White bedrooms are perfect in a barn conversion, letting original features like beams take the fore. Since 2011, she has been writing about interior design, DIY solutions, and the latest trends in home architecture. The first step of the restoration process was to start at the bottom.

Generally, Maclay said, they look for barns that have direct design connections to the Europeans who settled Pennsylvania. Originally built as a horse stable in 1895, this two-story barn was renovated and enlarged by architect David Ling for artist Tom Grotta and his wife, Rhonda Brown, a lawyer. The two-acre site’s original wood-beamed barn—which now contains a living room, dining room, and den—is connected via passageway to the new gambrel-roofed addition.

To combat these issues, farmers began adding cupolas and other ventilation systems, along with windows to allow for more light, both of which contributed to livestock health. Most farmers were not then, and are not today, professional carpenters. One of the most fascinating aspects of barn construction is the common use of simple farmstead creativity.

How to convert a barn – from planning to potential pitfalls

At Gambledown Farm in Hampshire there were no upper levels, so Studio Four Architects had to build them, dovetailing in this neat ensuite shower room idea. For any project that includes large amounts of glazing it’s important to bear in mind how this can affect the internal temperature of the building. Set on opposite sides of the dining area flood the internal spaces with light. These are enhanced by a triple-glazed gable end which provides outstanding views from the dining table out across the countryside. With spectacular views over the Kent countryside, an open-plan arrangement was a must for this barn. The restoration began in April, and by May, Leah was able to quit her job to begin work at Historic Ashland.

Timber-skeleton building

You may encounter asbestos which has to be professionally removed. Extra surveys may be required if historic buildings officers are involved to avoid compromising the structure, together with habitat surveys to determine the possible presence of protected species, such as bats. You’ll also have to meet various standards for access, noise impact, and consider flood risk, contamination. A careful approach is needed if the conversion is to highlight the building’s distinctive character and still include all the features of an efficient, contemporary house. These types of structures were common throughout New England during the 19th century, but were found most frequently in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

The following images illustrate some of the common styles used in station construction from the late 1840s through the early 20th century. Originally built in Ontario, this 200-plus-year-old barn was later relocated to an arcadian four-acre parcel in Rhode Island, where designer Ellen Denisevich-Grickis refurbished it as a summer home for her family. The renovation included cladding part of the structure in stone—an homage to local farmhouses as well as the stone walls that line the property. To allow more space for livestock, and to keep materials separate and sanitary, outbuildings began taking the place of dedicated areas in the barn for farm-related needs. Granaries, ice houses, milk houses, and hay barns emerged on the property to allow storage away from primary barn space. These sturdy late medieval and early Tudor homes were built by yeomen, emulating the plan of the manor house.


It so happens that darker colors also absorb more of the Sun’s rays and kept buildings warmer in the wintertime. However, by the late 1700s, farmers began to look for a way to protect their wood barns from the elements. As more machines were invented to help the farmer increase his yield, the farmer’s barn grew in size and efficiency, too. Simple devices such as trapdoors, hoists, ramps, chutes, and sliding doors were widely employed to move materials through the barn.

The decline in the number of farms and in farm acreage in the Great Plains has resulted in the loss of many traditional barns. Barns designed specifically for the storage of loose hay or the hand milking of cows outgrew their original usefulness decades ago. When the tractor replaced the draft horse for plowing and other farm chores, stalls for horses were no longer needed. Farmers found haymows ine.cient and sometimes structurally inadequate for storing baled hay. As agriculture became more specialized, many farmers sold their livestock altogether, and barns that had once been the center of the farm operation stood empty. All doors of the structure are visible in this view from the south side, where winter sun would melt accumulated snow and ice.

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One of the older barns in the district, this is wonderfully picturesque and in relatively good condition. It is a bank barn, the bank being on the side not shown in the photo. Many barns in fashionable wine districts have been turned into tasting rooms. This beautiful structure has some interesting restoration techniques and even more interesting wines. Many of the barns in Prince Edward County have been well preserved and are now used by artisans or wineries.

Many a fine barn disappeared in fire as a result of a strike of lightning. This large farm complex has many new barns and a well maintained19th century house. Most of the barns in the city centers were torn down decades ago, but there are many fine barns between the cities. Should you take a road trip through the country lanes to Stratford or Niagara you will see a great many fine structures. All farmers would have placed their houses so the chimneys would not be affected by changes in the wind. The barns would have been placed to block the wind where possible.

Note how the radiating siding in the gable highlights the lunette and that there is a pulley above that which would have helped load the hay into the mow or loft. The directory is made up of major donors to our organization and is intended to recognize these people and companies for their generosity to the cause of historic preservation in Missouri. It is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT of any of the companies or individuals mentioned. Designers Penny Drue Baird and Irwin Weiner teamed together to transform a 19th-century barn in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, into a 4,000-square-foot space for entertaining guests. Boards from the interior replaced crumbling ones on the exterior, and expansive windows were added. Wood beams and paneling line the dining room of an old carriage house turned expansive main residence at Mount Brilliant Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.