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Horse Barn Building 101 – The Top 5 Questions to Ask For Your Financial Well-Being

by Nikki Alvin-Smith

A new barn is an exciting purchase and before you gallop headlong into the aisleway and slip on the concrete do a quick check on how well saddled up you are for a successful outcome.

Here to help you on your ride are the top five questions that you should ask your prospective builder from a financial perspective:

Will the building company provide you with basic elevations drawings and/or a floor plan (or stamped architectural drawings if needed) for presentation to your local Zoning officials and Building Inspector? Plans can be very expensive to produce and a good builder will provide a barn design, with specs, that meet or exceed the snow load, wind load and other general requirements for agricultural buildings in your area.

Horse Barn Site Pad - courtesy of Horizon Structures
Horse Barn Site Pad - courtesy of Horizon Structures

Whose responsibility is the site preparation and will the building company provide you with plans for such preparation that you can present to your excavating company? Or, is your builder willing to speak with your excavator directly so that nothing gets ‘lost in translation?’

What is the timeline on this project and will they put the cost in writing as a firm price detailing exactly what is included? For example: Freight charges; set-up costs; warranty offered; materials used.

Financing? Companies that offer financing provide a handy resource for you to get started NOW. For a horse business owner this allows you to receive the income from the use of the barn to pay the monthly fee, deduct interest paid and amortize the value of the structure on your tax return. Consult your tax professional for aid in this area and to provide you with numbers so you can include these in your cash flow projections to ensure you make a smart decision.

Does the building company have references that you can speak with to ascertain quality of service and product that they provide? Be wary of salted or limited references. A good company will provide an open resource to their past customers and have a portfolio of previous clients where you can even visit and see the workmanship and chat about their experience with the building company firsthand.

When you purchase a barn for your horses it should be an enjoyable and satisfying experience. Do your homework now. The safety of your horses and the health of your bank balance depend on it.

Always consult with the most experienced companies you can find and ensure you are comparing apples to apples.

Enjoy the ride by ensuring you back the right horse!

Horse Barn Plans - courtesy of Horizon Structures
Horse Barn Plans - courtesy of Horizon Structures

This article is brought to you courtesy of Horizon Structures Inc., Atglen PA – Modular horse barn and indoor riding arena specialists. Horizon Structures also offers both residential and commercial kennels, coops, multi-use structures and playsets. Please visit them in our section on Barns & Stalls.

About Horizon Structures: One horse or twenty, there's one thing all horse owners have in common...the need to provide safe and secure shelter for their equine partners. At Horizon Structures, we combine expert craftsmanship, top-of-the-line materials and smart "horse-friendly" design to create a full line of sheds and barns that any horse owner can feel confident is the right choice for their horses' stabling needs.

All wood. Amish Made. Most of our buildings are shipped 100% pre-built and ready for same-day use. Larger barns are a modular construction and can be ready for your horses in less than a week. All our barn packages include everything you need.

Horizon Structures also sells indoor riding arenas, chicken coops, dog kennels, 1 and 2 car garages, storage sheds and outdoor living structures.

Headquartered in South-Central Pennsylvania, Horizon Structures, LLC is owned by Dave Zook. Dave was raised in the Amish tradition and grew up working in the family-owned shed business. He started Horizon Structures in 2001 in response to an ever-increasing customer demand for high quality, affordable horse barns.

For additional information about the company or their product line, please visit them in our section on Barns & Stalls.

About Nikki Alvin-Smith: International and national published freelance writer and photographer in such world renowned publications such as The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse and Hound, Dressage and CT, Warmbloods Today, The Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar, Reiter, The Equine Journal, Spur, Hoofprints, Horsin’ Around, Horses All, Field & Stream, Western Horse and Gun, Pony Quarterly, Catskill Horse to name a few. Ghostwriting, blog services, PR/Marketing copy either direct with manufacturer or for agencies, copy editing and editor services also available. Nikki also produces catalog copy, white papers, e-books, corporate brochures and advertising copy for international corporations and PR/Marketing for celebrities.

As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 34 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international Grand Prix level to scores over 72% and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Baroque breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run a private dressage breeding operation and training yard in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York.

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