Horse barn building cost

A guide to horse barn construction options and costs
Cost to build a horse barn - cost breakdown

How much does it cost to build a horse barn?

The average installed cost to build a horse barn can range from $50 to $120 per square foot. A small, 2-stall barn can start at around $45,000, whilst a large 20-stall commercial horse stable can run as much as $700,000. The final cost of the barn will depend on the materials used, the method of construction, your location, and the level of finish required.

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Average Barn Costs by Method of Construction

As you can see from the table below, your choice of materials and construction will significantly affect your horse barn cost.

These 'ballpark' estimates cover the cost of materials, construction costs, foundation, and the cost of horse stalls, partition walls, etc.

Construction Material Cost Build Cost Finishing Cost TOTAL
Metal Barn $20 per sq ft $12 per sq ft $5 per sq ft $37 per sq ft
Pole Barn $15 per sq ft $20 per sq ft $5 per sq ft $40 per sq ft
Post & Beam Barn $50 per sq ft $70 per sq ft $5 per sq ft $115 per sq ft

For the sake of simplicity, we will focus on the associated costs for a prefab metal horse barn in a little more detail.

40x60 Monitor Barn with cost per square foot

40x60 Monitor Barn

Approximate Metal Horse Barn Costs by Size

# Horse Stalls Dimensions (ft) Approx. Barn Cost
2 Stall 30x40 $33,600
4 Stall 40x40 $44,800
6 Stall 40x60 $62,200
8 Stall 40x80 $82,900
10 Stall 40x90 $93,300
12 Stall 40x100 $103,600
20 Stall 40x120 $124,300

These price estimates cover the barn kit package, delivery, foundation, and construction. 


For more price and cost information, see our metal building prices page

Steel Barn with Run-in Shed

Prefab Steel Barn

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Why Choose a Metal Horse Barn?

Although material costs for pole barns and pre-engineered metal barns are similar, consider the following advantages metal construction has to offer:

Reduced Construction Time & Cost to Build a Horse Barn
Pre-drilled, pre-cut components equate to 40% shorter construction times. Start using your new stable in days rather than weeks, equating to a cheaper build cost.

Near Zero Maintenance
No painting or patching boards = reduced cost of ownership.

Long Warranties
Most buildings come with a minimum 25-year paint & 35-year structural warranties.

Clear-Span Designs
There are no poles or posts to get in the way, just wide open space allowing greater design flexibility.

Inexpensive & Easy to Expand
Expand your barn at a later date at minimal cost & disruption. Be sure to request 'expandable end walls' if you think you may want to add additional stalls at a later date.

Durable & Weather Resistant
NO cracking, rotting, mold, or mildew; resistant to pests & fire resistant.

Energy Efficient
Reduced heating and cooling expenses.

Environmentally Responsible
Built with recycled materials & can be recycled again or dismantled & relocated.

Insurance Advantages
Because metal is fire-resistant, you can save up to 40% on insurance premiums.

Attractive Finishing Options
Choose a finish to complement your existing structures, including colored siding, wainscot, and roof panels.

Overall, choosing a metal horse barn is a wise investment for any horse owner looking for a reliable and affordable option when building a horse barn. For more details, see our main metal horse barn page.

30x40 Steel Frame Barn

30x40 Steel Frame Barn

Horse Barn Construction Costs

The cost of materials and labor determines the cost to build a horse barn. Regarding labor, hiring a general contractor to build a stable is one of the most expensive options, as GCs typically charge 20% of the total build cost. Paying a contractor and construction crew can almost double the overall price.

The construction expense is where the immediate savings are realized with metal construction. Because metal-frame kits are engineered and pre-cut at the factory, they only need to be bolted together at your job site. This equates to a 40% shorter build time, reducing your construction costs significantly, as opposed to stick-built barns that have to be measured and cut on-site.

The total will heavily depend on whether you have a general contractor or if you opt for the self-build route. Most small equestrian stables (2-6 stalls or 30x30 up to 30x60) are designed with the DIY enthusiast in mind.

If you elect to self-build your barn, you could realize savings of $5000 to $20,000 for a smaller stable.

For DIY construction, all you will require, besides basic tools, is a backhoe or scissor lift to hoist the beams into place. See our metal building construction page for more details.

Other Barn Cost Considerations

Aside from the expenses related to materials and construction, additional costs should be factored into your budget when considering the cost to build a horse barn. These can include the following:

Sliding Barn Doors. You should choose sliding doors for a horse barn as these are the least likely to spook a horse because they make very little noise when opened and closed. For smaller stables with a 12' aisle, you will typically need two 6' wide sliding doors. These can run anywhere from $700 to $2,500 per pair. More on barn door options here.

Dutch Doors. Dutch-style stall paddock doors can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per set.

Barn Windows. These can fall between $150 to $750 per window.

Skylights. For additional lighting, consider translucent skylight panels. These panels can cost approximately $30 per 8' panel.

Modular Horse Stall Kits. Typical 12x12 stall kits can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 per stall; see here for more on stall options.

Cupolas. A decorative cupola can cost from $400 to $1,000, depending on the size and materials used.

Cost to build a monitor style horse stable

Monitor Style Stable with Center Aisle

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Horse Barn & Stable Construction Options

When it comes to horse barn construction, there are several construction choices available to you. Let's take a quick look at the three most popular options.

Metal Barns

A metal barn is a type of barn that is constructed using metal framing as the primary building material. Metal stables are made using solid steel framing with metal siding and roofing panels. The components are engineered at the factory and then simply bolt-together on-site. They are known for their durability, low maintenance, and resistance to weather and pests.

Typical Price: $30 to $50 per square foot

Metal barn interior

Metal Horse Stable Interior
Credit: Rockin Equine

Pole Barn Barns

A pole barn, also known as a pole building or post-frame building, is constructed using large poles or posts as the primary support structure. The poles are typically set into the ground and then covered with roofing and walls made of various materials, such as metal, wood, or vinyl siding. Pole barns are relatively inexpensive and easy to construct, making them popular for agricultural and storage buildings.

Typical Price: $40 to $60 per square foot

Pole Barn Interior

Pole Barn Interior

Post & Beam Barns

A post and beam barn is constructed using a series of heavy timbers, or "posts" and "beams," to form the frame of the building. These timbers are typically joined using traditional carpentry techniques, such as mortise and tenon joints. Post and beam barns are known for their robust, durable, and long-lasting construction.

Typical Price: $110 to $150 per square foot

Post & Beam Barn Interior

Post & Beam Barn for Horses
Credit: Vermont Timber Works

5 Ways to Save on a New Barn

Below are five tips for reducing the cost to build a horse barn and save money on your construction project:

  1. Consider purchasing a barn kit rather than having a barn custom-built. Barn kits come with all the materials and instructions you need to assemble the stable yourself, saving you money on labor costs. For larger horse barns (over six stalls), we strongly recommend hiring an experienced crew to erect your new building.

  2. Shop around and compare prices from different suppliers. This is where we can help with your project; share your project requirements with us, and we will then match you with four local suppliers who will provide you with written quotes for the barn kit. You will also want to do this for the stall kits to complete your interior.

  3. Choose a simpler design and fewer features. While it may be tempting to go all out with a fully-loaded stable, adding too many features can quickly inflate costs. Although it might be nice to have a monitor roof barn, these are more costly than a simple single slope or gable style roofline. See our metal building roofs page for more details on the available roof styles.

  4. Choose materials carefully. Steel and metal are generally more expensive than wood, but they may offer more durability and require less maintenance.

  5. Do as much of the work yourself as possible. If you're handy and have some construction experience, you may be able to save money by completing some of the work yourself. Even if you cannot erect the building, you will probably be able to install the horse stalls and other interior fixtures.

Common Questions

  • Is it cheaper to build a pole or metal barn?

    The cost of materials for both barn options are similar; where you save is on the construction cost with a metal stable as they typically take 40% less time to erect. You can also save on maintenance costs with a metal barn, as they require little to no maintenance. Finally, you can save on insurance premiums because metal stables are inherently fire-resistant.

  • Do metal barns rust?

    Short answer - not for a very long time. The metal framing is coated in rust-resistant paint, and the wall and roof panels are also coated with special rust-resistant paints. Both of these come with manufacturer warranties for up to 40 years.

  • How tall should a horse barn be?

    Steel barn height is measured at the eave height, and a 2-foot clearance is required above the door opening. So for a 10-foot door opening, you will need to specify a 12-foot eave height.

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