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Barn Enhancements - What Would You Do?

To carry on with my previous post, I wanted to update y'all on our housing situation!  If you aren't familiar, buying a house is long, drawn out, stressful and nerve wracking.  We're further along than my last post, but there are still a few things that can go 'wrong' and affect the sale.  That being said, we have signed the Sale Agreement which the lawyer drew up, paid the deposit and everything is in the Bank's hands now.  Currently, we are waiting for the Bank to arrange the Appraisal. Upon that, we will have the Insurance Company out to do their thang and we're off to the races.  Our Possession Date is June 5 assuming all our conditions, which were previously mentioned, are met by May 4th.

In closing my last post, I mentioned that I will be looking for suggestions if the sale goes through. Perhaps this is premature, but I am starting to allow myself to get a little excited so I thought, what the hell!
I Hate the Silver Tin, but it will be staying, because the only thing I hate more is the fact that if I changed it, it would no longer match the Shop which is also Silver.

The original barn was built in 1989, and is roughly 24 x 32.  Currently, it has a vacant area with old cattle feeders, and a standing stall for milking cows, as well as a small tack room.  In the mid 2000's, he expanded to build an additional 32 x 32 pole barn.  There is a random chicken coop thing hanging from the roof by the door which will most certainly be getting knocked down!  The floor is dirt, and partially rail road ties packed with sand.  There are 4 sliding doors in a "T" Shape to accommodate driving a quad/small tractor through in a straight line for cleaning and 2 standing/tie stalls.  In the past, he just used portable panels as needed for stalls.

View from one of the side entrances. Directly behind me is the tack room; hanging in the Left by the door is the weird Chicken Coop thing lol.  Directly in front is one of the Tie Stalls.  There is another directly across from it

Basically, my intent is as follows:
  • Insulate the walls and enclose them fully, keeping in mind a future heat source
  • Replace any ratty looking Plywood/etc with .... something nicer?
  • Knock out basically everything inside other than the support beams/posts necessary
  • Develop the vacant & milking area in the original area to be suited to storage/tack and groom bay area
  • Construct 4 Box Stalls in the 'new' area of the barn
  • Landscape and install better drainage around the barn, especially the front door
  • Finish the rain gutters and fix any flaws in the siding/roof caps/etc
This shows the partition between the Original Barn (right) and the New Addition (Left), and one of the sliding doors.  Directly behind me is another sliding Door..

Now here is where you come in....

What would you guys do for flooring in both the Isle and/or Stalls?   At first thought, concrete may seem ideal, but I personally don't want it in the barn for sake of it being kind of inconvenient to install in an existing building, the cracking over time, etc.

I would really like to use the rubberized bricks for the Alleyway but i'm not sure how it would work on a dirt/sand base (pre-leveled of course) - do any of my wonderful blog followers have experience with them?

Additionally, the ground slopes away from the barn and as such, the front door is about at 'ground level', while the back door steps down about a foot.  For a variety of obvious reasons, I would love to eliminate that drop in/out of the back door.  Does anyone have experience with building a gravel ramp of sorts? Did you find the gravel stayed 'in place'? I intend to kind of frame in the sides to keep it from just spreading wider over time, but what does the maintenance look like in terms of tracking gravel elsewhere, etc?  Keep in mind it will likely have quite a lot of foot and ATV traffic.

I have pretty limited Photos for the time being, but these give you an idea of the current layout.

If you were in my shoes, anything else you'd do? If you've had experience with these types of Barn Reno's, please feel free to provide any input and considerations!


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