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Horse barn planning, building, remodeling book. Laws, location, layout, spaces, plans, materials, utilities, construction, remodeling.

Horse Housing



Horse barn planning, building, remodeling book. Laws, location, layout, spaces, plans, materials, utilities, construction, remodeling.

Horse Housing


How to Plan, Build, and Remodel Barns and Sheds
by Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill 

201 pages;
142 color photos and 70 drawings


Preface by Cherry Hill

Introduction by Richard Klimesh

excerpt: page 11


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Having built my fair share of horse buildings over the years and designed both houses and horse properties, I found that the info in this book was very well thought about and well laid out. Some really sound advice that will no doubt not only save you $ today but also make the barn safe and ensure good flow patterns for practical everyday use. It's a lot cheaper to put the facilities you want in now than to add them later, and making the right choice of roof design for your snow load or heat issues or making the remodel cost effective as well as visually appealing is not difficult with the right info - which this book has certainly provided. A great book, nicely up to date with a good list of resources and help should you need it. Recommended.

A. J. Torlone

This is the best book on the subject that I've seen. The topic is presented in a professional way so that an amateur builder can understand. It's accompanied by color photos and simple professionally drafted diagrams. I would recommend this reference to anyone.

Kathleen, a Canadian horse owner

My husband & I have found your books full of great information & really helped when we began building our small barn & paddock areas. We have 2 horses, a Paint & a Standardbred and with all the helpful info, our little hobby farm is really coming along.

Karin, a horse owner

And the book I have read so often this year, I can almost recite whole chapters: Horse Housing - Cherry Hill (extremely helpful in designing a horse friendly barn).

The Green Horse, the official newsletter of Horses for Clean Water,
November 2004 Book Review:
by Alayne Blickle

Richard Klimesh is a farrier, an accomplished carpenter and cabinet maker as well as a photographer and writer. His wife, Cherry Hill is an award-winning author of 24 books on horse training and management, including the well-known Horsekeeping on Small Acreage. This beautiful book is their latest and greatest accomplishment. If you have any ideas of buying or building a horse barn this book will be an excellent resource. It provides assistance from the beginning of the contract process, through regulations, siting issues, materials selection, dealing with traffic patterns, horse health, and so much more. Horse Housing provides 17 different layouts, from a single stall shed to a home/office barn. It also has a Resource Guide for barn experts as well as a glossary of over 350 building and construction terms.

Horse Housing is an excellent addition to any horseperson’s library!

I'm Not Just Horsing Around!, April 15, 2003

As a State Certified Texas General Real Estate Appraiser, I have had the opportunity to view improvements such as barns and stables on numerous rural properties. "Horse Housing" is an excellent resource for rural appraisers. I'm not just "horsing around" when I say that if owners of some of the properties I've viewed had utilized tips in this book during their construction project they could have built a superior instead of poor or average structure . Texas is home to more than 1 million horses, about 15% of the total U.S. horse population. However, while people tend to picture horses in rural settings, the counties with the largest numbers of horses are in metropolitan Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. So this book's guidance on zoning, building codes, and ideas for building an attractive/functional structure that is homogenous to an urban neighborhood is vital to a property owner/investor.

Horse Housing provides pragmatic advice on building and remodeling barns and sheds. This is a first rate publication offering the reader wonderful photographs and easy-to-understand illustrations combined with top notch writing by wordsmiths, Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill. As an appraiser since 1977, including rural properties, I need to be up-to-date regarding the details of what constitutes well-constructed horse facilities. This excellent book is a professional resource that facilitates a more precise completion of my assignments. Positively, this book belongs on your shelf when you start your next stable, barn or shed project!

Horse Housing....GREAT!!!!, April 13, 2003

I actually received this book as a gift and found it to be WONDERFUL and also very helpful! It answered all of the questions that I had running through my mind and also answered some that I had not even thought of! I would definitely recommend this book no matter what!

the horse barn bible, April 11, 2003

If you are going to build or remodel a horse barn the right way, so it functions correctly and lasts, this is the book to buy. good construction and functionality are key to making anything work, and it is obvious that this author builder isn't just a weekend trailrider. his co author's books occupy an entire shelf of my library. this book is written by equine professionals, and contain solid wisdom from a lifetime of experience. the layouts are designed for the horses AND the owners, and to withstand the rigors of country lifestyle. I recently saw one of the authors barns with over 3 feet of heavy snow on its roof and know them to have withstood incredible windloads.

this knowledge of construction and layout could save any potential barn builder or remodeled hundreds of times the cost of this book. it will protect your investment, your horses, and will help you enjoy your equine experience from more than just in the saddle. this book is not only about method and layout, it is about the philosophy of enjoying the fruits of doing something right.

A real common sense guide., April 11, 2003

We loved this book because it so thoroughly covered all aspects of horse housing.
What we particularly liked is the author's acknowledgement that available building materials may vary in different geographical areas.
Planning, Design, and Building - it took us through each step with gentle guidance helping us make our own decisions on what we could afford with time, materials and money available.
It began as our 'wish' book for a new home for our 8 horses and helped us design the right facility for them.

"... a most valuable resource.",, 2003

Shelter options for your horse are in large part dependent on the horse's overall temperament, its daily routine, and also the kind of work you usually require your animal to perform. Additionally, your local weather conditions and overall operation also dictate the kind of housing your animal will require on a day to day basis.

Some horses will need an extensive barn, while others will do well with a small barn or larger shed. Other times you may wish to combine your horse's living quarters with your own.

In the book Horse Housing the authors Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh go into great detail to help horse owners find the proper kind of housing for their animals that not only reflects their various personal tastes, but furthermore also takes into account the overall needs for their horse keeping operations. The book is written with practicality in mind, and thus the authors help the seasoned horse owner as well as the novice who may have just begun his or her path of horse ownership to understand the various aspects that are involved in housing the animals. For example, legal restrictions such as zoning limitations, covenant controlled communities, and building code issues are discussed in detail and in easy to understand terms. In the second chapter of their book, the authors discuss the intricacies of choosing a qualified builder to erect the building as well as the implications of being a general contractor for the building project. Additional emphasis is placed on the proper selection of a building site - keeping in mind adequate soil conditions, drainage, and even wind factors - and the method by which the needed utilities can be routed to the barn. It is imperative to remember that a scenic spot on your property does not always make for an advantageous building location!

In addition to the foregoing, the authors of Horse Housing discuss other topics that will have bearing on your decision with respect to proper housing for your horses; they discuss in detail the need for adequate access for trailers, driveways, the storage of hay and bedding, as well as the importance of utility and tack areas. If you are ready to build your own barn, the authors will help you by including sample building plans with proper dimensions to aid in the construction. Conversely, if you already have a barn in need of renovation on your property, once again the authors will be able to help you by giving you ample tips for renovation and restoration. A glossary with resource information, explanation of building terms, and also color pictures rounds out this useful book. Horse owners who are in need of a barn or other adequate living quarters for their animals will find this book a most valuable resource.

Equestrian's Edge: BERNICE B., Apr 1,2004
Invaluable resource for the novice builder

I am a fairly new horse owner (6yrs.), and I found this book the most valuable tool when planning my barn construction. It was simplistic enough to read although it was crammed full of details. Every aspect of building a functional horse barn was covered. I am a single woman and I appreciate the information that I gathered so that I can speak knowledgeably to the contractors concerning the construction.
Equestrian's Edge: BRUCE C., Apr 19,2003
good book - lots of info
Equestrian's Edge: Another Cherry Hill Great, Oct 22,2002

You can't go wrong with Cherry Hill. These barn plans are great!!! It's loaded with money-saving ideas to help you do it right the first time. it wouldn't be a bad book to buy for renovating an existing barn, either!!!

Horse Illustrated
October 2003

Whether building a new barn or just remodeling, Horse Housing by Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill takes you through the planning, design and building stages in great detail from how to get a building permit to estimating and ordering concrete.

To guide you through the endless decisions, Horse Housing provides extensive information regarding various building materials (along with the pros and cons associated with each option) in addition to 17 design plans to help get you started. From bare necessities, to the elaborate show barn, the authors never lose sight of important safety, comfort, efficiency and health standards.

A vast resource directory for locating services and products, along with a glosary of more than 300 terms to help you better understand the start-to-finish process, can be found.

Along with barn building, the book provides design and construction ideas for wash racks, tack rooms, arenas, hay and feed storage sheds, utility rooms, veterinarian/farrier areas and more. Horse Housing also has use ful color photos so you can visualize the concepts being discussed. -TM

The Gaited Horse
Fall 2002

Oh, get ready to sigh and dream and drool. This is a book for those people whose idea of a dream-house includes drains in the floor, stalls, built-in feeders and ... sigh... a wash rack.

Many know that Cherry Hill is an award-winning equine author, but fewer may realize that her husband, Richard Klimesh, is also an accomplished writer, trained architect, carpenter, certified journeyman farrier and artist.

This pair brings a rich blend of imagination, solid know-how and experience to the topic of horse barns in this superbly written, well-organized and handsomely illustrated book.

Page after page of plans and ideas makes you wish you could incorporate every idea into your own personal "dream barn." No detail is overlooked.

The American Quarter Horse Journal
October 2002

WHETHER YOU PLAN TO STABLE YOUR horse, shelter him in a run-in shed or put him in a pen off the side of the indoor arena, .

The book packages the features that make a stable handy, safe and comfortable, along with a wide range of designs.

Proper research - before you break ground and pour concrete - can prevent you from finding yourself stuck with a building that has a problem.

Natural Horse
Vol. 4, Issue 5  2002

Book Bits:
"Horse Housing - How to
Plan, Build, and Remodel
Barns and Sheds"

Looking to build or expand that dream shelter for your horse, or that barn to store your hay and feed next winter'? There is now a book that can help you get there. "Horse Housing" is a comprehensive practical guide to building, remodeling, and designing that special barn or stable that both the experienced and novice horse owner would want to have.

This 200-page book is well rounded and covers the ABC's of designing, planning, and constructing a barn, with over 150 color photos and 15 designs. "Horse Housing" is very thorough in taking you from the concept and design stage and getting the necessary permits, contractors and location to putting in finishing touches. This text is geared for all readers and its primary focus is the horse owner.

Richard and Cherry's book helps you decide on the right type of building for your area and conditions, and presents such topics as wall construction and doors, ventilation and light, flooring and drainage, storage and feed rooms, plus much more. The author also considers the climates and conditions we see across the US and how they can affect construction plans, The advantages and disadvantages of each design is presented with each plan idea so you can ascertain whether the typical problems found with the construction design would affect you in your area.

"Horse Housing" is interesting and informative, well written and easy to understand, and full of good tips and extras that the reader would want to consider when building a barn or shelter. While there are a few suggestions in the book that are questionable for the natural horse, there are many other natural and horse-friendly ideas. There is no doubt that this book will be very useful and helpful for anyone interested in or considering having a barn or shelter built or remodeled.

Montana Horseman's Journal
September 2002

Anyone thinking of building or remodeling a barn needs to see. this book. From picking the perfect location, to deciding what works best for your needs and fits your budget, Horse Housing is a wonderful guide. A simple and easy to understand layout and beautiful pictures and diagrams help even the first time builder understand the process.

Divided into three sections, Planning, Design, and Building, this book takes the reader step by step.

In the Planning section, the laws of zoning, codes, permits and inspections are addressed. Whether to build it yourself or, more importantly, when to have a professional step in, is also addressed in this section. Soil, drainage, security, site sketches and utilities also fit into this section.

Location, location, location as they say, and that is never more true then when designing a barn. Climate and the lay of the land are of paramount importance when putting up any structure.

The Design section deals largely with plans, weather considerations in construction, building materials and organizing space. Sixteen sample plans are included, with sketches of the finished project and a detailed floor plan. Dimensions, features. disadvantages and other options are spelled out plainly. The sample plans range from a simple loafing shed to well-equipped indoor arena with a barn. Any plan can easily be modified to fit the needs of the individual.

Building materials are something that can vary from state to state. The climate and availability of materials dictate what the builder should or shouldn't use. The comfort and safety dictate others. And of course, the owner's budget is the deciding factor. All of these things are carefully covered in the Design section.

Also in the Design section is a chapter on electricity. Electricity is the lifeblood of your barn, and it needs to be done right, Faulty plumbing or a few bent nails won't be of much concern, but faulty electrical work can result in a fire. The dos and don'ts of electrical work and what needs to be done by a professional are all covered in depth.

The last section is Building, and as the reader might suspect, it covers the step-by-step process of layout, preparation, framing and on up to insulation and roofing. Safety tips and different tools of the trade are also discussed. Grading the building site and rain runoff from the proposed barn all involve understanding drainage and percolation rate. Just digging a flat spot for a barn doesn't insure good drainage. Splashboards and skirting, insulation, overhangs to protect from sun and orientation of the building to duck prevailing winds are all thoroughly covered.

Chapter 11 covers remodeling of an existing barn or shed. As might be expected, it concerns itself with the basics of space, strength, ventilation, wiring and foundation, among other things. If the existing structure is lacking severely in any of these things, the remodel may not be worth the expense or time.

In Chapter 12, Cherry Hill takes the reader through a guided tour of her own barn and facilities. Interesting details to note are built in grooming nooks, a tack room complete with sink and a washer/dryer, and comfortable, well ventilated tie areas. It's a barn to dream about, and maybe, just maybe, build for your self some day.

The Appendix offers helpful terms, recommended reading and a resource guide.

Put it all together with the colorful and well-chosen pictures and easy to read text and this book comes out a, winner. Any horseman would be happy to have this book sitting on their coffee table, or more likely, resting on the end of a sawhorse, covered in dust and dirt, as the new barn is being built. Don't pass this one up, it's a good resource to keep on hand.

- review by Gail Ledbetter

Western Horseman
September 2002

Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill might well be the horse industry's dynamic duo when it comes to informative, user-friendly guidance; their numerous publications address many horsekeeping and horsemanship skills. Horse Housing, their latest effort, showcases Klimesh's illustrative, photographic and architectural acumen, Hill's fine talent as a wordsmith and, best of all, the couple's many years' experience as horse owners. The goal in Horse Housing, according to Klimesh, is twofold: to "help you make your barn safe and comfortable for horses" and "pleasant and efficient for you to work in."

To accomplish either goal requires thoughtful planning, designing and building - the three main sections in the book. Planning includes learning about ng regulations, barn builders and contracts, and evaluating site factors, such as soil, wind, access, etc. Design considerations include the actual barn layout, amenities (washracks, tack rooms, hay storage, etc.) and building materials. Seventeen barn designs with measurements are included. Section three explains the actual step-by-step construction process.

The authors, thorough as usual, have included a glossary of more than 300 pertinent terms and an extensive list of resources in their well-indexed book. Clear black-and-white illustrations and sharp color photos illustrate the easy-to-follow text. Horse Housing explains why knowledgeable horsemen do or don't do certain things when housing horses, which is good information to have when you plan to remodel or build a barn.

- review by Fran Smith

Horse & Rider

September 2002

Planning your dream barn?
This book by Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill can help you realize those dreams.

If you're a typical horse owner, you're always interested in learning more about barn design and construction. Maybe you're preparing to build your dream barn, or maybe you're thinking about buying a few acres of your own. Even if you keep your horse at the perfect boarding stable, you've surely had thoughts or dreams of keeping your horses at home. Horse Housing: How to Plan, Build, and Remodel Barns and Sheds, by Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill, can help you realize those dreams.

The saddest words heard from any horse owner who's ever built a barn that wasn't quite right--or built a good barn in the wrong place--are "Dang! I wish I'd known that before I started--it's gonna cost a bundle to fix this!" This book can help you avoid barn-building regrets.

Authors Klimesh and Hill--a husband-and-wife team--need no introduction. They're horsemen's horsemen, known and respected throughout the country. But not everyone knows that Klimesh, a farrier and the co-author of Maximum Hoof Power, is also a professional carpenter who studied architectural design at Iowa State University. He and Hill--the award-winning author of many good books on horse care and training--have had extensive experience building and rebuilding barns across the country.

They've applied their experience to Horse Housing, which can help you whether you're building a new training facility, remodeling a dairy barn or machine shed, or just improving your own horse barn. It provides descriptions, instructions, practical information, and good advice in a beautifully illustrated, reader-friendly format.

Chapter after chapter, this book teaches things you might never have thought of--and explains why and how to avoid common mistakes. The combination of clear writing, clear thinking, good sense and good horsemanship makes for easy reading. Human convenience is emphasized throughout, but the bottom line is horse health, comfort, and safety. If horses could review books, they'd give this one "two hooves up."

Packed with clear photos, plans, and drawings, this book is divided into three sections. The first section discusses planning and reminds readers that laws, zoning ordinances, and covenants can limit the size, design, and placement of a barn. Also in the first section: information and advice about hiring a general contractor, dealing directly with subcontractors, doing the work yourself, and why you need to find the best possible location and orientation for your barn.

The book's second section deals with design elements. Starting with basic barn layout and features--stalls, floor plan, doors and windows--the authors go on to discuss condensation, humidity, ventilation, and insulation. Some barn owners must cope with extreme summer heat, others with extreme winter cold--and some have to deal with both. Whatever your weather conditions, the information you want is here.

Star Trek had it right. If you've ever maneuvered a large trunk through a tiny tack room door or turned a large horse around in a narrow aisle, you know that space really is the final frontier. Design elements aren't "extras," they're what we need to consider before we build.

You want stalls? How many, and what size? Should they have swing-out feeders, rubber mats, windows, Dutch doors? Where will the doors be? Should you have a feed room and a hay room? How wide should the center aisle be? Where will you groom your horses? Where will you tie them--and to what? Will you need an outdoor wash rack or an indoor wash stall? Veterinary stocks or a breeding room? How about foaling stalls and a waiting room?

One good tip: When you design your tack room, don't think small. The authors remind us that nobody ever said, "My tack room is too large." Wouldn't it be nice to have a tool room or utility room? How about a lounge? A bathroom? A dressing room? Do you want to attach an indoor arena to your barn?

If you can imagine a space, structure, or appliance, you can probably have it in your barn, but if you're wise, you'll imagine it, plan it, and figure the cost before you build.

This section also includes a chapter on barn plans--how to draw, buy, or commission them. You'll find sample plans for a loafing shed, remodeled pole building, and other barns. As described, they're designed for anywhere from one to six horses, but according to the authors, each structure can be modified to accommodate more horses.

Then there's a chapter on choosing materials--everything from flooring and walls to rubber and fasteners--and a chapter on utilities and details. (You'll need to know about electricity, heaters, coolers, and water.) There's even a troubleshooting piece called "Preventing Problems," but that's really the subject of the whole book--the more you know, the more problems you can avoid.

The third section deals with the actual building of the facility, from site preparation through the final details of construction and cleanup. The authors discuss footings, foundation, framing, sheathing, stairs, wiring, plumbing, siding, roofing, floors, doors and windows, insulation, and paneling. The book's final chapter, "Putting it All Together," is an illustrated personal tour of Hill's own barn. At the very end, there are three appendices listing helpful building terms, recommended readings, and resources, including architects and builders.

If you buy only one book about barns and barn construction, make it this one. It's a wonderful reference text you'll want to consult again and again.

- review by Jessica Jahiel, PhD

USA Equestrian
July/August 2002

IF YOU PLAN ON BUILDING A barn in the future, remodel one you have, or convert a building into a facility to house horses, Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill's book Horse Housing, How to Plan, Build, and Remodel Barns and Sheds, is for you. From choosing the best location to putting on the finishing touches, this book covers it all. Sample floor plans are given, listng good and bad points of each one. You will learn which barns are suitable for your climate to ensure the maximum amount of lighting and proper ventilation for healthy, happy horses. The surrounding terrain is discussed to ehminate the possibilities of flooding; drainage and access are a few of the key considerations discussed, as well as access to utilities. How will you get water and electricity to your barn? Make certain the area you decide upon is properly zoned and that there are no city ordinances to dictate materials and style.

You will also find tips on horse-friendly materials, aisle widths, stall sizes and wash racks and just about anything else imaginable. This book teaches the prospective builder how to order materials such as concrete, how to repair walls and replace an old roof. The book explains how to read and actually draw a clear accurate plan of the barn and if that isn't an option, others are investigated. A dictionary of building terms is listed at the end of this book so even the layperson can feel confident in shopping for materials and talking with designers and contractors.

Horse Housing is easy to understand and is full of detailed photos, not just of new and remodeled barns but also of wash racks, stalls, tack rooms and offices. There are many graphics included that show installation of faucets and swallow barriers as well as numerous other details that need to be checked.

If you are planning on building, remodeling or converting a barn, this is the place to start.

- review by Sarah Holt

August, 2002

The book is called Horse Housing, yet it says in the introduction that "horses are generally healthier and, we can suppose, happier, not living inside a barn". So why do we need one? Because, author Richard Klimesh says, barns are handy for storing feed, tack and equipment; for sheltering the farrier or vet; for sheltering horses during extreme weather; and for a myriad of horse management situations.

If you think you need a barn, read this book before you build, buy, or remodel. It is chockfull of information you didn't even know you needed, as well as ideas to give shape and substance to your dreams.

Klimesh has built and remodeled horse facilities throughout the country, and he studied architectural design at Iowa State University. In 17 years as a professional farrier, he worked in barns of all sorts. He noticed what made a barn efficient, safe and comfortable. He saw how lighting, flooring, ventilation and traffic patterns affected the attitudes and behaviors of both people and horses. Co-author Cherry Hill, Klimesh's wife, has published 24 works on horse training and care, including the classic Horsekeeping on Small Acreage. Together they bring vast experience and intelligence to the subject of barns.

Three sections - Planning, Design, and Building - take you by the hand every step of the way from vague yearning to completed barn. Horse Housing assumes no prior knowledge and begins with a clear look at zoning, covenants, building codes, permits, and necessary inspections. It tells you how to choose a builder, what to think about in buying a modular barn, how to act as your own contractor, how to subcontract out various facets of the job, and, finally, how to do it yourself.

The design section provides 16 barn plansfrom a simple three-sided loafing shed, to a pole building remodeled into a two-stall barn, a traditional loft barn, a barn that will also house your horse trailer or RV, a live-in barn, a training barn, and barns that incorporate meeting rooms and offices.

The book covers the pros and cons of materials available for flooring, siding, roofing, and framing. It discusses site location in detail. It covers your options for lighting, electrical outlets, circuitry, heating, cooling, emergency power, water, sewage, drainage, fire protection, security; and fly control.

Encyclopedia in its depth and range, the book is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable read. It's clear, it's friendly, and it's comprehensive.

review by Nancy Gage

August, 2002

Richard Klimesh takes the reader from the planning stages to the "Putting it All Together" stages of building and remodeling barns, including zoning, permits, and building codes. A section I found especially helpful was on what to look for in a barn builder and contract guidelines. Mr. Klimesh emphasizes that "many good contractors don't like bidding, especially on a small barn that often means little profit and big headaches. They want work, not price shopping." the author, instead, suggests stopping by the office and discussing design and concerns. This says that the horse owner is "looking for quality not just the cheapest deal."

Horse Housing is designed for the person planning a barn, hiring a general contractor, or the person who wishes to do all the work. A do-ityourselfer would find Horse Housing invaluable as Mr. Klimesh offers actual how-to steps and procedures. The reasons behind his thoughts on design are all given so that no questions are left unanswered and the reader can clearly see the sense behind the ideas. Helpful advice on a barn's orientation to make working in the barn convenient, water accessible, and horses comfortable is offered throughout the book and accompanied by color photographs and illustrations for clarity.

Horse Housing comes complete with sample plans for run in sheds, storage, barns sporting tack rooms as well as numerous barn styles, including indoor arenas, foaling barns and the home office barn. Richard Klimesh leaves nothing to chance and fills the reader with confidence as he explains materials and the actual construction process.



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