Pole barn flooring and windows?
This spring we are finally building a barn. So far, I have narrowed our building plans down to a 36 x 36 x 10' pole structure. Once the structure is up with roof and sides, we will put in 2 12x12 stalls and a 12 x 12 tack room down one side, leaving an area of 24 x36 open for trailer parking and storage. I have asked for 2 10'x10' doors on each end plus a man door on the front. We don't plan to keep the horses indoors much at all, so the barn will be used mainly for storage, tack, tacking up and a space for farrier work etc. We have selected the larger size in case we want to add 2 more stalls later. So, here are my questions:
1. What so you recommend for flooring that is reasonably inexpensive? The area should stay dry as it has good drainage and the ground right now is just soil. Would sand and pea grave l work, or a larger gravel? I think we will use sand and rubber stall mats in the stalls and then bed them deep with shavings to absorb any urine. I am wondering about the rest of the space. Also, what depth of sand or gravel is recommended?
2. I can either out in three 3x4 windows, or out in wall lights (a 2' strip of clear corrugated paneling) along the top of the wall down each side. what are your recommendations?
3. Anything else I need to think about right now?
For everything but stalls id like concrete or even recycled asphalt to save cost. Stalls I'd use sand, in a perfect world the sand would be layed over a liner that was graded to drainage. As for lighting I like natural light so I'd go with the clear corrugated.
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As an fyi, we panelled all the walls with OSB and put 1x6x8 boards on top of that. Looks real good.
Each person will have there way of doing things. Here is what I did in my runway down the middle of my barn I put about 4" of the smallest drive way gravel and ran one of those packers over it got it level and packed real good then I put burnt lime about 1" on top of that and then I sprinkled some Portland cement on top and smoothed all this out then used a garden hose and misted it down with water until it was soaked real good. after it dried out then it was just like concrete.This cost me 1/2 the price of concrete but a little more work you judge what you have the most of.
Thank you for your suggestions. Keep them coming!
We just met with the company rep and have done the paperwork to put this barn building business in motion. Now we are waiting for the snow to melt enough to level the site and construction can begin!
I still haven't made a decision on the flooring, but I think for now we will level the dirt and then decide. I did go with the wall lights on both sides. If we decide in the future we need to add windows, we can do so.
Now I need to start planning the layout of the tack room. We will build a 12x12 insulated tack area. Any suggestions on tack room features I should consider? We will out in a wood floor, but I am not sure what to cover it with yet. Also, for the walls, do you recommend plywood, pine planks, or something else?
Re roof panels - we attached them to the underside of the roof using the slats that hold the metal roof; we did have to trim some to fit (used one of those utility knives with replaceable blades) and we used wide headed roofing nails to hold them on (super easy to tack up which is good because you're working over head all the time). We have a "cathedral" ceiling right now; sometimes we talk about filling it in at the bottom of the trusses to make a more conventional ceiling but I'll be surprised if we ever actually decide to do it.
Re tack room - Mine is a resin garden shed that's about 5x6, has a fairly flat roof and a resin floor that came with the kit; took about an hour to put it up. We bought it on sale. Around our place time and money are at a premium and we couldn't make me a tack room of the same size in the same time and for the same money as we invested in the garden shed. I don't keep all my tack in it - just what I usually need; it's got two saddle stands, a couple of shelves and a bunch of hooks set up in it. Works perfect for me. The tack room (shed) is built into a fenced in work area that has the water hydrant and my bagged/binned grain in it.
I think, for your walls, you can pretty much choose the pine boards, plywood even OSB if you want. Plywood and OSB are quick to put up. It will boil down to what you like best, have the time to do and can afford I bet.
Oh how I could spend someone else's money so fast!! :wink:
I have equiterr flooring in my stalls. It worked great for a few years and then it became saturated. I wish we had done overkill on the drainage pits rather than what the manufacturer recommended. I put rubber mats over the top of them last January because we had a terrible flood in 2011 raising the water table so that the stall flooring just will not work properly. I do love it though because it is completely level and the little bit of urine that does leak through the mat lines will be absorbed. If I had that to do over again, I might go with the equiterr, but I would definitely get a continuous Mayo Mat. They are amazing.
I second or third cement floor everywhere but the stalls. Anything else will be dusty. We had crushed asphalt in our storage area and ripped it out to put in cement as soon as we could afford it. You will at a minimum want to consider little cement pads for your stall edges to sit on. This will keep the stalls level and prevent them from getting rust.
We did spray foam insulation for the barn after we had to remove all of the fiberglass batting from the flood. It is freaking amazing; seals up all of the little drafts. I no longer have frost in the corners of my end stalls.
In the horse area, I have white corrugated sheeting for the ceiling. It really brightens the place up. It is just attached to the rafters the same way it would be attached to a wall. My tack room interior and exterior has the same white sheeting. That way you can vacuum or power wash the walls - whatever you want to do. The interior used to be finished sheet rock with white paint. The exterior was carwash board because it was adjacent to the wash rack. I would not recommend the carwash board. It will turn yellow no matter what you do and dust sticks to its bumpy surface.
I would not do a stall door directly to a paddock. Every barn & facility that I have seen where animals have direct access to touching the building has trashed edges of the building. They will rub on it and bend it, some will chew on it, some will get bullied into it. Their poop and hooves will break down the bottom edge and it will look like a mess in just a couple years. Plus if you do this, the horse will choose to poop in the stall when he could poop outside and they won't go inside during inclement weather unless you make them. That is just murphy's law of horses.
A 10ft side wall is incredibly short. I don't know if you would be able to park most trailers in that. I have 12ft side wall in the barn and 14ft in the cold storage area. I wish the barn portion had 14. We elected to put the fiberglass panels along the top edge of the sidewall rather than the roof. It lets in a good amount of light and I don't have to worry about snow, hail, branches etc damaging them on the roof because the soffit protects them.
Are you planning to put in a rat wall? Even if you do dirt floor, you will probably want a rat wall.
Are you going to put a base board to keep your bottom edge of the sheeting from contacting the ground?
If you select the right trusses, you can put a roll up door right to the edge of the barn. This makes parking items much easier than if you have a 6ft space from the wall to the door.
When placing doors be very mindful of wind & drifts. My horse area has an east and west door, while the storage has 2 south doors. In the winter, my west door is difficult to use because the NW prevailing wind likes to make drifts.
Are you planning on storage areas for hay, grain, and equipment like wheel barrows in a way that keeps them away from the horses and out of your way?
How are you planning your water & electrical?
If you are pulling electrical from a main panel or from your house, you should really consider having internet (and maybe telephone depending on your cell service) trenched in at the same time. I LOVE having wifi in my barn.
Also, you may want to check with some local contractors, you can probably have a pole barn built cheaper by getting the material from a lumberyard, Menards, Home Depot, etc than you can with a name brand building like Morton or the others.
I know you say they won't be inside much, I think everyone says that & then their horses end up inside at night pretty much every night, so you might as well make the barn your "home" at home. I know I spend hours every day at my barn.
Thanks so much for all the great information CCH!
I will look into the stall mats and flooring systems you described. Some / similar are available le up here, while others are not. Eventually, I'd like to put asphalt down the centre aisle. Unfortunately, concrete around here is at a premium and the concrete foundation and floor is more than the cost of the entire building.
I had the same thought on the stall doors opening to a paddock, so we decided against it.
As for roofing and insulation, again that will be a later job. Our building will have full trusses, so we should have to sheet the roof and put insulation above. The corrugated white panels are an excellent idea! Lucky for us, the barn will go in a location where there will be no chance of flooding. If it does flood, we will all need one very large boat!
We will build our own stalls out of treated lumber, so we will be auguring holes for the supporting corner posts. This means the stall panels won't be supported on the floor, but will be mounted on support posts instead. I'm thinking about getting some white puck board to line the inside of the stalls and the tack room. It should be durable and easy to clean.
Walls are 10', as are the front and back doors. I should just be able to back my little 2 horse trailer in. The building will be 36' wide, so I should have adequate clearance through the 10'x10' door.
We looked into purchasing the materials etc from a variety of places as well as subcontracting the work to build. My dad is a builder and would come up to help us on summer holidays, but everyone works full time. It was worth the time and money for us to hire a company that specializes in pole structures and use their materials. I'm sure it costs more, but I know everything will be of good quality and the finishing will be done well. We will invest our time in building the stalls, tack room and finishing the inside as we will be able to do this work indoors, even in poor weather.
Hopefully, we will be able to get electrical service to the building this summer. If not we can improvise for the short term with some solar lighting and an extension cord from the house. Unfortunately we have poor wifi even at the house, so not a big deal for the barn. I'll be thrilled just to have a sheltered space for tacking up and storage for all the tack.
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