Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Building The Dream: Update 2

Carrying on with last year's post on the "BTD series", I figured I should probably show you all we've actively been working on the lot and quite a bit has gotten done. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, we have a lot of work still but with both of us working full time (70+hrs weekly) and trying to do things ourselves (ie. the cheap way) I think we made a pretty good dent.

It has been quite the process. Because the plot is literally a forest, we've had to cut down trees and literally de-forest the area bit by bit. It's exceptionally time consuming, especially due to the fact that we want to try and keep and preserve some of the larger trees to turn into fence boards later on.

Driveway punched in on April 22nd.
Turning left will take you to the house, turning right
would take you to the horses.
This is where we started.

Standing at the edge of the driveway, looking to where the
arena will be. Barn will be to the left.
Taken in May.

Towards the end of July. Added more "driveway" and started to
dig down to clay.
Comparison photo L-R is April, May and July.

We finally struck clay at the end of July!

And now, end of August we have a giant swimming pool.
A very expensive swimming pool.

It's been a roller-coaster of work and emotions. We contracted out work on the lot mid-August and had a lot of the crappy soil and stumps trucked out which left us with the attractive swimming pool we have now.

The plan is to continue pulling down trees and pulling out the soil to clay. The current "dirt" on our lot isn't the greatest and if anything, absorbs water. Another contractor in town has offered to dump "reject" dirt at our lot free of charge, so naturally we've said yes.

It doesn't look like much and I honestly don't have much to say about it other than holy shit it's a lot of work and we still have another 4.3 acres to clear. Although, the rest of it will be easier as it will be pasture land and "dead space".

I have narrowed it down to a few barns and designs, though.

Barn Choice #1

Barn Choice #2
(And most likely what we will go with, but with
3 stalls instead of the 4 pictured).

Stalls will be "rolling doors" for added

In addition, some other thoughts include corner feeders (so I don't have to worry about Spud getting Suzie's food), possible automatic waterers, saddle trees and a blanket closet.

I am still figuring out how I want the barn placed and where I would want a feeder to go, manure pile, etc. The biggest issue is figuring out if I want the barn to go length-wise with the property or width-wise, which is frustrating in itself because both pose positives and negatives.

This is what I am tentatively thinking.
The barn would also have 12' overhangs on the long sides and the side where no stalls are would be trailer storage. I am thinking if I want to start the fence on the stall side or on the other side... I could put another overhang on the back end of the barn and use it as a storage space for a lawnmower or driving cart, etc. It all depends, though.

Still so much to do. So much to think about.

Screw it, we'll just keep our mud swimming pool the way it is.


  1. it's all very exciting and all very stressful. I know because I lived it. In terms of which way to orient it- look to the way the prevailing wind goes so you can make sure that there's airflow in the summer.

    1. Tell me about it! No, seriously!! I want to know the secrets of not going insane.

      I really want this barn done ASAP but the money aspect makes me shy away like an Arabian at a desensitizing clinic. LOL

    2. I started with my design and what I wanted in it.I then found a builder and went from there. It's a pretty simple barn. I took photos of the progress: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjrWFDss

    3. Wow! It looks amazing!! Thank you for sharing :)

      The stalls are beautiful.

    4. Thanks. Ed built the stalls for me after the contractor left. I love them.

  2. Definitely face it with the weather - it sucks to have to clear snow drifts from the door all winter long and to have to keep everything shut to keep the rain/puddles out. My OCD preference at our place too was to face the sacrifice pens away from the front too so I'm not annoyed looking at the poop that magically appears in my clean pens 15 min after I get back to the house. Love the design, so excited for you :)

    1. The hilarious thing about our weather is that it is merciless and comes from all sides, lol.

      Although, I do have to agree that I need to find out where the brunt of it is coming from and position it accordingly.

      It is truly a pain-staking process. So much time, money and energy....

  3. The mud swimming pool is very attractive. Who needs a house anyway?

  4. omg so much work! you guys have accomplished a ton already this summer, good luck with the barn design!

    1. It's been crazy! Hopefully I'll get more done next Spring... hoping to have a barn up by next Fall

  5. So exciting! A friend of mine recently did a similar thing and I loved following her progress on Facebook :D