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The tack room

Good to insulate stable roofs or not?

15 replies

Sweepingchange · 06/03/2017 20:28

Hi, we are renovating a wreck of a farmhouse in wet & windy area. The rather decrepit stables have a brick roof but you can see lots of sky between the rafters and huge holes.

Our contractor has asked us if we want to insulate the stable roofs as well as the rest of the building? (It's in one long continuous rectangle ifyswim with two/three stables rather basic stables at far end.)

Anyway, I was trying to think back to my childhood but we had ancient wooden stables which were quite drafty (to put it mildly) and we managed with rugs etc.

I know that proper ventilation is hugely important for stabled horses but I suppose roof insulation might be important for cooling purposes in the summer months, although tbh any horses we eventually have will most likely live out during the day.

Not sure what to do (other than asking around horsey friends). In the meantime, what do you all advise pls?

We are on a tight budget and don't want to go to the expense if we don't need to, on the other hand, if insulation is likely to make it more comfortable for the residents, then we will go ahead, and it would be cheaper to do so while rest of building is being done!

Thanks in advance for any tips/advice!

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ChiefClerkDrumknott · 06/03/2017 20:37

I've never had mine in insulated stables and they seem fine Grin
Are they individual stables or all under one roof in a barn arrangement? Mine have always been in the latter and it seems to keep them warm enough in winter with all the accumulated body heat.
In summer I bring mine in during the day rather than night as they seem to prefer it in from the flies and the heat. Again, always seemed cool enough in a barn compared to outside and never been insulated.

Garnethair · 06/03/2017 20:42

Mine aren't insulated either. Can't see much point when the window and top stable door are always open too!

Sweepingchange · 06/03/2017 20:45

Thank you ChiefClerk yes, it's like yours in that it is all under one roof, not a barn as such, but the divisions don't go all the way up to the ceiling with just a little (human) corridor for feeding purposes etc alongside and half stable doors on the opposite side to the exterior.

That's what I thought - that insulation wouldn't be necessary - but just wanted to check as it does get v windy and cold here!

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Sweepingchange · 06/03/2017 20:45

Great, thanks Garnethair budget looking healthier already!

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ChiefClerkDrumknott · 06/03/2017 21:38

That's similar to where mine are now - a long line of stables under one roof with divisions around 4 foot between stables. It does get a bit windy in there sometimes but they all seem to be cozy in winter

frostyfingers · 07/03/2017 12:29

As long as the stables themselves aren't draughty round their legs I should think you'll be fine. An air current running above the stables drawing the warm air out and stopping it getting stale is what is needed. I've never insulated the roof, admittedly the wooden stables can get warm in the summer but mine aren't stabled then so it's never been an issue.

tootsietoo · 07/03/2017 12:34

I guess it is a tiled roof? I definitely wouldn't bother lining a stable roof, just make sure it is tidied up so it's water tight and as a PP said, make sure there is ventilation at roof level. Most old stables would already have gaps for ventilation I would have thought. Ours do. If I was you I would spend your money elsewhere e.g. lovely solid stable doors, proper yard drainage, a nice enclosure for your muck heap, hot horse wash, solar lights, arena........ oh sorry, I drifted off a bit there!

Sweepingchange · 07/03/2017 12:37

Thank you again for responses, which are much appreciated.

That's a good point about drafts around the legs Frosty; need to check that out.

I have a little more information now: apparently the insulation is the modern form of what would have been roof felting - it is like two foil sheets with woolly stuff in between (a sort of sandwich) laid out under the wibbly wobbly tiles (see I have all the proper construction lingo Wink).

So it would serve the purpose of keeping the rain/drips out (that felting normally would) but insulates at same time ...

Not sure again now!!

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Sweepingchange · 07/03/2017 12:39

I should add that, atm, when it rains, two of the stables (or compartments) are bone dry and one has a damp patch on the floor, the source of which obviously needs to be sorted. That is just with rafters and ancient roof tiles - you can see lots of sky between them all - I'm surprised the stables are as dry as they are tbh.

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tootsietoo · 07/03/2017 12:46

Lining is a good thing, yes sometimes if it rains really really really hard water can squeeze in between roof tiles, but it costs a whole lot of money to take the whole roof off, line it and replace all the tiles. I really wouldn't bother with a stable block. Just get a roofer to do some spot repairs to damaged or missing tiles, it should be plenty watertight enough for stables.

Sweepingchange · 07/03/2017 12:47

Grin tootsie not sure we will be stretching to hot wash area and solar lights - not for two (eventual) hairy m&ms anyway - but one can always dream! Have to say, I would love some hot water source though and stables already have automatic drinking facility (but my late pa would not have approved of those as he said they stop the proper monitoring of the horses' water intake) but anyway... one can dream!

We do need to spend money on surface immediately outside stables though as it has become very bumpy and holey and unsafe, so any budgetary savings will definitely help!

Also intending to create a structured dung heap with concrete floor if poss and wooden sides. Have inherited arena but it has gone to grass ... but will be useful for lunging etc.

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Sweepingchange · 07/03/2017 12:49

Thanks again Tootsie I will discuss it again with the contractors; I am definitely veering in that direction I think if "spot" repairs are possible.

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tootsietoo · 07/03/2017 13:33

Sounds great!

Sweepingchange · 07/03/2017 14:12

Thanks ... [smile

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Sweepingchange · 07/03/2017 14:13

argh, thanks Smile ... give it five years and lots of hard work and eeked out budget ...we just might get there. Still going to be very ramshackle but happily I quite like it like that!

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