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Barn NewsHesketts Barn Restoration and Repair PA and OH - Page 10

Converting Barns Into Homes

Lets say, you have an old barn and think it would be a great place to live. How do you start? Looking at all that space can be overwhelming when you consider all the work that needs to be done to make it into livable space. That is why it would be best to start small.

When converting an old barn into a barn home, your first step should be talking to a designer. They will be glad to help you turn the barn’s floor plan into a functional and usable space for you and your family. They will be able to add all the elements you need to make it completely yours. One thing to consider when converting a barn into a home is that the main timbers of the barn must stay in place. You will need to work with the rustic nature of the barn and try to incorporate its unique features into your design. Make those beautiful beams and poles a part of the look you’re creating instead of trying to hide them.

Old barns are framed with sets of timbers called bents. The spaces between these bents are called bays. A typical bay can be anywhere from 10-18 feet wide and 30-50 feet long. One or two bays should be enough space to start your home. If your barn has a hay loft you can use that as a second floor giving you double the square footage of living space.

Start by enclosing a small section of your barn and finishing that space. Be sure to leave any timbers and supports in place. All of the timbers in a post and beam barn are important to the structure of the whole building.

You can use many of the same materials that you would use in a conventional home. Such as

1. hardwood flooring
2. drywall
3. stone
4. ceramic tile
5. and granite

Use your imagination and create a look and feel that reflects your own unique style.

Take advantage of the wide open spaces that the old barn’s post and beam construction allows. Create a spacious great room for entertaining. Add a stone fireplace and some large windows. Make a living space that will amaze your guests.

Want to learn more about Barn Homes?

Here are some FAQ’s about converting post and beam barns into homes.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Aaron_Esch

Old Barns On My Mind

From the colonial era, to the industrial revolution, America was mostly rural America. Nothing symbolized this period more than did the great American barn. This image endures, even as we enter the twenty-first century. From New England, the south, the Midwe, the Great Plains and the far west, the barns of rural America are testimony to the people who built them, and the times in which they lived.

All farm activities revolved around the barn. The barn served as factory, storage for the farmers’ implements, threshing house, shelter for the animals, and storage for their fodder. When settling new territory, the barn being critical for the survival of the agricultural enterprise, was often constructed before the house.

New England barns were often attached to the house. This enabled the farmer to tend his livestock even in the worst winter weather. As many New England farms were dairy operations, this all weather access was vital.

Crib barns were common in the south. Built with a central alleyway, the outer walls were constructed of logs without chinking. This method of construction made for good ventilation. Poorly ventilated barns were a fire hazard, as green hay could generate enough heat to spontaneously combust. These barns were constructed both with and without hay mows. The rustic appearances of these barns have enormous charm.

Round barns always drew attention. George Washington had one and the Shaker communities in New England were noted for them. The round barn design maximizes the ratio between storage area, and the materials needed to build the structure. “Round” barns were in fact, often eight, twelve or even sixteen sided structures. Possibly because farmers tended toward the traditional, this idea never fully caught on. Where these barns remain, they often enjoy a measure of fame within their respective communities.

The classic image of the American barn with its gambrel roof, overhead haymow, and nearby silo, is known as the prairie, or western barn. The prairie barns were often built to maintain large numbers of livestock, requiring a great deal of fodder storage. As such, they tended to be substantially larger than their eastern cousins.

A common variation on all barn styles is the ‘bank barn’. Barns of various designs were built into the side of a hill. Doing this allowed ‘drive in’ access on more than one level. Often, bank barns were built with longer sides than other barns. These barns were normally aligned with their short ends facing east and west. This allowed for a well sheltered, sunny area on the south side.

There is no standard for barn design. Clearly, traditional designs were modified to suit the particular needs of whatever new territory was being settled. Barns in the south and southeast were adapted to suit tobacco, rice and cotton. In the far west, barns were built of rugged log construction to withstand the harsh rocky mountain winters.

I find old barns, sheds, and houses enormously compelling, and I have hundreds of pictures to prove it. I cannot look at an abandoned farmstead without wondering about the lives of the people who lived there. Sadly, for those who love them, the American barn is rapidly disappearing. I have pictures of many barns that no longer exist. The nature of agriculture has changed forever, and the barn is no longer the most useful building on the farm. Many farms today have little or no livestock, and the barn has been eclipsed by the modern steel building. Modern buildings are clean, functional and require little maintenance. What these buildings lack, is soul. Farmers are often torn between their sentiment for a barn their grandfather built, and the expense of maintaining, and paying taxes on a structure having little practical use. One by one, they will all come down, never to be replaced. We will have lost something valuable, and our spirits will all be a little poorer for it.

Patrick Simons

Patrick Simons, photographer, philosopher, seeker and a wanderer.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Patrick_Simons

Have You Ever Wondered Where The Homesteader Barn Came From?

A road trip through the rural expanses of the United States and Canada is beautiful in itself, but it is greatly enhanced by the presence of old barns dotting the countryside. These antique barns are some of the surviving remnants of the first structures put up by the tough people who started farming these lands. A homesteader barn is sometimes the only reminder that these areas are still rural because of the steady conversion of farms to other more modern purposes such as wineries, resorts and vacation homes.

There was a time, not too long ago, when it would have been unimaginable to have a farm without a homesteader barn. A barn was essential to the farmer because this was where the farm animals were housed and also where hay and other essential items were stored. Farmers spent a lot of time and effort in order to construct these old barns well because they had to be of use for a very long time.

It is not only farmers who find these barns beautiful. Plenty of urban people see them as symbols of a time when the world was a less complicated place, and therefore wish to see these barns saved from destruction. In addition, their historic and cultural relevance has been recognized and a great many people agree that their destruction will result in the loss of a big chunk of the country’s history.

As a result, the has been many efforts have been launched in order to preserve these barns and to keep them as testimony to the spirit that drove the settling of these lands. It is possible to buy an antique barn in order to relocate it to another location, but this is a task that takes a lot of time and effort. This is also a very expensive proposition since a homesteader barn was almost entirely built of timber. They were constructed with loving attention to detail, which included using pegs made of oak or other wood to hold the timbers in place.

Practically every colonial building was made of timber because it was easily available. Cheap to build with, repair, and these barns are no different. After all, the North American continent was well endowed with forests. The timber used for construction of farm houses, barns, churches and other structures varied from place to place, but it was almost always of the best quality. Even today, there are eager buyers for the timber salvaged from old barns that have been demolished.

Any student of North American history is a keen admirer of these structures and other articles and artifacts from that period. There is an immense demand for crafts and bric-a-brac that denotes the pioneer period, and this includes replicas of a homesteader barn or other structures from that period. They are a good way to get kids interested in history instead of depending solely on books for learning.

Ones experience of rural America and Canada is enriched by the presence of a homesteader barn, and it will be a great pity if they are all pulled down. These barns are a standing reminder of the pioneer spirit that built these two countries. They are getting a new lease of life these days since enthusiasts are taking up the challenge of renovating them and converting them into homes or offices, since there is clearly no need to store hay these days. It is a lovely sight to see a carefully restored barn bustling with life, just like it was in the old days when it was built.

This article was prepared by Paul Nerrad on behalf of Crafty Design www.logcabintoys.com. Crafty Design is located in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and specializes in Homesteader Barn Models and other kits.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Nerrad

Add a Rustic Appeal to Your Home With Old Barn Wood

Reclaimed from the 19th century Tobacco Warehouses, Barns, Factories, and Textile Mills, old barn wood renders a unique rustic appeal that is simply unavailable with new lumber. Old barn wood is excellent for wood flooring, custom furniture, siding, paneling, and other architectural details.

Good quality old barn wood and wood beams are available online these days. The online resources offer reclaimed beams and barn wood at considerably low cost. They do not set up a retail facility and hire extensive staff. The saving is thus directly passed on to the customers. Some of these vendors even offer mill direct facility that is the reclaimed wood is directly shipped from the saw mills and demolition sites to their customers.

They let you choose from a variety of appearances and rich species of wood including Antique Oak, Heart Pine, Wormy Chestnut, Poplar, Beech, and Hickory. You can further choose from Hand Hewn, Plain Sawn Beams, and Rough Sawn timber beams.

Besides letting you choose from the rich species wood beams and barn wood, these online resources also help you in making an informed decision. You can send them an email indicating the product you are interested in. Few good online reclaimed vendors even provide you with the guidance and help in choosing the right product for your home.

You can even ask for a sample of products such as wood flooring of your choice. Since many of these vendors regularly ship internationally, you can expect your desired product to be delivered in minimum time right at your doorstep.

Reclaimed wood barn and timber beams impart unparalleled beauty as well as stability to the interior of your home. Furthermore, the antique wood is an environmentally friendly option. Therefore, by opting for reclaimed timber beams and barn wood you take one step further in the direction to ensure a safer and greener environment. Thanks to the online reclaimed wood companies for offering rich species of reclaimed wood at affordable prices.

However, when buying from these online reclaimed wood vendors, make sure the one you choose is a member of NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) and USGBC (United States Green Building Council).

http://www.reclaimedwoodco.com is a trusted name in high quality reclaimed wood, old barn wood, reclaimed wood paneling, cypress lumber, wood beams, Heart pine and a wide range of Green Furniture.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marc_Worthington

Reclaimed Wood Paneling: Adding a Unique Style to Your Home or Office

All reclaimed wood paneling is unique in that it is sourced outside of the virgin wood supply chain. Like all recycled products, reclaimed wood panels have their own story to tell. Some are saved from disassembled gymnasium seats. Others are discovered in old barns.

Home and business owners can make their reclaimed wood paneling even more unique by applying different styles. Designers and builders who build with 4×8 veneer architectural panels often use the following methods to add a custom touch to reclaimed wood panels.

Apply paneling to different sections of the room. Paneling only certain sections of a room is a simple variation. For instance, you may panel only the bottom half of the room to create wainscoting. Alternatively, you could place pine paneling over an ugly popcorn ceiling. Wood panels can also be used to accent certain walls.

Start afresh with white paint. Years of use can leave older wood paneling looking rather shabby. If your reclaimed wood paneling seems just a tad too rustic, think about painting the entire area – paneling, beams, everything – white. This simple trick can completely overhaul a room.

Apply a new finish. Humans crave novelty. One way to bring a new look to your paneling is to add a new finish. Begin by taking off the old finish with an orbital sander. Next, apply a stain or leave the fresh wood look – just make certain you apply a final protective layer of polyurethane seal or shellac. While selecting a finish, think about how it will match nearby textures, colors and materials. For instance, slate floor tile looks great with bright pine or rich redwood panels.

Change up the texture. Distressed wooden paneling is highly sought after these days. Some people actually prefer the worn look of an old wood barn. Some reclaimed wood paneling is actually created from old barns; other panels may be fashioned to appear antiquated. Even the latter type of paneling is strong enough for commercial use, and completely free of catches and splinters.

Select an unusual primary source. Gymnasium bandstands, wine casks, shipping crates – all of these goods can be born again as reclaimed wood products. An unusual wood source will automatically make your wood paneling unique. As an example, you could beautify your bedroom with 4×8 veneer architectural panels formed from old barn beams.

Keep the original markings. Because so many homeowners appreciate learning the provenance of their reclaimed wood paneling, designers have started leaving original markings in place. As an example, bleacher numbers may be left in place when gymnasium stands are converted into panels.

Select another paneling form. Up to here, we’ve had our sights set on precision-milled tongue and groove wooden panels. Certainly, this is the longest-lasting, most durable type of wooden paneling, but other paneling options exist. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) can be used, for instance, to build low-cost paneling.

Overall, there are lots of options when it comes to customizing panels. The first stylistic choice arrives in the form of your materials. Pine paneling may compliment a country kitchen, while warm oak 4×8 veneer architectural panels would suit a buzzing café. Every home and business can find its unique paneling expression by adding paint, finishes, stains and veneers. And if this isn’t enough, you can choose to apply paneling only in certain areas.

If you’re looking for 4×8 veneer architectural panels for use in your home or office, visit the website for Viridian Wood Products at ViridianWood.com, where you can find photos, articles and more information on reclaimed wood panels, flooring and furniture.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_W_Clark

Top 3 Uses For An Old Barn

Who would have thought that those old, dilapidated, weather-beaten barns you see standing in the fields along our highways are actually quite green? Long after their usefulness for storing hay and protecting farm equipment and livestock from mother nature has past, they can begin a new life, or lives, in many ways.

When an old barn is dismantled, or deconstructed, carefully, it can provide a wealth of valuable, recycled building materials for countless individuals looking to be more environmentally friendly.

The top use is at the top of the barn. A high quality slate shingle roof can last 100 years or more. Carefully removing and packing the slate shingles will allow them to be reinstall on another roof to provide years of protection from the weather. I have also seen artists who paint country or farm scenes on recycled slate shingles that are then sold at craft shows.

The next use on the list comes from the long, wide boards that were used for the vertical siding. These planks can be as much as twenty-four inches wide. Quite often these boards are reused for finish flooring in homes. Some other popular uses are kitchen cabinets, bookcases, wall paneling and more types of furniture than I could ever list here.

The third use comes from the large, and sometimes enormous, posts and beams that make up the framework of the barn. Occasionally these frames are disassembled then rebuilt to provide the framework of a brand new building. More often than not, these timbers are used as a decorative, rather than structural part of a home.

There is actually a fourth use for these old structures. Many barns were built on cut sandstone foundations. These huge pieces of rock can be cut or chiseled into almost anything.

So you see, with some creative thinking, careful planning and a good bit of hard work, something old can most definitely be something new again.

Now that you know what to do with an old barn, let us help you find plans for a new barn today.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bo_Wagner

Going Green Using Reclaimed Antique Barns

Reclaiming wood from old barns, mills, warehouses, tobacco sheds, fences, etc. continues to be an important trend in “going green”. There are many advantages to recycling antique wood. The rich texture and beauty of hand hewn time-worn material has an authentic patina that can only be achieved from natural weathering. Interior barn boards will be a very desirable warm honey-colored brown, whereas exterior wood has a soft silver grey color.

The ‘look’ of the barn wood is very important. Character shows in the form of old nail holes, cracks, ‘checked’ grain and color. Another advantage of reclaimed wood is its strength and durability. The American spirit somehow shows through those old wood planks and beams. Hard-working hands fashioned each piece using handmade tools and many hours of labor.

Using recycled barn wood has another benefit in that expansion and contraction from humidity and temperature change has already taken place. It has been ‘hardened off’ so to speak. New green wood has yet to undergo that long process. Old floor planks are treasures in this day and age. Because the expansion-contraction amount is minimal, the material lends itself well to radiant heating system applications.

Antique lumber is prized by architects, craftsmen and builders of many types of construction projects. Long before modern building techniques took over, the land was cleared by man and horse. Barns and homes were built using hand tools and long hard hours of labor. Beams were hand-hewn with axes and then squared off using an adze. The adze was used for smoothing rough-cut lumber surfaces as well. Old tool marks can still be seen in the antique wood.

Each side of an old barn shows different characteristics. The north and west sides will be more weathered by rain, snow and winds. The east side would have been exposed to only morning sun, and shade the rest of the day, while the south side would have been washed by the light and heat of the sun.

Vintage timbers represented the wood that was growing on the land where the original building was constructed. Those trees included white, black, red, willow, pin and scarlet oak, long leaf yellow pine, elm, chestnut, cherry, walnut, hickory, maple, poplar and beech. Old chestnut wood is particularly coveted because of the 1904 chestnut blight. Long leaf yellow pine was the most abundant tree used in construction a hundred years ago. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. These woods are only obtainable in large quantities now by reclaiming antique wood buildings.

The size of the beams and planks was determined by the strength of the men and horses that had to move those boards and beams. Today old barns are for sale on the internet from an average of $300 on up, depending on the size of the building and the type of wood. Price is also determined by whether cleanup after dismantling is desired.

At the time of this writing, old barn boards on average cost $1.50 to $5.00 and up per square foot, again depending on the size of the lumber. Another factor in price is the quantity desired and the thickness. Barn wood can typically range from ½” to 1″ thick. Widths measure between 6″ to 12″ or more.

Today there are many items being made from reclaimed barn wood. They include wood flooring, wood paneling, and ceiling planks. Tables, chairs, benches, cabinets, shelves, picture frames, bird houses and bird feeders are all made from vintage barn boards.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a ‘green’ building rating system. It requires projects to earn a certain number of credits to become certified. Using reclaimed wood can earn credits towards LEED project certification.

The high demand and popularity of barn wood has made it harder and harder to find. It’s not always a simple process to identify the species of wood that was used. Given its age, determining the origin is sometimes only achieved by cutting open the piece of wood. Reclaimed wood is more expensive than new wood because of the cost of dismantling. Additionally, nails must be removed as well as embedded metal such as pieces of old cut off nails. The wood then needs to be sorted. These are all labor-intensive tasks.

There is also the question of what type of stains or paints or other compounds were used on the wood surfaces over the years. Lead paint in particular poses a problem with reclaimed wood used in interior applications.

Antique barn wood represents the hard-working history of America. Its innate warmth, beauty and durability has been achieved through natural weathering and aging. Using this wood for new projects that are environmentally friendly keeps the old barns alive. Otherwise they will fall to ruin and be eventually absorbed into the ground on which they were originally built. That seems like a terrible waste of a rich, yet humble heritage. I applaud those who are breathing life back into our vintage American barns and “going green” in the process!

Connie M. Smith is the expert author and webmaster with over 30 years of backyard birding experience. For a large selection of unique handmade reclaimed barn wood bird houses and bird feeders visit her website: http://www.rusticbarnwoodbirdhouses.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Connie_M_Smith

Old Barn Means Timber Reclamation and a New Life for Homes and Barns

The use of large hand hewed timber logs was state of the art standard material for homes and barns back over a century ago. With the innovation of the industrial revolution and the need for homes to be quickly erected, new building technologies were invented and highly productive saw mills were built to meet the demand. Nails were not used at this time, but the beams were notched and then holes drilled by hand with a peg driven into that hole to keep major beams together. Some nails were used called cut nails where a sheet or plate of steel as made in a mill of a certain thickness and the nails were literally stamped out making this nail. These nails were expensive and they were usually made of hot rolled steel and hot heat treated which caused these nails to break under a heavy hammer blow.

So with the homes using 2″ x 6″ and I mean real 2″ x 6″ studding and nails made from wire which is a lot cheaper and new construction techniques, homes and even barns were built a lot quicker, just as strong and is some cases stronger and cheaper in both labor and materials caused Timber Bans and homes to fall our of favor and no loner built except for the Amish, but they did use the saw mills to make the large timber beams for their structural strength.

One must understand with timber built barns, the spacing of structural members is less and actually uses less lumber, but it is the matter of handling these heavy beams that caused a lot of problems and also a lot of injuries and even deaths. Slowly timber barns and homes were no longer made but a few for the Amish who wanted that style of barn and they had plenty of help to make this adventure happen.

I still hear of these barns still being raised by an small army of Amish neighbors getting together for a old fashion barn building, or a frolic as it is known. The men would toil from early morning till the sun set in the evening and the wives would cook the meals feeding the hungry crew and for those not old enough to help in the barn building, they would play always under the watchful eye of everyone on the site because it was a dangerous area.

If all of the materials were purchase and on site this entire project would be done within a week at which time hay would be stored in the upper loft and the horses in their new stalls with sawdust under their feet and to serve as their bedding. I have been in many a barn and they are as magnificent as some of the great palatial homes or mansions that were built by the wealthy of this country. If I had a choice of owning the Breakers or the Singer mansion or I fine Amish barn, I would pick the mansion, sell it and purchase several barns to live in. However, I would not share my barn with the horses, they would have their own.

But that was the past, and this is the present. There is a group of Amish builders who I know that finds old barns and take them down piece by piece and gently removing the timbers for another life. Each piece is inspected including the barn shielding or outer cover for a potential new life and if it passes it is steamed cleaned to remove any critters that have made a home there for they are not welcomed in the new life of the wood. The large timbers get the same treatment and steamed, but for a longer time. They do not use any chemicals because of potential hazards and steam will kill or remove all critters and bacteria. Some of this wood is used in making new homes as décor or even structural members and the outer covering is used as décor or furniture is made of it and I have several pieces on display in my new store. Those pieces that do not pass are sent on to another group who use those pieces into distinct arts and crafts and if too bad, it is used as firewood. Nothing is wasted.

Homes are now built with these reclaimed beams and barn wood for an entire house or to make a barn on someone’s property that can afford such a building. They are not inexpensive and it takes skilled craftsmen to use these timbers in the most effective manner and to give the desire affect. They usually work with the architect of the home to create for the homeowner this special effect.

Having a home with reclaimed beams is not only a wonderful décor item, but a bit of history is within that home. I have a sister in law with such a family room and it is just wonderful to see these huge beams going across the room creating the cathedral ceiling. Now just because they have it, you can also have these beams as part of your home cottage or even an old barn right on your property. The Amish have reclaimed the wood and steamed it to remove the critters and they build your dream home.

These Amish timber home builders travel to all parts of the country and will work many weeks at a time to finish the project. I was talking with the owner, Abe and they were doing a home in West Virginia and the nearest hotel was at least an hour away. So an arrangement was made and the men brought their sleeping bags and slept on the floor of the couples very small home that they were going to move out of and into the new timber home to save that two plus hours day traveling and could get more work done and the owners wife prepared 3 meals a day for the Amish workers and can they eat. Abe told me she got up very early in the morning to make the home made biscuits, bacon, gravy and eggs for their breakfast every morning with also a healthy lunch and supper. The man had to go to work so all were tired when the evening sun was leaving the western sky.

They told me that they had no problem sleeping and enjoyed the stay and I asked about sleeping on the floor and he told me no one had a problem with that at all. The only problem they had was the rainy days where work was limited, but work was still done and of course Sunday all rested. The Amish never work on Sunday.

The home was finally finished and now they are back to Ohio and in my last discussion with Abe, they are going to do homes Amish style where ever people want them. They do not have to be an Amish Timber home but just a high quality home for those that are very fussy and work to the highest standards.

One thing that I was impressed is that for a barn owner now has a choice. The barn can be just destroyed and what a shame, or its beams and siding can removed used for other homes or barns and the siding used for furniture and I have same of this marvelous barn furniture that I will keep for myself and also one can have a barn completely restored. I am not sure of the Red Man Chewing Tobacco sign, but it can be either painted or coated to keep the rustic look to make it last for another life.

As I travel around, I look for old barns that can be torn down gently and reclaimed and would be a piece of history for a new owner to be enjoyed even more than its previous life.

We ( http://www.amishfurnituresuperstore.com ) are strictly an internet based company working with over 125 individual Amish craftsmen and their companies to bring you the finest wood products available. Almost all of these products are made in buildings located on their home farms. Some are individual proprietors and others have moved their businesses, but still own and employ Amish craftsmen.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Nowak

Pole Barns: Eco-Friendly And Simplistic

Building a pole barn has become a much easier task today. With tons of available ready-to-use plans and blueprints, a handy homeowner can build not only a pole barn of two or even six horse stalls, but also add convenient sheds for tractors, feed storage or shelters. The plans can be used to build other kinds of pole buildings, including workshops, storage barns or garages. Simplicity, cost-cutting and durability are the main reasons why people still use poles, the oldest construction technique, to create simple buildings.

Poles have been used for centuries to raise huts and shelters all over the world. Poles rooted in earth forming a frame for the covering material, be it animal skin, wood or metal, provided enough warmth and protection, and could be built very quickly from whatever material was available. To build pole barns, people still use this technique, which hasn’t changed much over the years. The materials have changed though, and today pole barns are covered with aluminum, steel and other durable lightweight materials, with insulation and sometimes wooden or brick facades.

Pole barns are becoming more and more popular because they allow the building of reliable shelter for animals or storage without money-consuming earth excavation, concrete foundations and general site disruption.

The cheapest way to start building a pole barn is with a pole foundation. Pole foundation is actually a pole that doubles as a framing member. Posts or poles are inserted deep into ground so they can bear a lot of pressure, sometimes as deep as 10ft. But that’s almost all digging for the foundation that a pole barn builder can expect. The pressure is distributed evenly around the pole, and the construction becomes very stable and durable. The builder can dig the holes himself or using a power auger. The poles are secured by a small amount of concrete poured into the holes, saving money and labor, as full concrete foundations can be somewhat expensive.

The pole foundation gives the construction a lot of flexibility. A pole barn with pole foundation can be raised virtually anywhere, even in places where a traditional concrete foundation is not possible, for example, on a steep hillside or wooded area. Thanks to the pole foundation, a pole barn can be built very quickly without expensive ground excavation. Even coastal, earthquake and mountain areas are suitable for building pole barns and sheds. This way, pole barns leave the best land for raising crops, preserving the natural environment and are generally more environmentally friendly with their minimal construction techniques.

Another advantage to pole barns is that you don’t have to make them visually perfect and “manicured”. You can use cheap galvanized steel for the roof and wood sidings, making the whole project very affordable. The only thing that is not worth skimping on, according to experienced builders, are storm clips. These are a valuable investment considering storms and hurricanes are hitting more and more often. Trusses also need to be of good quality as these parts of pole building construction will carry significant weight.

Pole barns and other pole buildings will cost somewhere in the area of $3,000 and upwards, depending on the size and materials available in your particular area. With simple instructions and plans, these buildings can be raised in no time, even if you don’t have strong building experience.

Building Efficient Horse Barns

Future champions deserve royal treatment. Someone who helps you in your work needs must be treated the same as well. So why put your horses in barns that are not liveable? But before moving them from their makeshift barns to the most expensive and priciest horse barns you could find, there’s a lot of things to consider. Well-structured, well-constructed horse barns are well-ventilated, light, roomy, comfortable to work and stay in. Top horseman and horse barn builder Champ Hough even suggests that horse barns should be as homey to your horses as your house feels like home to you. He shares several tips from over thirty horse barn building experience.

Hough suggests that before deciding on your plan, an appropriate site must be first decided. By appropriate, it means a site that would give your horse barns the much-needed air circulation and proper drainage. This would prevent epidemics within your barn. A good site would also provide your barn easy access to utilities, your driveway, or the road. Hough recommends orienting barns with these in mind. For aesthetic purposes, keep useful but unsightly features like the manure bin or can far from roads and your house but near your barn. Delivery docks and ramps should also be situated in the same manner. He also reminds builders not to mix delivery and horse traffic for less inconvenience. In doing barn layouts, Hough shares his trick. He suggests minimizing steps or the distance between barn workstations literally. This means that water stations, feeding stations, and grooming stations must be within reach or near each other. He also recommends, confining or isolating potentially messy areas like stalls and bathing areas to reduce dirt in the general barn. Clustering stalls is a good option.

Horse barns are usually built with 12 ft aisles but Hough insist that it is better if you give your barn aisles another couple of feet. This will enable machinery to enter the barn, and will give horses and caretakers ample room to maneuver inside. A wider doorway will also let in more light and improve air circulation. Installing screens on windows and sliding doors will reduce fly population while installing exhaust fans would let hot air out to be replaced by cooler air. Hough suggest the use of pavers and asphalt on horse barn floors for better drainage. Plus, these materials are easier on your horses’ legs.In time, you’ll get the benefit of having less vet bills, less upkeep and maintenance costs, and an increase in property value. With proper horse barns, your horses will be healthier, breed better, and have champion quality offsprings.