Finding new and unique home ideas has become a popular housing option lately, from tiny homes to treehouses to homes made completely out of shipping containers. Creating a home out of a barn is an extension of these unique home ideas. Barn to home renovations are a lot of work, but the end result is a unique, beautiful, and rustic home.
Before deciding on a barn to home renovation, it’s important to understand the basic necessities of this type of remodel, how to utilize a barn’s open space, focusing on window lighting, using its rustic feel to your advantage, and understanding the needed utilities for this type of structure. No matter how you go about creating a home out of your barn, the end result is sure to be lovely and one of a kind.
Photo courtesy of freshhome
Understanding the Basics
The basics of barn remodeling involve a lot more work than you might anticipate, and it’s different for every barn. Usually, barns tend to be more of a shell of a structure than most homes. They lack solid foundations, flooring, good barn insulation, and utilities. These basic necessities needed for any home are what makes barn to home renovations difficult and sometimes costly. The necessities needed to make your barn livable are similar to what needs to be done to winterize a barn, minus checking on the horses. Basically, barns are just simple structures that need a whole lot more meat added in order to make them livable.
Utilizing Open Space
Barns don’t tend to have many rooms and commonly open up to a big open space with stalls for horses and supplies. Once everything is ripped out, you’re left with a giant open room. This is basically a blank canvass for designing the rest of your home. Open floorplans are the dream for many homeowners, so having such an open space can be a blessing, but that much freedom can feel overwhelming. Many barns also have high ceilings that can either be kept as feeling open, or you can utilize your vertical space with a lofted room instead. Lay out your ideas and err on the side of simplicity in order to keep the open feeling in your home.
Photo courtesy of squarespace
In order to enhance the openness even more, consider what windows can do for your barn/home. Windows make any space feel even more open and comfortable, and with the open floor plan of a barn your home will feel three times bigger than it really is. Also, the added perk of natural light will help cut down on lighting and heating costs as well. The downside is cleaning giant windows, the added air conditioning if they let in too much heat, and a lack of privacy, so make sure you do your homework and research the pros and cons to adding different types of windows in your home.
The key in remodeling your barn into your home is to keep the basic structure and feel of your barn while adding all the comforts necessary in a home. The thing making your home different from any other structure or look you could have used is the barn itself, so try to keep some of the basic elements in play. This includes the basic A-framed structure, perhaps the double doors, and some of the support beams within the barn. Utilizing some décor that matches the theme will keep the feeling of your barn while allowing you to make it your own. Consider using burlap, heavy furniture, mason jars, or warm tones in order to keep with the tone of your barn. However, your home is your canvas and you can also mix and match styles to your liking.
Photo courtesy of heritagebarns
Many barns don’t have the basic necessities that homes are equipped with such as electricity, water, heat, sewer systems, etc. so you’ll need to make a plan to include these utilities in your home. Once you’ve figured out how to run these utilities to your barn turned dream home, decide on your fixtures and the design of your bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, outlets, etc. Take this time to blend beauty with practicality and choose an accessible shower or tub with a modern design, touch faucets, contemporary refrigerators, or energy-saving washers and dryers to go with your new home. The great part about a barn to home conversion is that there aren’t many preexisting fixtures or appliances to scrap or sell and you can start fresh.
Taking an old barn with a ton of character and a beautiful rustic feeling to it and converting it into your home is no easy task, but the reward is worth the effort. These homes are completely unique, full of history, and designed with each person’s artistic flair in mind. This type of home is one that you put your heart into creating and you feel accomplished when it’s finished. You won’t just be living in a house; you’ll be living in your own distinctive home that you’ve basically created from scratch.