Metal Horse Barns provide equine enthusiasts an affordable alternative to the traditionally built horse barn. Over the past few years, these metal barns have gained popularity for several reasons:
- Metal Horse Barns cost up to 30% less than stick-built structures without any compromises.
Does My Horse Run the Risk of Getting Cut with a Metal Barn?
"We're asked this a lot," says Rosita from Graber. "With a Graber building, there are no sharp edges on our barns.
They would have to actually kick a hole in the metal, which we've never known to happen." But there is a chance of the
horses getting cut if the metal horse barn was constructed poorly or uses cheaper material. One of the biggest causes
is poorly securing the different components. If an untrained worker doesn't securely fasten all the hundreds of parts,
the pieces can come loose.
- Metal Horse Barns are finished faster than the other methods and are built directly on your site, unlike prefabricated kits that are quickly assembled elsewhere and shipped to you.
- Metal Horse Barns are long lasting, durable, and hold up better in wet and cold weather. Unlike wood, Metal horse barns won't crack, rot, or grow mold.
- Metal Horse Barns from Graber feature Galvalume material, which resists rust longer than the metal used by other builders.
- Metal Horse Barns cost less to operate as they are efficient to heat and cool.
- Metal Horse Barns are safe for your horses by being both kick proof and impossible to bite. Vets tell us that horses kicking through wood can often result in fatal splinters.
- Metal Horse Barns are composed of panels that are kick-proof, but flexible enough to give, thus protecting the horse.
- Since Metal Horse Barns are considered a permanent structure, they add to the value of your property. Some pre-fab barns are classified as temporary buildings and won't count for anything.
- The Stall Rails in the Graber barns are galvanized before they are powder coated, so if a chain wears through the coating over a period of time, the steel underneath is much more resistant to corrosion.
Why Metal over Wood Barns:
An urban legend around horse barns is that they must be made of wood, specifically oak. What folks don't realize is that with a Graber horse barn, the stalls are actually made from the superior Southern Yellow Pine. "In our years of working on horse barns, we've perfected almost all of our processes. And we've seen first-hand how Southern Yellow Pine is actually structurally superior to oak. Each piece is a sturdy 1 1/2" thick, and secured in place by using the tongue and grove method. Many oak structures are only 1/2" thick -- nearly 75% thinner and nailed together. Our customers have told us repeatedly how comforted they know the panels in the stalls don't have nails that could injure their horses," says Ira, a designer at Graber Buildings. "We actually go one more step and insist that material we get from the mill is completed milled for a smooth surface. Some other builders are cutting some corners by using the common practice of "rough sawn" lumber.
Make sure your insurance agent knows that your new structure is made of metal.
Because of recent claims for barn fires, the fire resistant properties of steel are preferred by insurance carriers.
In some cases, your insurance for your new metal horse barn is 40% lower than a wooden structure.
The materials in a metal barn are much more fire resistant than wood.
Metal barns don't require the upkeep that a wooden structure will. A standard 36 x 48 wood building will need re-staining/repainting every year from top to bottom, every corner, which is
about one full weekend of work. A metal barn is virtually maintenance free and when you want to clean it -- a hose or pressure washer will get it done in about 45 minutes
Because of the material, wood barns are more prone to mold and thus decay in the structure. Not only does this erode the stability of the barn, it's also very unsafe for the horses.
Metal barns are easier to keep clean. By simply hosing the structure down or using a power washer, you'll be able to keep your horses' home cleaner eliminating the chances of illnesses (and vet bills).
Without any compromise on the look of your horse barn!
Another fable surrounding metal barns is they can't match the look of the wooden structure. "That's just not true anymore,
"says Horse Barn expert Eric. "Graber Horse Barns offer you over 200 color combinations. During our consults with folks,
we try to get an idea about the colors on their existing buildings like their home or other out buildings, then steer them to
something that matches it or in some cases - compliments it. We can also add exterior finishes like stone, brick, or even board and batten.
See What the Details in a Graber Horse Barn Mean to You and Your Horse:
Step by Step Guide to Planning Your Horse Barn
Step 1: The Site
Before speaking to any builder, do some homework that will pay off in the long run by getting an idea of where your horse barn will be situated.
Here, you will want to check for a few important factors:
Ground that is firm and level. But keep in mind that an excavator can ensure the ground is level when he prepares the site. Easy access on your property.
Many of our customers are taking their horses out of a boarding facility to keep them closer to home. So make sure you've selected a location that will be easy to get to 365 days a year.
Close to utilities. If you are thinking about adding electric or water to your structure, know where these sources are. It's preferred they will be close to your proposed building site.
Keep unobstructed drainage around the site so that water, ideally, is sloping away on all 4 sides. "Many times, it's just a matter of moving the structure a few feet or it's very easy for us to raise (or lower) the structure," Dave from Graber...
Consider any space you will need beside your horse barn for storage like straw, hay or manure.
Be mindful of wind direction.
By positioning your structure in the general direction of the prevailing wind, you can easily benefit from natural air circulation. Consider placing the structure at a slight angle to the winds so you don't get overwhelming blasts of air.
Questions? Call us at 1-800-964-1550 and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have during this process. We've been doing this for nearly 30 years and have built hundreds and hundreds of barns. Take advantage of our experience and let us help out in any way we can.
Once you have selected a preliminary site, you may want to check with your local zoning office. Check out our insightful recommendations on this process on our Getting Started Page.
With a Graber Horse barn, you'll save on your project by not having to pay the expense of a poured concrete floor. Ira from Graber recommends "using stone dust - fine crushed stone almost like sand" is a great way to provide a floor base if you want one.
Step 2: The Design and Layout
Not only should you design your Horse Barn around the number of horses you currently have, but think into the future and determine if you'll be adding to your horse family. Graber's Ira comments, "It's much more cost effective to go a little big in your first design and then grow into all the usable space, rather than going back and trying to add onto a barn that's too small."
If you plan on boarding horses to pay for your investment in your new structure, be sure to factor this into your space requirements too.
Below are Our Professional Picks For Horse Barn Layouts
Ira's Pick: 24 x 24
"I like this design because you can have your horses right on your property - even if you don't have a full-fledged estate. The 24 x 24 design really doesn't take up much that space on farmette-type properties. So if your land doesn't have the room for the traditional larger sized horse barns, this is your best bet. And, you still have room for 2 stalls plus storage. The nice thing about the storage area is that it doesn't take the needed space from the stalls. The stalls themselves in this Graber design are still large enough so your horses won't feel confided. They are well-ventilated and roomy enough - even though the actual footprint is small."
Dave's Pick: 36 x 36
"I like our 36 x 36 design because it allows you to have four, five or more stalls under one roof. This is one of our most popular designs because you get the stall space and the owner still has room for the feed and tack rooms. If I think one of my customers may be looking for a structure they can grow into...I'll suggest this one. When they first start out, they may have a little extra room, but as they start adding horses, they have the built-in ability to grow. Something to consider on our 36 x 36 design is the ability to have the tack room insulated and heated. That's great for cold winters."
Eric's Pick: 36 x 48
"Our 36 x 48 design is the best size for the traditional horse barn. When people are serious about a horse structure, this is usually what they are thinking of. We've designed it so you can have six very roomy stalls, giving each horse a lot of comfort. And there's extra room for a wash stall and a tack room. And because it's larger, families who know they'll be raising future riders have plenty of room to grow into. Until then, you can easily make a few dollars by boarding horses from the local equestrian club. But it's not so big that it looks like some big commercial warehouse. It still has a nice residential look. You can comfortably have a barn this size on a five-acre farmette. This design also gives you plenty of room for hay storage. I think it's the quintessential horse barn."
Avoid Cookie Cutter Designs
Dave, from Graber, recalls, "I went to visit a customer who wanted to add onto their existing structure.
They had one of the cookie cutter guys out who told them they weren't able to give them a Dutch Style Door.
I was floored -- this is one of the simplest options we can give our customers. They were pretty pleased that they called us out."
Part of the reason Graber Horse Barns are so affordable is the efficiency of the materials we use. Metal panels are supplied with widths in 3 foot increments. So you can select a width of 24 feet, 30 feet, 36 feet, or 48 feet.
Ira from Graber councils:" You can make the length of your structure as long as you want. 80 feet to 90 feet long - a mile long! Most times, lengths are usually portioned off in 4 foot increments. For horse barns, I see a lot
of barns that are longer than they are wide -like a barn 40 feet wide and 60 feet long." Knowing how you'll be using your structure and what you need before you start design is just another example of how the Graber design team can help you every step of the way.
Graber Horse Barns normally come in heights of 10'-14'. For the standard horse, a height of 10' is recommended. Larger breeds of horses will be most comfortable with a 12' height.
Horse trainers recommend that stalls are 12' x 12' to give the horse adequate 'living space." Some of our customers have been comfortable with smaller 10' x 10' stalls. "If you decide to go with a smaller stall, just be mindful that your horse may get a little frustrated and possibly start misbehaving in a space that's a little too tight," advises Rosita, from Graber.
Why Many of Our Barns have the Vapor Barrier Insulation.
As discussed in "Things to Look For" section, using vapor barrier insulation provides many advantages to the structure of your building. But with stall barns, there is another important reason: "Rain falling on a metal roof that does not have insulation can make a terrible racket, which can spook some horses and make them skittish," explains Dave. "But vapor barrier insulation muffles this sound." Animals in any structure create heat, and the heat causes condensation. A solar guard or vapor barrier eliminates this problem.
Tack and Hay Storage
Graber can add a roughed out tack room - the basic walls of a tack room. If you later decide to have electricity wired into it, we can always come back to your project and finish the room off. "A second floor hay loft may not always be the way to go", suggests Ira. "It's a lot more cost effective to add a few feet to the length of your barn for hay than adding a second level. And besides, it's just as easy to move your hay from one end of the building to another as it is to go up the stairs and throw it down.
Step 3: Customize it and Make it Your Own
For many of our customers, this is the fun part.
Now that functional points in planning your horse barn are done, you can consider the choices you have in the appearance.
There are a couple methods of selecting a good shingle/color match. The easiest surefire way is to match the shingles and siding to your home or other buildings on your property.
That's a pretty safe bet because if you can see the barn and home in the same view, you'll probably want them to match. But if you have no siding on your house --
let's say your home is brick -- then consider matching the shingles on your barn to the trim you used on your home. Like a black shingle to pick up the black you may have on your house trim.
Selecting Options that are Right For You
Graber Horse Barns come standard with slider door at each end, 12 x 12 x 8 (high) stalls, and a walk out door/entrance for the entry or to the tack room.
|Consider This Option...||Purpose|
|Additional Tack Room||Separate storage|
|Hay Feeders on the Doors||No need to enter the stall to feed the horse|
|Dutch Doors with Grillwork||Direct access to each stall from the exterior|
|Custom Design Grillwork||Personalize it with their initials, logos, etc|
|Humane Stall Mats||Clean, softer surface for your horse|
|Overhangs||More of a house look, keeps the horse dry|
and well ventilated
|Larger Windows||Allow more light into the horse barn|