We live on a small one acre property with an older existing barn that's 20x36'. We tried for a few years to figure out a way to make the barn work as a horse barn and garage - it would work for either, but not both. We looked at adding on, but the existing structure is a gambrel style and an addition was pretty complicated and kind of ugly. Plus, given that we're on a small lot, the addition didn't make the best use of the limited space we have. So, we started pricing pole barns and stick-built structures. Do you have any idea how expensive barns are? Holy crap!
We looked at Morton, Cleary, and finally Lester pole barns because those were way closer to what we could afford than some of the fancier timber frame barns that are gorgeous, but oh so expensive. I've been Pinteresting barn ideas for years, but we got serious about it over the winter. We priced Morton and Cleary first - in January and February. They're both good companies with nice products, but we have a friend who has a Lester barn and is really happy with it. I'd never heard of Lester, but her barn is 15 years old and in great shape. This is her second Lester barn and her indoor arena is also a Lester. Based on her recommendation, I found the closest Lester dealer to us, Jasper Ridge Construction in Carr, CO. Phil, the owner, came and met with us and we started the design process (for the third time - we were starting to get the design narrowed down in our minds). That was in early March. We finally got it finalized and ordered June 5th. Due to COVID delays, it won't be here until mid-August, but I don't even care because it's actually coming! It's really going to happen.
The building is 36x84'. The north end is a 36x36' shop/garage, and the horse barn is 36x48'. It's 3 stalls, with a tack room, wash rack/grooming bay, and hay storage. We're going to put 12x36' runs off the east side of the horse stalls and we were able to buy the lot across the street that we can use for an arena and turnout paddock.
We put a 12' overhang on the horse run side of the barn because we wanted to shelter the stalls, but also so we can park the horse trailer under the overhand on the shop portion. Because of the budget, we reduced the overhand on the porch side to 6'. That side will face our backyard so we wanted some overhang, but didn't need the same size.
There are a lot of challenges with keeping horses on a small acreage, but I think we've thought of most of the issues and can manage it well. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. When I was searching for barn planning advice, there isn't a lot out there for small barns - most of what I could find was big, beautiful professional barns. I've agonized over a lot of the decisions, so I thought I'd share the process with you and if you're thinking of building a barn, hopefully I can be of some help. Next up, we'll talk about stalls!