For some people, choosing a new home is all about bedrooms, bathrooms and a stand-out kitchen, for the Stebbings family in Kent, the focus was on space for horses, stables and dance studio.
As a recent customer of Olson, we caught up with the family to get an insight into the buildings they chose, their layout, design and any advice they had for others.
- L Shaped Stable Block
- 2 x 14′ x 12 and 1 x 12′ x 12′
- Large Wash Bay with Drainage
- Large Feed & Tack Room
- 4ft Canopy and OTB 2 Specification
- Onduline Roofing
- Concrete Base with Drainage
- Dance Studio with Insulation, Boarding, Windows & Doors
Having only moved in a few months ago and with stables already established, it is clear that the stables were top priority. In fact, working with Spencer at Olson they had everything lined up and planned before completing on the house purchase.
Like many customers, they had very specific requirements in terms of layout, size and design. One of the main benefits they found with Olson Timber Buildings is they could discuss what they wanted with the person who would manage the build and install the stables, in order to make their long desired plans a reality.
The main horse rider in the family is Libby, a bright and very passionate dressage rider who is obsessed with perfection, tidiness and horses being well cared for. Previously her horses were based at a local DIY livery yard, needing a parent to drive her to and fro, taking hours out of her day where a normal teenager would be studying, partying, or in this case riding. They chose the house as it already had a sand school, enough grazing and would cut down wasted hours. The downside were the existing, ramshackle stables that were somewhat unsafe.
In one of the quickest Olson deliveries to date, the stables were planned, price agreed, footings laid and buildings installed in about 5 weeks.
Beginning with a site visit, Spencer was able to help make some suggestions and design tweaks as well as assess the lay of the land and plan the footings and drainage.
Laying the slab took 4 or 5 days which involved digging out quite a large area as the land leads off to a slope, adding hardcore and then a two-part pouring of concrete for the base, hardstanding in front and pathways down the slope for school and paddock access.
The stables were pre-constructed offsite in the Olson workshops to ensure consistency and quality, before being delivered and installed over a couple of days.
Extras? Well Libby is a real dynamo and puts in that little bit of extra time to make sure everything is just so. The wash bay area has a simple gas water heater installed so that horses can be washed down after riding, as well as offering an ideal area to tack-up. The adjoining tack and feed room are perfectly ordered with cupboards, saddle cloths, rugs and feed bins. There’s also plenty of space for storing shavings bales.
CCTV has been installed so that the parents can keep an eye on things from the house, happy in the knowledge that should something happen they can see. Good quality exterior lighting and networking has also been installed, one of the reasons that added boarding was chosen for the 4ft overhang to keep wires nicely hidden.
Chrissie and H have another daughter, Morgan, who is equally passionate about her future in dance, as Libby is with riding. So much so, that Olson were asked back after the first installation, to construct a dance studio to sit alongside the stables.
The dance studio is still work in progress. Crafted in the Olson workshop, the building includes insulation, double glazed doors, windows and a sprung floor. Based on an OTB2 Studio, the size, shape and finish are bespoke. With one wall set to be mirrored (installation scheduled after our photographer’s visit) this will be a great dance studio with room to practice, use gym equipment and enjoy some personal space.
Would they do anything differently?
If they had a slightly larger budget, they would have chosen a Tapco tiled roof. However they are already planning an oak framed carriage house as their next timber project, so keeping some funds aside for that, as well as some much needed renovations to their new house.
It was great to see how their new stables and dance studio have transformed their lives; there’s no more commuting, dealing with shared spaces, messy yards or struggling to practice dance moves in the living room.