Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
That being said, we do offer the option to upgrade to metal siding and/or roofing.
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. It is compressed layers of wood textured on the outside to look like boards and wood grain.
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 15 hands, a 10'x10' stall would be big enough. Horses over 16 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.
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.
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.
The height clearance needs to be at least 14'. Additionally, the truck needs at least 50' in front of the drop-off spot to drive out from under the building. If you have any doubt whether or not the truck can fit in a space or make a turn, please feel free to email us pictures of your site or fax us a diagram with measurements.
Again, complete details about the delivery process can be found by clicking HERE.
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.
We also have hurricane brackets, which are L-shaped brackets that would bolt onto the base of the building and into concrete. Therefore, hurricane brackets would require the barn be placed on cement footers or a cement slab.