Shed Preparation | Chicken Coop Insulation | Horizon Structures

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer financing?
We have several financing options available including a rent-to-own program.  Please check HERE for more details and to find the program that works for you. 
What is your lead time?
Most of the time, we'll be ready before you are. It typically takes only 3-6 weeks to build our sheds and Run-ins and about 8 weeks for a modular barn. However, the average time from when a customer places an order until they are ready to take delivery is about 30-45 days. If you order one of our stock buildings, we can usually deliver it within a week. Chicken coop lead time is between 4 - 6 weeks.  Time of year can affect lead times as well.  Our busiest times are spring and late fall.
Where do you deliver?
We deliver anywhere within the continental United States.
What kind of permits do I need?
Permit requirements vary greatly depending on where your property is located and how it is zoned. At best, nothing will be required of you. At most, you may be required to submit detailed, stamped, architectural drawings and complete your township or municipality's forms. 
Most of the time, it's something in between. Be sure to check any local regulations regarding permits and inspections and any requirements regarding site prep or anchoring for the building. After finding out what you need for your building permit, give us a call. In most cases, we can provide - free of charge - much of the documentation requested by local municipalities. You can read more about this on our permits page.
Do I need to insulate my chicken coop?
One of the most common questions people ask is whether or not to apply chicken coop insulation.

Horizon Structures' coops are NOT insulated for several reasons:

  • First, because we ship throughout the continental United States, there are many areas that would never need insulation as the winters are very mild.
  • Second, while we wouldn't call ourselves "chicken experts", we don't believe the coops need to be insulated.

There are as many opinions on this subject as there are breeds of poultry and we recommend that everyone research the matter for themselves and choose the option that is best for their situation and their birds. The information we found on the subject seems to support the fact that insulating your coop is probably unnecessary.

Many chicken breeds are very cold hardy. Especially the larger breeds with ample feathers. You may be surprised to discover just how well most birds tolerate extreme cold. They will huddle close together in their nest boxes or on their roosts and keep each other warm during the coldest winter weather providing that you flock a coop that is dry, well ventilated, and free from drafts.

Here are easy suggestions that can provide extra winter protection for your chickens at little or no cost:

  • Position your coop to take maximum advantage of natural sunlight (and heat).
    * usually, a southern exposure works best.
  • Stack bales of hay against the northern side of the coop and along the sides.
    * use the hay as litter / bedding in the spring!
  • Put extra deep bedding on the floor - especially if your coop is elevated
  • Make sure your coop has adequate ventilation. Remember, moisture inside the coop is a problem. Especially in the winter. Don't insulate an unheated coop because moisture will build up inside.

If you want to insulate your coop a safe material to use is 1.5" styrofoam sheets. If possible, these should be placed BETWEEN the walls/siding and the ceiling/roof.

If you can't do that - don't worry. This material is non-toxic. If your chickens happen to peck at it and ingest it, it should pass right through without harming them.

Usually a simple light bulb can provide enough heat and a large heated dog dish is enough to keep your chicken's water from freezing.

NOTE: Extreme cold may cause your chickens to (temporarily) stop laying.

Is a foundation needed for these barns?
Our barns are built on top of pressure treated 6"x6" timbers and are designed to sit directly on the ground. In most cases, the foundation is not required unless your local municipality would require it.

For a shedrow with an overhang or a modular barn, we recommend setting the structure on cement pillars. This prevents the barn from settling unevenly over time due to the freezing and thawing of the ground. For more information see our pages on Site Preparation.

Is it my responsibility to prepare the base? What is needed for site prep?
Horizon Structures offers site prep in most areas. For a simple shedrow barn, we recommend a pad of stone dust or crushed stone 3" - 4" thick. The pad should be as level as possible, and, at least, a foot larger than the dimensions of the building. This will create an area around the building for drainage and run-off. Some people choose to frame the pad with pressure-treated 4 x 4's, or railroad ties, to create a neat border and contain the stone dust. 

A stone dust pad is suitable for run-in sheds as well; however, since the bases on all our buildings are made of pressure-treated wood, a pad is not absolutely necessary. Many people like to move their run-in sheds to different locations within the pasture. In cases like this, a stone dust pad would not be practical and the run-in shed is set directly on the ground. 

For buildings with overhangs and for modular barns, you will need cement footers (pillars, piers, etc.) instead of a stone dust pad. These should be 16" - 18" in diameter and set 3' - 4' in the ground. We will provide a diagram of your barn layout showing recommended placement of these footers. After the barn is in place, you can pour a cement aisle (or floor if you have a wash rack.) Also at this time, many folks will back-fill the stalls (and aisle, if not pouring cement) with stone dust. 

Some people prefer to pour a solid cement slab (at least 4" thick) as the base for their building. * This alternative is more common for sheds and garages then for horse barns. 

See Site Prep for Sheds | Site Prep for Garages 

There are metal barns and wooden barns available. What do you recommend?
We strongly recommend a wooden barn.
  • The natural insulating properties of wood make it the obvious choice for construction of your horse barn or run-in shed. A horse barn made of wood will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter ensuring your horse's maximum comfort regardless of the season.
  • A wood horse barn is sturdier and safer then metal. Serious injury can result from a well-placed kick puncturing a metal sided barn. A wood horse barn will not dent or puncture.
  • The absorption properties of wood - both sound and moisture - make a wooden horse barn or run-in shed a drier, quieter, more comfortable place for your horse to reside. Condensation is not an issue and outside sounds, whether from the weather or other sources, are muffled. Unlike a metal building, strong winds will not rattle your wood barn or your horses' nerves.
  • Horizon Structures wooden horse barns and run-in sheds are simply more attractive than metal barns.
  • Wooden horse barns are very low maintenance. The white pine board & batten siding is extremely weather resistant and durable.

Here's a handy table to help you compare the differences.

What is Board and Batten or LP Smartside, and what's the difference in price and quality?
Board and Batten is a style of siding made up of wood boards and strips, or battens, that cover the joint where the boards meet. We use white pine for our board and batten siding.
LP Smartside, on the other hand, is a man-made wood product similar to T1-11 but is harder, longer lasting and has a more weather resistant exterior finish in addition to being anti-fungal and anti-rot. It is compressed layers of wood textured on the outside to look like boards and wood grain. 

You can read more about the differences between Pine Board & Batten and LP Smartside siding HERE. Or, CLICK HERE for a feature-by-feature comparison.

What size run-in do I need?
View our size comparison for run in sheds page to find out more.
What size stalls do you recommend for horses?
Bigger is always better and, even if you currently own small horses or ponies, we recommend you purchase the largest stalls you can afford. This ensures their maximum comfort and gives you flexibility for the future.
When contemplating stall size, it is important to keep in mind the nature of horses and how they spend their time indoors. When confined, they paw, chew, kick the walls, roll close to walls, as well as in the middle of the stall, lie down, scratch itches by rubbing, and play with anything they can. Another point to consider, your stall will need to be big enough for your horse to stretch out when he sleeps, or about twelve feet long and wide for the average sized horse. It's easy to see why you would want to give your horse as much room as possible!
A 12'x12' stall will comfortably accommodate larger horses. For ponies or horses around 14 hands, a 10'x10' stall would be big enough. Horses over 15 hands should have, at least, a 10'x12' stall. Horizon Structures offers the option of removable stall partitions. This is the ideal choice to instantly convert your barn to accommodate a brood mare and her foal.
Do I need any ventilation for my barn?
There should, at all times, be good ventilation. The average horse respirates about two gallons of moisture into the air each day. Naturally, there will be condensation from the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. If you do not have good ventilation, moisture will collect on the roof and create a damp environment. This dampness contributes to respiratory ailments and bacterial and fungal growth. Even in wet weather, moving air will remove some of the condensation and will replace stagnant air with fresh.
Heat in summer is another factor to consider. Venting your shed row barn with a ridge vent or gable vents will allow the warm air to escape. Warm air rises; therefore, even though you can always open windows and the top halves of the Dutch doors in your barn, the heat would escape best through the ridge or gable vents.
What is the roof's snow load & wind load on your barns?
With standard 2"x4" rafters the snow load is 30lbs. With optional 2"x6" rafters the snow load is increased to 50lbs. The wind load with standard 25 year asphalt shingles is 60 mph, with 30 year shingles - 90 mph, and metal roof - 110 mph.
Does the barn have a floor?
The tack room comes standard with a 5/8" plywood floor. We offer the option to upgrade to a pressure treated wood floor and/or floor joists.
Stalls do not have floors. After the barn is delivered, many people backfill with stone dust or clay. Rubber stalls mats may also be used.
What do most people use inside of stalls?
Most customers use stone dust or sand with rubber mats or rubber pavers on top, but some like to use clay or even regular dirt. We would recommend using stone dust or sand with rubber mats or rubber pavers on top. Rubber pavers would be the most expensive choice and the clay would be the cheapest, if you have it readily available.
Just how do they deliver a fully constructed barn?
These barns come fully assembled on a flatbed trailer. The driver will back up to your prepared site, and then the trailer lifts up, almost like a dump truck, for the building to slide off. The driver can position your building with pinpoint accuracy and will level the building, once it is on the ground, to ensure that doors and windows work properly. Watch a video showing the delivery of a double-wide- garage, or view our delivery page for full details. Depepnding on the size of your building it may arrive in modular sections and will be delivered with handling equipment.
How much space does the truck need to get in?
The driver needs at least 1' on each side of the building, although if it is a totally straight shot through a gate (or something similar) he may be able to do it with a little less clearance. 
The height clearance needs to be at least 14'. 
Again, complete details about the delivery process can be found by clicking HERE.
If I move, can I take the barn with me?
Yes. The shed row barns, run-ins, storage sheds and, in some cases, the double-wide garages, are not built on to a permanent foundation and are therefore completely portable. 

Horizon also provides moving service, so give us a call for a quote ( 1-888-44-SHEDS /  1-888-44-SHEDS) if you need to move a structure.

Do the barns come complete (with doors, windows, kickboards, partitions, etc.)? - Esp. for modulars.
Yes, they do! Each stall comes with a 4' x 7' Dutch door (complete with chew guard), a slider window covered by a powder-coated steel grill, a 4' high oak kickboard, and your choice of a solid or half grill partition. A tack room comes with a 3' x 7' solid door, a window, and a 5/8" plywood floor. Modular barns are complete with grill stall fronts with sliding doors.
How are the horse barns anchored?
Unless you have an overhang, Shedrow and Run-in buildings do not require anchoring. If you want to anchor it or if your township requires it for some reason, we do have an anchor kit available. This is the common stake and cable type anchor kit that uses the barn's tow hooks. 
A modular barn will be anchored with L-Brackets into concrete piers.