Four Tips for Planning to Build A Barn

Maybe you know exactly what you’re looking for in a barn design, or perhaps you need a little guidance. Wherever you are in the planning process, the Old Town Barns team has worked with hundreds of farm owners to help them design their barns, indoor arenas, equestrian facilities with viewing areas and living quarters, garages, and the list goes on. Old Town Barns will work with their clients from initial planning and design to final construction to make their dreams a reality. 

Here are a few tips for when you are planning your barn design: 

  1. Start with a budget and list of must-haves. It’s ok if you need guidance—we consider your project a collaborative endeavor, after all—but it helps us get started when we have an idea of the essentials, nice-to-haves, and luxuries. If you have a budget figure in mind as well, please share that with us. Some of the features to consider include: 
    • Stalls
    • Feed room
    • Tack room
    • Wash stall
    • Storage 
    • Durable flooring for year-round temperature swings
    • Ventilation to allow for proper air flow, minimized dust and dirt, and reduced odor 
    • Lighting and windows
  2. Think about other spaces that are important to you. What other accessory spaces and structures are you looking for in addition to a barn? An indoor riding arena? A utility building for hay and equipment? A manure transfer building or compost facility? Do you know what your needs and wants are already or do you need advice on ease-of-use, good design, proper lighting, ventilation, etc.?
  3. Research property details. Before we begin to turn your ideas into a site concept, we need to understand the property details and challenges. Do you have any easements? Other challenges to work around such as wetlands or protected property? Have you researched the zoning code in your city and county to ensure you are able to house horses? Are there HOA or other restrictions in your neighborhood? If you’re already zoned properly, what are the zoning rules and details? 
  4. Research agricultural exemptions. There are tax savings in store for homeowners whose properties include land classified as farm land. Consult a Certified Public Accountant about the tax breaks for homeowners with agricultural land. Eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but are certainly worth exploring with the help of a tax accountant and/or tax attorney. 

There’s a Lot to Think About

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to designing and constructing your barn (and other accompanying buildings). This is more than an investment. It is likely something you’ve dreamed of, saved for, and thought about for many years. We’ll work directly with you to get a thorough assessment of your requirements and can manage the project from start to finish. Let’s discuss your goals and how our staff can create the beautiful, high-quality barn and/or stable, accessory buildings and riding arena you desire.

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