by American Stalls February 24, 2023
Choosing the ideal barn door for your horse’s stall can be overwhelming. You have many factors to consider, and choosing the best one can be difficult. The best way to do it is to look at things from a horse’s perspective. It will help you identify the needs of the horses so you can prioritize the crucial factors that ensure their safety and protection inside their stalls.
You can quickly go to a shop specializing in horse stall equipment, but it's not always the best idea. Quality is of the utmost importance, and with many pre-made barn doors there can be odd bits that can be dangerous for your horses or the craftsmanship needs to be better. Custom barn doors are the answer if you want something suited to the preferences and requirements of your stalls.
Yes, custom barn doors are a worthy investment to ensure your horses are safe and comfortable.
Using quality doors ensures the safety of your horses. It prevents them from accidentally getting out of the stall and injuring themselves. However, traditional barn doors are easy to escape from, so are not a reliable choice if you want to protect your horses. In addition, some of these doors are not well-built or designed, and they can cause injury to your horses.
Custom barn doors allow you to design and build a door specifically suited to your horses’ needs (instead of the other way around). After all, comfortable horses are healthy and stress-free.
Now that you understand the importance of customizing the barn doors, the next step is to explore various customization options. Below is a list of essential factors to consider:
Getting the measurement right is the most critical aspect of customizing a horse barn door. Always start by measuring the door frame to get the perfect-fitting barn door. Traditional stall doorways are 80 inches or higher, as per safety recommendations. If the door has frame casings, take measurements of the external edges instead of the top of the doorway.
Most horses can kick up to seven feet. You have to consider this when building a custom barn door. The doorway opening should ideally be eight feet tall and four feet wide. Not all barn door manufacturers follow these recommendations, so having one custom-built for your horse's stall is always a good idea.
For best results, always add an inch to your measurement to ensure the right fit.
Horse barn doors are available in various styles. The best indicator of your ideal barn door style is the overall style of the barn.
Among your options for barn door styles are end, interior, loft, and Dutch. Dutch barn doors are the most popular choice since they allow horses to look out over the upper half portion of the door while staying inside their stalls.
Another essential consideration when customizing your barn doors is to choose between a solid or hollow design. Using solid wood provides more soundproofing benefits compared with hollow ones.
It would help if you also considered the thickness of the door. Ideally, you must invest in a thicker door to provide more durability for your horses’ stalls.
The barn door material is another crucial factor to consider when customizing your barn door. Genuine wood material is your best bet for superior quality, durability, and longevity. Real wood is more expensive but offers a traditional look and lasts longer. Other options include manufactured wood and metal.
If possible, avoid using composite boards for your barn door. This material breaks down around the edges, which could sacrifice the integrity of the entire door structure. Metal is another excellent option, but it requires a lot of maintenance. Without proper care, metal can rust and get damaged over time.
Once you have picked out the material for your custom barn door, the next step is to decide on a finish. Depending on whether you choose a wooden or metal door, pick the proper treatment for the material so you can prevent damage. Next, paint the door with your preferred color to protect the material. Finally, seal the door properly to ensure that it lasts longer.
The opening configuration is one of the most practical considerations when customizing a barn door, especially the stall doors. Sliding doors are highly popular these days because they are easy to operate. But hinged doors offer a few advantages, too.
Sliding doors are ideal because they can save space in the barn since they don't require clearance. However, you do have to keep the sliding tracks clean at all times, as any debris can affect or damage the sliding mechanism. It's also common for sliding stall doors to get stuck during freezing weather conditions.
Hinge doors can be unwieldy, especially if you are opening 8 x 4 feet barn doors. But they are easier to maintain in the long run with no additional maintenance.
The final step is to get the custom barn doors fitted into the horses’ stalls. Make sure the hinges are correctly fitted to avoid any becoming loose. A well-fitted door can withstand the force of any horse that might try to break free from its stall.
Be sure to test the functionalities of the door during the fitting process. It's essential to check that the door is secured correctly and that your horses won’t be able to accidentally open them.
Choosing custom barn doors is a brilliant idea to protect your horses and to make your barn easy to maintain. However, you must be meticulous when choosing the company you hire to make your customized doors and other horse stall equipment. They should have a proven track record in designing and manufacturing horse stall equipment. Working with a trusted vendor can ensure you have the quality and craftsmanship you expect to make your investment worthwhile.