The Aesthetic Appeal of Timber Frame Horse Barns
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
Barn building doesn’t get any more traditional than timber frame construction. Even today, with all the modern alternatives, the peg and beam mortise and tenon joinery is the strongest form of joinery in carpentry. The sturdy build of large beams and oak pegs is not only incredibly aesthetically pleasing, it also offers a longevity not to be overlooked. Timber frame buildings are different from post and beam structures, which use metal plates to join timbers together rather than mortise and tenon.
For the discerning horse owner who loves the beauty of natural wood and admires the curves and craftsmanship that a timber frame offers, with cathedral ceilings and architectural prowess, the problem of price is often what keeps their horse barn dream on a more modest level. Full timber frame horse barns can cost into the six figures, and for smaller operations even a 4 or 6 stall barn can be too expensive to contemplate.
There is a new option that addresses this need that is available from leading modular horse barn construction company Horizon Structures L.L.C., based in Atglen, PA, who now proudly to offer clients nationwide the opportunity to capture the best of both worlds with their new timber frame barns.
“We wanted to offer our customers the artisan appeal of timber frame as an affordable alternative to an expensive stick-built timber frame build. Our timber frame modular barn delivers the aesthetic appeal of timber frame and showcases the natural beauty of wood with cathedral ceilings. The finest carpentry and materials ensure that these horse barns will knock your socks off!” explained Jill Siragusa, Chief Marketing Officer at Horizon Structures.
As mentioned timber frame structures use mortise and tenon joinery, as opposed to post and beam where metal plates to hold beams and headers together. This technique is steeped in tradition, and the Horizon Structures timber frame barns offer cantilevered rafters, top quality timber and a bevy of fancy features. These new barn designs have been embraced by horse owners nationwide, all eager to enjoy the ‘best of both worlds’ with the modular/timber frame combo that offers an understated elegance at an affordable price.
“We’ve seen a very positive response from horse owners to our new timber frame buildings. Our vision was to create a horse barn that provided a traditional yet elevated appeal but to keep the price point affordable. Our combination of modular and timber frame does that,” stated Mark Zook, General Manager, one of four brothers in the family business that is Horizon Structures.
You can see for yourself by enjoying this visual tour of this new concept horse barn structure here. It’s pretty impressive!
All timber frame barns are not created equal, and within the industry there are wide variances in the materials used. Obviously the better the materials and craftsmanship, the better the end result.
Zook suggested a few key points that buyers should look for when choosing any timber frame build.
“Our team at Horizon Structures is proud of how we’ve constructed the five barn option designs available to encompass great quality materials and Amish craftsmanship. For example, all our beams and stringers are Grade 1 or higher Douglas Fir to provide the best durability and strength along with a smooth S4S appearance. The pegs are oak. All the timber we use is milled free of the center of heart of the tree or FOCH as its known in the trade. Why? Because when we use wood away from the heart of the tree we get less cracking and splitting. Southern Yellow Pine is used for the smaller lumber and everything is finished to perfection.
"We explain the key components and what we use and why in much detail on our website, so please take a look there if you want detailed information."
The beauty of modular construction is the no mess, less stress, less noise convenience of their instant arrival and set up on property. The popularity of this type of construction continues to trend upwards in popularity, as horse owners realize the benefits of no delays in construction due to inclement weather, a huge variety of barns from which to choose online, and the efficient delivery to their property without a fuss. Probably one of the keenest factors for any horse owner is the budget, and modular firms such as Horizon Structures offer a ‘to the penny’ quote with a host of customization options when it comes to color, siding, overhangs and design
Time needed on site for the Horizon Structures timber frame build is a bit longer than the regular modular high profile or center aisle barns they produce. The usual time for set up of the modular barn on site might run 1-3 days, while the timber frame will take a bit longer at 6-7 days. This is still a lot less than having a pole built structure or stick built structure completed on site which can take 3 or 4 weeks or even longer.
For horse farm owners and trainers, the less disruption on the farm the better when their focus is to be active training horses and giving lessons.
The idea of combining basically two shed row style boxes on the base with a timber frame structure throughout and seamless interior wood cladding on interior walls, lofts and dormers if wanted and keeping the overall price down while elevating the ambience and ‘wow’ factor of the beautiful crafted lumber with its curves and natural beauty is a good one. Indeed, the best of both worlds. It is a symbiotic answer to those that love the tradition of timber frame horse barns but can’t afford the ritzy price point of a full timber frame build but still want to go the extra mile for the aesthetic beauty and timelessness of timber frame construction.
Please visit Horizon Structures to learn more and don’t be shy to contact their friendly team with your questions.