Here we go....
We knew we needed a barn, especially with other livestock in our future. Our new homestead property came with 12 acres for us to play with and make our own. A portion of the lot will be cleared (it is heavily wooded) and turned into the barn and paddock.
The wood we clear, we will then season and use to heat our lodge the following winter, or be used in our fire pit during the summer. Nothing goes to waste around here!
No project is usually as simple as just throwing one up and calling it a day of course. There are a lot of factors for us to consider before this can become a reality:
Barn design & plans
These are all possible "barriers to entry" for us. The barn we want to build may not be the one we can afford, but we are committed to doing this right from the start, and making it the best it can be - even if it takes a little extra time to bring the vision to life.
We have already begun the nitty gritty - the research - meeting with the town and asking what steps were required. We have also begun the process of researching the best barn options on the market. So far, we've looked into building it ourselves with wood, VersaTube structures, and pole barns to find the best quality structure at the best cost. Living in Maine, it's also crucial that we find something with a roof that will hold up to the weight of heavy snow - not something that has to be considered in all parts of the country! Requesting quotes from various companies across the country, and reviewing all of the offered options from siding materials, to doors, cupolas, and more.
Similarly, we are also working with the state to review our wetlands (we have a survey map of the property showing them) to ensure we are not infringing on any heavily developed habitats. Typically, however, wetlands can be altered if the use for the land is agriculturally based, but we still made sure to get the approval for our pond, as well as for the plot where the barn will go.
Our barn needs to be suited for a run-in, tack room, a couple stalls for grooming, injury or birthing, as well as feed storage. It also must be suitable housing for each of our unique animal's needs, including ventilation, and being weather tight!
It is our hope to build a structure somewhere up to 36x36, with up to 4 stalls and a tack room (a room for saddles, pads, helmets, other gear related to equine). The stalls will be used for grooming, tacking up, injured livestock, or birthing. Ideally, there should be a hallway down the middle, and space to store feed, and other related farm equipment.
Naturally, we'll need to ensure it's got good height and hanging space for a country-fied chandelier - what barn would be complete without one?
Having a barn would be a really nice improvement for the livestock as well as make our lives a lot simpler, so our gear isn't spread out over various storage spaces (likely to get lost), and we aren't concerned about the structure holding in various weather patterns. This will also mean improved fencing, and pasture area for our critters to roam and relax in (and not break out of!).