Lets say, you have an old barn and think it would be a great place to live. How do you start? Looking at all that space can be overwhelming when you consider all the work that needs to be done to make it into livable space. That is why it would be best to start small.
When converting an old barn into a barn home, your first step should be talking to a designer. They will be glad to help you turn the barn's floor plan into a functional and usable space for you and your family. They will be able to add all the elements you need to make it completely yours. One thing to consider when converting a barn into a home is that the main timbers of the barn must stay in place. You will need to work with the rustic nature of the barn and try to incorporate its unique features into your design. Make those beautiful beams and poles a part of the look you're creating instead of trying to hide them.
Old barns are framed with sets of timbers called bents. The spaces between these bents are called bays. A typical bay can be anywhere from 10-18 feet wide and 30-50 feet long. One or two bays should be enough space to start your home. If your barn has a hay loft you can use that as a second floor giving you double the square footage of living space.
Start by enclosing a small section of your barn and finishing that space. Be sure to leave any timbers and supports in place. All of the timbers in a post and beam barn are important to the structure of the whole building.
You can use many of the same materials that you would use in a conventional home. Such as
- hardwood flooring
- ceramic tile
- and granite
Use your imagination and create a look and feel that reflects your own unique style.
Take advantage of the wide open spaces that the old barn's post and beam construction allows. Create a spacious great room for entertaining. Add a stone fireplace and some large windows. Make a living space that will amaze your guests.