stall mats

These simple, low-cost bleachers are easy to construct and really fit the bill for us at Sweet Pepper Ranch, providing a nice arena viewing area for guests and visitors.
Photo by Alayne Blickle

Our horse property, Sweet Pepper Ranch, is a guest ranch and horse motel. That means we need to have certain amenities in place and are always shopping around for low-cost, effective ideas for making our place nier and more useable. These simple, low-cost bleachers are easy to construct and really fit the bill for us, providing a nice arena viewing area for guests and visitors. The version we built cost us about $1,200, including the labor we hired out

Materials:
Treated wood:
          4 – 2 x 8 x 8 treated boards for the seats 
          4 – 2 x 6 x 8 treated boards for bracing under seats
          2 –2 x 10 x 10 treated boards for side boards
          3 – 4 x 4 x 8 treated boards for corner posts
Wood screws
Miscellaneous scrape pieces of wood to be used as braces for seats.

Tools needed:
Carpenter's lever
Cordless drill
Circular saw

The process:
 1) Dig holes to bury 4x4s for four corners of structure. Using string, even out all four corners so that they are square to each other and even. Concrete can be used to stabilize corners.
 2) After concrete has set, attach 2x10 side boards from front to back on each side of bleachers. Choose the angle you want, but keep in mind that this effects the seating arrangement; steeper will allow you to have the seats closer together without having as much space between seats.
 3) Attach rows of seats appropriate distances apart (with the materials listed here you will end up with four rows of seats.) Use a carpenter level when installing.
 4) With seats in place, "T" the 2 x 6 under the 2 x 8 seat row as a brace for stability.
 5) Use the smaller pieces of wood under the seat row to attach on the side boards for added support.
 6) Repeat process for the number of seats you’d like.

This is how we did ours at Sweet Pepper Ranch but there are many variations on how this kind of a project can be assembled. Some variations you can choose from: wider width seats (i.e. use bigger boards), use pre-constructed stringers on the diagonal where seats aware attached, rows can be all seats, etc.

Happy seating!


Alayne