by admin, March 18, 2016


How much do design services cost?

As with most things, you get what you pay for. Design services can vary from the preparation of a few quick sketches based on some initial information to the development of fully engineered and detailed working drawings (blueprints). For full design and engineering services, fees usually range between 5% and 10% of the construction cost of the project depending on the size, complexity, etc; for initial consultation and preparing a design sketch or two, fees usually start at around two or three thousand dollars.

How much does a barn cost to build?

Many factors drive the final cost of any project. Size, quality, materials, structural system, simplicity or complexity of the design, location, site conditions, and features & equipment are just a few things to consider. In very basic terms the cost for a new barn (not including any site improvement costs) generally starts around $50 per square foot and goes up from there.

How large should an indoor or covered riding arena be?

The riding arena should be planned to accommodate the type of activities occurring in it. So a ring for simply exercising or lunging a horse would differ from one for competitive dressage or carriage driving. In basic terms though, most rings are approximately 80 to 100 feet in width and between 150 to 200 feet in length.

How much acreage does each horse need?

You can never have enough paddock and turn out! Larger paddocks result in less chance of overgrazed muddy fields. But even limited land area can be accommodated by careful farm management, turn out scheduling and field rotation. I like to plan on between 1 and 3 acres of paddock per horse.

What material is best for a barn? Wood, metal or masonry?

The selection of materials is usually driven by budget. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. In my experience, using masonry (block, brick, stone) walls with wood or heavy timber/glu-laminated roof framing results in an attractive, safe, durable and constructible stable.

Can a barn be made to be fireproof?

With careful planning, a stable can be built to achieve improved levels of fire-resistance, but it would difficult to eliminate every potential combustible item or material or make the building truly fire-proof. Masonry walls, properly installed electrical wiring, and diligent maintenance and safety measures will improve the fire safety of a barn.

Can barns be provided with a fire sprinkler system?

Yes, fire sprinkler (suppression) systems can be engineered and installed in barns, but generally are not for various reasons. Cost, adequate water supply, reliable and accurate means of fire detection, and using freeze-resistant systems are all important considerations which often hinder the use of suppression systems in stables.

Is there a standard, (or minimum) stall size?

Most standard stalls are 12 ft. x 12ft. But the stall size should be determined after considering the type of horse, amount of time they will be in the stall, and any special function or activity in the stall (foaling for example).

Exterior barn and stall doors can be sliding or hinged, which is better?

Safety is a strong consideration when deciding the function and operation of a barn or stall door. Large, heavy, barn doors, especially those opening onto the barn aisle, work best as biparting sliding doors. This prevents the wind from blowing them open or shut which can occur with hinged (swing) doors. Hinged exterior stall doors do have the benefit (especially in very cold climates) of being able to be closed tight to the wall, thereby minimizing air infiltration. Sliders require a narrow gap between the wall and door to allow the door to slide past the wall. Sliding doors also allow for the door to be opening partially or fully; hinged doors are either open or closed.

Can a barn be designed to be energy efficient?

Most definitely. Barn are relatively low energy users since most of the spaces are neither heated nor air-conditioned. The carefully placement of windows, skylights, and door and vent openings can take advantage of passive natural benefits such as daylight and natural ventilation.

Are there ways to prevent condensation and sweating on the inside of the barn during the winter?

The sweating that can sometimes occur on the inside surfaces of walls and ceilings is actually condensation and is most likely to occur during cold weather when a barn is closed up and ventilation is reduced. Exposed metal roofing or wall panels are especially susceptible to condensation in these conditions as warm moist interior air comes in contact with the cold wall or roof surface. Ventilation is a key mechanism to reduce the chances of condensation from occurring. When properly constructed and planned, adequate ventilation, even in winter, can be achieved without creating drafts.

Are there ways to make the flooring in the barn safer and more slip resistant?

Safety is one of the most important considerations in any barn design, and the flooring in the stalls and aisle is an area where this is most evident. Rubber mats, rubber brick pavers, and heavily textured asphalt or concrete paving will all help prove some grip to reduce the chances of slips. The obvious downside to a slip resistant floor is that it becomes more difficult to clean. Balancing the need for safety and cleanability is part of the process that goes into every barn design.