Buying Used Vs. New

When you are looking to purchase any type of corrals, shade covers, loafing sheds or a barn I ask the question “Is it better to buy new or used?”

Not a simple answer but one that should be explored.  Much easier for smaller projects than a large expensive Barn project that is for sure.  If you are purchasing corrals or other low end items for your property whether for business or pleasure you need to take into account the most important thing (NO it’s not price!) CONDITION!  What condition is/are the items in?  Do they show signs of rust, bent pipes, twisted metal siding or torn roofing?  If they do, then what can you do to repair them to bring them to up to standard?

If pipe corrals are bent you should either know someone or be able to straighten them out before you use them.  If the metal used for siding or roofing is lifted then with a few screws it should solve the problem.  However if any of the pipes are rusted clean through then the services of a welder should be employed to fix the problems.

For a barn it’s a little more complicated.  When purchasing new there are things to consider prior to your purchase such as: location, size, grading, permits, water, electrical, drainage etc. etc.  These same things however need to be considered when purchasing used as well, so figure that if you are purchasing new or used that these costs are going to be about the same.  With the purchase of a new barn you also have sales tax to consider.

When you purchase a used barn besides the items listed above to consider you need to look at the overall condition of the barn and determine if repairs are going to be needed or replacement parts will be required to bring the barn to integrity?  Base channels, walls, sliding doors, rollers, roofing material etc.  You name it any part of the barn can be damaged and “may” need to be repaired.  I have put many tips for purchasing a used barn on my Facebook page over the last couple of weeks so you may want to check them out at:!/CaliforniaHorseBarns  these tips will help you see what might be lying under the dirt, grim and manure.

Things you need to consider though when buying a used barn that adds to your cost bases is: removal and re-installation.  Yes when you purchase a new barn you have the installation & hauling/freight costs to get it to your property.  When purchasing a used barn the price may be very good, but you have the extra cost of disassembly.  What I have found is that the cost to disassemble a barn or assemble it are about the same, so if the normal assemble cost (for example) on a new barn is $3000 then the disassemble would be about the same cost $3000.

Let’s break that down as an example:   All figures are ONLY examples & DO NOT represent a known product.

New barn:  6stall + posted porch Cost $30,000, tax (la county) $2925.00, freight $795, assembly/installation $2750, foundation $5500, engineering $750 = $42720.00 + County permit fees to building & safety, Fire Department & grading (if needed), grading permit, electrical & plumbing.

Used Barn: 6 stall + posted porch  Cost $5000, tax -0-, freight/hauling $450, disassembly $2750, re-assembly/installation $2750, foundation $5500, re-engineering $750 min, replacement parts $1500 = $18700.00 + county permit fees to building & safety, fire department, grading (if necessary), grading permit, electrical & plumbing.

You can see that you will save a whole bunch of money buying used, however the real variables are the engineering & replacement parts.  If the barn is more than 5 yrs old, the code requirements may be different in the present than when the barn was originally build and could require additional structural support items prior to installation.  Also replacement parts are usually an unknown until the entire unit is disassembled.  Upon inspection you may find that walls, base channels or other items will need to be replaced.  Caution here – if the company who originally installed the structure is not longer in business, then you will need to rely on a substitute company for these parts and not all companies build the same product.

There are advantages & disadvantages for buying new and used.  Disadvantage: New (just like a car) loses some of its value the minute it is installed, however if this isn’t a consideration, then don’t worry about it.  Used: many need multiple repairs, disassembly cost, possible re-engineering costs.  Advantages: New – you get what you want, no assembly (completed usually by the company), no painting or repairs, it’s NEW. Used: lower cost.  We offer a report also for things to avoid when purchasing new or used barns as well.

The ultimate decision is yours, so think before your purchase and know what the advantages & disadvantages to both options are prior to putting your money down.

I look forward to your questions or comments and feel free to contact us for further information.

Happy Barn Building.


About Barnlady

Entreprenuer, Sales Rep for Horse Barns, horse owner, trail rider & horse advocate.
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