Monday, May 21, 2007

Overall Design

I have barrel horses and we also keep a sale Thorough- bred or two for my other business, Mix & Match Equine Referral. None of our horses need to be on pasture. We like to control their rations at all times, so we did not need to figure in much grazing area - just enough for an hour a day or so, after riding. I like to use grass as a reward and relaxation exercise. We opted to start with just two runs (small paddocks) for my barrel horses, keeping the footing as non-muddy as possible (more on that in a later post!). As luck would have it, a friend of mine was selling her very lightly used round-pen, consisting of twelve 12 ft. panels and a gate. Of course, I got the friend discount too! Pipe fence panels offer a quick, safe option that doesn't necessarily need to be permanent. Non-permanent is a great way to start out; if you need a larger area than first planned, you're not locked in to solid fencing with posts in the ground.

Barn Specs

Due to budget, we initially planned a 30x32 barn, but discovered that it was not that much more $$ to go 30x40! With that size, we had the option of 3 to 4 stalls on one side, and 1 to 2 on the other side with a 10 ft. center aisle. This also left room for hay/straw storage and a tack room. We chose to have Pioneer frame in two 4' open doors on the back side for access to paddocks (runs) directly from 2 stalls - we could add dutch doors later ourselves. We also ordered large sliding doors on BOTH ends of the center aisle, as opposed to just one end. It gets hot in the summer and this would keep air moving nicely. We chose similar colors to the barn photo we liked best - and I cannot remember if it was Clay, Ash Gray or Light Stone - I will look on my paperwork and verify! For the roof, we picked Charcoal, which is repeated for the cupola roof. Pioneer guided us through a few more technical options, and we were on our way!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Our Favorite Barn

Here is the Pioneer Pole Building sample photo we liked most, and chose many of the same options and colors.

Choosing a Construction Company

We had been shopping around for a barn-builder for about 6 months, comparing: all-material kits that were dropped off and we would do all the work; shell pole-barns that are put up in a series of days as opposed to weeks or months; and contractor-built, start to finish barns. Due to our very tight budget of both money and time, we chose the shell pole-barn option, and decided to finish the inside ourselves. We compared prices and companies on our own and also asked friends and neighbors. We settled on Pioneer Pole Buildings in Schuylkill Haven, PA (see their web site at It took us a long time to decide exactly what color we wanted for the roof and siding, but their Color Choices page on the site was helpful and fun! We sat down with them in person and discussed all the various options. Between calls from our Dad (You have to get a cupola!) and changing our minds, it took a couple of hours to actually pick out colors, options, door styles, roofing choices, where the doors and windows were to be placed, etc.! These two photos are samples from their web site.