Designing a horse barn should be all about how that barn will suit your
particular needs. Whether you are planning to erect something basic
or want to design a barn with certain features and amenities, following a
few important steps will ensure that the end result is exactly what you
had in mind.
- Select a budget. Decide how much you can spend, and then spend
some time allocating that budget. Make a list of features you can't
live without, features you would like to have if you have funds left
over, and features that you're willing to do without. This list
should give you a good idea of what your priorities are.
- Select your plan, or choose a builder who can custom-build your barn
for you. If you go the latter route, be sure to get some
recommendations from others who have used that builder, and ask to see
some examples of his work. Put everything in writing so that the
final product corresponds with your desires.
- Safety first. Be sure that the site for your barn is properly
prepared before the building process begins. Soil that is too soft
or loose can result in an inadequate weight bearing capacity. The
barn should have a strong foundation, as well as plenty of windows and
doors to allow for fresh air and sunshine. Stalls, alleyways, and
doorways should be free of protruding objects the horses could get
caught on, and all hardware such as bolts and latches should be
extremely strong. There should also be one locked room included in
your design, to ensure that money, paperwork, and other valuable items
that need to be kept secure can be.
- Think convenience. The barn should have good access to both
electricity and water, and should be located within an easy walking
distance of riding and exercising areas.
- Decide on style. The shape of your barn should coordinate with
other structures on your property. Depending upon the climate in
which you live and your particular needs, you may want to build a
traditional barn with an aisle between two rows of stalls, or you may
want to build a barn that opens directly into turn-out areas. If
you live in a harsh winter climate and want to ride in an indoor arena
year-round, you may want to consider incorporating an attached indoor
arena in your barn design.
- Pick the most important features from your wish list. Once you
have the general idea of your barn formed, you'll want to decide what
special features are important to you. The features you choose
will depend upon what your facility is used for. For example, if
you have a large boarding facility, an automatic watering system may be
absolutely necessary to keep your workload manageable. If you are
a boarding or training facility, a heated tack room might be necessary
to attract and retain your customer base. When determining which
features are most important in your barn design, consider which will
bring you the biggest return on investment.
With a little thought and planning, you can build a barn that suits your needs — and that of your horses — perfectly.
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