I Bought My Horse Barn From The Comfort of My Couch
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
The increasing availability of technology to even the most remote areas of the country, means everyone can save the drive and keep their dream of a new horse barn very much alive. Just because you live out in the sticks doesn’t mean your new stable has to be stick-built.
It’s incredible what you can purchase online and have delivered to your door. Cars, log homes, sheds, pools, tractors. You name it, you can buy it from the comfort of your living room and on your own schedule. You can literally live life as millionaires do – write the check and sit back and await delivery, in this case of your customized (or buy a discount in stock barn off the lot) horse barn.
The attraction of making a large capital purchase without ‘kicking the tires’ does not come without its own set of worries. Can you really tell the quality of the product and get a true feel and experience of how the item will work for your individual needs and will it satisfy your taste?
As we all know gas prices are through the roof, and the idea of making an arduous trip has less sense of adventure and “Thelma and Louise” appeal these days. Perhaps because the roads are busier and the drivers crazier than ever, Covid concerns are still present and finding the time can be difficult for the busy horse owner who is often juggling multiple life responsibilities.
The popularity of modular construction for everything from horse barns and houses to large commercial kennels is due to many factors. The ‘to the penny’ price point that includes the no mess no stress delivery and set up of a structure on a known timeline, rates highly on the laundry list of why modular construction is so appealing to shoppers.
Let’s face it, who wants their new horse barn painted or stained outside in the damp Spring weather where the long-term results of the application can be decidedly dodgy if not conducted in the optimal temperatures? Why wouldn’t you avoid the hassle of work crews on site for weeks on end and the clatter and noise that inevitably comes with them, disturbing the peaceful harmony of your riding time?
But the buying experience must offer concrete solutions to the usual objections that online buyers raise. Smart companies know that they must offer more than just a highly crafted product, they must also provide a real-life experience for the buyer in a virtual way.
Keeping It Real
The advent of 3D technology offers the buyer a visual opportunity to enjoy a ‘real feel’ of the horse barn with 3D renderings that can be customized to suit any individual’s taste.
Utilizing 3D technology, buying decisions can be made in peace and quiet with opinions for all parties involved in the new barn project heard. Conflicts in time schedules for different family members or business partners to weigh in on the topic are negated, and the buying experience is fun and exciting. No more need for dreary drives with tired young children arguing in the back of the car or rushing home to feed the waiting horses or pets. No more need for missed rides or income earning lesson opportunities. No more need for barn buying decisions made blind with the only visualization of the final barn on paper or in the mind’s eye of one person.
Yes, everyone is aware that construction company websites commonly offer a myriad of photo galleys and embedded video promotions of their business profile and building upgrade features. Keen resources exist online to answer general questions on barn building experiences and offer suggestions. Great options and a grand place to start.
However, if the ultimate choice of a new barn is to meet both their demands in functionality and aesthetic appeal prospective buyers truly need to do a ‘walk-through’ of barn designs and explore a wide world of barn styles, upgrade features, colors and construction methods such as timber frame versus modular.
Thus, in addition to the armchair planning options of sometimes mundane websites and social media promotions, it is wise for the prospective barn purchaser to seek additional methods of ascertaining just what they are buying and how the structure will work for daily use.
Spatial awareness is a huge part of architectural design. How a building is engineered, how it looks up-close, and how different structures will transform the atmosphere in a particular site or environment need not be left to chance.
Visualization of what the new barn will look like is an important part of the buying equation. It creates confidence in the ultimate decision making and allows flexibility in budget by addressing optional upgrades and changes in size and style without the expense of a ‘work order’ and changes on site.
Buyers should seek a construction company that encompasses a large variety of barn style and feature choices, siding and roofing options plus can deliver on the smaller details such as copper weathervanes and European stall fronts and any other facets of individualization that will make the barn unique. The 3D technology should offer measurements, good quality video resolution, and be easy to navigate and the Project Team Manager at the company should be fluent in making all adjustments to the program to accurately showcase changes and requests of the buyer.
Showcases That Inspire
A barn construction company can offer much information on their website that it is well-worth checking out. Testimonials and references from previous clients is a usual inclusion in their sales funnel design, but look for companies that go the extra mile to educate and inspire, as well as build trust and offer transparency. The ‘trust and transparency’ is worn marketing catchphrase, but it is still significant to buyers for obvious reasons.
The leading modular barn building retailer in the U.S.A, Horizon Structures LLC, offers many ‘extra mile’ advantages for the discerning buyer. Their footprint is nationwide and they offer construction facilities from 4 locations.
Horizon’s veteran Chief Marketing Officer Jill Siragusa, reported that the move to open a new facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was to address the upward trending and seemingly insatiable demand for their product line out West.
“While we already have several locations in PA, Horizon Structures products have also been produced in other States. Our other locations are Chuckey, TN and Greenwood, SC. Our most recent location to open was in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We have always had very strong interest in our barns in the Western U.S. but no way to service that area effectively. Delivery/set-up costs could often exceed the price of the barn itself. The Wyoming shop is full service with their own set-up crews building the exact same barns as our other locations. Now, a Horizon Structures horse barn is truly within reach for customers within the Continental U.S.”
The popularity of Horizon Structures range of horse housing, that includes the aesthetically appealing timber frame construction in addition to a myriad of modular barn styles, plus equine hay feeders, kennels, coops, outdoor living structures and playsets comes as no surprise.
“The consistency of the build in regard to craftsmanship and materials used with a factory produced barn, and the transparency of the ‘to-the-penny-quote’ is something horse owners can hang their riding hat on,” explained Siragusa.
Saving on transport costs is ever more important as fuel prices rise and environmental concerns regarding carbon footprint, begin to drive businesses into creating more efficient operations and adjusting their business model to address such issues. Siragusa put her own creative mind to the task of how to better serve the prospective client and came up with an extensive ‘showcase’ for the company.
“We had already developed our unique Barn Finder page, which allows folks to directly access clients of previous builds Horizon has completed and get some one-on-one advice from those clients along with the possibility of a visit of a barn we’ve been close to home. People are busy. They want to make the most use of their precious time. As Horizon has been serving the equestrian, and dog and homestead loving community for over a decade, there was a wealth of information to share. The showcase is an extension of that, because it offers customers a more detailed look at the designs and styles of the structures we offer along with customization ideas to inspire their own creativity,” explained Siragusa.
Visitors to the page can enter search features to narrow down the extensive list of horse barns that are available to focus on particular designs or sizes of barn they prefer. Whether you are looking for a 20-stall center aisle barn or a low profile 2 horse built for the backyard or something in-between, the Project Showcase feature delivers as a first class resource.
The opportunity to save the drive and ‘build the barn’ from layout to loft heights, siding to stall size, color to cupolas and everything in-between is not to be missed. It is a great way to take control of the new barn building project and eliminate any unhappy surprises.