Common Mistakes People Make When Designing Their Custom Barn


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Custom Lean-To Horse Barn

If you need a barn for horses, hay, and equipment but have never built one before, there are several things to consider before driving the first stake. Building a barn on your property will require a little research on your part, and you’ll likely have plenty of questions along the way.

Over the years, we’ve crafted thousands of barns for all types of clients, and we’ve noticed several common mistakes made by people when designing their custom barns. Here’s a look at these mistakes, so you’ll know what to avoid, how to start things off on the right foot, and end up with the perfect barn for your property and way of life.

Not Choosing Experienced Horse Barn Builders

The very first step in building barns or backyard structures is to select a barn builder. However, you can’t entrust your equipment and horses to just any builder or contractor.

After all, you wouldn’t want someone who only builds swimming pools to build your home, so you shouldn’t entrust the construction of your custom horse barn to someone who typically only builds homes and has little to no horse experience. Building a barn requires knowledge about how barns and the animals that live in them operate.

If you’re having trouble finding experienced barn builders in your area, consider a modular barn. Our modular barns are handcrafted by the Amish and can be shipped to any property. Yes, believe it or not, having a beautiful and functional barn on your property really is that simple.

Building a Custom Horse Barn in the Wrong Location

When building a barn, you should choose a location that will allow you to expand and add more stalls or room for equipment if needed. While four stalls and your old Ford tractor may be okay for now, you never know when another horse may come along or the need for more equipment will arise. For this reason, a good location with plenty of open land surrounding it is a sound design decision.

12x34 Run In Shed Row Barn Combo - Natural Stain - Pewter Gary Shingle - B-32 Cupola - Gable Vents

It’s also important to choose a site with proper drainage as well as access to utilities and roads or driveways. Your barn should be positioned to allow for adequate airflow as well. You would be surprised how many people make the mistake of placing their barn in a location that receives little to no wind. In the summertime, this can turn into a frustrating issue.

Choosing Cheap Materials

Your barn doesn’t have to be lined with marble and Pella windows, but it should be constructed of quality materials that will hold up to the elements and wear and tear of equine or agricultural use. Cutting corners may save you some money now, but it will cost you more in the long run. If you’re going to put a barn on your property, make sure it’s built well from solid materials and made to last.

Starting without a Plan

Another common mistake made by first-time barn builders is beginning the process without a plan. If you’re interested in building a modular barn, lean-to horse barn, or a shed row barn, ordering one without deciding on the location, where the driveway and water lines will go, how many stalls you need, where you want the windows, and so on will only result in a sub-par barn for both you and your horses.

Lack of Cohesion

Custom barns or other backyard structures with a different style and aesthetic than the main home is another design mistake we see all too often. While your barn doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of your home, it should complement its style. Ultimately, your barn and home should look like they were built at the same time.

Not Going Big Enough

You may only have a few horses now, but you never know when you will have the opportunity to purchase more horses. Therefore, you should design your barn with a couple more stalls and a little more space than you may think you need. From more space for storage to extra stalls and wider aisles, before long you’ll realize you can never have too much space in a barn.

10x16 Run In Shed - Fox Hollow Gray Shingle - Gray Paint & Tan Trim

Building a barn can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time. As one of the nation’s top horse barn builders, one of our dealers would be more than happy to talk with you about your barn project. Contact a J&N Structures dealer today to learn about our Amish craftsmanship and the beautiful barns we create!