How good is your home heating system? Does it warm up the whole house on a cold day? Does it cost more than you think it should to get enough heat in the winter? Are you thinking about switching to an alternative heating system? Do you want to upgrade to a newer heating system? I started this blog to talk about the different alternatives for heating your home. Find out when it’s time to upgrade your heating unit and when you can make modifications or repairs to your old unit to improve its efficiency or keep it going a while longer. Also, check out the pros and cons of different alternative heating options from geothermal units to pellet stoves. Your home heating answers are here!
One question many horse owners face while planning a new barn is how many stalls to include in the structure. You don't want to end up feeling too cramped within a year or two, but stalls that sit empty for years can add significantly to construction costs while contributing little to no value. Striking the right balance between your current needs and future expansion is critical to finding the right final design for your new barn.
Identifying the Barn's Purpose
Of course, your first step should be to take stock of how many horses your barn will need to house the day it opens. This might only be a few stalls for personal operations, or you may need forty or more as part of a boarding, sports, or breeding program. Once you have a baseline number, consider where you would like your stables to be in 10 years. If you plan on doubling your roster, for example, you will need to plan your barn size accordingly. If, on the other hand, you don't need an excuse to buy more horses, it might be best to limit your expansion options.
Choosing Your Stall Size
Another point to consider when allocating floor space is the size of each stall. The appropriate stall size for your horses will largely be determined by their jobs. Broodmares, for example, need large, spacious stalls for giving birth and rearing a foal, while sports horses can be safely confined to a smaller area. The amount of exercise and time outdoors each horse receives daily will also play a role in this equation. Generally, the less time a horse spends moving, the larger the stall needs to be. Many barns have stalls at a variety of sizes to meet every need, so speak to your horse-barn builders about possibilities for your design.
Including a Bathing Area
When you bring a horse in from the rain and need to wash it down, you don't want to have to lead it back outdoors to catch a chill. Indoor bathing areas are a useful amenity in private barns and are nearly required for boarding facilities, but they do often take up the space of one or two stalls. If you want to avail yourself of modern comforts, be sure to incorporate the lost square footage into your initial plans.
Adding an Office or Living Quarters
Finally, many large barns need an office space or living quarters to manage the daily needs of the stable and accommodate grooms or guests. Like a bathing area, however, there is usually a trade-off between stall spaces and other rooms. It may, however, be possible to add these rooms to a loft, allowing you to enjoy a centralized office without sacrificing a stall. When it comes to housing as many horses comfortably as you can while meeting a certain construction budget, you shouldn't need to skimp on the amenities. Consult with your local horse-barn builders today to share your ideas and requirements and begin drafting plans for your perfect barn today.