Four essential considerations before building a stable.

Four essential considerations before building a stable.

If you plan to erect a new stable block on your property, there are a number of considerations to take into account before pressing ahead. Although it may not seem like a large-scale project, certain conditions apply to building a stable that many landowners may overlook or assume to be a formality. So whether you are putting up your very first stable or plan to expand your existing equine buildings, here are some essentials to take into account.

Get planning permission In the UK, any type of fixed equine building may require planning permission from your local authority, so it will prove wise to start the process as early as possible. This is especially important if you are building a stable block for the very first time as planning permission could feasibly be refused by various different councils up and down the country on the grounds of reasons that may or may not include overlooking or obscuring a neighbouring property including loss of privacy, access restrictions, spoiling of the natural habitat or even simple nuisance. It really pays to speak to your local authority well in advance to get an understanding of the criteria involved in assessing planning applications so any knowledge you can gather will help you to make a more informed approach to how and where you plan to erect your stables and have a far better chance of your application being successful.

Even if you plan to build timber framed stables on land that has already been granted permission in the past, make sure that any design you have in mind falls within the design constraints of the approved application. Even the slightest deviation or alterations will require a minor amendment application at least or even a completely new application if the scale of the building is significantly different from that approved.No matter the application, expect most local authorities to take around 8 weeks minimum to come to a decision and on larger scale and more complex applications, 13 weeks is a reasonable period. So be prepared to wait and factor in these times before planning your building timescales. See more about planning considerations here.

Assess the plot The final position of the stable block will be heavily influenced by the conditions of the proposed site such as the lie of the land, available shelter, current drainage and the proximity to existing buildings. Excavation will be required no matter what but if the land lies on a slope, the excavation work will be far greater to allow sufficient depth for appropriate foundations to be laid. Any stable you plan must be erected on a flat and levelled base for practical reasons, as well as health and safety to maintain the stable’s structural integrity so good, solid footings are a must. As well as the actual plot itself, you’ll also want to check for other natural features close by that may infringe on your planned designs such as mature trees and hedgerows that cannot be moved or cut back.

Set a budget It’s always wise to set a budget plan before any work commences to give yourself a realistic expectation of what a new stable block will cost once completed and ready to use. Any project no matter the scale can tend to expand as it progresses and this will have a knock on effect on the final costs.As the project unfolds, you may decide to add features such as a hay store or tack room which are nice additions to have but will increase the overall costs. Even practical additions such as electrics, plumbing, drainage, roof tiles or split stable doors are all extras that will improve the building’s use but all add up.

Get your foundations right Once you have received planning consent and you are ready to proceed, it is vitally important to ensure you get suitable foundations built before any stable block is built.Doing the groundwork and laying the foundations should always be carried out by a knowledgeable professional in the trade and should never be attempted as a DIY project. A properly constructed foundation acts as a vital water barrier to prevent rotting of the stable timbers and to increase the expected lifespan of the structure.

Always speak to your stable building provider to get a specification document that outlines the required base plan to suit the dimensions of the proposed stable block.Usually, a solid concrete base is required that is perfectly level and flat, with a single course of brickwork, for the timber panel to sit on top of, (always refer to the stable manufactures base plan.) For more information on preparing and building a stable block, contact us to speak to one of the team for some helpful, friendly advice or click here to view our range of stables.