Planning for your Wedding and Event Barn

wedding barn

Spring is in the air, and business owners and entrepreneurs alike are wondering how to take their wedding and event businesses to the next level. For all the opportunities they provide, barns that can be used as private event spaces have become a top trend in the industry. From rustic weddings to company parties, DC Structures knows what it takes to get your event space up and running.

Wedding and event barns are a versatile and profitable investment, but like most smart business ventures, they require planning, foresight and upfront costs in order to be successful. While some people might be tempted to wing it on their own, the use of an experienced general contractor guarantees that your project will be executed in a professional and compliant manner. Below are some of the main considerations that go into establishing a private event space.

One crucial step in the planning process involves contacting county and state officials to request local guidelines for public venues in your area. Consulting with architects and business owners that are familiar with the permitting process can also be helpful. This will enable you to ascertain whether your property is properly zoned for year-round events, or if local specifications call for expensive safety equipment such as an emergency sprinkler system.

Going through the motions to understand and comply with local regulations and permit requirements can be annoying and time consuming, but it’s better to get ahead of any potential hurdles down the road. It’s always going to be more expensive to deal with problems in retrospect than to meet them head on with proper planning.

If a wedding and event barn is part of your business plan, you should open a line of communication with your bank or other financial institutions to see what options are available. Many aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs are often surprised to find that they qualify for small business loans and other incentives. Chances are, your bank will also recognize your plans for a private event space as a smart investment with high potential.

Between permits and financing to design and construction, building a wedding and event barn is no small task. That said, relying on a general contractor you can trust will go a long way toward easing the burden of getting your private event space off the ground. After all is said and done, you can rest easy knowing your business plays a role in memorable occasions for your customers.

Thinking about a wedding and event barn for your scenic property or small business? Request a digital catalog from DC Structures to get started on your dream.


Project Preview: Oregon City Covered Riding Arena and Barn with Living Quarters

covered riding arena

At any given time, DC Structures has a number of projects under construction across the U.S. These range from residential homes and apartment barns to large-scale commercial operations such as athletic centers and event spaces. Once in a blue moon, we get a unique and rare opportunity to blur the lines a bit by designing and building a massive residential complex.

Currently, DC Structures is collaborating with its parent company DC Builders to finish construction on a custom mega-facility that consists of a barn with upstairs living quarters attached to a covered riding arena. It is our largest residential project to date, and it dwarfs several of our prior commercial structures.

Nestled on a large, scenic footprint in Oregon City, Oregon, this sizable hybrid structure measures a whopping 276’ x 138’. The covered riding arena is a DC Structures Prairie 90’, replete with the whole gamut of equestrian necessities. The sprawling indoor-outdoor facility provides ample space for year-round riding, with 90’ x 204’ of space to roam rain or shine.

Attached to the arena is a custom barn with sweeping upstairs living quarters, which was designed by DC Builders. The main level consists of six horse stalls, a feeding aisle, grooming, wash and grain stalls, powder and viewing rooms, as well as additional hay, bedding and equipment storage. In short, anything and everything you could possibly need to pursue your equestrian lifestyle.

The elegant upstairs home is a spectacle in its own right, boasting 4,635 sq. ft. of luxurious living quarters. A 344 sq. ft. deck overlooks the property, while a 430 sq. ft. viewing area gives spectators access to the arena. Four bedrooms, three bathrooms and sizable bonus room are complemented by a huge open-concept living, dining and kitchen space. Practical features include large laundry and pantry rooms, and a storage room that is accessible from the viewing platform.

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DC Structures is proud to be involved in bringing our clients’ dream buildings to life. We’d love to turn your plans for the future into concrete and wooden reality! Request our digital catalog to get started today!


Post and Beam vs. Post Frame: Which Framing Method is Better for Your Barn Kit?

Navigating the complex vocabulary of barn construction can be a daunting task. While familiarizing yourself with industry terms like “dormers” and “cupolas” is useful, it’s crucial to understand a few fundamental concepts before embarking on your barn project. Notably, “post and beam construction” and “post-frame construction” are two construction methods often mistaken for one another due to their similar names. At DC Builders, we offer both as framing options for our barn kits, each with distinct advantages and drawbacks.

What is Post and Beam Construction? 

Post and beam construction is a centuries-old building practice that utilizes heavy timbers joined by metal fasteners to form the frame of a structure. Like timber framing, post and beam construction uses large timbers in place of dimensional lumber to create dramatically open interiors that are generally free of structural constraints. Due to the strength of these heavy timbers, post and beam structures do not require load-bearing walls to support the upper floors and roof system. This construction method also sees that the exterior walls of the building are positioned on the outside of the frame. As a result, our clients can enjoy the look of exposed wood members in nearly every area of their barn. 

The Pros of Post and Beam 

Aside from their obvious beauty, there are several benefits to building a post and beam barn on your property, including: 

Structural Integrity

One of the major selling points of this construction style is its superior structural integrity, considering post and beam buildings are some of the most durable structures built today. At DC Structures, we use select-grade Douglas fir — one of the best wood types for residential and commercial construction in North America — as our standard framing material for our post and beam structures. Grown here in the Pacific Northwest, these specialty timbers will keep your barn standing strong and looking beautiful for generations to come. 

Design Freedom

Another notable benefit to post and beam construction is its open-ended design, considering there are no pesky load-bearing walls to work around inside your building. With only minimal wood posts to consider as part of your design, you have complete freedom to do as you wish with your interior area. The lack of load-bearing walls in a post and beam building also means clients can place their windows, doors, and horse stalls wherever they see fit in their space. With this extra flexibility, you can explore endless options for your barn interior. 

Efficient Construction

Lastly, our post and beam barn kits make construction easy and efficient for our clients and their builders. Thanks to our Simple Build System, every piece of framing lumber used to create your exterior walls, floor components, and roof arrives pre-cut, drilled, and labeled on your job site. As a result, our clients can enjoy a framing process that takes far less time, money, and labor than a conventionally framed structure while guaranteeing the highest quality results for your project.   

The Cons to Post and Beam 

Upfront Cost

While there are minimal setbacks to building a post and beam barn for your property, something that can deter people from investing in a post and beam structure is their upfront cost. Because post and beam buildings are more costly to construct than many metal-built, stick-built, and post-frame barns, these structures may be out of reach for some buyers interested in building a barn kit. However, it’s worth mentioning that post and beam buildings are far more likely to retain their appearance and durability over time than cheaper alternatives, making them a long-lasting, worthwhile investment for those who can afford their initial price tag. With a post and beam barn, you can expect your structure to last you decades, if not centuries while increasing in value over time. 

What is Post Frame Construction? 

Commonly associated with pole barns, post-frame structures are pre-engineered, wood-framed buildings that typically use large pressure-treated wood posts or laminated columns to create the structural frame. This construction method relies on the strength of its wood posts or columns to support the upper floors and roof system, with these members often embedded directly in the ground or added on a monolithic slab. Many low-rise buildings like warehouses and agricultural facilities are post-frame structures, considering these buildings tend to employ heavy-duty trusses to create wide-open expanses free of interior posts or walls. In fact, when combined with clear span truss construction, a post-frame building provides the ideal framework for an indoor riding arena, as it ensures riders can enjoy an unobstructed and protected space for them and their horses. 

The Pros of Post Frame

Open Interiors and Ease of Construction

Like post and beam construction, post-frame construction is known for its open interiors and ease of construction. Thanks to its interlocking frame and support columns, a post-frame structure does not require load-bearing walls, resulting in wide-open interiors that are malleable to one’s vision. Post-frame buildings are also easy to construct, considering these structures are often pre-engineered to facilitate a fast and efficient framing process. 


A big reason why people like post-frame barns is because these structures offer a low-cost yet wide-ranging alternative to other more costly building methods. Because post-frame barns require fewer structural materials than post and beam and conventionally-framed structures, these buildings are usually much cheaper and faster to build by comparison. This construction method is also suitable for large, low-rise buildings, making it the ideal solution for commercial, agricultural, and industrial applications. With its versatile interiors, durable framework, and relatively inexpensive price tag, post-frame buildings are a worthy consideration for many buyers in the market for a barn.  

The Cons to Post Frame

Structural Limitations

Although post-frame barns might seem like a better investment than post and beam structures to some, there are a few downsides to these buildings that buyers should be aware of before making their decision. For instance, post-frame buildings are typically designed as low-rise structures due to their simple framework and cheap cost to build. While these structures can function as multi-level buildings, their minimal structural frame makes it so that any significant design changes like adding an upper level or basement would require major engineering upgrades and structural modifications that would drive up the overall building cost. 

In essence, what you see is what you get in many ways with post-frame structures. That being said, our designers can always work with your design, location, and need requirements to ensure your post-frame structure looks and performs according to your vision. 

Regional Suitability

In addition to its structural constraints, post-frame structures aren’t naturally suited to every location. These structures are mostly constructed in regions with temperate climates, as their standard frame isn’t built to adequately handle heavy snow loads, tornadoes, or other extreme weather events. Even so, there are ways to protect your structure in any event, namely by utilizing larger timbers and rafters as part of your design or adding reinforcements to your foundation, siding, or roof material. Again, this will drive up the cost of your final building package. However, with DC designing your post-frame structure, you can trust our team to deliver a quality solution that tackles these setbacks and more.

Making Your Decision

The choice between a post and beam barn and a post-frame barn ultimately comes down to your preference and the plans you have for your structure. If you’re seeking an economical building that’s generally easy and cheap to construct, a post-frame barn may be the right solution for its intended purpose. However, if you’re looking for a more durable, well-rounded structure with endless versatility, a post and beam barn could be the perfect addition to your lot. 

DC Structures has a proven record of success in designing and producing wood structures that last. Take a look at our catalog to see how we can transform your vision into a reality. 

Dressing Up Your Wedding Barn

wedding barn

There’s a common misconception that buying a pre-engineered kit means your structure will be a cookie cutter project, but that doesn’t have to be the case! With some help from the DC crew and a little imagination, you can totally personalize any kit to be the exact venue you are looking for. With so many options and upgrades to choose from, building your dreams is easy.

Personal touches that make a building your own is without a doubt one of the funnest parts part of planning a new addition to your property. From the doors and windows to the actual door handles themselves, there are countless ways to personalize your structure. Here are just a few examples of what you might consider:

  • Beautiful siding options, including Western red cedar, Douglas fir and DC Barnwood, to give your building’s exterior the rustic aesthetic you seek
  • Elegant timber-framed stairs to make an impressive entrance
  • Handcrafted trusses that give your wedding barn a classic prairie cabin feel
  • Both classic and modern options for doors and windows, including Classic Equine barn-styles and French patio doors
  • Decks and dormers for additional event space and breathtaking views

We personalize our buildings to reflect who you are and what you do. Our options and upgrade packages cater your design to accommodate the clients you are looking to attract, while also providing flexibility for different events and services. Every business owner and property is unique, and we want to make sure the building they receive speaks to that individuality.

As a wedding and events space host, your top priority is to provide your guests with a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s your job to make sure they see everything they need in your venue, from the big-picture vision to day-of details that make all the difference. That’s why it’s so important to curate a wedding and event barn that stands out far and above with custom features that are sure to delight.

Ready to make a splash in the wedding and events industry? Request a digital catalog to get started on a wedding barn today!

5 Tips to Promote Your Wedding and Event Barn

wedding barn

The practice of matrimony has been around in some form or another for thousands of years, so it’s safe to assume your wedding and event business has some longevity to look forward to. Below are five tips to help your wedding barn business find a happily ever after of its own.

Buy Real Estate Online

Whether people are searching for wedding and event venues or a new place to grab happy hour nearby, they will undoubtedly turn to an internet search. Make sure your business is well represented on the internet with an attractive and informative website. Splurge on a custom build or DIY with web-design services from sites like Squarespace—with so many accessible options, there’s no excuse!

Invest in Spectacular Photography

Wedding day pictures are worth thousands of words—and thousands of dollars, as well! More than anything, prospective clients are looking to understand how your event space can transform into the perfect wedding venue. Make it a priority to spring for high-quality photos that will spark excitement and imagination in brides and grooms to be.

Generate Buzz on Social Media

Whether you’re personally on social media networks or not, your business needs to be. Maintaining a social posting schedule can seem like a daunting chore, but there are plenty of low-maintenance ways to stay present in followers’ feeds. Allow your guests to be a part of the online conversation with reposts and hashtags, and use that killer photography you paid for to push promotions and tell stories. Who knows, you might even find social media to be fun!

Offer a Variety of Prepackaged Options

Some clients will want to plan their entire wedding by themselves, and some will be looking for a little or a lot of help. Either way, customers will appreciate that you are thinking about how to connect them to relevant resources. Build relationships with other vendors and find ways to collaborate on packaged service offerings.

Check in With Your Guests

This probably goes without saying, but always make sure your clients are happy with what they are paying for. A little communication can go a long way, so don’t be afraid to show your guests you care about their special day by making sure they are content throughout the process. When people are happy with the service they receive, they are more likely to leave positive reviews, tell their friends about your services and bring their business back for the next event. Word of mouth is one of the most trusted and effective marketing tools, so make sure people are saying great things!

Ready to take your wedding and event business to the next level? Request a digital catalog to get started on a wedding barn today!


Summer Wedding Trends: Wedding Barn Bells Are Ringing

wedding barn

Church weddings aren’t for everyone, but a wedding barn ceremony could be! Imagine a rustic barn on a hill, with fabric, flowers and lights draped over exposed wood beams made from the Pacific Northwest’s finest timbers. You can smell fresh cedar in the air, and hear the buzzing sounds of nature just outside. For many people, this is church; and for some, it’s even better.

Wedding barn ceremonies like this have been trending upwards in recent years, but the atmosphere they provide is timeless. Whether you’re looking for a barn in which to say “I do,” or for the crown jewel of your up and coming wedding and event business, DC Structures has flexible wedding barn designs that can work for you.

Wedding Barn ‘I dos’: Make Vows in Style

Summer weddings have always been popular, which means finding a venue during those warmer months can be difficult to do. That’s without the stress of securing an event space that fits the wedding party’s desired aesthetic. Few spaces can offer the ability to customize a ceremony in the way that a wedding barn does.

Far more permanent than a simple pop-up tent, wedding barns are dependable spaces that can be utilized for a number of special occasions. Wedding barns impart an elegant balance of tradition, fun and creativity to anyone’s special day, all in a memorable setting that is sure to dazzle. Barn wedding ceremonies can be as casual or classy as the bride and groom choose, with modern amenities that make logistical planning a piece of wedding cake.  

A tasteful space with bucolic flair, barn-style wedding and event spaces offer a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs and landowners alike. Designed in our signature post-and-beam style, a wedding barn from DC Structures is a long-term investment that will give the gift of wedding day memories for a hundred years or more.

Thinking about a wedding barn for your scenic property? Request a digital catalog to get started today!


Project Preview: Lake Elsinor Apartment Barn

apartment barn

Nationwide barn kit company DC Structures has apartment barn projects under construction all over the country. We guarantee our clients builder support throughout the duration of their build, but we also keep in touch simply because we enjoy watching their plans take shape.

Building relationships with the people who buy our apartment barn kits is a cornerstone of our business model. If you’re looking for a company to sell you a pre-engineered materials package and never contact you again, DC Structures probably isn’t the kit company for you.

Learn more about our process here!

Lake Elsinor Apartment Barn

Southeast of Los Angeles, California is a large freshwater lake known as Elsinor. While L.A. calls to mind scenes of bumper-to-bumper traffic and smog-saddled skies, Lake Elsinor and the town that shares its name offers a departure from city life that is pleasantly serene.

Coming soon to Lake Elsinor’s scenic landscape is one of DC Structures’ most popular designs: an Oakridge 60’ apartment barn.

This hybrid barn home features all the necessary equestrian amenities on the ground floor—including one horse stall, feed and tack rooms, as well as a laundry room, office and half bath. Upstairs sits a large three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, replete with an additional office.

Take a look at this project in the photos below!

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Thinking about an apartment barn for your own property? Request a digital catalog and start laying the groundwork today!

Barn Workshop Kits: Grow Your Business

barn workshop kits

Ready to take your business to the next level? Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty work space or a place to conduct your business operations—or both!—the versatile barn workshop kits from DC Structures are a durable and cost-effective solution to your company’s needs.

This spacious home business workshop outside Seattle, Washington is a shining example of how our barn workshop kits can help small companies grow. Starting with a Powell monitor barn kit, these clients opted for a number of modifications and upgrades to satisfy the requirements for their business operations.

In addition to widening the structure by 10 feet for additional square footage, this workshop is reinforced with double-wall constructions. A heavy timber frame center-aisle loft makes for a great vantage point to oversee production, as well as extra storage space.

See for yourself in the photos below!

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Thinking about a barn workshop kit for your own home business? Request a digital catalog and start building your dreams today!

Finishing Touches: Barn Home Accessories

barn home accessories

The process of designing and building a new structure is a lot of work, but it’s not all doom and gloom! Personalizing your structure with barn home accessories is where the fun comes into play, as no house or horse barn would be complete without them.

Barn home accessories can be both functional and aesthetic, allowing you to individualize your project both internally and externally. From barn toppers and ventilation to the lighting fixtures that illuminate your structure, we make it easy to make your kit your own.


Cupolas are an iconic addition to any barn or barn-style structure, and are often an identifying feature for classic barn designs. Serving as an extra skylight, cupolas provide more opportunities for natural light to pour into the space. If positioned appropriately, a small spiral staircase can lead up to the cupola, which will then double as a lookout.

Weather Vanes

An alternative or accompanying barn topper to cupolas, weather vanes are also a symbolic barn identifier. Weather vanes are purely decorative, and can be customized to suit your building’s desired aesthetic. Whether you choose the traditional rooster or a quirkier icon such as a pineapple or a mermaid, your weather vane will inevitably add character to your barn or home.


A big trend in building is to optimize natural lighting. Not only is this a more cost effective way to think about lighting a space, it’s simply more attractive. Skylights and large windows strategically placed throughout your barn or barn-style home will keep your structure safely well lit. Once the sun goes down, though, we’ve got plenty of options to point you toward for durable and attractive lighting fixtures.


A well ventilated barn is key to your horse’s health. If you choose to use the top of your barn for storage, we’d recommend opting for Barnstormer fans to keep the air circulating.

Horse Proofing Your Barn

Animal safety should be the number-one consideration for any barn. Our horse barn accessories are non-slippery, safe and easy to clean, and will go a long way toward keeping your horses happy and healthy.

Thinking about barn home accessories for the structure you have yet to build? Request our digital catalog to get started on your dream building today!

Video: Michigan Workshop with Living Quarters

michigan workshop with living quarters

This beautiful Michigan workshop with living quarters is a stunning example of the versatility of our post and beam building kits. Starting with an Oakridge 60’, this apartment barn design was modified to serve as a functional home base during hunting season.

This heavy-duty workshop with living quarters features a five-door garage that provides ample work space and storage on the ground floor. Upstairs, 1,800 sq. ft. of cozy living space includes a bunk area, wet bar and gaming area.

Thinking about your own workshop with living quarters? Request our digital catalog to get started on your dream building today!

First Impressions: Wood or Hardie Siding Options

siding options

When you choose between siding options for your house or barn, you’re deciding on the first impression of that building for years to come. What kind of message are you trying to send?

Nationwide barn kit company DC Structures boasts an innovative line of flexible and functional post and beam building packages. We fully support your individuality, which is why we offer a versatile selection of options and upgrades that enable you to personalize your structure. That includes siding options for the exterior of your barn or barn-style home!

There are two general routes people go when choosing their siding: wood or hardie. Wood sidings tend to require more upkeep over time while hardie is generally more low-maintenance. If you’re willing to put in the effort to maintain it, the benefits of wood siding are all in the rustic elegance it imparts. That said, the siding you choose should work for your desired aesthetic and lifestyle.

Wood Siding Options

Cedar Board and Batten siding package

Cedar board and batten siding is the standard offering for our barn home and apartment barn kits. This beautiful and durable siding choice features 1” x 10” visual-grade, tight-knot Western red cedar boards and 1” x 3” battens with smoothed edges.

Doug Fir Tongue and Groove siding package

Doug fir tongue and groove siding is the standard offering for all our horse barn kits, and is frequently selected as an upgraded covering for interior walls and ceilings. This beautiful wood siding works well with a range of vibrant stain colors.

Cedar Tongue and Groove siding package

Cedar tongue and groove siding is offered as an upgrade from the standard Doug fir tongue and groove package. Western red cedar is celebrated for its rich color, straight grain and its natural resistance to the elements.

DC Barnwood siding package

DC Barnwood siding is new cedar that has been treated to resemble reclaimed barn wood. Less expensive than actual recovered barn wood and easier to obtain in large quantities, DC Barnwood is available in more than a dozen colors.

Hardie Siding Options

Hardiepanel siding package

Hardiepanel vertical siding is available in four textures, including stucco. More fire resistant than wood, hardiepanel requires less maintenance over time. With dozens of colors to choose from, this siding option comes with a 30-year transferable warranty.

Hardieplank siding package

Hardieplank lap siding is available in dozens of textures and colors. Requiring less maintenance over time, hardieplank is also more fire resistant than wood. This siding option comes with a 30-year transferable warranty.

Curious to know how you can make one of our kits your own? Request our digital catalog and imagine the possibilities!

Easy on the Hooves: Tips for Planning Horse Arena Footing

Arena footing—sounds easy enough, right? Decisions surrounding the footing you choose for your riding arena are a lot more complicated than you might think. Poor footing will subject your horse to an increased risk of injury and long-term degenerative problems. As such, footing selections call for an informed and measured approach that takes a variety of factors into consideration.

When evaluating any arena footing material, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kind of maintenance will this footing require?
  • Do the pros of using this material outweigh the cons?
  • Does this footing make sense for its intended use?
  • Will this material interact well with the natural environment?
  • Is it possible to combine this footing with additional materials for a better effect?

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Of course, any equestrian knows that caring for horses is no easy task! So long as you are guided by the will to create a safe environment for horses and their riders, everything—including dirt, sand and wood—will settle into place just fine. That said, some aspects of your arena footing are non-negotiable.

All arena footing must be absolutely:

  • Free of holes and uneven or shifting surfaces
  • Stable yet shock absorbent
  • Non-slippery and well-tractioned

Arena footings that meet these three necessary requirements can be comprised of a variety of materials—both natural and synthetic—as well as a combination of footing types. While there are countless products and formulas on the market, the most common footing materials are made from clay- or silt-based dirt, sand or wax coated sand, and wood products or natural and synthetic fibers. The arena footing materials you choose should be right for your regional environment and equestrian discipline.

Before you even think about choosing an arena footing, you must have 100 percent confidence in your riding arena’s base. Solid arena bases adhere to high standards for the three D’s: drainage, durability and depth. If you live in a wet region or know your arena will be getting lots of traffic, it may be necessary to go beyond standard recommendations.

  • Drainage: Opt for a strong base that will enable water to seep into the ground rather than flood the surface.
  • Durability: Make sure your base is compacted above a 90 percent density so it will hold its integrity and keep rocks from creeping to the top.
  • Depth: Keep your base layer at no less than four inches deep and up to one foot deep if your equestrian activities call for more support.

Thinking about a horse arena of your own? DC Structures offers two covered riding arena kits for year-round equestrian enthusiasts. Check out our Prairie arena kit and our Canyon arena with stables package. Request our digital catalog so you can get started on your dream arena.