Advantages & Disadvantages of an American Barn

Treat Your Horses to a Timber Framed American Barn

In the past, it was common when sheds were used to keep the animals contained and farm vehicles stored. Nowadays, you can build them on your own to create an ample protected area for your cars and other storage. Besides discussing the uses of such sheds of the past, we will look at the positive and negative features of creating an American barn. We hope to enlighten you and help you decide if this is an option for you.

The element of an American barn is that it is essentially a large portal framed building which contains stable boxes for animals under one big roof. The American barn is typically used when more stables are needed because they offer a much more pragmatic solution to managing livestock. Within American Barns, the stable boxes are divided into partitions and are accessed through a central aisle that connects all boxes. The main aisle is usually the same size as the stable boxes with a typical width of 12-14ft.

A Typical American barn Structure & Door Opening. Image credit: A.C Bacon Engineering

A positive feature of the American Barn is that the animals all know where each other is. This makes the animals a lot more comfortable and easier to maintain. When horses are stressed or feel isolated they will act out and bring you slightly more issues. Letting them socialize is a good idea keeping the stables side by side.

Another good feature of the American Barn is that it allows you a lot of space. You will have a lot of freedom to move around and store vehicles and storage along with your horses. Secondly, you can keep all of the feed and hay above the horses in the second level of the barn. This frees up a lot of space. Also, the open area of the American barn allows for natural sunlight and good ventilation.

A positive trait of American barns are under one roof, the stalls, the tack room, wash racks, feeding area, and working areas and storage. You can go from your horses to stall to the tack room without having to be exposed to the elements. When the weather acts up, you are protected from the elements and have no need to work outside. Once the weather clears up you are free to ride.

You will also appreciate an American barn for the fact that they house bathrooms for the people that work in and use the barn. This makes it an ideal work area where you won’t have to leave your working area to use the facilities. Also, the American barn provides a lot of space for storing cars, trucks, and farm vehicles. Not only that but they also offer you an opportunity to have an open working area where you can store tools that are used frequently.

One last benefit we will mention is that the close proximity of stables when an American barn design is used means services like plumbing and lighting can cost you less money to install when it comes to expenses compared to an open yard method which utilizes the stable boxes being spread throughout a much larger area.

Horses are generally happier in barns as they can socialise with others. Image credit: Peak Horse

Now there are also negative features of an American barn. Although there are not many, we will show you things you will need to know about before you make any decisions on whether you would like to feature a barn on your property. Take a look at the disadvantages below.

To begin with, when all the stables share the same airspace there is a risk of cross-contamination in an American barn. The risk is higher than that of a traditional yard where the stables are open to the elements and separated from neighboring boxes by a solid partition wall. Natural airflow is an ideal method to reduce the risks of cross-contamination. A suggested idea is to build the roof pitch of an American barn more than 30 degrees as to allow warm contaminated air to raise up and be ventilated from the ridge of the roof above.

Another negative that we can point out is that housing all the horses using side by side stables in an American Barn with an open area is that horses with dusty allergies can be effected from the spores of straw or hay that will be hovering within the air from the other adjoining horse stables.

This concludes the positives and negatives of using American barns. So the great news is you can get the very best possible home for your horses and not have to up sticks and move to America from UK to get your hands on a classic styled American barn.

We hope you have learned a thing or two that will help you with deciding if an American barn is suitable for usage.

Site Acknowledgements

The author gratefully recognises the following websites for use of their content via links, images and reference material:

How to improve an old kitchen by spray painting the doors

Give Your Kitchen a Facelift With These Simple Tricks!

In a kitchen it is normal to spill drinks or have food crumbs and stains here and there. Obviously, one does try to be careful but certain defects such as scratches may also make their way on kitchen doors and drawers, especially with little kids and pets. After some years your kitchen may have started looking rather shabby but this is just a matter of its outer shell, that is, the doors and drawers. These are mainly subjected to the most wear and tear after all, and if you were to check the kitchen carcasses you will notice that most likely they are still in a rather good condition. Therefore when considering all this it follows that in most cases there is really no need to remove the whole kitchen and end up forking out thousands so as to install a brand new one. Not to mention the time and mess involved to remove all the items within the cupboards, dismantle and get rid of the old kitchen, and install the new one.

A Painted Kitchen Before & After. Image credit: Klosteria

In reality you can greatly improve your old kitchen by simply undertaking a relatively minor project – spray painting or replacing the doors and drawers. You will be amazed at the big difference this will have on the kitchen’s look, not to mention the fact that it will be a good opportunity to change the colour and the style of your kitchen. Moreover, spray painting or replacing the doors will be a rather quick task when compared to installing a kitchen from scratch, and needless to say, it is much more affordable too. It is worth noting that one would need to take into account the material of the kitchen doors. Wood is the best surface for spray painting so if you have melamine coated MDF, replacing the doors is realistically your only option. If it is laminate, it is not a good idea to spray paint and you should shop around for replacement kitchen doors made to size instead. If you intend to spray your doors, glossy finishes are best removed by sanding first in order to have the paint bond more easily and prevent pealing.

Spray painting kitchen doors is one of the most popular DIY kitchen makeovers. For those who like DIY, it is fairly simple to do this. One will need to remove the old doors, and the knobs or handles and any hardware from them. It is also highly recommended to mark or label each one of them so as to avoid confusion when you install them later on.

One would then need to devote time on cleaning them properly. Grime and other residue is normal on kitchen doors as this is after all where cooking takes place and where there is a lot of vapour, steam and evaporation. Once the doors have been cleaned well, it will be easier to notice any defects that may be removed or tackled in one way or another. Certain scratches for instance may be filled with wood putty of the same colour.

Always Use Primer for a Smoother, Longer Lasting Finish. Image credit: Todays Homeowner

Next you would need to prime the doors. The preferred option is to use oil based primer for the best possible results. Next, you will start painting. Make sure to choose a good quality paint and to apply it evenly when spraying. Once it has dried, apply a second coating. Make sure to keep the room well ventilated and wear a mask.

Once you are done, enjoy your new kitchen doors! Simply install the handles and hardware and hang them onto your kitchen cabinets to have a practically brand new kitchen!

How To Find The Perfect Pair of Everyday Running Shoes

Choosing Your First Pair of Running Shoes

In most cases, as you buy running shoes, you are likely to find sales clerks who can help you find the right model for your type of workout and gait pattern. At the same time, you also need to have as much information regarding the type of shoe that best suits your needs.

Running shoes may appear similar, but they possess some very important differences.

General features of running shoes

  • They should provide extra cushioning because landing generates a force that is 11/2 to 3 times your body weight.
  • The outsoles should be long lasting and provide good traction on dirt and pavements
  • They should provide enough stability and ease of flexing at the ball of the foot.

So, what do you need to do as you shop?

Analyze your gait

You need to understand your gait pattern before you shop for shoes because manufacturers offer running shoes for every type of gait. Do your feet roll inward a lot or overpronate? Then you need motion-control or stabilizing shoes to ease the problem. Underpronators have a high arch while overpronators have a low one.

For a runner whose feet land mostly on the outside edge of a shoe or oversupinate, a cushioning shoe with an emphasis on shock absorption will be ideal.

If you have a pair of running shoes that is well-worn, carry it as you go shopping for another pair. An experienced sales clerk can easily look at the wear pattern and analyze your gait. This will help them recommend the right running shoe for you.

A Gait Analysis Illustration. Image credit: Lane Community College

Find a good fit

As you shop for running shoes, the fit is vital. If a shoe fits badly, you are likely to experience painful feet, discomfort, fatigue, and worse still, joint problems. It will also make such important features like cushioning and motion control less effective.

It is advisable that you go shopping late in the afternoon as your feet tend to swell toward the end of the day. As you fit the shoe, make sure you wear the kind of socks you will be wearing with it and feel for bumps, seams, and rough spots.

Running shoes should feel good right out of the box without having to force your feet into them.

Take a test run

Jog or walk a little in the store, and if possible, ask to be allowed to take them around the block once. If they allow it, ask to buy, then use the shoes briefly on the treadmill at home and return if they do not feel right. This will ensure that you end up with just the right shoe for your needs.

Think about orthotics

Do your feet get sore when you run or walk? Then it might be time for you to try orthotics. Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that replace the insoles. They might reduce a shoe’s cushioning, and it is important to consider if the problem can be solved with a new pair or new category of shoes.

Orthotics can be quite expensive.

Mizuno Wave Runner are a popular beginner’s running shoe. Image credit: Amazon

What features should you look for in running shoes?

A shoe that combines flexibility, stability, and cushioning is way better than one that does not. A lightweight and breathable shoe is also recommended. A good example is a brand like Mizuno running shoes that are generally considered to be very good all-round footwear for runners just starting out.

The sole

The sole is comprised of three layers, the outsole, the middle layer, and the insole

The outsole is the bottom layer and it should be made of carbon rubber which is highly durable. It should be patterned or grooved for traction and segmented for flexibility.

The middle layer is squishy and provides most of the cushioning. It should generally be made of shock absorbing foam, though it might also incorporate air sacs or gel and plastic torsion supports.

The insole or sock liner is the layer that is directly underfoot, and it should provide arch support and extra shock absorption. It is usually removable and washable.

The upper

This is the part of the shoe that is above the sole or the body of the shoe. The toe box at the front of the shoe should have enough room to leave about half inch space in front of the longest toe. They should also let your toes spread.

The rear should keep your heel from excessive slipping. If your feet sweat a lot, breathable shoes are the best for you, though less porous material is ideal if you will be running in the cold weather.


Some shoes have extra top eyelets that provide a snug fit at the ankle. Metal, plastic, or fabric, lacing loops make tightening of the laces easier. Round laces are preferable because flat ones are likely to come untied or loose.


If you are fond of jogging at dusk or dawn, reflective tabs on the upper will provide additional safety by reflecting car’s headlights. It makes you more visible to the motorist, therefore the chances of being hit are lower.

How to waterproof MDF sheets

Protect your MDF from moisture penetration

MDF sheets are commonly used to build all sorts of furniture as they are among the cheapest alternatives to wood. It is also very smooth and its surface is consistent, making it ideal for painting as well as when one needs to cut designs which are a bit more detailed. However, before starting to build anything with them, it is a good idea to waterproof MDF sheets. In such a way you would be protecting the sheets from getting damages should they be exposed to water, or moisture. Even though it is a known fact that MDF furniture should not be fitted in a bathroom, for instance, accidents may still happen, such as in the case of spillages and flooding. Hence, it is always a good idea to waterproof MDF sheets so as to reduce the possibility of having such furniture ending up useless or badly deformed once it is exposed to moisture or water.

Water can quickly and easily destroy MDF sheets. Image credit: Popular Woodworking

Waterproofing with paint

Various different types of sheets can be bought from an MDF supplier. It is also easy to find waterproof MDF sheets, which have already undergone the waterproofing process. However these will be more costly than normal MDF sheets. In reality you can waterproof your MDF sheets yourself quite easily and effortlessly.

In fact, waterproofing MDF sheets is neither difficult nor time consuming, and this is just what we shall be discussing hereunder. All it takes is painting the surface area of the MDF boards. One should use a moisture-resistant type of paint so as to create a permanent layer of waterproofing over the MDF sheet.

So basically you will need to buy moisture-resistant paint and later primer. You will also need a roller tray, roller tray liner, a roll cover, and a paintbrush. Simply insert the paint roller into the cover. A 3/8 inch roller cover is generally recommended for this job as it provides a good coverage of the paint onto MDF boards. Place the roller tray liner into the tray, and pour later primer into it. Then, start to apply the primer to the MDF board by using the paint roller. It is important that you allow the primer to dry well. It is best to allow at least six hours to pass.

Make sure you clean all the tools with water so as to remove the primer from the roller and the roller covers. Clean them well so as to be able to use them again later. Next, place the roller cover onto the paint roller, and a new layer of liner in the roller tray.

Now you can paint the boards with the moisture-resistant paint. For the edges you will need to use a paintbrush. The rest of the MDF boards can be painted quickly by using the paint roller. Allow the paint to dry for about four hours. Then it is best to apply a second layer of paint. In this way the coating is more properly applied and the boards will be well covered and waterproofed. Let the last layer of paint to dry for at least three days for best results. From then onwards you may allow your MDF boards to be used near areas where moisture is a bit high.

Adding waterproof sealant to MDF is easy. Image credit: Fine Woodworking

Waterproofing with sealant

Another way is to waterproof MDF boards by using a high quality wood sealant or stain. These are highly water repellent and so they will help the MDF boards to withstand moisture as well as humidity. Such sealants, stains and varnishes have the advantage of coming in various different colors. So it is also a good way to make your MDF boards get the color that you want, while also waterproofing them. MDF is often not considered to be ideal for exterior use. However there are some products which offer an all-year protection for exterior MDF. These offer a guaranteed protection against the elements, including rain and even sunlight. Once the sealant has been applied, it is always best to allow that layer to dry well and apply another coating, for best results.

By following these simple steps you can easily waterproof your MDF boards. From then on you are all set to start using those boards for your woodworking or DIY projects. As you can see there is no need to buy readily waterproofed MDF boards as you can easily waterproof them yourself in a very simple process that basically only involves some painting. The products are not that costly either, and they will make up for their cost when you consider how more resistant your MDF is going to be afterwards.

Choosing an Interior Designer for your London Home or Business

Finding your perfect creative partner

Have you ever heard about the importance of the role of a professionally certified interior designer?

If you want to redecorate your home and bring life to your interior, this is the exact person you need to help you.

Many people put off projects like this as they feel it will costs too much, cause huge levels of stress and just be a general inconvenience.

In fact, many people would rather call the removal men and just pack up and ship out – but wait!

An interior designer is able to transform your home – and the end result is a balanced, harmonious and enjoyable place to live or work in.

Now, there are many interior designers that specialize in interior redecorating, but there are also other types including interior arrangers, interior stylists, one-day decorators, visual coordinators or interior refiners.

Therefore, choosing the best interior designer can be a daunting experience.

However, we can help you make the right choice with our step-by-step process listed below. So, let’s start.

Step 1: Choosing a Certified Interior Designer

A certified interior designer is a professional who is qualified to design, prepare and submit any type of nonstructural and non seismic interior construction plan.

In case you thought that interior designers are just a bunch of creative people following the recent trends in design, that is definitely not true – although people like that sadly do exist.

A certified interior designer can not only help you choose the best styles for your home.

Moreover, such professionals will make sure that everything works together well aside from the visual impression.

This is a skill that only certified interior designers have, and is best demonstrated through their education, experience and knowledge of the Uniform Building Code.

Space planning, life safety, flammability and disabled access code issues are only some of the many standards that your interior must adhere to.

Step 2: Setting a Budget for the Interior Design Project

If you are wondering how does pricing work when it comes to interior design, you are not the only one.

Basically, interior designers can set the pricing on their own terms.

However, it is important that you come to a meeting point in terms of pricing.

The most common pricing options you can choose from include:

  • Flat Design Fee: Here, the client pays a flat fee for the professional interior designer’s services based on the time required, the design plan and the scope of their services.
  • Hourly Rate: Some interior designers can be hired on an hourly rate, where the interior decorator bills the negotiated rate per hour.
  • Cost Plus Method: Some of the professional interior designers charge a set percentage on all the merchandise you purchase and the tradesmen services your home requires.
  • Per Square Meter: There are also some interior decorators that charge per square meter, although this method is used especially in new construction.
  • Mixed Method: The mixed method is also a common one where the client pays a set percentage on the purchases and a base design fee for the hourly rate of the designer.

The bottom line of these models is to find one that works for you and always agree on it prior to the project.

Step 3: What To Ask Your Interior Designer?

At the first meeting, you should make sure to ask the following questions and be informed about these things:

  • The interior designer’s portfolio and previous works
  • The projects they worked on and their size
  • The budget range for every project similar to yours
  • How the established budget will be handled and what’s the best payment schedule method
  • The types of services the designer can provide
  • A list of references


Following this guideline will definitely help you find reliable interior design contractors in London.

However, you should also make sure to define some things on your own, including your budget, the activities that will take place in the space, the length of time you will occupy it as well as your vision of the entire project including your preferred colors, styles and accessories.

Affordable Reading Glasses: Why We All Need Them One Day

Close-up vision is very important. Unfortunately though, as we grow older, it is common to experience a gradual worsening in this vision. You may have started to experience difficulties when doing needlework, while reading a book or when you look at the computer screen. This is referred to as presbyopia.

Presbyopia is actually a natural part of the aging process, and it often starts at around age 40. In order to be able to see close-up objects, the eyes have to accommodate by changing the thickness of the lens. This is done while the ciliary muscles tighten, so that the light rays coming from objects close by can be brought into sharper focus on the retina. As we grow older, the lens becomes stiffer and less elastic. As a result, the lens will find it difficult to change its shape.

The first thing that comes to mind is that you may need a pair of affordable reading glasses. Sometimes non-prescription reading glasses, or readers, which are found in many drugstores will suffice. If not, you may need higher quality prescription glasses. Your eye doctor will be able to decide if you require bifocal, trifocal or progressive multifocal, depending on your needs. Sometimes monovision or multifocal contact lenses can also be helpful.

These are all non-surgical treatment options. Then, there are surgical eye treatments. The most common option in this case is the Monovision Lasik surgery. In this surgery one of the eyes is corrected for distance vision, while the other eye is left for near vision. Depth perception could be affected by this treatment, and there are also people who find it a bit difficult to get used to monovision.

Another surgical option is the refractive lens exchange. This is very similar to the cataract surgery, as the eye’s natural lens gets replaced with an artificial lens.

Correcting presbyopia is something that can be done. Consulting with an eye doctor is the best option as he or she will be able to suggest which treatment is most suitable for you, depending on your needs, budget, lifestyle and preferences. If you already have glasses, or use contact lenses, it is still important that you consult an eye doctor since prescriptions change over time, and even more so if you have presbyopia. People who spend plenty of time trying to focus on small objects may also develop presbyopia at a younger age.

Affordable Reading Glasses

Whey Protein Weight Loss: Does It Really Work?

You may have heard of the weight loss shakes or the whey protein shakes as effective agents of weight loss. Scientific studies have also confirmed that whey protein consumption leads to a significant decrease in body weight and notable increase in the lean muscle mass. Dieters and bodybuilders swear by them, even nutritionists and doctors recommend them for quicker weight loss and regulation of bodily functions.

So what are these whey and creatine protein shakes and how have they become universal answer to a healthier body? Let’s uncover some secrets about these shakes that are revolutionizing the natural health supplements market.

Whey proteins are natural by-products of milk. Milk contains two proteins – casein and whey – along with fats, and during the process of making cheese the casein and fats are converted into cheese while whey is separated as liquid combined with lactose and minerals. Whey is extracted from this liquid and used in health supplements in its powdered form. Usually available in flavored form to be blended with either water or milk, whey is a popular energy drink which is also used as a meal replacement supplement or in weight loss shakes by serious dieters.

Many health benefits have been ascribed to whey protein, if used as part of a regulated dietary plan. Prominent among these benefits are weight loss, lowering of cholesterol levels, helping the body build lean muscle mass, building stamina, improving the immune system, suppressing the appetite and fighting against cancer. When combined with creatine protein that increases the body’s capability to produce energy faster and therefore train for longer periods of time, whey is truly a potent health drink. Since they are the two most researched proteins by the health and sports industries, they are safe to be taken in recommended quantities and can truly help show incredible results in a short period of time.

Whey protein shakes are easy to make and convenient to use. They show immediate results, if taken in correct proportions with a balanced diet and moderate exercises, and are therefore extremely motivating for people who are aiming to reduce weight. Their usage is also associated with greater sense of overall well being and a generally healthy body. Since they are high-in-protein and low-in-fat drinks, they can be added to the calorie restrictive diets too, for added weight loss benefits. With minimal side effects and so many advantages, what’s not to like about these protein shakes?

Whey Protein Weight Loss