Dare to Compare

Contributed by: Dan Seitz, Project Manager

Here is a look at some of the different types of horse barns available and some of the pros and cons of each type of barn.  There are a number of different styles of barns that are available across the country.  I want to talk about three types available in our North Texas market. 

Pole Barns:                                     


  • They have a traditional style with metal or wood sheeting on the exterior. 
  • They can be a more cost effective choice for a barn because a concrete foundation is not necessarily needed; the treated posts go into the ground.  If you want a barn that you can sweep out and keep fairly clean, you will want a concrete foundation. 


  • There are some additional draw backs to them.  Wood framing has the ability to twist and warp in times of extreme rain and extreme drought.  If the lumber is not treated consistently it can leave parts of the post vulnerable to rot and insect infestation


Concrete Block Barns:     


  • Block barns are popular because of the ease of maintenance.  Typically we see them in what I will call the professional Equine facility.  Facilities that need to spray the stalls down with a hose and move onto the next task. 


  • Block barns need much more ventilation than any other type of barn because moisture gets trapped on the inside of the barn with nowhere to go and mold can be an issue
  • In addition to ventilation, they are typically the most expensive barn because the structure is very labor intensive, and hiring a mason is not cheap. 
  • We see many structures built with block that require custom stalls.  Whenever you build anything custom there is a custom price that goes with it. 


Prefab Barns:

The last category that I would like to mention is the Prefab Barns.  The term "prefab" means that the components are going to be pre-manufactured in a facility and assembled onsite.  There are a number of different manufacturers and each has their own style and selling points. 

You will need a concrete foundation for these barns, so you need to keep that in mind when you are pricing your barn.  Even though they are made out of standard parts, with most barns you can get a custom feeling. You will just need to remember there will be some limitations. 


  • One of the drawbacks to this type of barn is they can have a very commercial or stale feeling to them because of the sheeting that the manufacturer uses.  If you use wood on the exterior you can get a warmer feel, just remember there will be more maintenance to keep the wood looking good.


AmeriStall Barns:

AmeriStall barns fit into the prefab barn category, and our barns require a concrete foundation.  For all of our interior framing we use Gator Shield® galvanized tubing, and all of our welds are primed with a galvanizing primer and painted.  On the exterior sheeting we use an Energy Star® 26 ga metal PBR panel that we manufacture in a number of colors.  This panel also is class 4 impact UL listed and has a 40 year color warranty.  We give our barns the warmth of wood with a #1 Hand Select Southern Yellow pine that we have milled specially for us.  Insulation is available in the roof of the barn and is a good way to keep your horses cool in the heat of the summer and warmer in those cold winter days.  We manufacture almost every part and accessory in our barns so we can control how the parts are made.  We don’t cut corners...because we only build barns that we would trust and use for ourselves.

Planning and Dreaming

When you are in the designing stages of planning your barn:

  1.  Pick the size, style and options you like and get some budget numbers from the manufacturers. 
  2. Here is an important point: TAKE YOUR TIME.  Do not rush and do not be rushed by a manufacturer wanting to get your deposit. 
  3. Make all your changes on paper in the planning process because it is more difficult and also more costly to make changes after construction starts. 
  4. Go see a display barn or some of the barns they built for their customers, referrals are important because if they did a good job for someone else they will typically do a good job for you. 


Did this article help you better understand the different types of barns available?

Do you still have questions?

You can leave your questions in the comments or email us at    barns@southwest-metal.com

Dan Seitz, Project Manager

Dan Seitz, Project Manager