We're finally working inside the barn, getting the staining done, stall mats down and phoning footing manufacturers.?Trying go to the DIY route is tough to do when you also have to earn a living!? Plus, you want to ride, too. It's worth it, though.? I'm finally convinced we have a good base for the arena. We need to add four inches of compacted stone dust, and we need to pound that (that boggled my mind a bit until I learned?you can rent something to do that). Next comes the two to three inches of real footing, and that's proving to be expensive.? At the moment, I think we're looking at $6,000 for the actual footing for?our 60 x 80 indoor. We did save on the electric, as my husband tackled the job himself.?The worst part was running the underground electric line into plastic conduits and then burying it. It sounds much?easier than it is, and we now understand how?labor bumped the electric-installation bids to $12,000. Notes to anyone looking planning to build a new barn: 1)??? Figure on spending at least 25% beyond the bid for the actual building. In fact, if you get away with that, you're lucky. Be prepared.?If you spread yourself too thin financially, it won't be as much fun. 2)??? Check everything on the building?contract thoroughly before you sign. Look for really specific items like, ??install water lines and connect to existing water, three faucets, electric installation and hook up, three aisle lights, three loft lights,?number of doors and location,?all rocks required for the base, concrete aisle and sidewalks,?three stalls with grills with feeding hole?and doors? ? in other words, if it's not in that contract specifically the way you want it, you may not get it. 3)? Trust only what's?written on the contract, because that's all that will be done. 4) A new barn is worth the sacrifice, frustration and stress you go through during the building. But don't rush into it. Plan carefully and know exactly what you need.