Barn Site Selection Tips
Plan Your Barn Location to Be Functional – Your horse depends on you to select the best site for its home.
An aesthetically pleasing barn will add to overall property value well beyond the barn investment. Finding the best possible location and orientation is as important as the design and construction of the barn itself.
When planning a new facility it is important to consider things like prevailing wind, groundwater drainage, security, deliveries, waste removal and other factors as well as view.
Nothing Beats a Great View
It’s a good idea to start with the view in mind. Select a site that won’t block views that add to the beauty of the overall property. In addition, position the barn so that horses may be seen the majority of the day. With optimum placement, you can enjoy your animals while keeping a watchful eye on their health and security.
Location Can Affect Horses’ Health
Planning for location should include determining which way the sun rises and sets to ensure comfortable climate conditions within the structure throughout the day. It’s ideal to capture summer breezes for their cooling effect while avoiding cold winter winds. You don’t want the center aisle to be a wind tunnel. FCP always recommends orientation at a 45 degree angle to the prevailing wind.
If strong winds come from all directions, doors should be placed in all four sides so they can be closed as needed.
Good air flow is crucial to your horse’s health as barns with poor ventilation can cause respiratory problems from dust, odor, and germs. Because hot air naturally rises and needs a place to escape, some barns may require exhaust fans or cupolas.
Before grading the barn site, groundwater drainage should be considered. Standing water and marshy areas can be breeding grounds for insects and diseases. It is important to locate the wash area so that it also has good drainage.
Plan for Convenience
Consideration of the following will make it easier to enjoy working in your barn:
- Access and traffic flow is critical. Delivery and waste removal trucks, in addition to your horse trailer, need access to your barn from the road and/or your driveway. However, parking and traffic patterns should not be too close to horses to inhibit spooking.
- The functional layout is relative to amenities. Avoid unproductive distances to arenas, hot walkers, riding trails, feed & equipment storage, etc.
- Optimal distance from residential structures. Too close, flies and odors can be objectionable. Too far, and access and utility hookups can be inefficient.
- Plan for future expansion. Don’t position your barn so that you can’t add on later without infringing on required property setbacks.
Follow these tips and you will set yourself up to enjoy your barn and your horses for years to come.
To learn more about site selection, call us and speak to an FCP design consultant at 1-800-807-2276.
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