How to Build a Monitor Barn

Monitor barns are designed for horses and other livestock and include a raise ceiling in the center of the building.

Monitor BarnMonitor Barn
This raised center is perfect for storage and may be accessed through built-in stairs or with a built-in ladder. Building a monitor barn requires a basic knowledge of pole barn construction combined with the ability to design a space that will work for your horses or other livestock. You can find designs for monitor barns available for sale online which give you dimensions and a list of materials. You can also buy kits for building monitor barns to make it even easier. If you are comfortable with construction, you can design your own monitor barn customized to your needs.

Get the necessary permits for your monitor barn construction. Plan and lay out the design of your monitor barn using the builder's string and stakes. The size of your stalls should be based on the type of animals you plan to house. You may want to include an area for cleaning or grooming the animals along with storage for any necessary tack or other supplies. Allow for running water and electricity as needed. Your posts should be placed every 8 to 10 inches and should follow the requirements of your local building codes. You can indicate the locations of your posts with spray paint.

Dig the post holes in accordance with your local building codes. Place the posts and anchor them temporarily with 2x4's. Make sure the posts are level. Mix the concrete and secure the posts. Let it dry.

Run the electrical wires and water lines as needed. Make sure you follow all of the guidelines in your local building codes

Frame the outside of your monitor barn using treated wood beams. Attach the beams to the posts using metal brackets. Make sure the beams are level before proceeding with your construction.

Add the second floor posts according the design of your monitor barn. Attach the second floor posts to the first floor posts with metal brackets. Frame the second floor with treated wood beams as in step 4.

Add the trusses for the roof.

Add treated wood plywood to create your walls and finish the outside with siding or wood, as desired.

Add the tin roofing sheets to complete the roof construction.

Things You Will Need

  • Appropriate permits
  • Posthole digger
  • Treated wood posts
  • Ceiling trusses
  • Tin roofing sections
  • Treated plywood
  • Straight nails
  • Roofing nails
  • Storm clips
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Builder's string
  • Level
  • 2x4 Planks
  • Quick-drying concrete
  • Metal base anchors
  • Treated wood beams
  • Metal brackets
  • Treated wood boards
  • Drill
  • Circular saw
  • Wood sealer
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses


  • Make the stalls large enough for your animals.


  • Wear safety equipment when building your monitor barn.

About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.