Q1) What are some basic horse barn styles that I can choose from?
There are many different styles and sizes of
horse barns. Each one depends on the climate of the area, the number of horses,
the budget of the owner and the type of operation.
Any and all styles can be two story in which
hay/shavings/tractors can be stored above or single story in which
hay/shavings/tractors can be stored in a separate building.
- Center aisle with
stalls on both walls - One of the most common barn styles. Wash stalls and tack stalls can also be included in this
format. This style suits a colder climate as it is not necessary to leave the
building to do stall maintenance and feeding. Grooming and health checks can be
done easily in this center aisle. Getting to and from an indoor arena is an easy
option with a center aisle.
- Double row barn - Especially suitable for
warmer climates. This barn has two rows of stalls back to back in the center of
the building. The outlying "aisles" can be left open without walls for
ventilation. The roof would form an overhang to be protect the stalls from
the rain. There are many variations of these two types of barns which can
include L-shapes, single rows, connected pens to each stall and even the
uncommon but aesthetic round barn.
For the single horse owner there are many variations of a
single stall/run in shed building.
- Pole barn - The most basic and least expensive of
all construction styles. This building which consists simply of pole corner supports
and any type of sheet walls and roof can be an inexpensive and quick way to put
up a horse building since no foundation is necessary. There are many contractors
in most areas of the country that can provide you with a good sized pole barn in
less than a week or two. Although they are often used for indoor arenas they can
also be used as a main barn building. They can have sand or dirt floors as in
the arena, or they can have poured concrete floors. However, one drawback is
that unless you have planned very effective ventilation systems these buildings
tend to be very warm in the summer and collect wall condensation which turns to
ice in the extreme temperatures of winter.
- Masonry barn - This building can consist of concrete blocks (least expensive),
bricks, adobe or stone. These buildings which are aesthetically pleasing and
very sturdy keep a cool temperature in the summer but tend to be a bit damp in
the winter. However, the cost is often a limiting factor and very large
buildings of this type can take a long time to build.
- Metal building - For those who want to completely
avoid the threat of fire. These are well priced and sturdy,
however they tend to be "noisy" in high winds and driving rains as
well as very cold in the winter.
- Wood barn - This traditional type of
barn, although it can become a bit pricey, can be personalized down to the last
detail. In order to have a strong sturdy wood barn be sure to work with an
experienced and well-respected builder. Building a wood barn is considered among
many as an art form in itself.
Suggestions from other horsemen:
- Alaska Structure fabric buildings - steel frame structure with
commercial-grade vinyl fabric membrane. Made to withstand the extremes of
Alaskan weather. Go to www.alaskastructures.com for more details. Choose