                      I personally would not want to go much more than 80 wide with wood. I've noticed the 100 foot spans are where you always start to see the steel.

                      Engineers do the drafting--I don't know anyone who just bought diy plans!! Even my friends who are contractors had an engineer do the plans for their personal barn (and they are very diy).

                      Could it be a termite thing too?

                      Edited to add--these are fully enclosed! The builders are always worried until you get all the walls up--the wind can grab the roof and collapse the whole building.
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shakeytails View Post

                        My ideal "indoor" would be a ring with half walls on the bottom and "cow curtains" on the top so that it could be opened up in summer to catch the cross breezes.
                        I've ridden in one exactly like that. Except it was 4 foot of clear plexi along the top, then the cow curtain, which gets rolled up in the summer, and then the bottom wall. The curtained wall was only one the one, long side however (attached to barn on other side.

                        Another bonus was that there is a greenhouse effect in the winter and if there is sun it is warmer inside than out (not as warm in the dark, however).
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                        • Original Poster

                          That's what I told him TTP!

                          Wooden trusses are EVERYWHERE up north. I wanted a square roof over my 50' diameter round pen and he about had a heart attack!! I knew then asking about a 70-80' covered arena would send him to the hospital, so I didn't ask!!!


                          • #14
                            No, you can't do rafters of that length, that's why they make trusses. If your "builder" didn't immediately think of that, then he's probably not smart enough to build a dog house.


                            • #15
                              http://www.youtube.com/gentlespirith.../1/0Cw6wPcWnsk .... you can see our barn here (TrotTrotPumpkin has ridden here I'm sure)

                              Up here, everyone uses Morton Buildings (http://www.mortonbuildings.com/Eques...Buildings.aspx) ... maybe a call to them would give you answers?
                              If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                              ~ Maya Angelou


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Tif_Ann View Post
                                http://www.youtube.com/gentlespirith.../1/0Cw6wPcWnsk .... you can see our barn here (TrotTrotPumpkin has ridden here I'm sure)

                                Up here, everyone uses Morton Buildings (http://www.mortonbuildings.com/Eques...Buildings.aspx) ... maybe a call to them would give you answers?
                                Why yes I have--years ago though--sad! I need to come visit. It is one of the "practically every single" I was referring to. Lol. I don't have any pictures of my BO's indoor though. I adore it. It has the best layout ever. I keep telling her to host an open house now that it is finally done. It is not a Morton Building though.

                                Other builders to direct them to include: http://www.clearybuilding.com/PostFrameAdvantages.php

                                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/