Barndominium With Horse Stalls: How To Build It?

In times past, the first barndominium, although it was not called that at the time, was living quarters above the barn where they kept their horses.  Sometimes they also kept other livestock in the barn.  It was convenient for the farmers to live above their barn and also cost-effective as they did not have to spend money or time to build another living space.

Today, many people own horses who have built a barndominium with horse stalls for a variety of reasons.  The man who came up with the name of ‘barndominium’ was working on a community that centered around those who wanted to live near horses in Connecticut in the 1980s.  Today the idea has spread across the United States and there are many barndominiums with horse stalls.

When building a barndominium with horse stalls, some are built above the horse stalls while others are built in the actual stable.  We will cover the different floor plans that can be used, what a barndominium with horse stalls can look like from the exterior, and the cost.  If you are interested in a barndominium with horse stalls, read this article.

Key Takeaways

  • In times past, many farmers built their homes on top of their barns
  • If you are raising horses, it is convenient to live as close to them as possible in case of an emergency.
  • Saves money by not having to build a second living space.

Can you Live in a Barndominium With Horses?

Yes, you can live in a barndominium with horses but there can be challenges such as the cost, zoning laws, and more.  There are also fun parts to it.

Challenges

  • Cost—some have the idea that having a barndominium with horse stalls is cheaper than having a separate residence. That is not always the case.  This is especially true if you want a wood structure.  The price can also vary on what you want for your interior finishes.  You also have to consider the cost for labor, ground preparation, and shipping of materials.  The price will vary account to where you will be building your barndominium.  If you choose a kit, there are still all the other expenses to build it.
  • Buying land—when buying land, you should look for land that is level and has been cleared. The soil also has to be suitable for construction.  If it is not, then you have the expense to clear and level it off.  You want to make sure that water and electrical services are accessible.
  • Zoning—this can be a factor in whether you can build a barndominium with horse stalls or not. All zoning laws are different, no matter whether you live in a suburban or rural area and of course the state.  Make sure that before you purchase land you check with your local zoning and building departments.  Some areas will not allow a residence to be in the same structure as animals.  You may also be required to have installed commercial fire-suppression systems, which are expensive.

In some areas, you will have to submit plans for safety concerns and approval of property lines.  Other areas have no zoning at all in regards to barndominiums with horse stalls.  Other areas have strict zoning laws and they can vary a lot by jurisdiction changes of just a few miles.  Some locales consider this type of structure as residential while others consider it commercial.

  • Financing—this can be an issue with barndominiums in general but could be harder if they include horse stalls. Most will either pay cash to build it or in some cases, the financing company or bank will use the land as collateral.
  • Insurance—when looking for insurance, you may be able to find a standard ranch farm policy that will work. There are some homeowners’ insurance companies that will cover the barndominium but not the barn part of the structure.  Always check to make sure that they will cover the barn, or horse stalls, portion of your barndominium because you don’t want to find out later that you are not covered in case of a fire or other disaster.

Barndominium With Horse Stalls: How To Build It?

One of the first things that you need to decide is where your residence going to be.  Will it be above your horse stalls or will it be inside the horse stall area at one end?  In some designs, they will take an area and build a bedroom, kitchen/living space, and utility room.  One example is that they made the bedroom 13’3”x10’, the kitchen/living area 13’3”x19’3”, and then a small utility room with the bathroom being in the bedroom.  Most of the horse stalls were 11’x11’.

Barndominium With Horse Stalls

Although you could build it yourself, you are combining two different buildings, a residential and a barn for your horses, it would be best if you hired a contractor.  Once you decide whether you are building your barndominium above or in the same building as the horse stalls, you can start to work.  The first thing that would need to be done is the framework.  Once this is done, you can start measuring off the horse stalls and your area for the barndominium, whether it is in the same building or above the horse stalls.

Once you have this figured out, you will need to make sure you have the plumbing, electricity, HVAC, insulation, all done.  Then you can finish the interior of your barndominium with horse stalls.  Here is a sample chart to help you decide on the square footage you will need for the horse part of the build

Number of Horses Square Footage
2 1.200
4 1,600
6 2,400
8 3.200

The typical horse stall is 12×12 but if you are raising larger horses, like a draft horse, you may need to make each stall 14×14.  You want to make sure that the horse can move around easily without touching the stall walls and can lie down in a reclined position.  The stalls can be designed to be separate from the outdoor space but you can also make it where the horse can run outside to a fenced-in area to get some exercise.To this square footage, you need to add the square footage for your barndominium and tack and feed room, wash stalls, a room for bedding and shavings, and more.  When looking at land, you should figure two acres for one horse, adding another acre for each additional horse.

The stall walls can be a partial or solid grill but which type will depend on the type of horse.  If you have horses that are well-behaved you would want solid walls four feet from the ground.  Above that, you would put grille walls so it gives the area a warm airy feeling.  A portion of the sidewall of the stalls should be solid where you have the feed box mounted so they do not fight over food.

The stall doors can be swinging or sliding.  Most will use sliding doors because, with a swinging door, they can be dangerous as they swing into the aisle.  You can use the swinging doors outside where this is more space to open them.  You can make the stall doors partial solid or open grille.  With an open grille, it gives the horse a chance to see out of their stall.  Some stall doors will give the horse an area for them to stick their head out.

With the windows and openings, you want to give it as much natural light as you can.  When using glass windows, they should be five feet or higher in the walls, protected with bars on the horse side, and made of tempered glass.  You can also use a shutter so it can be closed in bad weather and opened in good weather.

You can make the front of the stalls partial solid or open grilled.  For the stalls, some use prefabricated modular stalls but most will use high-quality materials and hardware because there is less chance of the finishes and paint from flaking off, less denting and warping, and less chance of sharp edges from developing and causing a safety issue.

You can use any type of wood to build your stalls, from cedar to domestic to exotic hardwoods.  One of the issues with cedar is that it is softwood and is prone to twisting, warping, and shrinking over time.  One thing you want to make sure is that the wood you are using is not toxic for the horses, like locust wood.  The best wood to use is exotic hardwood as they are very dense.  They hold up better to kicking but they are more expensive.

One of the most important things to consider is the floor of the stall.  You should use a mixed aggregate base that is well-draining, like a road base but make sure there are no sharp stones in the base.  You should use a stall mat on top, and then the bedding.  The rubber mats that are used should be at least three-quarter inches thick and made of rubber.

Design

Designing your barndominium can be challenging yet fun.  When looking at the design of your barndominium with horse stalls, there are some things to consider:

  • Structural style—the main difference in barndominiums is in the style of the underlying structure. One of these is the pole-barn construction.  This is where you have wood poles set in the ground to be able to support the rest of the building.  You can also use wood beans, where the posts are set 12-14 feet apart.  They are attached to metal plates that are fixed to your concrete slab.  In the south, they are built using welded metal beams, which are set in concrete.  They use this type due to insect and weather threats.
  • Interior—to hire your utilities and wiring, you need to know where your interior features will be located. Barndominiums do not have load-bearing walls like traditional homes so there are no stud walls.  With the open concept plan, there are fewer places for the wiring and ductwork to be hidden.  One way to do this with a barndominium with horse stalls is to install a false ceiling in the barn where the horses will be to hire all the wiring, plumbing, and more.

It also gives you more space for insulation.  It also gives you a way to soundproof your home if you do not want to hear horse noises all night.  It is advisable to have a fly spray system installed in the barn area.

  • Building the stalls—in a barndominium, it is standard to have the poles or beams 12=14 feet apart so it is easy to build the stalls in the grid. You can do it from scratch or use a kit.  You also need to make sure you have the room for tack, feed, and other supplies.  You should also consider overhangs on the side to give your horses shade.

How Much Does it Cost to Finish out a Barndominium With Horse Stalls?

How much it will cost will depend on where you build your barndominium, the size of the barndominium and horse stalls, how much work you do yourself, how many horse stalls, and more.  For a standard barndominium, built on top of your horse stalls, it can cost $30 or more per square foot.  This can add up to $100,000 or more.  Then you have the cost of building your horse stalls, which can be $30,000-$150,000 or more.

How Much Does it Cost to Finish out a Barndominium With Horse Stalls

To get an accurate cost to build your barndominium with horse stalls, you would have to have all the above information.  You would need to sit down with someone who is an expert in building this type of barndominium, tell them your needs, square footage, where you want your barndominium built, and look at the various floor plans to find one that is right for you.

Barndominium With Horse Stall Ideas

Below you will find several ideas to help you get started designing and building your barndominium with horse stalls.  The design used will depend on the square footage and the number of horses.

Barndominium With Horse Stall Ideas 1

With this barndominium with horse stalls, it appears that they have built their residence above the horse stalls.  The barndominium is white with a grey roof and has doors that are trimmed in brown with a light brown insert that has the traditional “X”.  It also has a stall with a half-open door that the horse can look out of to the outside.  There is a porch that runs the entire length of the front of the structure.

Barndominium with horse stall ideas 1

Barndominium With Horse Stall Ideas 2

This style also has the residence above the horse stalls.  It is made of wood and trimmed in darker wood.  For the residence, there are three dormers, each with a window and there is a nice porch off the one end.  There is a fenced area where the horses can walk out into when they want to get some fresh air.  Very luxurious looking barndominium with horse stalls.

Barndominium with horse stall ideas 2

Barndominium With Horse Stall Ideas 3

This gives you an idea of what your barndominium with horse stalls can look like inside.  This may be a design that is built into the barn area so there is just one floor as you can see off to the side a set of rustic-looking bunk beds and a small seating area.  The inside is white with one wall made of wood at the end along with wooden beams.

Barndominium with horse stall ideas 3

Barndominium With Horse Stall Ideas 4

This barndominium with horse stalls is made of wood siding on the upper half with wood planks or logs along the bottom half.  There is a small balcony/porch above the entrance with large glass windows and doors.  Above these are three smaller windows.  There is also a large front porch.  Since it is not shown, the entrance to the horse stalls is on the other end of the barndominium.

Barndominium with horse stall ideas 4

Barndominium With Horse Stall Ideas 5

This barndominium with horse stalls has an L-shaped barndominium with the barndominium being attached to the side of the barn with the horse stalls.  It is a white barndominium with a grey stone on the lower half.  There is a long front porch across the front of the barndominium.  The windows are trimmed in grey with a white insert and a grey “X’ so there appears to be no glass.

Barndominium with horse stall ideas 5

Barndominium With Horse Stall Plans

Now that you have seen the inside and outside of a barndominium with horse stalls, it is time to look at the floorplans to give you information on how you can design your new home.

Barndominium with horse stall plans 248

With this first floorplan, the residence is inside the barn at one end.  It is surrounded by nine horse stalls, with one of them almost touching the residence.  This is a simple barndominium planned residence that would be good for one or two people as it only has a living room/kitchen area and one bedroom with a bathroom.  Each stall averages 11×11 with a covered stoop that has 10’ ceilings.

Barndominium with horse stall plans 248

Barndominium with horse stall plans 249

This one is also built in the same building as where the horses live but appear to be a little larger.  There are eight horse stalls along with areas for hay, shavings, and tack and feed.  On both sides, there is a 12×48 shed and a 12×66 concrete porch.  The barndominium still just has one bedroom but the dining and living areas are larger.  The bathroom is off the dining area.

Barndominium-with-Horse-Stalls-Plan-249

Barndominium with horse stall plans 250

This barndominium with horse stalls has divided the space with two washrooms, one on each side, between the living space and horse stalls, of which there are four.  There is a loft area that could be used as another bedroom.  There is a large kitchen, great room, and a space for an office, which could also be used as a bedroom.  There is also a utility room and a covered front porch.  The two washrooms for the horses are set in a breezeway.  This barndominium with horse stalls is approximately 4,000 square feet.

Barndominium with horse stall plans 250

Barndominium with horse stall plans 252

This barndominium with horse stalls is also divided by a breezeway with the horse stalls and tack and feed room being on one end and the residence on the other end.  There is a nice large living and kitchen area and bedroom.  There are five horse stalls.  A very good setup.

Barndominium with horse stall plans 252

Conclusion

Yes, it is possible for you to live with your horses but you need to make sure that you check all zoning laws and codes.  A barndominium with horse stalls takes a lot of planning and can take a while to build, probably longer than a regular barndominium.  To build one, can cost over $200,000 but the exact costs vary, which was covered in this article.  Take to someone that has built this type of barndominium before and let them help you with the layout and construction.

James Hall

James Hall

I'm James, your barndominiums advisor. Several years ago, I had no idea what barndominiums were. Although I'd spent over 10 years in the construction industry, the first time I heard about barndominiums was when I saw my neighbor building a new-style home. That was the first barndominium I've ever seen, and I found it so fascinating that I wanted to learn more about them. In my research, I found that there is very little information on barndominiums on the internet. Barndominiumideas.com was started to provide people with information, inspiration and education on building their dream house.

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