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How To Design The Perfect Barn

Placement of a barn in a suitable, well-drained location should be the prime consideration. Also the access to hay, feed and other delivery vehicles is important. Its better to put the structure downwind from the house. Building a horse shelter…

Placement of a barn in a suitable, well-drained location should be the prime consideration. Also the access to hay, feed and other delivery vehicles is important. Its better to put the structure downwind from the house.

Building a horse shelter is an art just like domestication of the horse itself. A safe and secure barn should be the main objective. Whether the horse is a sporting partner or a tool for work, providing with a good house is essential. The three things to keep in mind are: safety, maintenance and ease of use.

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Barn Layout

Caring for horses requires hard work. Carefully planning the barn layout with efficiency will pay off over the years. Try to place the barn in a convenient, well drained area that is close to turnout areas. The accessibility to hay or bedding delivery vehicles is also important. Since fungus are enemies to the health of the horse, make sure the drainage allows moisture to pass. Water access and electricity will be important too.

The floor should be designed to minimise the steps taken daily. If your horse-housing requirement is limited make the stalls single row with an extra roof overhang over the side with door opening. The less common designs include round barns with a central area for access. Good lighting with good housekeeping increases safety.

The Stall

This is the heart of the barn and should be well planned. The 12 by 12 foot stalls have evolved as the main standard barn design because they accomodate all. The size also increases the long term value of the barn and increasing the number of future buyers for the flexibility of use.

The door to the stall should be four feet wide and eight feet in height. Using sliding doors are preferred for durability and safety. The latches should be rugged and well positioned so that the horse can’t scrape against them and injure himself. Stall accessories such as water and feed buckets are mostly matters of personal management and need to be chosen accordingly.

Structure

After you’ve planned about the barn, the next thing to plan is what will it be made of. The material selection will be determined by style, initial expenses and maintenance requirements. Avoid wood stud walls. The walls must be sturdy enough and kick resistant. Concrete blocks will be more expensive for a wall than wood. But block has better acid resistance and moisture by which horses don’t chew on it.

The roofs should typically be framed in wood. The interior height of the barn must be at least 8 feet. Proper ventilation should be provided to allow constant air movement. Shingle and metal roof panels are preferred materials and skyline panels are also popular. The metal roof panels should use screw fasteners to reduce wind damage. Provide plenty of roof pitch, 6/2 or more. The height creates better airflow from the eave vents.

Barn design is similar to building a house for horse owners. If you are still unsure about doing it yourself, its better to hire a builder.

 

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