The decision to buy a new horse barn is a big decision and not one most horse folks take lightly. Horse stabling is usually a sizeable building to purchase and often represents a significant outlay of capital as a percentage of most household budgets.
Nervousness and trepidation, buyer’s remorse and a myriad of other emotions can accompany the barn buyer as they saddle up to make the big spend.
Training and riding horses does help equestrians and equine aficionados develop confidence in decision making skills. Perhaps due in part because when handling a horse, they are in charge of a big beastie and need to operate with some measure of control and sensibility. However, the dollar spend required for a new barn can give even the most knowledgeable horse person who has a clear vision of their desires in barn design and construction, moments of sincere self-doubt.
There are many reasons this uncertainty occurs and relinquishing the reins on the barn building budget is not the best course to adopt to solve the issue. When you are not sure. At all. Here are the most likely reasons why and methods to resolve them.
Lack Of Information
The most common reason buying a horse barn overwhelms a prospective purchaser is simply lack of information. No matter how decisive you may be in handling and overcoming obstacles through the toil of daily life at home or at work, the best decisions always come from being educated and knowledgeable about the matter at hand.
Similarly, your best barn buying decision will come from taking the time to learn as much as you can about both the construction partner you wish to collaborate with on the barn build and the end product that is the likely result of the project.
Nobody likes surprises such as cost overruns, material substitutions of lesser quality products or unexpected delays in schedules and completion of a project. Neither should anyone be subjected to being presented with requests for money without a qualified known timetable for release of funds. No money should be released without the back up of a clearly worded contract with concise understandable language executed by both parties that provides a detailed account of the materials and structure to be built and a quantified sum or total cost, including warranty and refund policies.
These factors are not arbitrary needs and should be embraced as absolute necessities in the process of navigating the course of the project. The upward trending popularity of the modular horse barn is due in part to reasons past the appreciated factory craftsmanship and known delivery timelines and almost ‘instant’ appearance and immediate readiness for use. Leading modular barn building companies offer barn products that can be readily qualified and quantified. That brings much peace of mind to the purchaser.
You Can’t Buy It If It’s Not There
If you’ve ever looked at a catalog of products online or in print and been unable to find that perfect pair of waterproof barn boots, the right bridle for your horse or the best saddle to fit your budget, it is likely that the one that is right for you simply isn’t there.
Making the best selection of a horse barn for your individual needs and specifications, is directly related to having a choice of designs, styles, sizes, and component materials from which to choose.
Being hampered by lack of selection options is like trying to ride a horse on a saddle without a girth. It can be done, but it is a very dicey thing to attempt and losing your balance and falling off can have dire consequences.
Lack of selection in barn builds can be caused due to geographic location where access to local building companies well-versed and with proven experience to construct a great quality sturdily built horse barn are limited. Restricted horse housing choices can also be caused by a builder’s lack of experience in how to draft plans and construct the right structure. Thankfully today the nationwide footprint of the modular barn building industry offers almost everyone an opportunity to own a top-quality product.
A fundamental reason horse folks feel they have a lack of choice in their barn purchase is lack of money. The capital outlay required to buy a horse barn can be overwhelming to even consider and managing the spend does require a savvy approach to how best to fund the project.
Leading modular barn building companies offer financing options which helps to spread the financial load. For horse business owners it is well worth consulting with a qualified accountant and asking about how amortizing/depreciation and loan interest deductibility can help defray the tax burden and leverage the use of the money.
Who Should You Listen to for Advice
Well-meaning horsey friends will often impart words of wisdom based on their own horse barn ownership experiences, but they can also steer you in the wrong direction.
As time passages so do the available options in barn designs and styles. The advent of low maintenance siding and insulation options and increased durability in stains and paints may make old methods of construction obsolete and cumbersome. While modern methods don’t always mean better (the timber frame barn build option that is mortise and tenon with timbers hewn from outside center cut wood cores is a great example of where tradition meets modern day needs and captures both worlds), there are many advantages in how roof products are applied and protected and materials to encase the horse barn are manufactured.
If you are buying from an experienced construction company, don’t be shy to ask for advice on where costs could be cut or aspects of design that allow roughed in features be implemented in the design that you can then finish later at your own expense as funds allow.
Keep Barn Feature Selection on Track
Every horse person that is entertaining a new barn purchase has a laundry list of ‘must haves’ and ‘wants’ when it comes to the features they wish included in the building’s design. But it is easy to get carried away when making the decisions of what should be added to the standard or basic design.
Put Peer Pressure Out to Pasture
It is human nature and always a huge temptation to buy something to impress others.
There is nothing wrong with building a fancy barn and everyone can appreciate the beauty of high-end structures. But there is also nothing wrong with constructing a workmanlike structure that does the job it is designed to do, keep the horses safe and secure. Let’s face it, the horses won’t notice and won’t care where they are stabled as long as they have good ventilation, space to move and are properly fed, watered, and bedded.
Lack Of Family Support
It is understandably difficult to justify the spend on a new horse housing structure to family members that are not supportive of your passion to own horses. It is certainly not a pre-requisite for a happy relationship to have a partner that enjoys being around horses, but their support for you engaging and enjoying your horse time certainly helps.
It is important to provide your family with open communication about the reason for the barn build. Consider for example the benefits such as added property value, saving costs on boarding and commuting time to and from a stable a distance away, opportunities for healthy outdoor living activities for the kids, and by family inclusion the chance to teach the kids life lessons such as responsibilities and care/consideration for nature and animals.
The construction of a multi-purpose design, such as a garage/barn combination design or studio/workshop loft space provision above a center aisle barn, can also help persuade family members as to other benefits a new structure on the property can include that will address more than horse stabling needs.
Trust Your Instincts
Gut instinct and intuition are valuable resources that can serve us well if we are mindful of their use. Even if you find yourself far along the road on your barn building project, with all the choice/selections made and price agreed with the contract ready to sign, don’t be ambushed into making a bad decision.
Common high-pressure sales tactics include the builder stating limitations on when there is time available in the schedule to start the project with the prospective purchaser being told by the construction company to, “Get in quick while we have this time slot available,.” If you experience a lack of responsiveness to your queries or procrastination to provide paperwork and lukewarm attitude to your ideas for changes plans, consider these red flags worthy of halting on course.
As a vet friend once told me when I was sorely disappointed over a horse showcasing major health issues during a detailed veterinary pre-purchase evaluation,
“You never regret the horses you didn’t buy.”
Similarly, the barn building partner you declined to give your business to is not something you will likely regret. Building your new barn should be a fun and pleasurable experience from start to finish. Don’t settle for anything less.