Build a Small Horse Barn

How to Build a Small Horse Barn
A low-cost way to build a carport barn
By Jack & Nancy McCarron

Build a Horse Barn - Cover

This ebook, How to Build a Horse Barn, provides all the information you’ll need to plan your horse property for a very efficient, time-saving layout when working with (and for) your horse. The book also provides you all the ideas you need to design your own inexpensive horse barn, as well as construction details and tips.

It is based on the experiences of a horse-traveling couple with many years of experience in planning horse properties and building low-cost horse barns of various sizes and types.

The prime advantage to building your own small horse barn is saving money, as well as having complete control over the design – so you’ll know what you’re getting. You can expect to save half or more of the total cost (mostly labor). This savings may even allow you to construct a larger barn than you could afford otherwise within the same budget. Other benefits are increasing your property value and the long term satisfaction and pride you’ll feel from having done the job yourself.

From their own lessons learned, the authors lead you through each step from the all important planning and layout stages, and on through each of the construction phases as you build your own custom horse barn.

Most of the book is oriented toward using a carport (metal or fabric) as the roof structure to save money. However, much material is dedicated to planning, layout, and construction details that is equally applicable to other types of structures, like wood framing or completely metal buildings.

Here are a few photos of some of the barns we’ve built to give you and idea of what they can look like:

Build a Horse Barn - TN2   Build a Horse Barn - TN3

Build a Horse Barn - NC1   Build a Horse Barn - NC2

Build a Horse Barn - FLliveoak   Build a Horse Barn - FLroof

Build a Horse Barn - FLwellborn2   Build a Horse Barn - FLwellborn3

Build a Horse Barn - AZ1   Build a Horse Barn - AZ2


Here’s the Table of Contents and Chapter 1: Introduction…

Build a Horse Barn – Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Concept

  • How Big?
  • Possible Layouts

Chapter 3 First Things First – Important Design Consideration

Chapter 4 Detailed Design Floor Plan

  • Round Bales and the HayBay
  • Stalls and Gates
  • Prefab Shop/Utility
  • Building Option
  • Carport Choice
  • Your Custom Design

Chapter 5 Construction Site Preparation

  • The Carport and Frame
  • The Posts
  • The Stalls
  • Fence Measurement and Assembly
  • The Doors and Gates
  • The Haybay and its 2nd Floor
  • Hay Mangers
  • Automatic Waterers and Taps
  • Electrical Wiring
  • Stall Flooring

Chapter 6 Wrap Up

Chapter 7 Additional Photos

Build a Horse Barn – Chapter 1: Introduction

Do you have a few horses and need an inexpensive shelter for them? Thinking about a small horse barn or a shed? Wondering about how to build something – or even having it built, but don’t what to build? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

This ebook presents the concept, design ideas and tradeoffs, as well as the full construction details for building your own custom horse barn using a simple carport as the main structure.

But using a CARPORT??? Some may be thinking “What a stupid idea – a barn with no sides!!”. Well, read on. Especially in the appropriate climate (most of the southern half of the United States, as well as many other places in the world) these concepts are very workable, and will keep both you and your treasured horses very happy. And you can save lots of money compared with building a conventional barn. Your horses won’t care about this part.

But what will my friends and neighbors think? What we’ve found after building several of these barns around the country, is that people look at them and say “What a great idea!!” Done correctly these barns are neat, attractive, and most of all inexpensive and very functional.

Here’s some background on how this concept evolved:

My wife (68 years old) and I (70 years old) have been retired since 1998, sold our home, and bought an RV (Recreational Vehicle) and a horse trailer. Since then we’ve been “homeless – and love it”. Presently, we’ve been full-time RVers for a total of about 12 years. A few additional years in between we lived in the two houses we built in northern Florida and in the mountains of western North Carolina.

We are full-time RV travelers, BUT, since we’re horse owners (most of the time), we don’t find regular RV campgrounds very accommodating for our critters. (Although there are a few commercial campgrounds that do allow horses.) Nor do we like the crowded “sardine” environment of most campground RVers anyway. We love privacy and seclusion as we travel with our horses to sample riding trails everywhere. So for a while we “camped” at “horse motels”, rodeo grounds, and private farms here and there around the USA.

Then we struck on the idea of buying some land, installing RV hookups (including installing a septic system, power panel, water, phone, etc.) – just for ourselves, and maybe an occasional horsetrailer friend or two. Without a house on the property the taxes are very low and no house insurance is needed! Of course that also meant installing fencing for the horses and coming up with some type of horse shelter. This “personal campground” concept allowed us to eventually buy and build a number of these relatively inexpensive sites around the country. Then we could travel from one to another, pull in, hook up, and we were “home” again. Always careful to pick our land right next to established trail systems, we were back on the trails again right after parking our rig.

Because we mostly travel in warmer areas of the country we realized that our horses basically only needed a “roof over their heads” rather than a fully enclosed barn. That spawned the idea of using a “side-less” barn – like a carport!

Contrary to what some people think, horses are pretty tolerant to the kind of cold weather that occurs in the southern half of the US. They like a roof to go under when it’s hot, or rainy, or occasionally when it snows. Ours often like to stand out in the snow, sometimes with 3 inches of snow on their backs and a few icicles hanging from their belly rather than going into a shelter or barn. Yes, we do occasionally use blankets when first going from a warm climate to a colder area where the horses have not yet acclimated to the change in temperatures.

We and our horses have been very happy with the “side-less” barns we’ve built. Especially in warmer climates, open sides make it easy to build and easy on the pocketbook. If you live in a colder area, you may choose to install siding on these designs also. We’ll talk more about that later.

So read on to use our tried and true method to build a horse barn that is not only inexpensive, but relatively easy and quite attractive.We show you everything you need to do to design and build your own custom horse barn



How to Build a Horse Barn

by Jack and Nancy McCarron


© Copyright 2012   Jack and Nancy McCarron


Although you’ll likely save the cost of this eBook many times over,
we offer you a full money back guarantee just to be nice.
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