Some barn construction projects can greatly benefit by having an architect or designer involved in the project. The decision on whether to include an architect or designer on your project is entirely a personal one.

An architect is your advocate throughout the design and construction process. They generally follow the project from initial concept to completion. Architects can provide schematic designs and assemble information about your particular project, site and permit regulations. They also create construction drawings with detailed technical specifications. Architects and designers negotiate the contract, helping to solicit bidders, distribute documents, and answer technical questions. Finally, they provide construction observation, visiting the project site and reviewing the contractor's work against the requirements of the construction documents.

Lucas Equine Equipment has worked with designers and architects all over the world. We have experience providing these construction professionals with the information, drawings, updates and services levels they need.

There are so many questions to ask yourself when considering a new horse barn. And, whether it's a four-stall barn or 20-stall barn, an architect or designer may be able to help you get the look and functionality you want.

However, selecting an architect or designer for your new barn can be overwhelming. In the end, it's a totally personal decision, but there are some standard questions you should consider before you decide on your next architect.

1. Do I really need an architect or designer?

It depends! Good barn architects and designers can often save clients money. Because the professionals who specialize in horse barns design them to be built as efficiently as possible, choosing the right one can often help you get the look you want without overspending. Experienced barn architects and designers also understand how to design a barn to give your horses a safe and pleasant environment.

2. Who designed some of my favorite barns?

Ask around. Seek out your favorite barns. Ask friends and others in the industry. You'll likely hear honest feedback about each architect or designer, as well as the barn features they like and dislike. You'll get first-hand information before making a decision.

3. Can I see your work?

Architects and designers will often send you a letter of interest, brochures, photos of their work, and fact sheets. Don't be dazzled by too much glitzy marketing. Instead, use these items to help determine the professionalism and style of the particular architect or designer. And most importantly, be sure to ask for references.

4. Does this architect or designer understand my needs?

Does this architect or designer understand horses and the equine industry? Does he or she ask you enough questions to get a good idea of your needs? Will he or she listen to your concerns, and do you like his or her personality? Chemistry is crucial in selecting your architect or designer.

5. How do you charge for a project?

This can sometimes be confusing, but it is important to really understand this information upfront. Does this architect or designer charge by the hour or by the square foot, as a percentage of the construction cost or at a fixed fee?

Architects and designers who specialize in horse barns can add tremendous value to your project, but - depending on your needs - may or may not be necessary. Architects and designers can often help turn your ideas and style into a beautiful and functional space. At Lucas Equine, we work closely with architects and designers all over the world to create custom horse stalls that fit seamlessly with the overall vision. See samples of our work in our idea gallery.

Super Durable Powder Coating is one of three finishes you can select at Lucas Equine Equipment. The Super Durable Powder Coating comes in nine standard colors and offers several distinct advantages over other coatings. This polyester powder coat provides greater weather resistance and UV resistance than traditional powder coating. It also is designed for longer gloss retention and clings better to all surface area, including corners and edges. Read about all the finish options that Lucas Equine Equipment offers.

How does powder coating compare to wet paint? The Powder Coating Process At Lucas Equine Equipment, the powder coating process begins with a clean, smooth, steel product in which the welded joints have been ground to a flat, even surface. Then, a very fine dry powdery-resin that contains color pigment and a curing agent is electrostatically charged and applied with a spray gun. This ultra-fine powder coats the surface of the steel.

The steel part is then baked at approximately 400 degrees or more inside a large industrial curing oven. This makes the powder flow to form a smooth “skin” that offers a uniform and durable finish, resistant to chemicals, wear and tear, and chipping.

A powder coated finish exhibits far better impact resistance, flexibility and corrosion resistance than wet paints. In addition, when compared to liquid paints, powder coating is environmentally friendly, because it is regulated and free from pollutants. Lucas Equine Equipment pre-treats the steel with a phosphate wash before priming and then powder coating. These steps help increase adhesion and durability of the finish.

Powder coating vs. wet paint Powder coating offers several significant advantages over wet paint. They include:

  • More resistant to chips, abrasion, heat, UV light, fuel and chemicals
  • Smoother, more uniform finish; no runs or drips
  • Environmentally friendly product and process
Generally, with proper upkeep, a finish from Lucas Equine Equipment can "last” anywhere from three to seven years. However, the duration of the finish on your steel stall equipment greatly depends on three elements: the quality of the finish, the environment and the upkeep. Because Lucas Equine Equipment uses high-quality steel and offers a Super Durable Powder Coat finish, our equipment is designed to offer the greatest amount of protection from wear and tear. Environment also plays a role in maintaining the finish. For instance, in barns located on the coast, the salty air may wear the finish at a quicker rate than in other regions. In addition, there are a few steps you can take to help keep a beautiful finish as long as possible. Read about that in the next question.

The environment inside any working horse barn is tough! You can help keep the finish on your steel-constructed stalls looking beautiful in a few easy steps.

Job-Specific Hardware. Pay attention to what's going on in your barn. Are you or others inadvertently hanging items such as halters or feed bags on the painted equipment? Over time, the constant wearing can mar or scratch the finish. Instead, add job-specific hardware, accessories such as tie rings, bridle hooks and blanket bars to protect the finish on your stalls.

Vigilant Touch-ups. Address scratches as soon as they occur. Even the most durable finishes are subject to horse cribbing and other scrapes. Contact Lucas Equine Equipment for touch-up paint to fix these small scratches before they become bigger issues.

Hot-dip galvanizing is the process of coating steel with a thin zinc layer, by dipping the metal into a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of around 860 °F. When exposed to the atmosphere, the pure zinc reacts with oxygen to form zinc oxide, which further reacts with carbon dioxide to form zinc carbonate, a usually dull grey, fairly strong material that stops further corrosion in many circumstances, protecting the steel from the elements.

Galvanized steel has a very different look than powder coated steel. Note that when any equipment is galvanized, the smooth uniform nature of the products is replaced by a textured surface, due to the nature of the galvanizing process.

Lucas Equine Equipment stalls use a high-quality crosshatch material, rather than mesh. Crosshatch from Lucas Equine Equipment is made of strong 5/16 cold rolled round steel welded at every junction.

In our industry, these terms are often used interchangeably to describe drastically different products. It's important to know what type of gridwork is appropriate for your animals and your application.

Welded crosshatch. Let's start with this type because it's the most durable, strongest and safest. And, it's the design that Lucas Equine Equipment recommends for the majority of applications. Lucas Equine Equipment crosshatch is built with 5/16-inch solid steel rods. These rods are not woven. Instead, they are solidly welded (using arc welding processes) at every single joint.

Then, the grid is also solidly welded to the frame at every point. A proper crosshatch design will keep the vertical rods turned toward the inside of the stall. This creates a consistent and catch-free design, so horses that paw and scrape don't get beat-up knees or hooves from raking down the door.

Note: Some lower-end designs may include "skip welds" where the intersecting rods are only welded at every few junctions. This design does not offer the same level of strength and safety as true welded crosshatch.

Electrically welded mesh. In any welded product, both the strength of the material and the strength of the weld determine the overall durability of welded steel. Electrically welded (also known as "electric resistance welding") wire mesh is a common product used by several stall manufacturers. The wire used in this type of mesh is usually 1/4-inch steel.

Electric welds are created by passing electric current between two or more metal surfaces. While the process of electric welding is efficient and cheap, it does not provide the same level of strength as traditional arc welding.

Woven mesh or woven wire mesh. This gridwork generally features 1/4-inch wire, woven over and under to create a grid/mesh. This type of mesh uses only the weaving design to provide any stability for the intersections, rather than welding the junctions.

While woven mesh can be less expensive than welded crosshatch, the lack of solidly welded joints allows movement, separation and rattling of the gridwork. In addition, the process of bending the metal wire to create the mesh can create points of weakness, as well as raised edges that horses can scrape against.

Expanded metal. While expanded metal is typically not used inside horse stalls, it can be used in paddock gates and some stall screens. This gridwork isn't made up of intersecting grills, but rather a solid piece of sheet steel that has been expanded to create a pattern of openings for ventilation.

Expanded metal is typically the least expensive option of the ones mentioned in this article, as well as the lightest in terms of weight. When used in paddock gates or stall screens, it can offer strength and durability against wear and tear and a certain level of pressure.

In addition, installing paddock gates filled with expanded metal (versus pipe gates) provides a visual blockade to animals, helping to keep horses from running into the gate.

Key points. Because this terminology is used so interchangeably, it's vital to ask the right questions when purchasing new ventilated stalls and doors or replacing your current ones.

1. What is the thickness of the steel used to create the grid? Lucas Equine Equipment uses 5/16-inch steel rods in our crosshatch, but some manufacturers may use 1/4-inch steel wire.

2. Is the grid welded? If so, is it welded at every joint?

3. What is the method used for welding the grid joints? Arc welding or electric welding?

4. Can I see a sample? This, perhaps, the most important question.

Don't be afraid to ask your builder or stall manufacturer for a sample of the gridwork.

You'll be able to see a difference right away in each of these designs. Be sure and choose the design and specs that are right for the strength and temperament of your horse, as well as one that will stand up to the wear and tear of a working horse barn for many years to come.

In pictures, much of the stall equipment on the market today can look very similar. However, there is much difference in the durability, strength and usability of this equipment. It’s important to actually see some of this equipment in action when making a decision. Some manufacturers, like Lucas Equine Equipment, can refer you to barns in your area, where you actually touch and operate the equipment. Or, ask for samples that show the quality of the steel, the finish or the welded joints.

Some key features to look for in purchasing new stall equipment are listed below:

  • Smoothly ground welded joints
  • No exposed sharp edges
  • Thoroughly welded joints; no sonic welds or spot welding
  • Heavy-gauge steel parts
  • Quiet operation of tracks and hinges
  • Tightly fitting doors
  • Easy latching
  • Smooth, consistent surfaces
  • A warranty on the finish
  • Knowledgeable design staff

You should contact the manufacturer of your stall equipment. Like Lucas Equine Equipment, many manufacturers can provide touch up kits. Lucas Equine Equipment offers touch-up kits with our nine standard colors and can formulate kits for special colors.

You can choose a door with a bedding guard. Bedding Guards come in various heights and materials. Lucas Equine Equipment experts can recommend a height and design that is appropriate for the type of bedding you use.

At Lucas Equine Equipment, we custom-build all our equipment. Therefore, we can create stall fronts, doors and windows to fit any space. Every barn is different, and because our stalls are built to fit your barn, you’ll get a custom fit every time. When it comes to stall equipment, one size doesn’t fit all. Lucas Equine Equipment will also provide detailed drawings to help ensure that the equipment we create for you will fit your specifications.

It’s definitely not rocket science. With direction from our professionals, your local builder or carpenter can install our equipment with ease. We prep our equipment with pre-drilled holes and include pre-fabricated mounting tabs or clips to help ensure easy installation. In addition, our expert staff is on-hand to answer any installation questions that you or your builder may have.

We all know that equine safety is important in our barns. But, did you also know that the latches used in your barn play an important role in barn safety?

Indeed, latches are often chosen based on their aesthetic styling or their price. However, certain latch designs and construction can offer you optimal safety for your horses. But, you don't have to sacrifice style when choosing safe latches for your barn.

Here are some tips for selecting your stall latches.

  • 1. No Obstructions. Be sure to choose a latch that doesn't have any obstructions or projections that could potentially injure a horse or person in the wrong circumstances.
  • 2. Full and Easy Opening. Also, look for latches that open easily and fully. Make sure these latches are not accessible by the horse.
  • 3. At-a-Glance Security. Finally, think about security. There are several types of latches that make it easy to see if they are securely and completely latched. Choosing this type of latch - such as a drop pin latch - helps you double-check the security of your animals at a glance.

The design specialists at Lucas Equine Equipment can help you choose or create the right latches for your particular barn environment.

There are a variety of yoke designs for you to choose from, including V-style, French, folding, removable, and more. In addition, we can create a custom yoke design for your unique situation. Our design experts can offer suggestions for a design that fits your needs.

We're proud to be located in the "Horse Capital of the World." But, we also ship our stall equipment to farms all over the United States and the world. Our shipping and logistics professionals can coordinate the best transportation to help your custom equipment reach your barn via the quickest, most efficient method.

Our design professionals are familiar with steel options and wood choices. They can help suggest the best materials to fit the style of your barn, while still maintaining the long-lasting durability that our Company is known for. In addition, our wide selection of hardware finishes – including brass, stainless steel, oil-rubbed bronze and more – can complete the traditional look that many prefer.

Yes. We have created stalls that can have water lines, lighting and electric access built right in. This type of well thought-out design can create a barn that gives you excellent usability and operating efficiency, without sacrificing a beautiful look and clean lines.

Lucas Equine Equipment recommends three-quarter-inch to one-inch heavy-duty steel grills with a maximum of three-inch on-center (OC) spacing for excellent safety for your animals. At Lucas Equine Equipment, we won’t compromise on quality or safety.

At Lucas Equine Equipment, we design beautiful entrance gates to match the style of your property. These gates can incorporate your logo or seal, or mimic the style of any inspiration you choose. Our design experts will work with you to create gates that meet your specifications. To install these gates, your builder will need to install a support for these gates (a mounting post or column) set in concrete. You may also want to install an optional gate operator and run electric to the entrance, if necessary. We can recommend several vendors for excellent and durable gate operators.

The gauge of steel signifies the thickness of the wall of steel tubing or sheet steel. A lower gauge signifies a thicker steel. Lucas Equine Equipment uses heavy (low) gauge steel when constructing our products. Be sure and ask about the gauge of steel when selecting stall equipment.

Lucas Equine Equipment is located in Cynthiana, Kentucky, USA, about 30 miles north of Lexington. Our location near the “Horse Capital of the World” gives our Company, the experts in our office and the craftsmen in our manufacturing facility a unique immersion in the needs and styles of various equine breeds and disciplines. If you’re in the area, feel free to visit our showroom floor in Cynthiana to see examples of our work. Likewise, your Lucas Equine Equipment representative may be able to refer you to barns in your area for further examples of our work. Get directions to our facility by clicking here.

To help ensure that we develop a product that best meets your needs and style, Lucas Equine Equipment offers pre-construction consultations. Consultations between our design experts and you or your builder include: * Recommendation on stall or barn layout and configurations * Discussions with a builder or architect * Suggestions on finishes, material selection and hardware choices * Farm tours * Referrals * Optional site visit * Construction drawings and product specifications

Lucas Equine Equipment carries replacement parts for our stall equipment. In addition, our sales representatives can often provide replacement parts or hardware for stall equipment purchased elsewhere. Lucas Equine Equipment parts and accessories stand up to the same rigorous standards as our entire line of stall fronts, doors, windows, gates and more.