Horse Stalls 101 | By: American Stalls | Date on: 02/19/2021

Whether you are building a horse barn or looking to renovate an existing one, there is no shortage of ideas available to inspire you. You probably have set aside a land to build the barn on and have consciously saved money for this project. Before you embark, it is important to carefully plan the details ahead. The right planning and execution will ensure you arrive on time and on budget (or as close as possible).

If you’re new to building a horse stall, you will quickly learn that there are several factors to consider. This guide is designed to make this process organized so that you can accomplish your project within the allotted time frame and budget.

Here are the tips you need to keep in mind and some horse barn ideas that you can use as inspiration.

1. Understand Your Horse Barn Requirements.

Before you get down to the actual planning and design, you need to evaluate your specific requirements first. These requirements are adapted according to how many horses you have and what your budget is. Get your pen and paper for this because you need to make an extensive list of priorities that you have to consider. 

Is the barn for private or commercial use (or both)? If it’s a private, then you can stick with basic amenities that are tailored to your specific needs. If it is for commercial use, you need to invest more on the amenities and durable materials as they will have heavier use. Another factor to take into account is the number of horses you have, along with the equipment you need to store. These factors will help you identify the facilities you need in the barn that you are about to build. 

2. Assess the Available Space.

With the factors above in mind, you may now assess the land that you have available for the build. Is the barn going to be built from the scratch or are you adding to an existing structure? Depending on which applies to your case, your cost and the amount of work needed to be done will vary accordingly.

3. Build it Bigger and Wider. 

When building your horse barn, it can pay to go bigger. Whatever the ideal size you think would be for the stalls and aisleways, lave a little extra wiggle room. Equestrian experts recommend a 12’ x 12’ stall as the ideal size for your horses. This will gives your horse plenty of room to move around within the stall. 

Keeping your aisles spacious will make it easy when moving your horses from one stall to another. It will also give you enough space when saddling your horse or when moving your equipment within the barn. 

dream horse barn

4. Choose the Contractor Wisely.

Building a new horse barn is a huge investment. Hiring the right contractor is crucial in determining if this investment is going to be worthwhile. When choosing your contractor, opt for ones that have adequate experience in building a horse barn. You can use their expertise when finalizing your horse barn ideas, while also taking into account the technical aspects of the build.

The right general contractor and barn builder can make all of the difference in your horse barn project

Hiring a general contractor will also ensure that your build will observe proper codes, environmental requirements, and the best construction practices. When choosing a contractor, compare at least three options and interview them. If possible, get a written quote so you know how much to pay for and what’s included in the fee. 

5. Consider Your Budget.

The cost is another practical consideration when building a horse barn. Some equestrian experts suggest starting with a budget first so you know how much you can work with. It is also important to ask various construction companies about the estimated cost of the build per square foot. The final cost of the build will depend on the specific details and amenities of your barn. You must also take the necessary permits into account when setting up a budget for this project.

When talking to a contractor about the build, you must be specific about your budget. It is also important that you let your limitations be known to the contractor. Some can suggest ways to save on cost (if you are tight on the budget) without compromising on the quality of your build. 

6. Choose the Ideal Horse Barn Design. 

There are different types of horse barn designs to choose from. They can be based on the interior column type or the clear span type. For the stalls, you can attach it to an interior column or make a free-standing one (for clear span type). For the latter, you can keep them stable by attaching them to each other.

Your design must include a mat system on the flooring. It is a critical aspect for your design. The most common material used for horse stalls and aisles is a granular base material. You can add rubber mats to keep it comfortable for your horses. You should also think about adding a dedicated stall for washing your horse that comes with its own drainage system. 

Here is a unique barn in Collinsville, Texas that utilizes a metal barn. This client decided on sliding stall fronts, concrete aisles, and a garage-door style door for the barn end doors.

7. Gather Your Materials. 

The type of building materials to use is an integral component you need to consider during the planning stage. Your choice of material will depend on the permissions you obtained and the type of design you choose. Moreover, it will also depend on your budget as there are different costs involved based on different materials.

Wood is the most common material for horse barns because they are readily available and cheap. If you want materials that will last longer, choose brick and block built stabling. However, this will cost more to build. 

Other types of materials to consider when building a budget and plan for the horse barn include flooring, roofing, and insulation. 

8. Consider Health and Safety in Your Design.

The health and safety of your horses should be taken into account when choosing the horse barn design. Good drainage is highly essential. This will help wash off waste effectively and also keep pools of water off the flooring (which can be slip hazard). It is vital that you choose non-slip material for flooring, too.

Proper air ventilation system is also essential when planning the horse barn design. Proper ventilation helps to keep your horses comfortable during the summer months. At the same time, there should be adequate insulation so they are not too cold during winter. 

9. Add Extra Amenities (Tack Room, Storage, etc). 

If you have the budget for it, we recommend to include extra amenities to your final barn design. You need to have a dedicated space for a tack room and also storage for the hay and other equipment. The special amenities and features you incorporate will depend on your need, budget, and space. Never compromise the space that could be used towards your horses if you want to add in extra amenities. 

Planning and building a horse barn is an ambitious project. Therefore, you need to look through as many horse barn ideas as possible along with extensive planning to ensure that you can enjoy your investment for many years. 

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