If the patter of hooves is soon to be heard at your house and a barn is in your future, planning is the key. There are many things to consider before the first nail is driven. Take the time in the planning stages to make decisions that will keep your costs down, your horses comfortable and you a happy horse keeper.
First, make a checklist of important tasks. Set yourself a timeline for each in the order they must be done, so you won't be rushed into choosing building plans, contractors and the like. Before you begin, check your town zoning regulations. Many municipalities require that buildings that house livestock be a certain distance from the property line. Others have limitations on how many and what type of animals can be maintained on specific acreage. Ask about building permits and inspections - what is required and how long it takes to obtain them.
Here are several suggestions about what to include in your barn-building plans:
Finally, consider the barns you've boarded in, and make a list of the things you liked and didn't like about each. This is the list that will individualize your barn and make it work for you. Now, structure your budget and let the building begin.