Repurposing Old Barns

Barns are slowly turning into historical buildings. This is sad for those of us who love them. There are still farms that use them, but most of the barns out there crumble and aren't going to be here soon. If this fills you with nostalgy you are not alone. But here we come: we have some ideas how to repurpose old barn or at least the wood from an old barn, and give it a new life. So if you are a happy owner of a piece of land with a barn on it, read on!

Two Barns
Photo credit

Repurposing Into Shed or Workshop

What would you expect from a site like ours? :) Of course my first thought is to repurpose a barn into a storage shed. The advantage is that there will be a lot of space for everything, and it can probably look good. There is no lack of disadvantages however:

  • Such project could be quite expensive for a shed.
  • You probably won't be able to use all the vertical space unless you build a second floor (more money).
  • It may require even more money to remove insects, odors etc - again a bit too complicated for a shed.

But even with these advantages it could be tempting idea. If you need some inspiration check out this great project.

Repurposing into Home

While this is far more ambitious thing to do, it's also more popular. Typically it's worth the effort to repurpose a barn into home because the cost is still lower than building a home from scratch (well, usually). And the final result can be stunning. There is too many ways to do this so we'll just give you a bunch of links for inspiration:

Ideas are great but don't underestimate the effort and money such a project could take. Turning a barn info home will require custom design, project, a lot of work on insulation and installations, etc. Often it might come more complicated than building a brand new home. It's usually very rewarding however and your new barn home will be unique and probably very beautiful.

Finally, a barn can be repurposed to other building like a winery, mushroom growing place, and more. See several such projects in this article.

If you decide to go on with such project, check out this very practical post on how to repurpose old buildings by The Frugal Chicken.

Repurposing Barn Wood and Other Ideas

For good or bad most barns won't be salvaged in their whole. It's a lovely idea to turn a barn into a home or shed. This won't always work. Some barns are too ruined. Some owners won't have the money, time or desire to work on them. In such cases you can at least repurpose the wood or parts of the barns into something else. Fortunately there is no shortage of ideas for this!

  • Here are many repurposed barn wood ideas. They are using it on the walls, as a flooring, for doors, or even dining tables.
  • Nowadays it's very popular to use barn woods for various crafts. There are a lot of such ideas on this site.
  • Repurposed doors - this page focuses on ideas for repurposing barn doors. And they are many, just have a look!

We hope to see more salvaged and repurposed barns as they are great buildings and deserve a new life.

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