It’s one thing to be “raised in a barn,” but it’s totally another thing to “live in a barn”. Well, not really. While an old barn may not be your default definition of a comfortable two-story home, it has the potential to become much more than your average-looking living space. Homeowners can take advantage of the barn’s spacious structure and design to convert an aged barn into a home that has the warmth and rustic feel you’ve always dreamed of.
Photo by Oast House Archive courtesy WikiMedia Commons.
Because the barn you have is probably more than 100 years old, examining its foundation and basic structures is important for you to identify existing and potential weaknesses that may compromise not only the integrity of the building, but also your personal safety. Map out what needs to be replaced, tear them out and make repairs before getting too carried away with the design.
If you want an attractive home, then the outdated metal sheet will never do. Years of persistent innovation and engineering have transformed the style and installation process of metal roofs. Today, metal roofs are no longer installed directly on the deck. They are available in a variety of beautiful colors and styles of slates, shingles, tiles, and shakes. The end result is a high-performing and outstanding roof that is beautiful and versatile for all kinds of roof pitches.
The flexibility of metal roofs enables you to curve or create various roof pitches to enhance your exterior design. When it comes to flooring, you want a material that reflects the overall appeal of your new home. Stone tiles offer interesting color blends and textures that make your home look luxurious, yet maintain a touch of tradition. Laminated flooring gives you a wider range of customization, allowing you to create color combinations, patterns, and a look that emulates the appearance of other flooring materials. At the end of the day, it’s the touch of a real wood floor that gives the rustic feel you so dearly miss.
While you can design your kitchen in any way you want, it’s always good to keep some of the country air of an old barn. A country kitchen offers the convenience of modern technology, yet gives you the luxury of enjoying a rustic layout. Wood cabinets, valances on the kitchen windows, and other natural materials and fine craftsmanship are some of the timeless features of a country kitchen. Install built-in shelves to display floral plates, teapots or tea sets, and other antique icons, such as a trio of milk bottles and basket of fresh fruit. If you want to further enhance your rustic flair, add a fireside in the living room and a front porch that is furnished with a couple rocking chairs.
Converting an old barn into a home may take a lot of work, yet the result is always astounding. Whether you’re looking for vintage style, a contemporary layout, or a hybrid of the two, there’s always something in store. So find a barn and start a barn family today.
Paul Kazlov is a “green” home remodeling enthusiast and an industry pioneer for innovation in home renovation. Paul writes for the Global Home Improvement blog and strives to educate people about “green” products such as metal roofing and solar. Follow him on Twitter @PaulKazlov.