You may “want” a particular type or style of barn, but is it what you really need? Or does it really suit your needs?
When you are purchasing a barn whether new or used take the time to preview barns in your area, take a hard look at the climate in your area and what your barn is going to be accomplishing for you. If what you need is a basic shelter from the elements, then a loafing shed or shader might work really well for you. If your climate is mild most of the year then this type of shelter can and will work really well. Why go to the expense of a large expensive barn if that’s not what you need. Sure they are great for show and if permitted for property value (but even most appraisers don’t know how to add the value of a barn to property), does it fit into your budget?
If budget is a concern, then getting a nice shelter for your horses should be your main concern, not that your barn is the best in the neighborhood. I will tell you though that there are financing options for barns even in this economy. I work with one company CR Leasing who finances barns if you have a business and this type of financing is a lease to own option. Not like a car, but a lease that is paid off within your lease period. You can also refinance your existing property and take the cash to build your barn or even obtain a 2nd on your property for the same purpose. The other thing is to sell off items to finance your barn also. With that said you have the ultimate choice in choosing the type of barn you can afford.
When working within your budget you should be honest with the consultant, sales representative and company that you are working with. Honesty will help everyone to get you the product that you want and need. If you receive a quote and feel that it is higher than you can afford at the moment, don’t be afraid to contact the consultant and discuss where changes can be made so that your project can be adjusted to your needs. That is what a consultant is for. Making sure that you get what you want and need within budget.
So back to the type of barn that suits you. RCA – Raised Center Isle barns are beautiful and the ultimate in a barn. It can be large or small 2 stalls to 20-30 or more. They have tack rooms, groom areas, wash racks, you name it they can have it all. Breezeway barns are almost the same type of barn. The difference is only in the roofline, but they have the same functions as an RCA barn.
Shedrow barns are also very popular. They can be used on small properties, for boarding facilities and many other uses. Shedrows are cute and less expensive than an RCA or Breezeway barn. Usually they consist of 12×12 stalls with or without a posted porch. The description is “all stalls in a row”. They can be combined to create a “U” where you can add grass in the middle or a fountain, a hot walker you can do almost anything in the middle.
L-Shape barns are just that stalls that share a common wall to create an “L”. Depending on the roofline you want that will determine additional cost or not. With a hip & valley this will add overall cost to the project, but in some cases there are ways to have one continuous roofline under a “^”, which will save you extra engineering cost. L-Shape barns are very functional because they have an automatic posted porch, which is a great area for you farrier, veterinarian and grooming. You can also use the area for a wash rack too.
And then there are misc. types of barns. Some are inexpensive options to steel walled barns, yet they are very functional. Other types are more like Loafing sheds but have tack and feed rooms and then less expensive Mare Motels, shade covers and other. So we go back to the original question what type of barn suits you and your equine? The decision is ultimately yours the owner, but I challenge you to think of your horses, the uses for your barn, what your property will support and what function you barn will be used for during your ownership and beyond.
Happy building and don’t forget to make sure that whomever you choose to complete your project that they are aware of your budget, functionality of your project and the terms in which you are paying for your barn.
If you have any questions, we look forward to speaking with you. Contact us at barnlady@CaliforniaHorseBarns.com
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