Archive for the ‘Barn Home Design’ Category

Barn Home Builders Talk Exterior Siding Options

Home and barn builders like us can get pretty obsessed with exterior siding. Why? Because siding is what will define a building’s appearance for years to come. We build custom horse barns and homes to last for decades. Given the visibility of exterior siding, it pays to be choosy when picking siding for your custom project. Let’s examine the variety of siding choices we offer for DC Building barn homes, barndominiums, and barns.

DC Building Custom Horse Barns and Homes: Exterior Siding Options

Horizontal Tongue & Groove Siding is available in fir, spruce, pine, and other timbers on request. It may be stained or painted for additional beauty and surface protection. Many of our clients prefer a traditional barn look with a dash of visual interest. This goal is perfectly achieved by pairing horizontal tongue and groove siding with board and batten siding.

Custom Barn Homes Tongue and Groove Siding

Board and Batten Siding is created from Pacific Northwest rough sawn cedar. As with horizontal tongue and groove siding, its surface may be strengthened and customized with paint or stain. For a classic, timeless barn look, partner board and batten siding with horizontal tongue and groove siding.

Wedding Barn Builders Board and Batten Siding

HardiePlank Lap Siding is composed of fire-resistant fiber cement, a mixture of wood pulp and Portland cement. In the last three decades, fiber cement has quickly become a darling of the construction world, because it offers the beauty of wood with the low-maintenance endurance of masonry. What’s more, dozens of texture and color choices are available. We love how much easier HardiePlank Lap Siding is to maintain when compared to traditional wood siding. Last but certainly not least, HardiePlank Lap Siding comes with a 30-year, transferable warranty.

HardiePlank Vertical Siding is like its lap siding cousin, only with an upward orientation. You still get the fire-resistant, easy-to-maintain fiber cement, but in a direction that emphasizes height. A wide range of textures, such as stucco, are available. And again, this siding option includes a 30-year transferable warranty.

California Barn Builders HardiePlank Siding

Perhaps it’s unwise to judge a book by its cover, but visitors will inevitably judge your barn or barn home by its siding. The exterior siding will be what you see every day. It pays to spend some time electing an exterior siding option that will provide excellent protection in your area, while also adding beauty. Contact us today to discuss which siding choice would best complement your ideal home or barn.

Project Spotlight: California Barn Builders Get Creative

As passionate home and barn builders, our designers thrive on custom projects, where their imaginations can be put to good work matching designs to clients’ dreams. Today we’re featuring the work of our California home and barn builders. Check out these gorgeous projects—they’re great representations of our designers’ unique work.

Penn Valley Monitor Barn
Beauty abounds in this monitor-style barn—and given its personalized design, it’s not surprising that owner Leslie Schoradt has exclaimed, “It’s my dream home!” With Classic Equine stall fronts and a stable comfort mattress system inside, this monitor barn is a horse lover’s dream. Gooseneck lighting pairs perfectly with the rich timber framing and striking red metal roof. Features include six stalls, a washroom, and beautiful tack room. Complete with a custom turret and rubber aisle pavers, this barn perfectly complements the Suncrest Vineyards of Traveler’s Rest in Penn Valley. Leslie explains, “What we love about this barn is it’s not just a place to house my absolute favorite treasures, it’s a destination point for us to go see.”

California Custom Barn Home Builders

Woodside Horse Barn
Our California custom barn builders’ creativity shines in this tailor-made equestrian facility. Featured here is an all-wood barn complete with five custom stall fronts, pine-covered ceilings, and stamped concrete made to look like beautiful hardwood. The gable ends feature timber trusses, cedar board, and batten siding. Complete with a customized iPod docking station, a hobby shop in the loft, and trail entry to the Woodside Equestrian Park, this barn is simply stunning.

Claifornia Horse Barn Builders

Morgan Hill Monitor Barn
Our California barn builders worked 12 hours per day, six days per week to erect this facility to exact specifications. As owner Joe Leonard recalls, “The process with DC Building was actually enjoyable, which is kind of rare with contractors.” While other contractors had focused on the negative, our own expert Dustin arrived for a walk-through, and explained how DC Building could create their dream barn.

Morgan Hill Monitor Horse Barn Builders

From the Classic Equine stall fronts to the all-wood Dutch and breezeway doors, this barn is completely custom-made. It features a beautiful wraparound porch that serves as a relaxation space and a refuge from the summer heat. Its cedar board and batten siding make the exterior shine, while post and beam framing with heavy exposed timbers gleam on the inside. Our client Joe was impressed with DC Building’s creative finishing work, which included custom-made doors, and cedar trim boards placed in alternating colors.

As these projects show, our California barn builders enjoy working closely with clients to create the perfect structures for their properties. Contact us today to arrange an initial walk-about for your California property.

Understanding Barn Home Structural Design Options

While building barn homes across the U.S., we often kick off the design process with a few basic barn types. By starting with a review of structural options, our barn builders can get a big-picture idea of which barn shapes would best suit the client. From Minnesota to Texas, barn builders in America are familiar with these common structural design options:

Shed Row Barns are simple classics. They feature a basic box design with a single-pitched roof. Shed row designs are popular for their affordability and easy customization.

Shed Rown Barn Home Builders

Monitor Barns, sometimes called Raised Center Aisle (RCA) barns, are on the other end of the barn complexity spectrum. They are named after their unique roofline, which includes a dual-pitched, triangular roof with an elevated center section. The central aisle is protected by a gabled roof of its own. As the raised center aisle is often filled with windows, RCA barns enjoy excellent circulation and natural light. For a gorgeous example of a Monitor Barn, check out the Morgan Hill Barn that our California barn builders created.

Monitor Barn Home Builders

Gable Barns have a dual-pitched roof that creates a triangular profile. This cost-efficient, straightforward design is easy to personalize with dormers and more.

Gable Barn Home Builders

Gambrel Barns may be the best-known barn design. Two distinct roof pitches—the outer pitch steep and the inner pitch shallow—create extra storage space in upper stories. This familiar barn structure dots the American landscape, making it ideal for those looking for a classic structure for their barn homes.

Gambrel Barn Home Designers

Selecting from these basic structural options is often the first step in the design process we follow with clients. However, we must emphasize our passion for custom building and barn designs. No two clients have identical experiences because each design process is customized. A DC Building design team works with each client for drafting and design meetings conducted via live web meetings. Our advanced yet approachable drafting software and cloud-based project management system allows DC Building customers to fully envision the final structure before building begins.

From Maine to Washington, barn builders from DC Building are passionate about creating stunning structures for our clients. Whatever you imagine, we can make it a reality! Contact DC Building today to learn more.

Project Spotlight: Barns with Living Quarters Across the U.S.

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We’ve built barns with living quarters across the United States, from Maine to Louisiana, and from Washington to New Mexico. Whether your ideal location is in the heartland or on a coast, we can create the building of your dreams. Today we’re highlighting four barn homes we’ve built in four very different landscapes, in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Washington State.

Fall City, Washington
Our Washington barn builders created what our client called “the greatest barn in the world” for her horse boarding business, Four Gables Farm. Four dormers beckon visitors inside, while a shed roof creates old country charm. Downstairs, we installed six stalls, a wash bay, and a tack room. The upstairs features a luxurious wet bar, a U-shaped seating area, and a large open area that perfectly suits the weddings and other special events that Four Gables Farm hosts.

Fall City Washington Horse Barn

Taos, New Mexico
Rancho Milagro is a comfortable, multi-purpose building where our clients Ed and Trudy Healy can care for their horses and special guests. The Healys are well known as art patrons in the Taos area, and so it should be no surprise that they allowed our designers and builders free reign to carry out their creative vision. The result? A stunning barn home with a diamond theme that resonates through structural supports, deck bracing, and even barn doors. As Ed says, the motif has become a sort of trademark for the barn. The 36-foot-long structure features four horse stalls, a 12’ by 24’ tack room, a half bath, and solar-powered radiant heat in the concrete slab of the first floor. Upstairs, you’ll find a stunning 21’ by 34’ great room with 14-foot-high ceilings at the upper ridge. Cedar clad supports carry through from the barn to the living quarters; their warm honey tones shine in the Taos sunlight. An exterior Ipe deck also features the diamond design.

Ranch Milagro Barn with Living Quarters

Laramie, Wyoming: Barn with Living Quarters
Many of our clients prefer to situate their barn homes to best highlight stunning mountain views. This was certainly the case with this cedar-finished barn near Laramie, Wyoming. To withstand the region’s extremely harsh winters—50 M.P.H. winds are common, and the area averages 50 inches of snow per year—we completely weatherproofed the barn home’s exterior. Downstairs, we installed three horse stalls with automatic washers, a wash and tack room, and a laundry room with an attached bathroom. The upper story’s 1,700-square-foot apartment boasts granite countertops, a Corian shower, tile floors, and wrapped timbers. A point of pride is the fact that this barn home is entirely off the grid! Solar power and propane systems partner to power this stunning home and barn.

Laramie Barn with Living Quarters

Fairplay, Colorado
Our clients envisioned an apartment barn where they could care for their dogs, horses, and cat without commuting. To make their dream a reality, we worked into the night, bringing in different crews for framing, concrete, and finishing. After just 18 days of construction, we delivered a gorgeous high-mountain apartment barn, with 4 horse stalls, a 12’ by 24’ tack room, a generous garage/workshop area, and a covered paddock. The 1,700-square-foot living area upstairs features a soaring great room where the family can relax in their year-round, full-time residence. A second-story deck allows for summer dining al fresco. At times, this location sees 100 mile-per-hour winds, and the client notes that our quality construction work prevents gusts from whistling through windows.

Custom Apartment Barn in Fairplay Colorado

Whatever building you imagine, in whatever location, we can deliver the barn home of your dreams. Contact us today to get started.

America’s Historic Barn Types: Dutch Barns, Bank Barns & More

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Wood Barn HomeSince our nation’s dawn, barns (and the farmers they represent) have figured large in American philosophy. Thomas Jefferson understood that the newly minted republic derived its freedom and stability from citizen farmers. Lincoln passed the Homestead Act, writing, “The wild lands of the country should be distributed so that every man should have the means and opportunity of benefiting his condition.” In other words, Lincoln saw farms as a way to give every American a fair chance. And Eisenhower celebrated that “In no other country do so few people produce so much food, to feed so many, at such reasonable prices.” Throughout our history, barns have represented close-knit communities with strong ties to the land and to family. Nowadays, although fewer Americans make their living at farming, barns still resonate as powerful symbols of a simpler, more traditional way of life. As such, barns have become popular locations for events, such as weddings.

Unfortunately, barn razing has eclipsed the barn raisings that were so common in America a century ago. Older barns may be derided as eyesores in various stages of decay. Yet these historic structures deserve our attention and preservation efforts because they embody our nation’s rich, historical past.

Here we offer a little background on the types of classic barns in the United States.

Classic American Barn Types

Dutch Barns
The earliest American barns are Dutch barns. Few have survived in their original layout. You can spot a Dutch barn by its simple, massive-looking exterior, with a wide gable roof; simple, horizontal clapboard siding; a pent roof to provide protection at a central entry; and stock doors at the corners. The interior of a Dutch barn is reminiscent of a church, with a central aisle, H-shaped beam structures, and mortise-and-tenon joints with rounded ends. When well preserved, Dutch barns are stunning in their simplicity and strength.

Bank Barns
Perhaps the cleverest American barn design is the bank barn, which takes advantage of a slope to create multiple levels of productivity. Traditionally, a bank barn was built with the longest side running parallel to a slope. That way, livestock could be housed on the lower level, at the bottom of the hill. Oftentimes, this “daylight basement” level faced south, and provided a protected space where animals gathered in the winter months. The second story was level with the top of the hill, and allowed wagons carrying hay or wheat easy access for threshing and storage. Early bank barns feature stone sidewalls, with ventilation apertures to prevent fire. (While curing, green hay can produce enough heat to combust spontaneously.)

Round Barns
Barn at Mt. VernonGeorge Washington’s sixteen-sided barn at Mount Vernon is representative of the round barn’s appeal. Round barns are efficient, in that they require fewer materials to create the same amount of storage. Washington’s high-tech barn was tailor made for efficient threshing. Horses would run around a central column while stomping on wheat, working the grain out. Gaps between floorboards on the first level allowed the grain to fall through to a lower story, where it could be gathered for storage. Compared to rectangular barns, circular barns are also more stable. A final advantage is that round barns may be built with self-supporting roofs, eliminating the need for interior supports and increasing storage space.

Prairie barns, crib barns, and house barns are additional American barn types. Barn structures reflect local crops; tobacco barns with gable-on-hip roofs are common in the southeastern U.S., while dairy barns are found throughout the Midwest. Building materials vary according to location as well; Idaho barns may be built of basalt (a volcanic stone), while the Southwest boasts adobe barns. The variety of barns in our country reflects our nation’s cultural and geological diversity.

Unfortunately, as Americans move away from the country, many barns are being abandoned. A 2007 USDA census of farmers making more than $1,000 of farm income annually found that there are about 650,000 barns left in America. There are problems with this survey—it doesn’t include barns that are being used for other purposes, for one thing—but it does suggest that the number of American barns has dropped since 1950, when National Barn Alliance president Charles Leik estimates that there were 6 million barns still standing in our country.

Barn HomesFor barn enthusiasts, one encouraging trend is the growing interest in barn homes. As dedicated barn home builders, we appreciate the growing popularity in barns with living quarters attached. The barn portion of the structure is often included on the ground floor, while living quarters are situated above.

If you’re interested in contributing to the number of barns in America, contact us. We build custom barn designs, including horse barns and barns with living quarters. We can work with you to create a custom plan to perfectly fit your needs. And we are happy to work with you to include design features that echo America’s rich barn history.

[Mt. Vernon Barn Photo by Matt Howry via CC License]