How to Convert a Pole Barn into an Animal Shelter
Animals need protection from the weather, especially in the winter. If you own a farm where you want to raise horses, cows, pigs, or other animals, you will need to construct a building where they can seek refuge at night and on days with bad weather. A pole barn can be an effective solution.
The first step is to figure out how to configure the interior of your pole barn. If you want to keep your animals in individual stalls, figure out how many you will need and how big they should be. Calculate the amount of available interior space you have in your pole barn. Draw a scale diagram and experiment with different arrangements for your stalls until you find the one that allows you to make the best use of the space.
You will also need a place to store food and hay for your animals. If you don’t have a separate storage shed, you will need to set aside space inside your pole barn. Take that into consideration when designing your layout.
If you live in a region with cold winters, you should insulate your pole barn to keep your animals warm. Cut blanket insulation into sheets and stuff it between the beams and rafters, then seal it with sheets of building wrap. Use weather-stripping to seal any gaps and prevent cold air from leaking into your pole barn.
Be sure that your pole barn has proper drainage. Use a builder’s level to identify the side of your land with the higher grade. Dig a trench two feet deep starting at the higher grade and extending down, pour two inches of gravel in the trench, lay a perforated drainage pipe over it, and fill in the rest of the trench with gravel.
The next step is to hook up utilities, such as electricity and water. If you are not sure how to do this yourself, hire a professional electrician or plumber. Be sure that the contractor knows where the stalls will be located.
Finally, install free-standing stall kits that can be anchored to the floor by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Install food and water troughs and rubber mats on the floor.
When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.