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Our blog is the perfect place to explore stables, barns and timber buildings in more depth and discover some of the need-to-know information surrounding them. Have a look through and see what you can learn.

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A guide to expanding and enhancing existing stable blocks

As horse owners, we know that from time to time you may need to tweak your stable setups as things evolve – maybe you’ve got more horses now or the horses enjoy different activities.  Safety and compliance are important considerations too.

Is Shiplap Good For A Shed?

A garden shed, regardless of its size, can emerge as one of the most valuable structures you own. It serves as a haven to safeguard and organise your cherished and essential items. Therefore, it’s crucial for these sheds to withstand the trials of time, ensuring they fulfil their protective role for an extended period. Wood…

How big can I build a shed without planning permission?

Keeping fit should be incorporated into our daily lives. Regular physical activity contributes to overall health by improving cardiovascular health, lung capacity, muscle strength, and flexibility while reducing the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Why mobile stabling is a good option for horse owners in winter

As winter wraps its chilly arms around us, I bet many of you are navigating the challenges of keeping our four-legged friends’ cosy and content. Enter the unsung hero of winter equestrian living – mobile stabling! Whether you’re a seasoned horse owner or just diving into the wonderful world of equine companionship, the perks of…

DIY field shelter and build your own kits

DIY field shelter and build your own kits Save up to 10% by choosing to ‘self-assemble’ your stable or field shelter.  Our DIY field shelters, stables and other timber buildings can all be flat packed and ready for you to build yourself easily and quickly. Why might I need more field shelters for winter? When…

Which stable roofing material is best for stables?

Choosing the right material for a stable roof is crucial for protection against weather elements, preventing water damage and ensuring the integrity of the building’s structure as well as the safety of the stable occupants.

Horse stable lighting tips

Lighting plays a crucial role in a horse stable, ensuring the safety, wellbeing, and productivity of both horses and caretakers. You not only have to consider lighting that is fit for purpose, but it must also be safe for your horses, and withstand the elements and general wear and tear. Here are some detailed tips…

What is a livery stable?

Livery stables (often known as livery yards) are working stable facilities that are privately owned but opened to other horse owners as a place to house their horse in return for a fee. Livery stables were common in the 19th and early 20th centuries when horses played a significant role in daily life, serving as…

What is a barn hip roof?

A hipped roof refers to a roof style recognisable for having slopes on all four sides (typically of equal pitch) that meet at a ridge. In comparison, a barn hip (commonly known as a half hip roof) offers the benefit of a cutaway at one or both ends of the roof with a barn-style gable…

A guide to tack room storage

As the hub of a field shelter or stable, a well-planned out, easy to access tack room is essential. With lots of visitors coming and going, grabbing equipment, or putting away riding gear, it is important to get things super organised to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of all your equestrian goodies. A well-run tack…

The difference between carriage houses, garages, and carports

Carriage houses, garages, and carports are all structures primarily designed to store and provide shelter for vehicles.

6 top tips for storing hay

Storing hay correctly is essential to maintain its quality and preventing potential hazards like mould, fires, and nutritional degradation. If hay isn’t stored properly, it will lose its nutritional value, which can be harmful to your horse’s health and well-being. Plus, if hay is contaminated with mould, it can result in lots of wastage, resulting…

What to feed horses (and what not to feed) horses

Keeping fit should be incorporated into our daily lives. Regular physical activity contributes to overall health by improving cardiovascular health, lung capacity, muscle strength, and flexibility while reducing the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

How to stop horses from chewing wood

After designing and installing a quality-constructed stable in the middle of a beautiful paddock, the last thing we want to see is equine chew marks all over the stalls, walls, and surrounding fencing! More importantly, chewing wood can lead to lots of health problems for your horse too. Although chewing is a common habit among…

Barn roof styles – which one is right for your timber framed project?

No matter what timber framed barn project you are planning, whether oak front barn, barn conversion, hay barn, American barn or timber framed house, the roof will be a crucial consideration in its design.

Garden gym buildings – your questions answered

Keeping fit should be incorporated into our daily lives. Regular physical activity contributes to overall health by improving cardiovascular health, lung capacity, muscle strength, and flexibility while reducing the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

What are the advantages of a hip roof design for stable buildings?

A hip roof, also known as a hipped roof or barn hip roof, is a type of roof design commonly found on stables, barns, and other agricultural buildings. It is recognisable for its distinctive shape, which features slopes on all sides that meet at a ridge or a peak. The hip roof design is different…

What is Firestone Rubber Roofing and how is it beneficial for a flat roof timber building?

Roof design is vital to all structures, so it is important to make sure that the roof on your new project is planned with precision. When it comes to rubber roofing, there are three types to choose from, EPDM, TPO, and PVC.

Foaling in horses: Helpful tips for when your mare births her foal

Whether you are a first-time breeder or an old hand at welcoming new equine life, you can never be too prepared in the run up for the arrival of a foal. It is an exciting but anxious time for all involved so reminding yourself of the basics will only prove beneficial, ensuring you know exactly…

Are lightweight turnout horse rugs needed in springtime?

When the tulips start appearing, the clocks go forward, and we start enjoying the lighter nights and brighter weather, it is easy to assume that spring weather means we can finally ditch out winter coats.

How much hay should I feed my horse?

Horses should consume about 2% of their bodyweight with hay per day. To work out 2% of your horse’s body weight, you will first need to find out how much your horse weighs. Let’s say your horse weights 500kg. You would work out 2% of 500 as follows: Divide 2 by 100 which equals 0.02. …

What are skids on stables?

We typically build field shelters/stables on steel skids in order for the structure to become mobile if needed.  Skids are a type of moveable frame structure on which your field shelter can be built. They are attached to the underside of the timber building and not only strengthen support for the whole timber structure, but…

Stable blocks

If you are looking for superior equestrian stable blocks or a fully functional livery yard that is complete with a bespoke design and fast, professional installation, National Timber Buildings can help. As a household name in stables, we have four ranges of hand-crafted stables for you to choose from – the Novice Range, National Range, Grand National Range, and Cheltenham Gold Range.

Groundworks for timber buildings

If you are thinking about adding a new timber building to your set up, you’ll need to think about sorting the groundworks before you do anything else.  All our static timber buildings will need a solid foundation to ensure a stable, level base. It also raises your timber buildings off the ground to help prevent…

Custom sheds and garden buildings

Custom sheds and bespoke garden buildings – everything you need to know BESPOKE GARDEN BUILDINGS THAT ARE TAILOR MADE FOR YOUR NEEDS ARE ONE OF OUR SPECIALITIES… We love working with customers to manufacture bespoke garden sheds and other timber buildings exactly as they ask for them to be made. It is our passion, use…

Is a timber-framed house energy efficient?

It is well known that wood is one of the most sustainable and environmentally sympathetic construction materials available, due to its ability to absorb carbon dioxide while growing, its adaptability as a product, and its recyclability.

C24 vs C16 graded timber

For those of us that work in the construction industry, particularly those of us that work directly with timber, the terms C16 and C24 are illustrious. However, if you are new to working with timber, or you just need a recap on what these two terms mean, read on. Both C16 and C24 refer to…

How to keep your horse warm in winter

As the temperature begins to plummet, you are probably busy swapping your 5-tog summer duvet for a thicker one, and digging out hats, scarves, and thermals so you are ready for those hardy stable visits. While horses can withstand far colder temperatures than us humans, horses are still mammals and they do still get cold.…

Is a garden room office warm enough for winter?

Yes, they most definitely are! Customers often enquire whether a garden office room will be warm enough to use comfortably in the freezing winter months! And the simple answer is yes! We understand how important it is to be comfortable in the workplace no matter where that might be. A comfortable physical space is a…

Hay barn flooring

Hay barns have a vital role to play during the autumn and winter as they store hay after it has been cut during the summer. A hay supply should be able to last until springtime rolls round again to ensure horses and livestock have a good supply of healthy forage while fresh grass is harder to come by.

World Horse Appreciation Day – show your appreciation with our homemade horse treat ideas

Working in the stables arena makes it impossible for us not to love horses. In the 40 years that we have been working in the horsey world we have come to understand why they are such special creatures. Via the customers we have worked with, we have seen how communicative horses can be in social…

Would your timber outbuilding benefit from a catslide roof?

Some people simply love the aesthetic of a catslide roof, but there are actually several benefits which come with this trendy style. If you are considering having a catslide roof on your timber outbuilding, here are some of the benefits associated with this style to help you decide if it is right for your project.…

Do you need planning permission for a mobile field shelter?

A mobile field shelter is the perfect option for horse owners wanting a temporary, field-based solution for housing their animals. Perhaps you are currently waiting to have a new stable block completed or you want to give your horses more shelter during the day if they spend lots of time out of doors. Whatever your…

What makes a good stable building?

What makes a good stable building? Horses are social beings and are happiest out in the open where they can run around, spend time with their herd, and graze and forage in the field. However, there are times when a horse needs to be kept indoors for the good of their health, or to protect…

Choosing a stable block that works for you and your horse

If you are investing in a new stable block, or extending an existing one, you will know that choosing a design and layout that works both for you (and your horse(s)) is not just exciting, it is important too. Naturally, you will need to design a stable that is suited to the amount of land…

Forty and fabulous! Happy birthday to National Timber Buildings

September 2022 is a special month for our company as it marks 40 years since we first opened our doors. 40 years is an important milestone for any business, but for a family-owned business like ours, it has even more meaning, memories, and nostalgia to contend with! We catch up with Director, Lee Taylor, as…

Ensure a warm, dry winter for your horse with our prima range of field shelters

Ensure a warm, dry winter for your horse with our prima range of field shelters If you are looking to invest in a new field shelter for your horse that is strong, durable and meets his needs, but won’t break the bank, who better to turn to than one of the UK’s household names in…

Does galvanised steel rust?

Eventually, after many years, galvanised steel will rust. History and data shows that galvanising can provide between 30 to 150 years of protection for steel depending on several factors including what the steel is exposed too and the local environmental conditions that surrounds it. In our experience, most structures that are built with galvanised steel…

Cheap mobile field shelters for horses

Cheap mobile field shelters are the low-cost option for stabling horses. Cheaper than building a stable, these standalone structures are perfect for offering horses shelter when out in the paddock. Thanks to their design, they are easy to transport and can serve as an integral part of your horse care – without costing too much…

How to keep your wooden stables cool in summer

The summer months are great for both horses and owners alike. Spending as much time out of the stable as possible and roaming around playing with friends is ideal for a horses’ physical and mental wellbeing. Meanwhile, owners can enjoy spending less time mucking out the stables and washing muddy horses, and instead, enjoy more…

The benefits of using LED lighting in garden offices

The benefits of using LED lighting in garden offices Persisting trends for flexible and home working have sparked many people to create an office space that works for their bespoke needs. Therefore, it has been no surprise that people have looked to their garden as the ideal solution to finding a practical homeworking space. We…

What is tanalised® timber?

What is tanalised® timber? Your questions answered Tanalised® timber is timber which has been pressure treated to help preserve the wood. When preservative protection is applied via a pressure method, the treatment gets right into the centre of the wood. This is unlike treatment applied with a brush, which only covers and protects the wood’s…

What is the difference between shiplap and cladding?

External cladding does not just improve the aesthetic appearance of a building it also adds a layer of protection against the elements. Fundamentally, cladding is a set of prefabricated panels attached to the structure of the building, but there are several different cladding types to choose from, and shiplap is one of them. Tongue and…

Are stables classed as agricultural buildings?

Are stables classed as agricultural buildings?   Owning agricultural land means that, under the Planning Acts, you can use your land for dairy farming, to cultivate soil, grow crops, raise livestock, and use the land for grazing. The type of buildings that fall under the umbrella of ‘agricultural’ can sometimes be confusing, particularly to horse…

Horses in London today

Horses have not been used in combat by the British army since World War I, but that doesn’t mean they no longer play an important role in the military. In fact, it is widely known that with just shy of 500 horses, the Army has more equines than it does tanks! Today, horses in the…

Help stop unauthorised feeding of horses

The public feeding of horses has been an ongoing issue over the years, but with so many more dog owners and health-conscious people trying to hit their daily step target, it has unfortunately meant a rise in walkers feeding horses. There are countless reports on social media channels on how the public feeding of horses…

Should your horse be stabled at night?

Whilst it’s good for horses to spend plenty of time pastured, many will need to be stabled at night for at least part of the year. The amount of time they will need to be stabled for will all depend on the breed of the horse, their general health and the weather conditions. You can…

We are proud to be Made in Britain members

The sun has been shining, spring has sprung, and this month the Nationals team also received a spring in their step too upon receiving our Made in Britain accreditation. What is Made in Britain? Made in Britain brings together the British manufacturing community, united with the use of the registered collective mark: The mark is…

All you need to know about UK horse stable costs

Horse stable costs in the UK: The lowdown   Equine owners and carers naturally want to provide the best shelter possible for their beloved animals to keep them safe and well during severe weather as well as resting comfortably when they need to recover. A well designed and erected stable will help meet all a…

How to build stables – cheap options that won’t break the bank

Keeping a horse incurs certain expenses that you need to budget for, and whilst building a stable is one of these expenses, it also doesn’t need to break the bank. If you know where to look, you can find competitively priced stables that are the perfect first-time purchase. Buy cheap, buy twice – getting value…

A guide to placing a bet on the Grand National

A guide to placing a bet on Grand National In this article we will cover: How do I find the Grand National bet market, runners, and odds? Studying a horses form Bet types: Betting to win or each way? How to calculate the winnings in an each-way bet How to place a bet on the…

What is the standard horse stable door size?

Choosing the right front door for a horse stable, is not just about enhancing the aesthetics of your horse’s home. Having high quality and reliable stable doors installed will provide easy access, security, and are extremely effective at providing plentiful barn ventilation. Having doors in your stable is vital for letting out hot, air during…

What are mobile field shelters?

Mobile field shelters are quick, simple, sturdy, and versatile sheltering solutions for horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, or llamas. We’ve also seen many customers erect mobile field shelters for alternative uses too, such as to store hay, farm machinery and general storage. Usually built on skids, mobile field shelters are easy to move around your fields or…

The importance of a killer stable plan

The importance of a killer stable plan   Every horse owner will tell you that owning a horse is immensely rewarding. Caring for their needs daily and witnessing them grow and develop brings out a sense of selflessness in horse owners like parents care for their children. It also takes time, discipline, and skill –…

The perfect stable for a pony

The perfect stable for a pony We have stables for every type of horse owner, whether you have one or two small ponies or an entire livery yard’s worth of professional racehorses. Just because ponies are on the small side, it doesn’t mean they do not need a suitable environment to live and shelter.  As…

Homemade horse treats

Homemade horse treats There’s nothing better than a handmade gift to let the receiver know how much they are loved. Horses are no different. They will appreciate your effort and will feel nothing but good vibes from, and for you. Plus, nothing spells love better than T-I-M-E. We have had a good search around for…

Our favourite horse and stable toys

Our favourite horse and stable toys A love for horses usually starts at an incredibly early age, it is never too early to spark a passion. Whether you are searching for a Christmas or birthday gift, or just a special treat for a junior family member of friend, we have found horse and stable playsets…

Can horses eat pumpkin?

It’s that time of year again when pumpkins are aplenty. You may be wondering if your horse(s) can join in all the fun and enjoy a pumpkin treat too? Well, we think they will struggle with carving them or decorating with them but, you’ll be pleased to know that orange pumpkins, including the seeds, are…

Bespoke insulated garden offices

Bespoke insulated garden offices that are built to last In the UK, the amount of people working from home has steadily increased over the last twenty years, culminating in around 5.6 million people remote working during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Staring at the four walls of our living rooms for months on end during those…

Animal field shelters

Field shelter for animals is important whatever the season.  In summer, the priority is providing them with suitable shade and in winter it is all about keeping them protected from the extreme rain and wind. Field shelters are not just suitable for horses either, they are suitable for housing all sorts of livestock whether it…

Tips on buying a horse for the first time

Whether you are an experienced rider or completely new to the game, buying a horse is a big deal, particularly if you consider yourself a beginner and have never bought a horse before. If you fall into this category, worry not! We have put together the following golden nuggets of advice to help you choose…

Wooden garage planning permission explained

With so many homeowners choosing to improve rather than move, the demand for wooden garages and other outbuildings are on the up. The first thing our customers normally enquire about is whether or not they will require planning permission to build their dream garage or whether they can avoid it. The truth is, there are…

Does a barn increase property value?

If you are thinking of investing in a timber building, whether it be a barn, garage, garden room, home office or other useful building, you might be weighing up if the cost of constructing it is a savvy financial decision? At first thought, it may seem like a sizeable outlay, particularly if the idea is…

Ten poisonous plants for horses

Ten poisonous plants for horses For most equestrians, summertime means more time outdoors for their horses. After being cooped up in their stable over the winter months, a horse’s health and well-being will receive a massive boost from increased turnout in their pasture where they are happiest. Generally, horse owners will have an easier time…

Brick or timber garage: Which construction material is best?

Maybe you are thinking of building yourself a garden office, a workout area or new garage? Maybe you are just looking to add more living space? Whatever your reason for contemplating an outbuilding, you will undoubtedly what to maximise the return on your investment by adding as much value to your home in the process. …

Successful stable management tips

It is important to remember that genetically, domestic horses and wild horses are the same.  That means the instinct to be outside 24/7, graze on lush rich grasses and enjoy natural foraging is as strong in the horse living in your back yard or at your stables as it is in a horse living in…

How do I feng shui my home office?

With more people working from home than ever on a long-term basis, it’s important to get your home working set up right, to ensure you’re working as productively as possible, whilst enjoying it too! The basic principles of feng shui are all about harnessing energy to harmonise an individual with their environment. Unlike being in a…

Do garden rooms add value to a property?

As the Coronavirus driven stamp duty holiday draws to an end this spring (June 2021) we will no doubt see many homeowners, once again, opting to add value to their property rather than moving. A well planned and maintained garden is a great place to start, particularly with so many of us keen to enjoy…

Virtual fundraising ideas

As we find ourselves fully immersed in what is turning out to be a somewhat disheartening winter, thoughts are with colleagues within the equine community, particularly the smaller charities and welfare organisations feeling the significant financial impacts that the coronavirus pandemic is racking up. During these colder months, caring for equines will be notably more…

Home office solution | Wave goodbye to your costly commute

If there is one thing that businesses excel at when facing turbulent times, it’s diversifying and adapting in order to survive – a skill that has was widely proved during the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 forced many business owners to enter the remote world of working for the first time or…

Seasons greetings from National Timber Buildings

What a history-making year we have found ourselves in.  2020 has certainly been taunted by its fair share of challenges.  The business world has witnessed many SMEs in particular, struggle to stay afloat and our hearts go out to colleagues within the equine community, especially the smaller charities and welfare organisations that are really suffering…

Toys for horses | Entertaining a stabled horse

Humans are not the only ones that will be spending a lot more time indoors over the next few months. Horses will also spend a great deal of time in the constraints of their stable as the temperature continues to drop during winter.  Like us, some horses can get bored!  Luckily, there are lots of…

Looking for new hobby ideas? Love horses? Why not combine the two!

The recent lockdown and ongoing restrictions has left many of us with extra time on our hands to reflect and take stock of the things that are of upmost importance to us.  It has also forced us to try things that we previously may not have considered, or it may have sparked a desire for…

Equine preparation ahead of autumn and winter

In the coming weeks, we will begin to think about packing up the BBQ, dusting off our wellies, reaching for our autumn wardrobe, and commencing thermostat wars with the other members of our households!  For those of you caring for horses, there will be a few other jobs to add to your checklist in order…

Caring for your horse in the sun and heat

This year, the early summer weather is a little bit hit and miss.  One moment it’s sunny, and the next we’re donning our rain macs!  Hopefully, we’ll soon be slapping on the Factor 50 as the summer establishes.  However, as the heat begins to vamp up, it’s not just us humans that will need some…

The planning permission process for stables

If you would like to build a permanent equestrian construction – such as stables or field shelter – it is very likely that you will need planning permission.  The need for planning permission for stables will depend on whether the stables fit within the permitted development criteria for your local area.  We explore if planning…

Crafting a beautiful wooden home office

In recent years, we have seen an increased demand for wooden home offices as the opportunity to work from home (or WFH as the modern among us say) grows in popularity.  With more employers recognising the benefits that flexible and home working can have on the productivity of their employees (thanks to a reduced commute,…

Looking after your timber garden building

Our gardens and outdoor spaces have never been so important to us.  Improvements in technology mean the modern world can do more at a faster pace.  While this enables us to achieve greater things, it also means we often forfeit our time to unwind and relax as a result.   Our timber garden buildings are loved by…

Mobile field shelter – how often do you move yours?

While there are no set rules or requirements stating that you should move your field shelter once it is in place, there are lots of benefits associated in doing so. After all, you may as well utilise the fact that your shelter is indeed ‘mobile’ rather than just revelling in the fact that you didn’t need…

Constructing timber frame buildings becomes child’s play

Those of you that know us well will be clued-up about our skill set and will be well aware that it’s not just stables and barns that we specialise in.  We have earned a unique position in the market as one of the leading installers of timber buildings and one of our current projects in…

Alternative uses for mobile field shelters

We don’t need to tell you that mobile field shelters are used for sheltering horses, but did you know that mobile field shelters have lots of other potential uses too? Mobile field shelters are not just for horses During our 40 years of industry experience we have tailored field shelters for all kinds of purposes. …

Multi-purpose timber carports

Whether attached to your house or as a free-standing structure, there are so many possible designs for wooden carports depending on your budget and personal taste.  At this time of year, they are perfect for storing and protecting your car but that’s not the only thing they are great for.  We’ve built lots of carports,…

American Barn Build for an Unusual Customer

We love a challenge here at National Timber Buildings and our latest undertaking is exactly that.  We are very excited to be involved in such a unique community project that may prove a real second chance to those willing to grab it.  What’s the plan?  Well, we are currently building a ten stall American Barn…

Winter horse care tips

It’s that time of year again, when the clocks go back, the leaves change colour and the thermostat wars begin!  Now the nights are getting longer, and the weather is increasingly unpredictable, horses will need more shelter from the elements.  A full stable MOT now will ensure you are fully prepared for the harsh winter…

Building a stable block

A stable block, or stable yard, will usually consist of multiple loose boxes as well as ancillary buildings used for horse care and general storage. Having the perfect stable block design and layout will make horse care much easier for you and will make your horses happier as well. Here, we help you to work…

What is the difference between a barn and a stable?

Generally speaking, a stable is a timber building that is used to house horses. A barn is also usually made of timber, but it is most often used to keep livestock, or to store machinery or equipment. There are instances where the two terms may be used interchangeably, so it is always worth specifying your…

What is permitted development? Will I need planning permission for a garage? Your planning consent questions answered.

Planning consent: This is something that our clients regularly ask us about with regard to timber buildings. It is a minefield of an area, with various planning rules and regulations that you need to be aware of ahead of going through the design and build process. To answer the vast majority of questions about the…

What’s the difference between a log cabin and a timber-frame home?

On the surface, it might seem like a log cabin is similar to a timber-frame building. Yet, whilst both are made of timber, this is largely where the similarities end as the two are structurally very different. If you are considering which type of timber building is going to be right for you, we have…