Archive for the ‘Wood Barns’ Category

Living In Your Barn-Yay or Neigh?

A barn is one of the most diverse pieces of architecture that you could find on farming land. Whether you’re stabling horses or storing supplies, barns have begun to show potential as living spaces for us too. If your work involves you spending almost all your time in or around a barn, it’s only natural to want to move in closer, and the best solution is in the inclusion of living quarters in your barn.

Despite the reservations that some people have, if well maintained, living quarters in barns can help your work routine as well as help you save money. Let’s take a look at why barns with living quarters are getting popular:

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Increased Security

If you’re looking after ill livestock, or have animals that are extremely valuable, having living quarters in your barn is one of the best ways that you can keep an eye on them. Even if you do not intend to live in the barn, having your grooms living down there can ensure that your animals receive the prompt help and attention they deserve.

Cutting Down Costs

Running a farm can be a very tiresome and expensive endeavor. You’ll find that there are just some bills and expenses that are unavoidable. However, living in barns allows you to cut down on costs that having a separate household brings with it. You should remember that this is all largely dependent on the line of work, so keep that in mind when your considering living in a barn. Nonetheless, it is true that you can save up money by paying for a barn with living quarters rather than a separate barn and separate living quarters.

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Easy and Convenient

If you’re spending half of your time in a barn looking after your animals, and are required to start the day early, you’ll be better off living in the barn. This way you cut down on your commute, can start your day earlier, and spend a greater amount of your time doing what you love best.

While you may find rosy glowing excerpts of people living in barns, if you’re thinking about it too, be sure to look up the architectural challenges you might face. You’ll have to ensure that the structure is fireproof, sound proof, has excellent ventilation, figure out the exit and entrance, and much more. One of the best bets is to get your hands on a reliable architect as well as builder with experience building barns with living quarters. For your barn with living quarters, , is your premier choice!

Car Barns

Car barns are easy and simple to understand, they’re barns used for storage of often more than one car, RV, boat, or farm equipment. However, they’re not all that common since there is a certain requirement for space which cannot be met at times. Think of them as an equivalent to the normal farm house barn, and you’ll soon see how beneficial a car barn car barn can be. Particularly, if you have more than one vehicle, boat, or any other type of vehicle.

With that thought in mind, lets take a look at how building a car barn can be beneficial for you:


Car barns are great for storage. Their wide space provides plenty of space to keep things organized as well as keep your car safe. You can also neatly turn it into a semi storage space placing shelves along the wall. You can use these shelves to keep your old stuff or you can even turn a small portion of the garage as an impromptu warehouse to store some car parts or maintenance items. Furthermore, aside from the knick knacks that are in usual car barns, you can also store other larger items.

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Garage With Living Quarters In Sandy, Oregon


Port Side

If you’re a sailing enthusiast, its possible to use a car barn to house your boats when you are not using them. Don’t be worried about the car since boats are angular, they can be kept in smaller spaces. Furthermore, car barns are really spacious, so you’ll be able to keep your car and your boat all in one. Often times, people utilize their car barns as a sort of boat shed by turning a portion of the floor into a natural harbor. This allows for great convenience since the boat can then be stored easily.

A Must Have

Car barns are a must have for any car fan owing to the fact that it can provide the perfect storage environment for many classic and other cars. Furthermore, car barns have begun to be considered as a classic piece of architecture. Owing to this fact, car barns are great favorites for car aficionados since car barns have long been used as a storage space for classic cars. This has caused car barns to strongly become associated with the classic car. So if you own classic cars, getting such a barn is a must in order to keep your car in tip top shape for many years to come


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.


Choosing the Right Vet – Small Animal Vet vs Large Animal Vet

Caring for your horse’s well being and health requires choosing the right vet for the job. A veterinarian can best assess your horse’s health, prescribe medication and vaccinations to keep any ailments and diseases at bay, and address small problems in the initial stages so that they do not grow into any larger complications.

Typically, there are two kinds of vets. Small animal vets are more accustomed to grooming and taking care of smaller animals like cats, dogs, guinea pigs, etc. On the other hand, large animal vets are specialized in working with larger farm animals like horses and cows. Therefore, it is normally more feasible to get the services of a large animal vet in order to keep your horse happy, healthy, and fit at all times.

If you are facing any sort of trouble choosing the right vet for your horse, go through the following tips and guidelines to make the best choice!


Do you research! Before selecting the services of a veterinarian, it is important that you conduct a background check to be sure that your vet is not only good at their job, but also loving and caring when tending to your animals. Ask other horse owners in your area about their behavior and treatment plan, you can also check the Internet for feedback and references about a particular vet in your locality.

-Experience is the key to making the right choice. Choose a vet who holds both experience and expertise in dealing with horses. Also, it is a good idea to select a vet who specializes in the particular breed of your horse. He/ she can be better assess the care and attention that your horse needs. A small animal vet will not specialize in dealing with farm animals particularly horses, and this may result in a misdiagnosis. Therefore, in order to ensure that your horse gets the best at all times, choose a large animal vet.


-Assess their availability. When choosing a vet, it is important that you pay attention to their accessibility. It if often difficult to transport a horse to a veterinary hospital, especially if the horse is sick. Therefore, a vet who can come to you in an emergency is a must to cater to any unfortunate situations and circumstances. Large animal vets are normally available for duty most of the time and can tend to animals even at odd hours. On the other hand, small animal vets usually practice at fixed timings and schedules.

-Ask for their qualifications and the medical equipment they possess. Make sure that your vet is qualified and registered, and the vaccination he/she uses are also registered and up-to-date. Vets with portable medical equipments such as x-ray machines are preferable, as they are especially useful when your horse has experienced a particularly severe injury or fracture


At the end of the day, communication is the key! A vet who is warm, friendly, gently, and open in their approach, communication, and attitude, and has the ability to make quick house calls in case of an urgent need, is a vet that you need to ensure the well being of your horse for years to come!


Therapeutic Horse Riding

Horses are not only a loyal friend you can count upon, but they also prove to be amazing therapist’s! Loving and understanding, horse riding has been considered to be a therapeutic treatment for years now and handicapped individuals can find great solace and benefit in the companionship of a horse.

Therapeutic riding can benefit disabled individuals, especially children, both emotionally and psychologically. Over the years there have been thousands of cases in which bonding with a horse brought about positive psychological and behavioral changes in disabled persons. Several federations and organizations are also working actively throughout the world to aid handicapped individuals through therapeutic riding.

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

Gentle and loving, horses are clearly the best companions that anybody can have. The effects of their company are most beneficial for those who are physically or mentally handicapped. Horses are naturally loving and amazing creatures, and their compassion and non-judgemental attitude helps disabled people come out of their shell and a enjoy a calm and relaxing environment.

Furthermore, horse riding as a therapy is particularly beneficial for those who cannot walk themselves. Riding on the horse can help them enjoy the smooth sensation of movement, and the rising experience also aids in the exercise of different muscles in the body.

Riding horses has resulted in a large numbers of miracles over the years, as many handicapped individuals start talking and expressing themselves more easily after spending time in the soothing company of a horse. horses help individuals connect and express their feeling in a language of their own; thereby easing any emotional complications and social barriers that are keeping them confined on their own. This also brings an improvement in their social interaction and behavior down the road.

Horses are great companions for people who are suffering from autism. Their gentle attitude and companionship immediately draws a person towards them, and stroking, riding, and caring for the horse can prove to be an extremely healthy and beneficial activity for the disabled. Horse riding therapy is a quiet yet relaxing way to help disabled people find a delightful hobby and strike a beautiful friendship.

Aside from the emotional advantages of therapeutic riding, the feeling of being outdoors and enjoying the relaxing environment, cool wind and grass, and the bounties of nature is also a peaceful and beautiful experience. Different from the depressing indoor setting of a therapist’s office, being outdoors in the sun with a loving horse by your side can be an instant mood lifter. Young children benefit most from this therapy, as being with a gentle and loving animal and caring for it on their own is an emotionally easing and interesting activity for them.

Spending time riding and tending to a horse is a joyous and miraculous activity that will let hours go by without you noticing it. You can be sure of a loving and soothing presence that will satisfy your heart and soul when you are out riding a horse!

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.

Fire Prevention For Your Custom Wood Barn

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If you ask a horse barn owner what their worst nightmare is, almost always the answer is a barn fire. All too often, this fear becomes a reality. According to experts, once a barn fire occurs, you have approximately 8 minutes to get your horses out before the smoke inhalation causes permanent damage. Any wood barn owner, new or old, should always have fire prevention as a top priority. An emergency plan should be put in place should a fire ever occur. The most beneficial thing a barn owner can do is follow these preventative steps to decrease the chances of a fire destroying your beautiful wood barn.

-A “No Smoking” policy should be enforced in or around your barn
-All solvents, gasoline, feed, and gasoline powered equipment should be stored away from your barn
-Lights, heat lamps, and equipment should be regularly cleaned and dusted
-Make sure all electrical cords are not frayed and in good condition
-Turn off all radios while not in your barn
-Cobwebs are extremely flammable, make sure you remove them from your barn frequently
-Place several fire extinguishers around your barn as well as a sprinkler system. Test them frequently
-Have accessible halter and lead ropes available for every horse in every stall
-Inform neighbors about the presence of horses in your barn, in case you can’t get to them should there be a fire.
-Maintain a list of emergency telephone numbers and written directions to your barn at your telephone so that everybody can call for help and provide information to emergency personnel.

A barn fire is preventable, if you take the steps to make your wood barn a safe one.

Plan the Perfect Barn Wedding and Avoid These 3 Disastrous Mistakes

Barns continue to be the perfect backdrop for stunning weddings throughout the United States. The rustic setting can be the perfect complement, or the precise contrast for your wedding’s theme.
Planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task, but really it all comes down to these 6 categories:


  • Pick a Theme!
  • What will your perfect flower be?
  • Entertainment? What will we dance to?
  • What will everyone eat and drink?
  • Avoid 3 disastrous barn wedding mistakes

Pick the Perfect Theme


A barn wedding can be anything from cowboy to vintage lace.  Whether it’s in honky-tonk hoedown fashion or an elegant affair, a barn can provide you with a versatile setting to dress up, or down.


It’s all about your taste and style so simply start brainstorming what appeals to you – make a list!  Start with individual elements you want to include, and soon enough you’ll start to see a pattern emerge.  Scour the web, hit the library’s magazine section – go on a search for ideas and take lots of notes.


Once you have picked a theme the fun begins as you chose your dresses, invitations, and decorations.  Hanging strings of lights are a great choice in a barn since there will be plenty of rafters.  The added benefit to these little strings of lights is when the sun goes down the lighting is already set for a night of dancing.


Decide on Flowers


The beauty of using a barn as your wedding’s backdrop is that you can save a few pennies on the flowers.  Wildflowers are a popular choice, and you can get them at a fraction of the cost of traditional wedding flowers (and just stick them in mason jars).  You may even be able to pick your flowers from your own garden.  If wildflowers aren’t your thing don’t worry, with a semi-outdoor setting any flower will be appropriate.


Entertainment – let’s dance!


If you were to ask me, I would say this is the most fun aspect of planning the event.  A live band in the barn is ideal and transforms your wedding into a full-fledged barn dance.  Be creative with your options, you don’t have to spend a lot to bring quality music to your event.  Start with thinking about your own friends and family – is anyone in a band?  If not then just start to search locally.  You can have fun with this “research” by hitting up local bars in search of talent.  Pick the style of music you want and see what’s out there.


Food and Drinks


Depending on the barn you choose (or maybe it’s your own) there could be temperature issues.  The weather on that perfect sunny summer day could be compounded inside a barn.  If fall is more your season, the temperatures may drop unexpectedly.  Choose your food options with temperature in mind.  You don’t want things, like your cake, to start melting in the heat.


Beer is a staple at most weddings, but I can’t think of anything more appropriate for a barn wedding than bottled beer.  There are companies out there who will make personalized beer labels for you.  That makes it a beverage and a wedding favor all-in-one!  Buckets of ice filled with water, soda, beer and wine are an easy substitute for a bar set-up.  Just keep an eye on the kids!


Avoid These 3 Barn Wedding Disasters


      • Wasps! And other critters

Wasps have a habit of setting up home in barns.  If the barn you have chosen for your venue is frequently monitored for this issue then just skip ahead.  There are situations when destroying a wasp nest isn’t necessary, but if it is right in the middle of your dance floor then you should be proactive.  You certainly don’t want your guests running out the door because of a wasp problem you didn’t take care of.  This goes for other potential barn critters (mice, rats, bats, etc.), do a thorough look-around to see what you may have to deal or clean before the big day.


    • Allergies

If you aren’t allergic to hay, grass, or other farm-type allergens then you may not think about your guests’ potential misery.  Remember that seasonal allergies are at their worst early-to-mid spring.  If the grass around the barn is going to be cut close to the wedding day it should be arranged a couple days before the wedding.

You may want to think about contacting your guests to find out how many of them may be allergic to your perfect location, and then prepare accordingly.


    • Electricity

This may seem like a given, and hopefully it is on the top of your list.  Sometimes the most obvious problem can be overlooked, so make sure the barn you have chosen has electricity.  If there isn’t electricity then look into renting a generator for the day.

If you have additional advice about the planning process, please comment with your suggestions.  Remember – the most important element to your barn wedding is to make sure you have fun!  One last piece of advice – put the power tools away!

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.