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Which style of barn do you prefer?

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  • Which style of barn do you prefer?

    And Why?

    It's possible that I'll be building my own barn in the near future but I can. not. decide. what type of barn I want. I thought I wanted center aisle but now maybe just a small shed row? Too many options
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!

  • #2
    So much of what is the ideal barn depends on where you are, the weather there, the price of land, if you can only have postage stamp little places, as in CA, or vast areas to build on, as where we are.

    Whatever you build, you may want to think of the future, that others will also use the barn after you are gone.

    Any kind of barn can be used fine, we make do with whatever we have, but looking for an ideal, fit all barn, I would go West to East, although not necessarily, with a center aisle barn.
    Stalls on one long side, with if possible an overhang and runs off the stalls.
    The other side the same, but maybe the North side and just indoor stalls and tack room, feed room, wash room, bathroom, all that on that side.

    I expect there are as many opinions on that as there are barn owners.


    • #3
      It absolutely depends on where you live. I live where we get quite a bit of snow, so I went with a gable style roof with a center aisle and stalls on each side. If I lived in a warm and lovely climate I might have gone with a shedrow style, or even a pole barn type without sides at all like I've seen in Arizona and California.

      Seriously, do your research. Drive around and talk to people with different styles in your area. That's what I did, and contrary to many of the threads here about people being hostile if you approached them on their farms, I only had great conversations and made some new friends along the way. I mean, how can you be offended if someone leaves a note admiring your barn and asking for your opinion on what you are happy about, what you'd change if given a do-over, and any advice they might have to offer?

      Oh, and budget is a big factor, too. Isn't it always? If the sky's the limit, go for it! If you're like most of us, really take the time to find out what you want and try to lock in your costs. When I was interviewing builders they took me on barn tours and I saw their finished product and talked to satisfied customers. That was helpful, too.


      • #4
        Cement block. Seriously.

        OP, I live near Raleigh and board in a beautiful cement block barn painted white. If I ever build a barn in this part of the country, I would love it to be cement (no hay loft) with a center isle. It's cool in the summer (constant breeze flowing through) and warm in the winter because with the barn doors closed it rarely gets below 50 degrees. It's more fire resistant than a wood barn and sturdier too in a storm. Less maintenance all around as well. I would also temperature central the tack room because of the humidity... I hate moldy tack.

        However, I also like the shed row options for NC as well. Light and airy is good here, too. I guess for me (center isle vs. shed row) it would depend on finances and how many horses I was planning to keep... if just 2-3 then a shed row might be a more conservative bet.
        Dreaming in Color


        • #5
          I'm in the same situation, and not too far from you.

          Right now I'm dithering between permitting it or just doing 800 square feet so I don't have to.

          I just want a pole barn, but DH wants to do the whole footings and frame construction deal. (Which, since we are DIY, will admittedly be easier to put up. Squaring a pole structure is a pain!)

          In addition to thinking about what you want, think about where the vet and farrier will work and keep them comfortable, too.
          ... and Patrick


          • #6
            Center aisle, mostly for the interior space it allows me to do things out of the weather. There are many configurations of this that may have large opening down one long side, overhangs, etc., but nothing beats being able to enclose yourself and the beasties when its blowing a gale, snowing, raining sideways, etc.
            Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


            • #7
              As Bluey said, there are about a zillion "right" answers, depending on your land, location, climate, and how you use your barn.

              We only have a few horses, they all live together, and barring anything really out of the ordinary, they live out 24/7. So our barn opens directly to the pasture. Stalls are in a line along the west wall and they open to the east side, which is a large run-in area that opens to a large paddock, which opens to the pasture. It's perfect for the way we use it, but it's not going to be ideal for every situation.

              One thing to consider is that it's relatively easy to add length if you decide you need more space, but it's harder to add width.
              "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
              -Edward Hoagland