20 Quick and Easy Barn Design Ideas

May 31, 2024

For many people, a barn has positive connotations. It is the sort of place where we have pleasant memories or images of animals and hay. They're simple images. However, today's barns are anything but. Barn designs have progressed to turn very simple concepts into fairly advanced features and design choices.

Modern materials and technology are used today to create safe, secure places for animals to live. Here are some good barn design ideas for any barn design renovation.

Prioritize Location

Ideally, a barn should be level, free from standing water, and far from nearby trees.

Carefully Plan Utilities

A barn should be designed with plumbing and electrical services integrated. If this still needs to be done, you must excavate and do foundation work. It will pay off, however.


Canada has a cold climate. Choose an insulation material to cover your walls and doors to protect livestock from freezing weather.

Safe Gates

Careful research is required to determine what suits your barn's stalls and gates. Gates will take abuse, and they must be up to the task. Welds should be seamless. Stall doors should be strong in mesh and metal.

You also want to ensure the bars on all grillwork are at a safe distance. This minimizes the risk of hooves being caught and animals nipping at each other through the bars.

Custom Wall Storage

Put in some aesthetically pleasing custom-crafted wall storage and cabinets with the space requirements to store tools and items that don't already have a natural spot in your barn.

Have Feed Storage

Store feed in your barn so it is not exposed to moisture or changing weather. Ensure this is a separate area from livestock.

Seal Off Feed Room

If your barn design includes a feed room, ensure it is solidly sealed off from unwanted visitors—e.g., mice. This way, you can store horse supplements, expensive grain, hay products, and other products without worrying about rodents getting involved.

Windows for Natural Light

Every barn should have ample natural light through windows and barn wall openings. Think of where the sun rises and ensure you have windows planned for the correct location.

Install Barn Fans

Barn fans do what natural air circulation cannot do. They move air through, keeping the temperature comfortable and odours and moisture at bay.

Define Zones

A barn will have separate zones unless it's a small barn designed strictly for animals. Optimize each zone, whether it's for animals, equipment storage, a milking parlour, or a storage room.

Quick Takedown for Dividing Walls

If you need to rehabilitate an animal or require additional space, try a quick takedown system for dividing walls. This allows you to double-stall space.

Second Floor Storage

Add a second level to your barn for additional storage space. You can do this with a full second story or an attic.

Freestanding Stalls

Self-supported freestanding stalls are ideal for large-width buildings with multiple aisles or corner stalls and offer many advantages.

Barn Flooring

Barn flooring can be made from wood, dirt, or gravel. There are several different approaches to barn flooring. Each has benefits, depending on your barn's needs, weather, and location.

User-Friendly Exterior Door

Instead of using plain wood for Dutch doors or barn entry doors, which require strong hardware, opt for pressure-treated plywood with a galvanized metal panel to introduce colour to your barn. This is a user-friendly, affordable way to add interest.

Ensure Your Drainage Is Working

Every barn needs drainage. Proper drainage is necessary to keep a barn sanitary. Drainage doesn't have to be extensive. A simple one or two drains is enough to do the job.

Have a Raised Center Aisle

A raised center aisle increases the fresh air and natural light you bring in, which are key to controlling the comfort of the animals in your barn.

Select the Right Barn Materials

Barns can be built using timber framing, prefabricated metal, insulated concrete forms, or other materials. Each has pros and cons and is worth evaluating if you start from scratch.

Galvanize Your Metal

Ensure that any metal you select for your barn is powder-coated or galvanized to protect it from rusting.

Personal Design Choices

Personalize your barn design with sliding stall doors, kick-boarded walls, high-end stall fronts, architectural metalwork, and more.

When installing various features, including dividing walls, consider the barn's future use. This should factor in reuse and resale values.


Urban Splatter

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