Archive for the ‘Horse Barns’ Category

DC Building’s Specialties: Barn Homes, Custom Riding Arenas & More

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For more than a decade, we’ve built stunning structures across the country. While we call Boring, Oregon home, our veteran crews travel the nation to create unique buildings for families, businesses, and their animals. Today we’re discussing the wide array of wood structures that we specialize in constructing.

Horse Barns.
As experienced barn builders, we’ve created barns across America, from private facilities to commercial barns. One of our favorite barn projects was the 3,200-square-foot HGTV Lodge created for the 2013 Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. We were able to complete the project in just five days, with over forty workers pitching in. DC Building can create one-of-a-kind barns in all sizes and shapes. We work closely with clients to create perfectly suited design solutions.

Custom Barn Design

Custom Riding Arenas.
We are passionate about building dynamic equestrian facilities were horse and rider can enjoy ideal conditions. Oftentimes, our clients prefer to combine riding arenas with barn and storage facilities, for the ultimate in multi-use performance. We work to the client’s preferences; some opt for year-round covered arenas, while others are looking for outdoor riding areas. Our industry background gives us insight into design options that equestrians value, such as drainage solutions, hoof grid systems, and caretakers’ apartments. View some of our latest projects!

Riding Arenas

Barn Homes.
We’ve built barn homes in dozens of states, from Georgia to Washington. Our clients love our fast building schedules, as well as our unparalleled construction quality. We enjoy working with customers to create the stunning structures of their dreams. Want to include a garage, a home, and a barn all in one? We can do that. We also offer barn home kits.

Barn Homes

Workshops and Garages.
Need more storage space? No problem. DC building can create the ideal workshop/garage for your needs. Whether you need a man cave, a creative space, or more play spaces for the kids, our designers can work with you to design the ideal garage/workshop.

Custom Workshop Design

Timber-Frame Barns.
Timber-frame construction is incredibly flexible; it can provide phenomenal structural support without the need for cluttering inner walls. The result? Soaring indoor spaces inside structures that will last for generations. We can work with you to create the perfect blend of modern posh and rustic charm.

Timber Frame Barn

Your Custom Design.
If your vision doesn’t fit neatly into one of the above categories, all the better! We appreciate clients who think outside the box. Whatever your dream, we can work with you to create a custom design, or to adapt a pre-drafted custom design.

To conclude, we’ll mention that we’ve also created commercial properties, from wineries to special event buildings. Contact us today to learn more about how we can create the building of your dreams.

Things to Consider When Building Riding Arenas

When you’re riding your horse on a regular basis, you’ll most definitely want to have a riding arena. Whether you’re riding professionally, for fun, or giving lessons; having a riding arena nearby and handy is often one of the greatest pleasures of any horse rider. Then again, there are some days that would make one cringe because of the weather conditions and a riding arena allows you to enjoy the thrill of the ride without having to face the tough elements of that day. However, an arena can often be a big investment for most people and requires a lot of consideration when you’re thinking about building one. While people often cut back on some things when getting a riding arena built, the following are some specifications that you should keep in mind when budgeting or designing a riding arena for your use.

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Riding Arena In Shingle Springs, California

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Covered Arena In West Linn, Oregon



The space allotted to a riding arena can be allotted and adjusted in accordance with the acidity it will be used for. If you just plan to lunge your pony or practice dressage, then an arena measuring up to a space of 60 x40 meters will be more than appropriate. On the other hand, if you plan on practicing show jumping or creating a gaming ring, then extending the space up to a space of 120 x 200 meters will be more suited to your requirements. Just remember that its not possible to build an arena that is too big but it is completely possible to make it too small.

Choice of Footing

The arena’s footing plays a huge effect on your horses performance and the functional use of the arena itself. The footing can be made of rubber, sand, gravel, and other elements that can provide the horse support for running in that area. However, many people prefer to layer the arena with a choice of two or three materials that help determine the hardness or softness of the turf. Making it too hard can prove to be injurious to the rider while making it too soft can cause undue stress on the horse in order for it to maintain its footing. Similarly, you don’t just sprinkle sand all around and call it an arena. Lay the sand down in a directional manner running from north or south. This ensures that the arena receives more sun, stays well lit longer, and dries in a suitable manner.

Indoors or Outdoors

This factor largely depends on the seasonal changes experienced by your climate. If you live in an area that experiences temperatures that are mild even during the winters, getting an outdoor arena will be the best choice. In extreme temperatures though, an indoor arena is a welcome luxury, particularly during freezing winters. Unfortunately, indoor arenas have the quality of turning into hot ovens during the scalding summers if they are not properly equipped to allow proper ventilation. However, some people do prefer to opt for indoor areas as a preference on their own part. One easy contrivance though is to get an adjustable covering made for outdoor arenas which can be pulled on and off in accordance with the temperature and weather conditions.

For your perfect riding arena, contact DC Builders today!

Accessorizing Your Barn

No house, or structure for that matter, is complete without accessories. Accessories are pretty much the cherry on top for any structure. Largely flexible, they add a whole new level of depth, decoration and functional use to the structure and are the perfect finishing touches to individualize your project, whether you add them to the interior or exterior.

When building a barn, accessories are no different. Although the functionality and purpose of the barn with affect your choice, you will find that it is possible to accessorise with items that are neutrally applicable to the barn regardless of its function.

Whether you want to use your barn for storage or give it a functional purpose like using it as stable, the following are a few accessories that are not only decorative, but add a degree of functionality to the place as well.


Almost a staple element in most barns and becoming an identifying feature for most, a Cupola is a common feature to be found in barns. This little structure provides the perfect opportunity to add natural light to a place by acting as an alternative to a sky light. If positioned right, you can also add a small spiral staircase which can enable you to use the cupola as a lookout.



Weather Vanes

Another classic addition is the weather vane. It is as commonly used as cupolas are for barns. Always on the top of the barn, with or without a cupola accompanying it, a weather vane serves more of a decorative purpose, but can be customized to your taste! Available in almost any style, they variety in the market allows you to easily choose something like the common rooster or go for something more quirky and unique like a pineapple, mermaid, fox, whatever your heart desires!

weather vane


The biggest means of lighting being favored nowadays are skylights and large windows that let in as much light as possible. A well lit barn is conductive of healthy eyesight for any horse that are stabled in your barn. Spending too much time in a dim or poorly lit barn can often cause partial blindness or affect the horses eye sight in a negative manner. For night time, you can find tons of durable light fixtures to put in your barn. Barn Light Electric makes some of our favorites!


Ventilation is important for barns owing to the fact that they are usually made more with the thought of storage and less with living conditions. Luckily, it is possible to get indoor fans installed in the barn. If you’re using it for storage, then one will be more than enough but if you’re horses in there, then opt for Barnstormer fans. These will really be a welcome means of ventilation for your horses during the days when not even a leaf can stir in the oppressive heat.

Horse Proofing Your Barn

When utilizing a barn for your horses, you need to horse proof it with the help of certain accessories like non-slippery, safe, and easy to clean. Furthermore, you can introduce a stable mattress for your horse. Being waterproof, chew proof, and easily cleaned, these are accessories you should definitely consider getting.

If you have any other accessories to add, feel free to share your opinion about them in the comments section.


Pests That Can Invade a Barn and How to Avoid Them

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Pests and insects in a barn can not only be frustrating, but also very hazardous for your horses health and well being. Proper sanitation and maintaining cleanliness is the main consideration that you should have in mind in order to minimize the breeding of these pests and ensure a clean and healthy environment for your horses.

Read through the following list to learn about the common pests that can invade your barn, and the safety measures that you can take to avoid them:

Stable Flies

Stable Flies

Stable flies breed in fermenting matter, manure, moisture, and decaying straw inside of the barn. They are vicious biters, and mostly bite the legs of the horse. Stable flies can cause blood loss, swamp fever, and summer sores in horses. Their bites often result in wounds that prove to be difficult to heal. Cleanliness is the main key to eradicate the problem of stable flies in the barn, and the occasional spraying of insecticides, preferably natural or organic, also help a great deal in this regard.

Biting Gnats and Buffalo Gnats

Gnats, with their small size are often very hard to pick, but they are the most painful and dangerous pests to attack horses. They suck on their blood and their painful bite can cause wounds and impending pain to the horse. You can use insecticides to avoid the occurrence of gnats, and direct application of pesticides to the horses’ bodies through sprays or wipes is also helpful.

Horse Flies and Deer Flies

Horse flies and deer flies are another species of biting flies that result in painful wounds and blood loss in horses. Horses tend to get restless and irritated after the bite, and as the flies continue to suck on the wound, infections may also occur which make the horse lose weight, become weak and face fatigue in the long run. Insecticides and fly repellents can be used on the horses bodies’ to keep these pests away. Also, regularly clean the barns and stalls, and keep an eye out for their eggs in order to reduce the breeding of these pests in the first place.

House Flies and Face Flies

House flies are common carriers of germs and bacteria that can cause contagious diseases to spread and result in infections amongst horses. House flies are most commonly attracted towards dirt and rotting manure, so cleanliness is key to keep these pests away from your barn.

Face flies and house flies are classified under the category of nuisance flies- they don’t bite or directly harm the horses, but are carriers of bacteria and also make the horse restless and irritated by buzzing near their eyelids or any open wounds. House flies breed in fresh and rotting manure.

Choosing the Right Lumber for Custom Wood Projects

Lumber for Custom Wood Homes

Know your wood

Whether you’re building a deck or a lavish stable, decisions about building materials are critical to the durability and appearance of the project. As a general rule, the long-term performance of wood, or composites, weighs heavily on material quality and decay resistance, either natural or that imposed by chemical treatment. A quick review of the following basic materials, both the advantages and downfalls, may aid in the decision-making process for your next project.

  • Cedar

Prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, cedar trees have developed self-protective qualities that allow the trees to fend off insects, rot and temperature related stresses. That makes cedar very useful in structure building where humidity, temperature, and cracking are a common problem. Cedar is not typically used as a structural component in construction because it is much weaker than its counterparts; redwood, cypress, or pressure treated lumber. Cedar is best used as the decorative, exposed portions of a project. Cedar is usually about twice the cost of pressure treated lumber but only half as much as redwood.

  • Redwood

Similar to cedar, these towering giants also have chemicals within their foliage and bark that make them resistant to fungal disease and insect infestation. Redwood’s internal cell structure also allows them to hold large amounts of water and air in pockets, so it works well for insulation and thrives in high-moisture areas. Redwood is famous, and expensive, due to its rich red color. Left untreated, through stains and sealers, the wood will turn to dull grey. This material is also only typically used on exposed portions of structures due to its cost, nearly four times as much as pressure treated lumber.

  • Cypress

Cypress is found in common and premium grades, localized mostly in the Southeastern U.S. It’s a tan, reddish color, somewhat lighter than redwood, and is equal to redwood and cedar in its resistance to insects and rot. Cypress is typically used for both structural and ornamental purposes but it’s certainly not a cheap material. While less expensive than redwood and cedar, cypress is really only affordable if you live in the Southeast – the farther you are away, the more expensive it becomes.

  • Pressure-Treated (PT) Wood

With a more pronounced grain than cedar, redwood or cypress, PT lumber is made mostly of southern yellow pine, and occasionally fir. PT wood is most commonly used as the structural material for projects and occasionally with the right stain, can be used as the decorative material as well. The wood is treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) which is used as an insecticide/preservative, as well as simple water repellant. Arsenate has been reported as potentially toxic to humans and animals and it is advisable to determine the type of treatment was used before purchasing the lumber. Less toxic, chemically treated lumber is now available that doesn’t contain arsenate, but is slightly more expensive compared to the bargain price of PT lumber. When working with PT lumber, of any kind,  it is recommended to wear gloves and a dust mask.

  • Tropical Hardwood

In the past ten years, tropical hardwoods have become more abundant, but still remains one of the most expensive building materials, by far. The reason for the added cost is due to the shipping costs and their durability that eclipses both redwood and cedar. These hardwoods have a life expectancy of 40 years, minimum, and are resistant to insects and decay. Other than the cost, other drawbacks include: most tropical hardwoods need to be predrilled for fasteners and there are major ecological concerns as to the harvesting of these materials.

It’s a good idea to check out the local building codes for your area before starting a project. No matter what type of wood you decide on, it’s important to take into consideration the size of the structure, use, climate, and soil type before building any structure.

Barn Maintenance – Removing Snow From the Roof

Barn Maintenance - Snow Removal

Year after year, from small barns to huge stadiums, roofs collapse under the immense weight of snow buildup. It’s a real threat, especially for folks in the Northeastern US, but the solution isn’t always very clear. With most insurance companies only covering damage caused by snow and ice and not barn maintenance, several options are available for property owners to clear winter roof accumulation, ranging from expensive and safe to cheap and dangerous.

Hire a roofing company

Typically, roofing companies will clear off snow from a building roof for around $400-$500 dollars, depending on the size of the structure and the level of access. While this is the safest option, it can be somewhat pricey and your roof may require a few treatments throughout the course of a winter.

Buy a roof rake, or two

When possible, use a roof rake – which is just a rake with an extremely long handle available at home improvement and hardware stores.  Obviously, this only works well with single level homes and most times two rakes need to be attached together to reach all the snow/ice buildup.

Climb up there – but be careful

First of all, if you have a slanted roof don’t even attempt this before you have the proper fall prevention systems, such as covers, screens, railings or guardrails, in place. Roofs always pose a fall hazard; add in snow and ice and the danger of falling increases exponentially. In addition, if the weight of the snow weakens supports, your additional body weight could be enough where a collapse could occur that was potentially avoidable.

No matter the route you choose, it’s a good idea to keep the following advice in mind:

  • Never spray water on the roof to try to clear the snow—it’ll just freeze and make a bad situation worse. Instead, use a deicing chemical.
  • If you must work on a roof, wear fall protection (a full-body harness, lanyard, connectors and appropriate anchorage points) and slip-resistant footwear.
  • Never sit on, lean against or step on a skylight lens or any covering placed over a hole in a roof
  • Heat loss from buildings helps melt some of the snow on roofs, so unheated buildings or portions of buildings are more at risk of snow buildup.

The DC Building Commercial

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For today’s blog post we wanted to share a video we produced a while back to give everyone an idea of what the process for building a custom barn looks like. We also specialize in general contracting for building almost all things of quality wood construction. We take great pride in our work, enjoy the video!

Press Release: Custom Homes, Barns Showcased on New Website

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Released by Webwire on November 15, 2011

DC Building Showcases Dreamy Custom Wood Built Homes on New Website

Boring, Ore., November 10, 2011 – Most people have dreamed of owning their own wood built, cabin-style home hidden away from the white noise of the city – lazily relaxing the day away in front of the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate, or maybe hot buttered rum – getting lost in your thoughts while gazing out the window watching the horses run in and out of their own custom built equine home. I guess you could say DC Building is in the business of making dreams come true.

DC Building is a general contracting firm in Oregon that has become experts in their industry for building custom wood homes, barns, commercial buildings and beautifully designed equine facilities.

“Our mission is to provide excellence in workmanship and customer service. Our custom construction service comes with the assurance that we have dedicated ourselves to providing the very best customer service and overall excellence in everything that we do,” promises Owner Bret Loftis.  “We will build it faster, better, period – and we have a four page list of references to prove it,” he adds.

DC Building has set themselves apart from the competition with their keen eye for detail, sound approach to construction and insistence on standing behind their work – offering a three year guarantee on all labor and craftsmanship.

They recently launched a new website to showcase their gallery of must-see custom wood homes, garages, commercial buildings and equestrian facilities. These past and current projects are so gorgeous you’ll have to see it yourself to truly comprehend their true beauty.

Visit their newly designed website and gallery at


Bret Loftis
DC Building Inc.
Cell 503.956.1851
Fax 503.863.3838

Saddle Up Partner!

Saddle care tips.

You found your dream home, had a custom horse barn built, acquired a horse you LOVE – Now….it’s time to ride!

Whether for sport or recreation, you don’t have to be a horse lover to know that horseback riding is an exhilarating experience anyone could enjoy. As you know, one of the most fundamental pieces of equipment for horse riding is the saddle.

Saddle maintenance doesn’t need to be another tiring chore in your long list of horse barn responsibilities. However, it is important to address a few things to ensure the safety of both you and your horse. Like cleaning the barn, a little routine maintenance will keep things in order.

I suggest cleaning your saddle on a monthly basis to prevent any damage that might come from long-term neglect. Relative to how much you’re actually using it of course. Saddles will last a long time if you keep them clean and oiled – equally, they will deteriorate in a hurry if you’re not taking proper care of it.

Straddle your saddle (say that 10 times fast) on a fence, or if the weather’s bad, something similar inside your horse barn. With a bucket of water and mild soap use a medium to soft brush and give it some scrubbing. Be sure you don’t scratch or tear anything.

If you can, it’s even better to take apart the saddle completely and scrub it thoroughly. This helps prevent mold or dirt from building up in those impossible to reach locations. Unattended to filth can create very unpleasant smells, and in worst case scenarios, make your horse sick. So don’t forget the nooks and crannies.

While the saddle is disassembled and you’re scrubbing the leather, soak the metal pieces for a few minutes – don’t soak the leather!

Once the saddle is clean, including the underside that touches the horse’s skin, apply a leather protectant to the leather and oil all the metal pieces. Spread the oil evenly so it doesn’t dry in drips and runs. Then dry off the saddle and metallic parts and reassemble.

When you’re done, be sure to pick up the cleaning area to keep your barn safe. I suggest dedicating a storage cupboard in your horse barn to keep all your saddle cleaning supplies.

Then saddle up and get a ride in – you know you want to!