A barn is built by just two people – you and your barn builder. There may be several other people involved during the process, but the success of your barn is going to highly depend on your relationship with your barn builder. When looking for a barn builder, referrals are always a good place to start.
But remember that everyone’s ideal dream barn is different. If the referral came from someone who built a simple shed row barn and you are thinking of something with dormers, a hayloft, and special flooring, it may not be the right fit for you. Ideally, you want a barn builder who will listen, and offer suggestions but also knows the final decision is always yours. Your barn building process from start to finish should be a collaborative effort.
Here Are Some Things To Discuss With A Potential Barn Builder
Location: If he has reservations about your choice, discuss them and work to find an alternative site. Also, make sure you know who is responsible for site preparation. Sometimes the barn builder handles it; sometimes they want you to take care of it before they start.
Discuss The Timetable For Your Barn: Regardless of the size of your barn, your builder will need to order or set aside adequate resources. If your barn is larger, this may mean waiting longer for an estimated start and completion date. A smaller barn project will often not take as long to start and can sometimes be completed between several larger projects. Always confirm with your builder exactly when they will start your barn and when they will finish.
Discuss zoning requirements, permits, code inspections, etc., and what these entail. Also, determine who will be responsible for getting these.
Discuss who will contact underground utility companies about buried lines for cable, phone or other utilities. Don’t assume it will be the builder – he may be assuming it will be you!
Discuss the crew and who will do the job. Have they been with the company long? Or do they use sub-contractors? Are they covered by the builder’s insurance?
Ask about the contract and if you can see it (and possibly have your lawyer review it) before signing.
Finally, while hiring a barn builder is the most efficient way to get a barn built, most barn builders have limited time and expertise in designing a custom barn to meet your specific needs. If you need more assistance in the design of your barn, you may want to consider using an architect who specializes in equestrian facilities. The architect is there to evaluate the needs of the owner, from overall site planning, programming, phasing, and design to overseeing the entire construction to make sure the barn is built as intended.
Courtesy of Classic Equine Equipment