If you live on a farm, then you likely have a barn somewhere on your property. This building is perfect for housing horses, storing farming equipment, and covering grain and straw. But what if your barn is empty? What do you do with the space?
Rather than tearing down the barn and leaving an empty plot on your property, renovate the building. Below, we’ve provided a few tips about features you should include and ways you can reuse your empty barn so you can make the most of this structure. Read on to discover how you can repurpose an empty barn and allow it to add to your property’s value.
Features to Include When You Renovate Your Barn
Before you can let the barn serve a specific purpose, you need to include a few specific features so that your barn can completely and effectively fulfill that purpose.
- Include Barn Lighting
Because your barn likely doesn’t have a lot of windows, the interior probably looks dark. You may even have a hard time seeing inside, especially in the evening. When you install barn lighting, you open up the space and illuminate it, making it easier to see and move around.
You can choose energy-efficient lighting and hardware so that you can save money on utility costs. In addition to including barn lighting, you’ll want to ask your electrician to install an electrical system. Include complete wiring, light switches, electrical outlets, and an electrical panel so you can use this space as efficiently as possible.
- Add Heating and Cooling
Whether you want to use your barn in the winter or the summer, you’ll want to feel comfortable inside. Add an HVAC unit to the space, or even just a tack/feed room, as well as the appropriate duct work if the structure allows. The heating and cooling unit will let you control the temperature inside so you can use the barn year-round.
If you can’t install duct work without compromising your barn’s structural integrity, add a ductless minisplit system instead. You can retrofit the space and control the temperature in different rooms or levels.
- Insulate the Walls, Roof, and Floors
You should also add insulation to the roof, floors, and walls. This material prevents outside air from coming inside, and it keeps the inside air from leaking outside. As a result, the space will not only feel more comfortable, but it will become a more energy-efficient space because it requires less energy to regulate the temperature.
- Install Plumbing Fixtures
No matter what you plan to use your barn for, you don’t want to leave the space to go to your house and grab a drink of water or use the bathroom. If the barn’s construction and structural stability allow, install various plumbing fixtures inside.
Add a bathroom complete with sink and toilet-you could also add a tub if you wish. Work with your contractor to install other necessary plumbing fixtures as needed.
- Put in Another Door and Windows
Your barn has the large double doors in front, and it most likely has a smaller service door on the side or in the back. One normal-sized door may work fine if you’re the only person entering the barn. But if you want others to enjoy the space with you, adding an extra door accommodates your extra guests. It allows them to easily enter and leave the space.
Additionally, more windows let natural light flow into the space. They also let you look out onto your property so you can enjoy the landscape that surrounds you more easily.
Ways to Reuse Your Barn After the Renovation
Once you’ve installed the above-listed features, you can transform your barn into just about anything. Below, we’ve listed a few ideas you can try.
- Guest House
If you like to have visitors from out of town, give them their own private space. Use your barn as a guest house that they can stay in. Just remember to add the appropriate features of a home, including bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, dining area, and kitchen. Add furniture, appliances, window treatments, and décor to make the barn feel like a true home.
Do you own a lot of books? Or have you always dreamed of having your own at-home library? If your barn has multiple levels, transform it into a library. Install solid-wood shelves directly into the walls and place your favorite novels on them. Add comfy couches, side tables, and lamps throughout the space to create a cozy reading atmosphere. You can even install a fireplace to enhance the ambiance.
If your barn has an upper level, you could also use it as a library. Or, use it as a museum of sorts. Use glass cases to store old copies of books and manuscripts. Display art directly on the walls, on pedestals, or on smaller shelves.
- Home Theater
Perhaps you prefer to use movies as entertainment. Rather than having a small theater in your home, convert your entire barn into a theater. Install a kitchen that you can use to create gourmet snacks. Leave one wall completely white (or set up a screen) so you can project movies onto the space.
Invest in comfy couches or reclining chairs so you and your guests can enjoy a movie in a luxurious setting. You can even decorate the rest of the barn with movie posters and memorabilia.
Want to further enhance the space? Turn the upper level into a game room so people can have a true movie theater experience from the comfort of home.
Use the tips in the blog above to renovate your barn and repurpose the space in a new way. Contact All American Air & Electric, Inc.-we specialize in anything electric and AC services you’ll need to make improvements to the barn’s interior.