KiwiSpan has been paving the way in the New Zealand outdoor building and shed market since the early 2000s. Whilst KiwiSpan started out with the kiwi dream of building the very best shed, over the years we have innovated into many different types of outdoor buildings to suit the New Zealand landscape, for example, a growing trend is the popularity of farm sheds and barns.
What is a barn?
A barn by definition is a large building used by farmers to store equipment or crops. Depending on whether it is a hay barn, or machinery storage shed, a barn’s framing system is one of the critical elements to maximising the use of your new space.
The second important element in building a barn in a rural location is that it is made to last. The KiwiSpan range of farm sheds and barns have all been designed with New Zealand’s harsh environment in mind, built with hard-wearing durable steel of a higher spec than many other options in the market, and by expert builders with years of experience. So you can rest assured your KiwiSpan shed will stand the test of time.
How can I customise my barn?
Perhaps the most exciting feature is that your barn can be customised to your exact farming or lifestyle requirements. Optional extra’s include partition walls, awnings, garaports, as well as being able to design a variety of sizes, lengths and heights.
‘Barn living’ has become an international trend overseas, with more and more people leaving their city surroundings for a simpler life. KiwiSpan’s barns can be customised to include a home or hobby office or even a “man” cave. Your new barn can also easily be personalized with different choices in colour cladding, different window and door choices. This trend is growing in popularity because it represents the best of both worlds – a functional working space for your equipment or farm supplies, coupled with space that you can make your own – we’re thinking a man/ she-cave or new office.
Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your new barn project.
If you’re considering getting some stables made, you probably don’t need to be told that there’s a bit to consider. Unlike other types of storage units, stables are used to house living, high-maintenance animals. And as we’re sure you’re aware, rearing horses is more of a lifestyle than it is a hobby, and requires a ton of time and effort – so you’ll also want to get their accommodation just right (remember, the better they feel, the easier they’ll be to handle).
To help make this process a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when planning your stables (although rest assured, when building with us, we’ll be with you all the way).
Being active animals, horses don’t like being stabled. In fact, they’d rather be out in the field all day and night. So in order to make their stay that little bit more comfortable, you’ll want to make sure they’re given enough space to rest comfortably.
The minimum size requirement for a sleeping bay is 3.6mx3.6m, but you should go bigger if you can. The general rule of thumb is that all sleeping bays should be big enough for the horse to lie down comfortably in, without having to bunch up against the wall.
Likewise, you’ll want to keep any entrances as wide as possible, giving your animals plenty of room to pass in and out of (this is typically between 1.5-2m).
When it comes to internal structures (such as the walls between individual sleeping bays), we recommended you use a mesh-like design rather than a solid wall.
This allows for two things. Firstly, the animals will be able to see each other, which will make them less prone to distress (and again, make them easier to work with).
You’ll also experience superior ventilation around the stables, which is optimal for the health of its residents. These are also good reasons to include a few windows in your stables too (not to mention the increase in sunlight they’ll allow for).
Getting the right locks for your stables is a fine art. Because you’ll often be guiding an animal whilst dealing with, locking and unlocking your stables, you’ll want a locking system that’s simple enough to operate while multitasking (and often with only one hand to spare).
That said, horses are not unintelligent animals. It’s not unheard (no pun intended) of for horses to figure out how to unlock a simple hatch lock and go for a nightly galavant. In fact, it’s even been reported that some horses will not only break themselves out but will then also proceed to bust their friends out too. Whilst you can’t fault their loyalty to each other, this could be somewhat disastrous to deal with.
As with so many things in life, finding that perfect locking system is all about balance.
There are quite a few options when it comes to stable flooring, each with their own pros and cons.
- Sand is probably the flooring that is used most often. It drains waste/water very well and is gentle on the horses’ hooves and legs. However, it will need to be replaced somewhat often, and seeing as horses tend to eat off the floor, it can get in amongst their feed and can cause health issues if too much is digested.
- Wood is another common (and more traditional) flooring option. It’s easy on the animals themselves and is warm, and slip-resistant when dry. It will need to be treated as not to retain odour and stand up against waste, however, and repairing it over the years will build up in cost.
- Concrete has become quite popular in recent years. It’s durable, affordable and low maintenance. What it isn’t, however, is good for the animals long term, and you may need to consider fitting certain areas of the stables with rubber mats for the comfort of your horses.
- Lastly, we have asphalt. It’s easier on the animal’s legs and can be long lasting when applied correctly. However, due to its porous nature, it will need to be disinfected somewhat often and can crack if applied too thinly.
Happy homes make for happy horses. Contact us here today to get the ball rolling on your next shed-based project.
Hay there, have you heard the good news about barns?
If not, we’d love to tell you about it.
Building a barn is now easier.
This used to be a bit of a process. It wasn’t just about finding land and building materials. You also had to acquire a building consent. This was a process that would take time, money, resources and require several permissions.
All this was before you can even think about building the thing.
However, it’s been announced that single-story barns under 110m2 are now exempt from this requirement. Provided you stick to those specs, you’re good to go.
The only other catch is that you actually have to use the barn as a barn. So, as cool as converted barn bars/wedding venues/stores are, you’ll still need a building consent for this kind of work.
But it’s worth noting that this exemption covers any sort of structure (enclosed, semi-enclosed or open) used for farming-related activities in rural areas, not just hay barns (despite the earlier pun).
Okay, that’s great – but why should you care?
Well, despite the stereotypical idea of an old, red wooden building found on old-timey farms, modern sheds are actually an incredibly useful utility building with a range of valuable uses. KiwiSpan offers a wide range of custom barn solutions for a multitude of uses.
So using a barn as a place for keeping various animals is probably the most obvious one, but you don’t necessarily need to be a livestock farmer to make use of this.
Raising animals can not only be a profitable, and fun activity. Studies have also shown that raising children around animals can help with allergy immunities and self-confidence.
More and more people are choosing to raise chickens (scrambled eggs for breakfast anymore?), and for all the rider’s out there – barns can also serve well as a stable for horses as well.
Thanks to the recent influx of “cute cow playing with beach ball” videos online (Who would’ve thought that cats’ time in the spotlight was limited?), adopting a cow as a pet rather than a future meal has also become more popular in recent years.
Actually, storing a lot of things.
If you have a larger property to maintain, then a barn is the perfect place to store some of your larger equipment, such as ride-on lawnmowers, without cluttering up the garage.
KiwiSpan barns are also much more weather resistant and much more stylish than the old weighted tarpaulin solution too. In fact, even if you don’t have a fleet of farming machinery to keep out of the rain, a barn can make for a pretty solid storage option for any property, and it’s not all about work.
Barns provide plenty of storage for play too. Keeping your toys, as you can store quad bikes, cars and jet skis and boats
Interested? Get in touch with us to see if your planned shed meets these requirements. Or feel free to browse our range of barns and other shed solutions here.