When planning to build a new barn for your horses, picking the right type and style is probably the single most crucial decision you’d make. For those who don’t know, there are over eight types of barns to choose from – each boasting distinct features and characteristics, making them ideal for different farms, homes and stables. Remember, the kind of barn you choose determines everything, from price to its appearance as well as the amount of storage space.

 In this post, we will be sharing the most timeless types of barns to help you make the right decision. Keep in mind that finding the right type of barn is all about balancing the aesthetics you want with the practical demand of your needs.

Below we have profiled five popular types of barns and their specific attributes:

#1: Monitor Barn 

The monitor barn stands out from the crows particularly due to its massive centre loft. If you’re in search of a barn for your horses that’s larger than life, this barn type is certainly the thing for you. Not only does a monitor barn provide immense design potential, but it also boasts awesome square footage. Due to its large space, you will always find versatile space for office rooms, horse stalls, tack rooms, and more.

As a centre-isle barn, this barn provides you two entire rows of stalls on either side of the aisle. In case, you do need that many horse stalls, the space can also be left open for some other use.

Monitor barns may be ideal for those who:

  • Need storage space
  • Need a dedicated tack area
  • Own many horses
  • Want a second story or elevated ceilings
  • Want a concealed overhang
  • Prefer versatile space and/or open floor plans 

#2: Shed Row Barn 

Remember, space requirements can significantly influence the type of barn you’ll consider. Shed row barns are fairly simple and feature stall sheds lined in a single row (that’s where the name came from). 

Unlike other barn styles on this list, shed row barns do not boast a full barn structure surrounding the stalls. Although this design can make it tougher to work with the horses in varying weather conditions, it is chosen by many people who are seeking budget-friendly options.

In addition, as this barn style leaves a smaller footprint, its shape can easily be customized (such as L-shape or straight line) according to your preference.

Shed row barns may be ideal for those who:

  • Own one to three horses
  • Want a simple and small barn
  • Want a concealed overhand
  • Need easy access to their animals
  • Seek budget-friendly barn options

#3: Gambrel Barn 

Gambrel style barns are quite identical to monitor barns. It features a whole centre aisle first floor, covered with an extended second-story loft. The distinctive characteristic of this barn style is the curved gambrel structure of the second-story loft.

As the gambrel barn loft provides more space, farmers usually use this extra room as an office space, equipment storage room and even as living quarters.

As a centre-isle barn style, this barn provides you access to two entire rows of stalls on either side of the centre aisle

Gambrel style barns may be ideal for those who:

  • Need massive loft space.
  • Want a second story or elevated ceilings
  • Want a concealed overhang
  • Need storage space
  • Prefer versatile space and/or open floor plans 
  • Own many horses

#4: Trailside Barn 

Although trailside barns are single-storied, they boast a massive step up, in contrast, to shed row barns, especially, in terms of price. Trailside barns provide large interior space, hence you can conveniently work with the horses and/or other animals in all weather conditions. 

Additionally, the barns centre aisle construction style maximizes the space by enabling you to have horse stalls on either side of the aisle. Moreover, they can easily be customized contingent on the size of your pack.

Trailside barns may be ideal for those who:

  • Desire easy customisation
  • Want a single-storey barn
  • Seek full protection from surrounding elements
  • Need massive floor space
  • Own many horses

#5: High Country Barn

Though the other barn types on our list are usually rectangular and L in shape, the high country barn has more of a square shape, making it an ideal option for ranchers with smaller lots. Another core advantage of a high country barn is that it comes with an entire loft that can be utilized for everything from office space to storage room and even as living quarters. Nonetheless, as the barn’s inside space for horse stalls is limited to other barn types, it is suitable only for a few horses.

High country barns may be ideal for those who:

  • Desire a luxurious look
  • Want a second story
  • Want a concealed overhang
  • Seek full protection from surrounding elements
  • Do not have massive space requirements
  • Own small horse herds

How to Choose the Best Barn Type for Yourself?

As we said earlier, getting a barn is a huge investment! And though we have already shared the five most popular types of barns with you, Fairdinkumbuilds.com.au believes there are some other factors that should be considered when deciding which barn style to get for your residence:

Know your needs – The clearer and more precise you are with your needs, the easier the entire process will become. Start by understanding the number of horses/animals you’ll be boarding, your storage needs, as well as the budget.

Consider the size – Though having a double storied barn is convenient, know that it perhaps might not be the thing for you.


Finding the best barn type and style for your needs might be a bit tricky, but remember, a barn (of any style and size) is a big investment! Hence, before taking any step, be sure that you have made the right decision. With so many opinions out there regarding, we just wanted to clear the air and offer you some useful tips to find a barn that best meets YOUR needs!

There’s no denying that each barn type has some useful attributes, so choose wisely.