Need barn help

I recently purchased a property with an existing barn that has a concrete floor and vertical boards for walls. It is in good shape, water tight, however, there are spaces in between the slats, it is not air tight. One friend said I need to tongue and groove the sides prior to building out stalls, another said it’s fine and actually healthier having more ventilation, just blanket the horses if it gets too cold. This is in middle TN so it gets cold but rarely below the teens. The horses will be pasture horses most of the time. Stalls/barn would be for shelter when needed. So the question, do I button up barn ($$$) or is it fine as is? I am a newby, any advice is appreciated :slight_smile:
Here is a pic of the walls:

You might want to change to title to Need barn repair help. I clicked on it thinking you were in need of barn help. Those kind threads are usually entertaining.

I’ve only spent some time down your way, SC-NC also. I know its not like Florida in the winter but It’s not any where close to what folks from the mid-Atlantic, consider an average winter.

So unless you get sub freezing windy days for a week or weeks. IMO I would just blanket on the odd times needed. That sort of siding wouldn’t work up this way. We can get some serious wind driven snow storms, blizzards.

When the storm is over the inside of the barn would look like that scene in Doctor Zhivago of the inside of a house with the windows left open.

IMO with my limited experience with mid-TN winter weather. Unless you do get blizzard condition in any given winter. I don’t see a need to spend the $$ on adding battens. But from an aesthetics aspect IMO battens add a lot, changes the look from “wood shed, equipment shed” to more of a “finished look” Beauty is in the end of the beholder is all that matters in the end.

Batten are a pretty easy DIY. A good entry level DIY project with a big bang for the buck and effort. But it does require a table saw. Which can be rented. A ladder, measuring tape, hammer and nails. Based on the picture the way this is framed makes it very simple. Plenty to nail the battens to and they will stand the test of time without popping/coming loose.

I am in Middle TN, and I would NOT want a barn to be tight as they were built to allow for air flow in the warmer months. Believe me, you want air flow.

This is my third winter here, and I have never blanketed our horses. Make sure they have adequate weight going into winter, access to shelter- should they choose to use it, and have plenty of forage.

Winter is not long here- December, January and part of February. It is also not severe.

Thank you so much, much appreciated input! And I have tried to edit the title to no avail, haha. Thanks again!

Very helpful, thank you!

To edit thread title, go to edit, then there is an option for ‘advanced edit’, click on that and then you can change the title. All the best. Enjoy your new barn/farm!

I would be more concerned with the cement floor than the spaces between the board walls.

When the storm is over the inside of the barn would look like that scene in Doctor Zhivago of the inside of a house with the windows left open.

Love this analogy! Yep!

To OP: I’d invest my $$ in run-in sheds (barn walls look good to me given your location) …and mats for stalls if they too are concrete.

Was the barn board and batten and the battens were stripped off for some reason?

Here are some pics of B&B siding.

Most lumber stores sell cedar battens. If your barn is pressure treated use PT battens.

I’d leave it as it is come summer it will be cooler with the spaces for air flow. Where I live wouldn’t work…got to have solid walls & doors. With the blizzards we get barn would be full of snow. Being in TN I wouldn’t worry about it.

Instead of sealing up the whole thing what about tongue and groove kickboard up to wither height? It will block the worst of the drafts at body level and still allow plent of ventilation.

Good advice above. I think my rule of thumb would be to experience it at every season before making a big/expensive change, unless its an emergency.

You might find it improves airflow in the summer, or, depending on the position of the sun, etc might make the barn hotter inside and making it more weather proof & installing fans might keep it cooler. Until you experience each season it’s really hard to know and you would hate to make anything worse rather than better.

We bought our farm in the spring, when the winter was fairly mild. I wasn’t thrilled with the positioning of my barn until I saw how it protected stalls from the heat of the day in summer and the prevailing winds in winter. It was quite a surprise to see that no matter how hard the wind blew and drifted the snow, the stalls (which open to the outside with Dutch doors) remained warm and snow-free.

I wish there were some differences in the way my farm was setup, but no way would I change the barn setup now that I see how it works.