How to build a horse barn on a budget

Simple horse barns provide protection from the sun, wind, rain or snow and just enough space for each horse to have a 10-by-10-foot stall. The barn should be sturdy enough to stand up to the weather and the horses. The size of your barn will depend on the number of horses you have. The barn must be tall enough to allow your horses to put their heads up high. This simple pole barn project, which is 12 feet deep by 20 feet wide and uses a sloping metal roof, is designed for two horse stalls. Horse barns can be simple and still be safe for your horse.


  1. Clear the building site of all debris, including rocks, trees and bushes. Level out the building site.
  2. Dig the holes for your corner posts. The holes should be at least 6 inches below the frost line. Use treated wood so your structure will last longer.
  3. Dig three additional holes in the front 5 feet, 10 feet and 15 feet from the front left corner post. (The area between the corner post and the first post toward the center will be where the stall doors are attached). The three front posts will be 10 feet high from the finish grade.
  4. Dig the holes for the two side posts. Place the two side posts 9 feet high from the finish grade.
  5. Dig three additional posts along the back wall. The five posts (two corners and three middle posts) for the back should be 8 feet high from finish grade and spaced 5 feet apart (creating the slope for the roof).
  6. Dig post holes 9 feet 9 inches from each sidewall at 6 feet from the front wall. The height of the post will be 9 feet from the finish grade.
  7. Mix cement to make concrete and then secure the posts by pouring concrete around the posts in the holes. Back-fill with dirt. Let the concrete cure for 72 hours.
  8. Construct the frame of the barn using 2X6’s. Stack two 2X6 treated kickboards beginning at ground level along the back and side walls. (The front will only have kick boards starting at 5 feet from the left corner post and ending 5 feet from the right corner post, leaving a 5-foot opening at each end for the stall doors.) Place one 2X6 level with the top of the rear posts around the interior of the entire barn. Place additional 2X6’s every 2 feet from the kickboards.
  9. Cover the outside walls with barn siding or tin.
  10. Build solid walls inside the shelter and through the center on both sides of the posts at least 4 feet high. Use plywood or 1X12-inch rough-sawn lumber.
  11. Build double dutch doors to fit in the front two openings of the barn, using 2X4-inch boards as a frame and 2X6-inch slats or plywood to cover the frame. The frame for the bottom door will be 5 feet wide and 4 1/2 feet tall. The frame for the top door will be 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall.
  12. Attach three hinges to both sections of the doors, spaced evenly apart. Attach the hinges to the corner posts of the barn.
  13. Attach hook latch to the opposite side of the door. Attach hook eye to the middle front post.
  14. Cover the roof with plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). Finish with asphalt shingles or steel roofing material.

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