How To Turn Your Old Barn Into a Home | Featured |

2022-06-15 10:43:19 By : Mr. Leon Chen

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If you own a property with an old barn on it, you may have decided to get better use out of it and convert it into a home. This is an excellent opportunity to create a blend of modern beauty with country charm, but these projects come with challenges. 

Follow the steps below to get an idea of what to expect when transforming these older structures.

If your property already has a barn, this step isn't for you. For prospective homeowners wanting this style of residence to call home, the best place to start your search is with local realtors. For example, pole barn homes in Peru, IN , are a growing trend, so working with an agent already familiar with the area will prove helpful and can fine-tune your search. 

Most lenders don't offer conventional mortgages for barn conversions because these projects usually don't meet the guidelines for the allowed property types and the appraisal process. Barn homes are still a newer trend, so an appraiser may be hard-pressed to find a comparable property in your area. 

USDA loans, builder in-house financing, and possibly taking out an equity-based loan may be your best options. Plus, if you can make a large down payment, traditional lenders may work with you, though the appraisal factor may still be a roadblock. 

Another important factor you should research before buying a barn property is zoning. Local and state governments have specific requirements for the home types allowed in certain areas. For example, some parishes in Louisiana no longer allowed manufactured homes. 

Make sure you reach out to your local zoning department to find out what, if any, regulations you need to comply with and the building permits required to convert your barn into a home. Failing to take this step could mean all of your hard work being wasted, fines getting incurred, and possibly losing the property altogether. 

Many barns are pole-style and have their supports buried directly into the ground. Have a building engineer survey the stability of the structure to determine what additional structural modifications are necessary to make it safe to reside in. For example, walls can only bear so much load, and roofs may need further underpinning. These aren't uncommon findings since these buildings were designed to store animals and supplies, not humans and furniture.

While a barn already provides sectioned-out spaces, walls, and a roof, you still have to think big picture. Where will your plumbing and electrical run? What would a stairwell look like? Can you install skylights on the roof? 

You want to maximize the potential of this structure while holding on to its original appeal. An architect or designer familiar with barn homes will prove invaluable in determining what will and won't work in your future home. 

The whole point of converting a barn into a residence is its aesthetic and use of space. One of the primary characteristics that many barndominium owners hold onto is the support beams, roof, and distinguishing exterior features. If you can strike the right balance between new and old, the property will retain a genuinely original and highly-prized look that buyers will pay top dollar for later. 

Climate control and weather resistance are two essential conversion milestones to decide on before any renovation begins. While you will probably want to hold onto the structure's external walls, what they are constructed from can impact the type of insulation you need. For example, some barn walls are simply wooden, while others use a combination of stone, metal, and timber. 

It would be best to plan for moisture control since insulation alone won't stop moisture from developing within your new home. However, waterproof membranes between the insulation and sheetrock may prove useful in this situation. And don't forget your floors will also have similar issues!

Most barns don't come with any utility services already installed. You may have a well nearby, but you don't want to live like Little House on the Prairie. So as soon as you find a property you like, find out what services it does and doesn't have and if your local providers can supply these needs. 

You can also look into available renewable energy options that may be more affordable alternatives to standard power and sewage options. 

Heating is another challenge to consider ahead of time so you avoid potential hiccups during the conversion process. Generally, you have three options to keep things warm in this home style:

Heating and cooling require well-informed decision-making, so speak with an HVAC professional who has significant experience with barn homes.

When you first walked into your old barn, you probably realized how dark it was. Unfortunately, these structures were intended for practical use and not for hosting family dinners. The issue with installing additional windows or skylights on the roof is structural stability. However, there are several glazing options you can also incorporate to help diffuse light more efficiently and brighten up your home's interior.

Creating a home out of an old barn is an ambitious project with a rewarding payoff. Without a doubt, these conversions are a labor of love and require careful planning and investment. Whether you want a more modern architectural design and use original elements as accents or want to maintain its country appeal, the options you have to choose from are nearly limitless. 

The popularity of these homes is still high , so make sure to focus on quality construction and preservation of its original aesthetic to maximize listing prices later. 

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