Skip to content

There’s A Horse in My House! – Embracing The Brilliant Barndominium Lifestyle Choice

The concept of literally living with horses is not a new notion. In days of yore keeping your most valuable asset, the working horse, along with any other livestock in close quarters with human habitation made perfect sense. The animals offered a source of warmth during cold winter months and keeping them close by also safeguarded them from theft and predation.

Modern day reasoning behind the increasingly popular ‘Barndo’ lifestyle, is different. A Barndo build offers an eco-friendly smaller footprint than building a home and a horse barn separately. This almost automatically means a significant cost saving in construction that can definitely benefit the bank balance. The array of Barndominium style structures, especially when built with the also popular modular design concept, offers a versatility of uses that horse owners keenly embrace as a great way to live.

Aside from saving money on initial building expenses as a combination use structure, barndomonium life also offers other monetary gains. There is the possibility of the living space earning money as a short-term rental; as an adjunct offering it can boost interest and attendance at an agri-tourism business on site (the old-fashioned hunting box that housed visiting city folk wishing to enjoy a weekend country lifestyle comes to mind); it can provide valuable space that serves as a solution to house adult children, grandparents or staff; and it can be a useful method for downsizing or retirement.

Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be excited to shop for both a horse barn and a new home at the same time!

Bearing in mind this wealth of opportunities for its use, there’s little wonder that the leading modular horse barn provider Horizon Structures has decided to add a stellar line of Barndominiums to its product line, as owner at Horizon Structures Justin Zook, explains:

“Our clientele has expressed interest in these products for years. We have observed a notable uptick in individuals acquiring vacant parcels to build their dream farmette and construct their residences. Our objective is to provide a quick and easy solution for the construction of barns with integrated living spaces above. This option can serve as a temporary residence while they accrue funds for their dream home, an in-law suite, or even a short-term rental. 

There are many companies who build Barndominiums. These are typically fully constructed homes strictly for residential purposes. What makes our product unique is the ability to combine the barn with the living space. All components to the living space are completed in our indoor facility. Following the on-site assembly of the barn structure, local contractors are tasked solely with the installation of water and electrical lines. Once completed, the unit is move in ready.”

There are four different floor plans to choose from and all offer something unique and special for barndominium living. And you can rest assured that these Barndominiums are designed and constructed to the highest residential modular home build standard in a quality-controlled factory environment.

  • The Barnette – a cozy one-bedroom studio design that offers a bounty of benefits in kitchen, bathroom and living room over a 3-stall barn replete with large tack room and center aisle.
  • Country Charm – an inviting beautifully appointed practical design for the human contingent above a spacious 5-stall barn and tack room.
  • Paddock Retreat – an extra-large footprint offers a luxurious feel to both floors of the Barndominium with extra space.
  • The Farmhouse – anyone would be happy to call this stylish barn home, with a clever two-bedroom layout, large, covered deck, 6 generously sized stables and tack/feed room.


Divide and Conquer

When it comes time to ‘hit the hay’ after a long day, you can be sure that all the facets for desirable modern living await you on the 2nd floor Barndo builds. As horse owners we are well aware that horses can offer a set of challenges to us enjoying the living space when we are such close neighbors. And with any Barndo build you choose you certainly want to make sure these negative influences from our beloved horses living below stairs do not become part of our lifestyle.

Peace and quiet in the upstairs living quarters is essential. Nobody wants to be disturbed by horse noises in the night; banging feed buckets; rolling horses kicking walls; whinnying and snorting; and the inevitable commotion and clamor at feeding time downstairs as caregiver activities commence. As horse folks we also know that if we do hear a hubbub downstairs we are going to jump out of bed to investigate its cause, and while on an occasion this may be warranted, most of the time it is just a great method to negate the benefit of a good night’s sleep. Many late winter, early Spring nights sleeping in cots on mare watch and restless nights at horse shows watching over a sick horse have taught me that firsthand!

Barndominium life can encompass other challenges. Consider the intrusion of nefarious rodents. We do want to set up home, but we don’t want to set up home upstairs for any vermin company. Similarly, we don’t want to add to our housekeeping chores upstairs with invasive dust or allergens from below or be exposed to unpleasant odors from the mess that horses will certainly create in their stalls. While a horse person may barely notice or care about the ‘eau d’equine’ that emanates from the stables, other family members and visitors may not be so forgiving and content with the smells.

As experienced horse barn producers, Horizon Structures is a company well-versed in the world of horses and their housing habits. So together with great horse stalls, aisleways, and tack/feed room barn at ground level, they harness clever interior design knowledge to ensure that every area of the interior barndominium living space is highly functional and appealing to live with and makes life as comfortable as possible. In concert with that design, the ‘behind the scenes’ construction factors avert any of the negative challenges that living with horses can produce.

“Our Barndo design keeps the upstairs living space completely separated in use from the horse stabling area below. There is no door or stairwell to the living quarters directly from inside the barn. Instead, the entrance is kept completely separate and placed at the exterior of the 2nd floor. This not only ensures no cross-contamination between the horses and human living spaces with odors, dust, insects or vermin, it also adds better security and privacy for the upstairs level offering an opportunity for the space to be operated and used on a daily basis independently of the horse activities below,” states Zook.

Additionally, installation of the R-21 spray foam insulation combats noise, odors, dust and vermin intrusion through walls and floors.

Justin Zook also explained the process of building and where and how it takes place.

“All Barndominiums are neatly packaged modular designs that incorporate the sturdy construction and minimal maintenance features we are renowned for producing. Our Barndominiums are all produced in a rated residential factory and each unit is properly inspected, signed, sealed, throughout the stages of the building process. This ensures when it arrives on site it delivers the highest standards of modular home construction.

Every component of our Barndo construction meets exacting standards for fire safety, included fire-rated timber pillar support systems.”

The finished result of a living space that is upstairs from the horse stabling area depends on more than just what lies beneath its wall and floors. The interior design aspect must include both practical and functional areas for sleeping, cooking, bathroom needs, working, dining and relaxation, and as well as offer a level of panache and style.

To this end look for a Barndo that offers plenty of closet and utility space with hook-ups, energy-rated insulated windows with plenty of cabinetry and counter space in the kitchen, an expansive great room and easy to live with flooring. These factors all add up to an equally great lifestyle. Larger Barndos will offer multiple bedroom /office space options.

For some horse folks the barn look upstairs with traditional rustic pine walls may be perfect but for others the beauty of the natural pine may be replaced with a more modern look, that of birchwood. The latter offers a minimal inherent wood pattern making it a super replacement for sheetrock wall panels that are extremely durable and make a lovely backdrop for colorful artwork and decorative embellishment.


The Win-Win Barndo

Whichever Barndominium style build you choose the convenience of living on site with your horses cannot be overlooked. Particularly, if like me, you are an equestrian professional. There is something wonderful about being so close to the horses and on hand without any commute necessary.

For the horse property owner that is just setting up, moving, renovating or updating a property, the Barndo offers a great option for being able to be on site to manage the operation right away, while other stages of the building project are in progress or pending.

The Barndominium is the gift that will keep on giving. Not just for the interim or permanent home stay, but also as a useful human housing option that can earn or save money and provide peace of mind for care of elderly relatives, staff, guests, plus the legacy of added property dollar value if it comes time to sell later.

About Horizon Structures

Horizon Structures is now the industry’s leader in quality built horse barns, horse stables and run-in sheds. The high level of craftsmanship in our Amish built barns, horse stables, storage buildings, sheds and garages provide for a long lasting structure that comes with our Written Guarantee.

Latest Articles

Looking for something?


Follow us on Social Media

We will be transferring you to our 'sister' company – Stoltzfus Structures.