RIDING'S FEBRUARY 2013 COVER STORY!


California Riding Magazine • February, 2013

BARN PROS
Harnessing tradition and technology for a quarter century and counting.

by Kim F. Miller


It's hard to know where to start an article on Barn Pros.

Since it was founded 26 years ago, the Monroe, WA company has grown into a barn building empire. It started with built-on-site barns in its western Washington backyard and has evolved to having its structures built in all 50 states and hundreds of counties, each with its own building requirements as dictated by weather and local regulations. Barn Pros buildings stand proudly in Canada, Europe and Japan. You can even find them at Costco, with the Woodland Series of small sheds popular for various outdoor activities.

The foundation for all this growth is a commitment that hasn't changed. Barn Pros' bread and butter will always be making beautiful, infinitely customable barns and structures that withstand anything a horse, Mother Nature or Father Time throws at them. Post frame construction, traditional designs and the use of highest quality Pacific Northwest lumber have redefined the term "pre-assembled barn kit" to represent high value to current owners and prospective buyers of a property that includes Barn Pros equestrian facilities.

Justin Harries, director of business development, sees the company as poised at the always-moving juncture of traditional and technology. A thoroughly revamped website is the latest example of Barn Pros' commitment to giving customers what they want. In this case, it's all the conveniences mobile Internet makes possible. Dreamers and earnest shoppers can get a virtual online tour of barn models in various configurations and with various components. "We even have a feature where we can manipulate the customer's home computer screen, so they can sit back, have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and look at different possibilities." Changes in the barn design phase can be noted on an original plan, photographed and e-mailed via smartphone to the Barn Pros in-house architect for quick design updates.

Capitalizing on technology in these and other ways keeps projects moving at a brisk pace. Customers and Barn Pros' engineers and architects finalize the customized and site-specific aspects of their model, plans are approved and the kit is shipped, often within two to four weeks. Construction times vary depending on the scope of the project, but everything is designed for minimal waste of both time and materials.

Pre-measured and cut doors, stall parts, windows and other components equal quick and smooth assembly. The kits are designed to be constructed by customers with basic handyman know-how. Clients range from total do-it-yourselfers to those who hire a contractor to oversee everything. In each case, Barn Pros' project managers support every step.



Successful Strategies & Staying Power

By using wood, Barn Pros has been green since the get-go. Wood, Justin points out, naturally helps keep things cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Relative to barns built of metal, the soup-to-nuts process of bringing a Barn Pros structure to completion has a relatively small environmental footprint.

Partnering with compost equipment company O2 is one of many ways Barn Pros has made itself a one-stop shop for everything a barn builder could dream of. Barn Pros offers O2's Paragon composting system, scaled to fit any of its 100 models,

which range from small backyard units to professional boarding facilities. The composter is comprised of bins that have air pumped into them. This aerates the manure and other waste material as part of the composting process, resulting in multipurpose fertilizer that's free of bugs and bacteria.

Barn Pros recently aligned with Ritchie Automatic Waterers as another strategic partnership, an arrangement that's worked beautifully with Classic Equine Equipment for several years.

Tack and feed room cabinets are the latest new component from Barn Pros. These innovative bins for grain, feed or supplements can be coupled with work basins, shelves and/or tack room components to suit specific work flow preferences.

Justin describes all of Barn Pros accessories as "plug and play," meaning they are made to fit the buyer's specific barn. And the barn's post and beam construction facilitates endless tweaking. With no load-bearing walls, the structures can easily accommodate a new door or window.

Barn Pros / O2 Paragon Aerated Compost System. This is a package/kit designed in conjunction with O2 Compost. The system is lexible in size to accommodate any equine or agricultural application. This system was constructed behind a Barn Pros Olympic 36 four stall barn.

In addition to a steady flow of new construction, Barn Pros is also a popular source for remodels. Often, these projects complement new construction and enable the owner to bring old buildings up to snuff with their new Barn Pros counterparts. "We offer retrofit kits that can make just about any barn into a Barn Pros barn," Justin explains. "Re-skinning" exteriors, upgraded stall systems and high efficiency lighting are a few of the possibilities.

For all the technical bells and whistles Barn Pros has accumulated, there's also a lot to be said for good old-fashioned staying power. The company has an A-Plus Better Business Bureau rating, oodles of referrals and its staff is often turned to as a resource for outside architects and designers who are unfamiliar with the unique needs of an equestrian facility.

Barn Pros exclusive Wash and Groom Stall Package.

Working out of a 40,000 square foot facility, the company founded by Jeff Knoth and Steve Oslund in 1987 has opted not to outsource anything. "We design, engineer and manufacturer everything ourselves," Justin explains. "We don't even have any outside sales reps because we don't want to relinquish any control to a third party. We need that consistency and quality control."

Barn Pros structures look expensive, but the company's streamlined and time-tested approach results in surprisingly affordable stabling. Free shipping on kits that typically weigh upwards of 60,000 pounds and require at least one semi truck is a bonus for customers, of course, but the biggest buzz comes when that truck trundles down the road to their property. In just a few weeks, a beautiful, functional barn will rise up to serve many generations of safe, happy horses and their even happier owners.

For more information visit www.barnpros.com.