Contributed by: Johnny Kerby, Project Manager
TIP #1: Access Doors
One thing we never seem to think about is barn access. With the sliding doors on each end, you can go in with ease. In some cases, it is good to have an additional access door. We can install a 3 x 7 steel door with a dead bolt or even a half glass. You can put an exterior door coming into a tack room, feed room, or wash area. In some cases, we have designed an open area for an entrance into the barn with a porch or cover over it. With another access you can lock the barn down with the cam latches on the sliding door and dead bolt on the 3 x 7 walk door for those times you might be away for an extended period of time.
Tip #2: Tack Room Ceiling
I think it is a good idea to convert the tack room ceiling into a load-bearing ceiling. As a standard, we install a metal ceiling by design and simplicity that mostly acts as a dust cover. If you would like a storage area above a tack or feed room area, it can be framed with 2 x 8's and decked with plywood to carry the weight. This is not a huge expense. You can locate a hot water heater, store hay, or simply keep things out of the way you don't use every day. Additionally, the ceiling can be insulated for condensation control.
Tip #3: Plan for Future Ownership
The third thing I always remind my clients is this: Always put an electrical or water chase into the tack or a feed area through the foundation for future use. Even if you are not planning for it now, you may decide to sell someday. This is a minimal expense to maintain the best marketable value!
It is so interesting to talk to folks about their ideas and what they would like to have. Everyone has a different outlook on how they want to it to be. To all of you thinking about building a barn, we would love to hear from you and walk with you through the process of planning your DREAM barn. Whether it is a 40-stall or a 2-stall, we want to see your dream happen.
To get more information, a catalog, or a quote, please call 888-234-BARN or email us at BARNS@SOUTHWEST-METAL.COM