Planning and building your new stable complex can be as stressful and complicated as building your new home. Our customers quickly realise they must learn a whole new vocabulary to communicate exactly what they want and need. They then realise how many different trades; suppliers and how many boxes need ticking from your helpful local council! In the following we will try to offer an insight into what you will need to consider moving forward into your new project.
The first thing to do is to identify your budget. Sounds elementary but it is the governing factor to what you are going to end up with. Understand that the actual stables or horse stalls, flooring, waterers, doors, and windows will need something left in the budget so be sure your stable structure build doesn’t rob you of your fit out reserves. Consider getting an estimate for the fit out on this end of the build so you understand what the fit-out is going to cost. We see it all the time when the customer has gone into the build and issues have arisen which have absorbed some of the stable fit out budget and they are left with a nice build and below standard stables as that was all they can now afford. At the end of the day, we are building housing for horses and for example, the extra car park space and concrete path to the electricity box that the council or builder thinks will look good will rob you of your dream stables and serve no real purpose.
The first thing is to identify what the building is that will house your stables, is it an existing building needing renovation or a new structure from the dirt up?
Existing buildings can be a great option and very cost effective. You just need to be sure of a few things such as:
- roof height (we would recommend nothing under 3000mm)
- previous purpose, you wouldn’t want to stable your horses in the old chemical shed!
- airflow, horses place airflow above all things in stables
- drainage, be sure the building is not in a flood area or rising damp
- available area, be sure you can fit a good size horse stables in the space
- the surface, the surface maybe requiring concrete or resurfacing with crusher or the like
Building from scratch:
- the stable location should have good drainage, try not to build where water falls to
- consider wind and weather directions
- Question your build, is it a job for an Architect, or a builder, the local shed company or are you and the handy uncle going to take it on?
- Council approvals – naturally be prepared to jump hoops. No two councils have the same hoops. It always good to find someone who has been through the process and get some tips on how your local council deals with such DA’s (Development Applications)
- Find a builder or shed company, we can recommend builders in some area’s but generally ask about the local area as good builders reputations get around.
- Plan the stable layout, often customers will come to us with a rough sketch for a review. Good horse stables have good animal/human flow, meaning the layout allows plenty of space in key areas. If we settle for the shed builder’s standard we could be building in safety issues and issues you will only discover once the build is over. Talk to friends about their layout and go for visits, look around at what works and what doesn’t as there is plenty of the later out there.
- Materials and look, study the materials you would like to build with as it will affect the stable budget, brick is far more costly than sheet iron for example.
The next step, now that the old shed is getting cleaned out or the plans are into council is to select the horse stable design and the look and theme of your internal fit out. Horse stable design is quite limitless so don’t get caught being steered towards a “standard stable design” as there are many options. The biggest element that will dictate your stable design is the budget, so now you should know how much money you have in the budget to direct to your fit out.
When selecting your design some questions you should be asking are:
- Climate, horses prefer the cold, their ideal temperature is around 5 degrees C to about 12 degrees……. if they had a choice. If you live in north Queensland your style will differ from someone in Melbourne.
- Discipline, what do you and your horses do? Thoroughbred racehorses require a different stable size in area than that of a Royal Sydney Show Pony. An Arabian Stallion won’t be suited to the low-rise stable options such as the Cheval, but the Cheval will suit the Polo Ponies down to the ground for example.
- Materials, depending on your location and breed of horse you might consider different materials. For example, if you are in known termite country you will consider Bamboo over Form ply as a timber fill in your horse stables. If you are on the beach you will consider Hot Dip Gal finish on your stables over raw Gal finish.
- Accessories required, they could be considered upgrades, but some stables need these things to improve functionality. A professional Equestrian stable will consider the 360 stable feeder a time saver and essential tool over it being an upgrade. You may need windows to improve your airflow or Day Yard doors to have fast and easy day yard access.
- Flooring, quality stable flooring products such as Tenderfoot flooring will in time save money as you will use less bedding and there will be the reduction in the likely hood of stable injury through the silly accident’s horses find themselves in that one can explain.
We have developed our web site, so it is a user-friendly tool for you to step through and help you make decisions, develop a vocabulary and select your finishes and finalise your layout. When you have selected the above and once an order is place with Anvil you will have a very comprehensive drawing process finalised for your build (an example of our drawings is in the title picture above). This is an extra mile Anvil goes to so you can see what your stables will look like, the builder and or architect can cross check and site measure off for complete accuracy.
The best advise we can offer any horse person looking to do an Anvil build is to engage us at the same time you engage the builder or shed company. If it is an existing structure, once you have worked out the budget engage us then. The reason is simple, by the time we go through the quoting and stable selection and finishes and then the drawing approval and sign off and then the fabrication schedule it will take as long as the average build. When customers come to us mid-way through or at the end of the build and then realise that they have another round of weeks of decision making with a beautiful brand-new structure up and waiting for stables can be very deflating and disappointing not to mention stressful on the customer.
Building your dreams or building your “office” for those who are in the professional arena takes time and a lot of decisions. It can be simplified with a few timely moves and engaging the right people and importantly at the right time. Hopefully the ideas here can help simplify and help you plan out your development. The ideas and advise are the same as when we built the Australian Equine & Livestock Centre 485 stables as it is for the 1 stable owner on a tight budget, who by the way is our main customer! Feel free to approach us at Anvil to discuss your build or your stable renovation, we deal with these things every day and maybe we can help you navigate the process and reduce the stress levels as well as the cost of your next chapter in your horse life.