Well we are just about through the first month of 2019, and I still have yet to confirm if I will be getting a new barn this spring. I have been trying to get some quotes, and determining what will be the best and most cost effective way for me to get the barn of my dreams. This has not been an easy process.
I mean I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. But I didn’t foresee the difficulty in even getting quotes from professional barn builders. And if it is this difficult to get a quote on a building, how hard is the process of building it going to be?
I have heard from one of the people I outreached to begin the barn building process. And I got a rough estimate (sort of) of what my dream barn would cost. Any guesses? The first guesstimate I received was from Morton Buildings, remember, the guy with the great customer service? When he asked what my budget was, I knew he would come in highest for the estimate, because from what I have heard Morton Buildings are the most expensive. And I should have known when he said “remember, Morton won’t be the most affordable, but it will be the best quality.”
And when he sent me an email back with his projected cost my stomach dropped. His rough quote was $100,000.00. I think my eyes bulged out of their sockets. $100,000.00 for a barn? Really? What???!?!? Why so much? I get it that the quality of the barn will be top notch, but $100,000.00? Seriously? Well at that price point, that barn is not even close to being in my budget. So Morton Buildings, I’m sorry, but no thanks.
Oh, and the plan that the rep sent me was for a barn larger than I had asked for a price on. So does that mean he knows what I need and/or want better than I do? And do I want to work with a company like that? I don’t think so.
I did receive a voicemail from a Cleary Building sales person. And the message went something like this…
“Hi Lisa, I guess you are finally serious about moving forward with your building (soft chuckle). Give me a call so we can talk.”
Um yeah, no. If you are going to call me and be condescending in a voicemail before we even talk, how are you going to be on the job when I am giving you a lot of money? Apparently the companies tag line of “Serving clients since 1978” doesn’t apply in Colorado.
I’m not one to really give a crap about personalities, but I do have a problem with someone having a preconceived notion of my character. And this man knows nothing of me, how I do things, or why I would decide to build a barn. Honestly, that isn’t any of his business. What is his business is helping me come to the conclusion that Cleary Buildings would be the best option for me to build my barn.
So no estimate from Cleary Buildings.
I was contacted by MD Barns, but it was a brief email letting me know how busy they are with the Stock Show, and that was about it. The rep did let me know that they would be at the stock show, and I should go check them out. I had emailed the sales rep back and said I wasn’t in a huge hurry, so she could get back to me after she had the time. But I still haven’t heard back from them. Not even a note to say “hey, sorry, it’s been real busy, look at some of this stuff first, and let me know what you think.” Or a time frame of when they will get back to me. I got nothing.
Where Has Professionalism Gone?
Now I don’t think I am being unreasonable in my pursuit of finding what I want. Especially when I am going to be giving the company around $40,000 for a product. I don’t think that asking for customer service is a bad thing. But if you can’t even give me an estimate, how is it going to be when I sign on the dotted line? After you get a good chunk of money, how hard are you going to be to get a hold of?]
I guess they figure that they are so busy with horse people like me that want a barn so badly they will stand for subpar service. And I guess they also assume that I don’t have a lot of options. And they probably have a lot of people lining up to get a new barn, so they don’t really have to worry about the customer service they provide. But as a customer, I expect that service. And I don’t think that is asking too much.
I guess if you want to get great service, you are going to pay for it. I just didn’t think it would be so difficult to get a freaking quote for a barn.
Alternatives To Getting A New Barn
I haven’t completely resigned the idea of having a real barn, but I am getting close. Since I haven’t had the best of luck with any of the big name barn builders, I am looking at all of my options.
Right now MD Barns has a great deal. A 24 x 24 barn with 2 stalls, an open area for feed and a tack room for $28,600.00 an that includes a solar powered light kit. Then factoring in the concrete work, and cost to erect the barn, I think I will be in the $45,000 range. And this includes building paddocks, mats for the stalls, and fence work that would need to be redone.
But again, then I am on their time frame, and communication schedule. I’m not sure I feel all warm and fuzzy about that. So I decided to see what it would cost for me to make the most out of the barn I do have, add floor mats, an overhang to the roof line, and put fronts on the stalls so my horses don’t end up with snow drifts in their stalls. And this is what I have come up with:
- New paddocks: $700.00
- New gates for the paddocks: $160.00
- Overhang extension and side walls: $1800.00
- Dirt work and mats for the stalls: $450.00
- Fronts for stalls: $600.00
- Mats for grooming area: $90.00
- Build a wall for ‘real’ tack room: $150.00
- Lighting for tack room: $100.00
- Total for DIY barn improvements: $4050.00
Time frame to get this done: 2 weeks
While not exactly what I wanted, it is something my husband and I can do ourselves. And the best part about this project is I am beholden to no one other than myself to getting it done.
And another good thing of doing it myself is I can piece out the projects, and buy a little bit at a time. For example, I can save a little bit of money and go buy the stall mats, or the wood I will need for the new paddocks. And then once I have the material I can do that project, and then move on to the next one. I mean, we have already done some projects on our own. I am fairly confident we can make the current barn more of what I want it to be, short of having an alleyway.
There Are Always Options
I have had feedback from others that yes, to build a barn is a very big project, but it is so worth it when it’s done. And I get that. I really do. But not having control over the process, and not having communication, or a definite time frame for the project to be completed bothers me, a lot. I guess I am a bit of a control freak. But if I am the one paying for it, shouldn’t it be ok to expect good service? I don’t think that is asking too much.
Well, I haven’t committed to anything yet. But I am leaning closer to doing it on my own, just because of the lack of service I have seen. I know it isn’t exactly what I want, but it is definitely more affordable, and I don’t have to figure out how to come up with $45,000.00! And my horses will still have (mostly) enclosed stalls that will keep them dry in the winter. Which is my most important consideration for even wanting to build a barn in the first place.
Over the next month I hope to have a plan in place, and might even have some photos to share with you as to what is going to transpire over the next few months. So be sure to sign up with your email and then you will get notified in your e-mail when I have something new to share with you. And you can follow along with the process of either building a new barn, or making the most of the barn you currently have.