Choosing Materials for Affordable Horse Stalls
Advantages of Aluminum Components for Horse Stalls that Look good and Last!
Article from Armour Companies
Whether you are building your own barn or buying a prefabricated one, there are several factors to consider when choosing horse stalls.
Preparing the perfect home for your horse is one of the most important aspects of horse ownership.
Before you buy horse stalls, you must think about price, your horse's size, type of material used and
additional features that you may want to include in your stall package. There are numerous decisions to
make along the way, so the clearer idea that you have in your head before buying, the better. Metal stall
doors are some of the most popular materials, because they are sturdy, durable, and affordable. These can include steel/iron, galvanized steel, or aluminum options.
To begin with, it's a good idea to narrow down your search by deciding what material you prefer your
stalls be manufactured from. Steel or iron components can arrive painted or powder coated. Paint on
steel can be scratched or peeled off, exposing the steel or iron to elements which cause rust. Powder
coated steel can also be scraped by halters, scratched by hooves or chipped by shovels or other objects
used around the barn, therefore also exposing the iron to elements which cause rust. Galvanized steel is a
protective coating that is dipped, however the welded area of a piece that is welded will often flex and
cause galvanized metal to crack or chip, again, causing the iron underneath to be exposed to elements
which cause rust! If you are looking to purchase a stall component that will outlast iron or galvanized steel
products consider aluminum. The outstanding characteristic of aluminum is that it does not rust; after all it
is used in lakes and rivers for boat docks and launches. Aluminum products are often priced comparable to steel or galvanized products as well, so you shouldn't find a huge price difference.
When building your own stalls, or purchasing, it is great to order from a company that will custom size
your stalls. Because 6” x 6” posts are really 5.5” x 5.5” and 2” x 6” lumber is really 1.5” x 5.5 - 5.75”
and because the mortar between concrete block, brick or stone, can’t often be held to a 1/8” tolerance it
is always best to wait and order stalls after the building is completed. This will ensure a perfect fit with
each stall. It is not uncommon when building a barn that your end stalls will not be a true 12’, but if you
order a 12’ stall front, you may run the risk of having to retrofit each component, where as if you had waited till the posts were up, ordered what was required, nothing would have to be cut and pasted
together to fit. Also your builder will love you!! The easier it is for them, the less you pay!
The size of your horse and its stall is another consideration when building or renovating a barn. Standard
stalls are 12’ x 12’ from center of 6” x 6” posts. For maximizing space, 12’ x 10’ or 10’ x 10’ stalls are
commonly used, but only suggested when horses are pastured for longer periods of time. Larger breed
equines are suggested to have 12’ x 14’ or 16’ stalls to accommodate their larger size. Stall walls are
commonly constructed of 2” x 6” tongue and groove boards and wall stiffeners should be purchased
when wall lengths exceed 12’ or when tongue and groove lumber is not used. Wall Stiffeners are vertical
lumber boards, iron or aluminum flat bars that are fastened to each board to increase strength and rigidity in dividing or back walls.
After you have chosen the material of components, size of stall the final and most obvious characteristic of the stall is the door. There is a wide range of options on the market today
for stall doors, ranging from wooden doors to metallic options. Size, materials, and features are all different aspects to think about, once you
have a budget in mind. To get started, it's helpful to write a list of features that you are looking for. There are swing and sliding doors with multiple
top and bottom features to choose from. The bottom of the door can have an X design which is most commonly called Cross buck. Tongue
and Groove boards can be placed horizontal or vertically to add dimension and doors that increase the most visibility and airflow are often
popular too. In some cases it is common to find hybrid doors that include tongue and groove lower panels with a ventilation grille called a Coolbreeze. Top features for stall doors can be just from extreme
spectrum ends as well. Bar Top doors no longer just keep the horses head in the stall, but they can be ordered with panels that lift out or are
spring loaded to be released when utilization is mandatory. Gossip tops are common for year round perusing of the aisle. Top features which can
be seen through or allow accessibility to the stall occupant are common and preferred over a completely solid wooden door.
Once you have chosen a top and bottom feature it is also good to consider if you prefer a sliding or
hinged door. Sliding doors are most popular for stall fronts, because they are smooth to operate and
convenient for moving horses in and out of the stall. Sliding doors require more hardware to operate, but
they take up no aisle or interior stall space. They run on an overhead track in most cases, and will need a
stop to keep the door from running too far off the track. You will need to make sure that you have floor
-level guides put into place on your sliding doors, so that the horse is unable to paw or kick at the door
bottom. Swing doors require simple hardware, however adequate room for swinging the door should be
considered. To keep them from decreasing the actual amount of aisle workspace that you have, it's
important to make sure that there is a Hook and Eye latch in place to keep them secured back against the stall wall.
Safety should always come first when you are comparing the different stall door options on the market.
Think about the temperament of your horse. If you have a calm, placid horse, these security measures
may not be as vital. Some horses prefer more privacy or get territorial, in which case a full length door is a
better idea than a half-door. If you choose to put full-height doors into place, be sure that these have
fewer than three inches of clearance under them, so that the horse's hooves or legs don't get stuck under
the door, causing potentially serious injuries. Some horses may try to jump over the stall walls, so if you
think this might be a concern, it's better to choose a full height grille in the front and between horses’ stalls.
These allow the horse to still see out of the stall, but they will be unable to undo any latches or jump over
the top of the barrier, for added security and convenience. Looking at all options ahead of time will help you find the best fit.
Whether your mom used to say, appearance is everything or don't judge a book by its cover
appearance can be an important factor! Consider adding a little life or color to your barn, the days of old
black bars and dark wood is out!! Bring in light by installing aluminum components which reflect light and
brighten up the barn. Avoid powder coated components because the powder coating will often scratch or chip. Another way to spruce up your barn is by adding barn art or showcasing achievement ribbons.
While making the tough product and material decisions that are required when building a barn, consider calling Armour Companies and speaking to an experienced associate. Armour can assist you with customizing your barn's
appearance for little to no additional budgeted stall component cost and specializes in unique stall options that will dress up any barn's
appearance. For instance, ask one of our stall about Silhouette Barn Art cut outs that can be painted and hung throughout the barn to add
character or interest to breed or discipline. If sticking to the stall basics is more your style, Armour can also make recommendations
on stall components such as a modern Herringbone stall door which features diagonal inverted round bars to add an aesthetically pleasing
view to any barn aisle. Prefab Armour stall components are available in standard sizes or can be ordered in custom sizes to adapt to more
complex needs or any stall configuration. Armour specializes in renovation projects and will manufacture it's product to work around existing posts, beams, or walls.
Give us a call today! 800-876-7706 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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