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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Barn with living quarters -- loft or adjoining?

    So, in my research about building my barn, I know I want living quarters in the barn. The question is -- loft or adjoining. I've lived in both, but built neither! The pros and cons of living in each are about equal in my book, but I'm concerned about a couple of things.

    Loft: floor insulation/fireproofing, heat (I'm in GA, but will have central a/c), noise from horses below.

    Adjoining: cost of bigger roof instead of 2 story, blocking part of barn (I like dutch doors to outside for fire safety), people coming into my house thinking it's the barn!

    Thoughts, tips?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,966

    Default

    I also have lived in all kinds of arrangements.
    When all goes well, there is no difference where you live.
    For safety and if you break a leg, attached is definitely better than above.

    You could split the difference, have main house area on the main floor, bedrooms above.
    If you are too hurt to make it up the stairs, you can still live below.
    If you don't need much living room, attached may be enough.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    414

    Default

    When we priced it out for our new barn it was much cheaper to do an add on on the end than a loft above. (in SC), and what we did was put an aisle out the front of the barn right next to where the apt attached so that there were exits on both ends.
    http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...7/PIC_0491.jpg
    Live, Cherish, and Enjoy every moment.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    1,106

    Default

    If I break a leg, I'll be living with my dad at his house on the property! But you make good points! I was thinking of 1/2 up 1/2 down, but I haven't found a design I liked yet. I'm in love with the floorplan that barn pros has for their kits with the living quarters in the loft.

    Any thoughts on ventilation with a loft above? It's going to have to be heavily insulated to keep the heat and a/c in the apartment, as well as for fire safety. But I plan to have dutch doors to the outside for all stalls, and it never gets really cold here, just HOT; plus I'm going to see if we can add two outside doors on the sides, so there would be four doors.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    I've heard that living quarters in barns, drastically increases insurance premiums. Maybe call an agent and see if they have price difference?
    Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    14,763

    Default

    I just can't stand the idea of lugging groceries upstairs !
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2003
    Location
    Unionville,Pa
    Posts
    1,955

    Default

    We have a 2 story apartment over the tack and feed room part of the barn,entered level with the first floor by creating a bank barn on that part,with a retaining wall to the barnyard facing the rest of the barn. The roof is continuous with the large loft. Nice deck on the side opposite the entrance serves as a roof under which we can store equipment,tractor,etc. Fairly quiet and insulated as it is over wash stall/feedroom/tack room/storage area and only 24 feet or so of aisle. There are strict codes for firewall etc but it didn't raise our insurance much.
    Saved $ by stacking apartment plumbing etc over the barn's.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    1,106

    Default

    I do plan to make sure there is more than adequate firewalls, and fire safety, not just for the insurance, but for the sake of my horses! I'm not too concerned about the noise, as here in the south, for most of the year, the horses would be out at night, in during the day, so wouldn't affect the sleeping hours.

    Lugging groceries up stairs is not really a deal breaker for me! Moving furniture/appliances up the stairs is kind of daunting to me!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2001
    Location
    Sheridan, IN
    Posts
    3,439

    Default

    I lived in one that was two stories--the kitchen/dining area & bathroom/laundry was downstairs and the living room/bedroom area/walk in closet was upstairs, there was a balcony off the upstairs. The upstairs was over the aisleway & was loft fashion looking down over the kitchen, etc so it felt very open. There was a door into the aisleway and a door into the tack room off the bathroom, plus a slider to a patio & french doors out to the drive. I would have done away with several of the downstairs doors as it really limited your options downstairs, and do you really need a door facing every direction?

    It was a nice arrangment otherwise, though a pain to run up & down the stairs if you had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2000
    Location
    Alvin, TX
    Posts
    1,050

    Default

    Years ago when I was thinking about building, my contractor told me it would be much cheaper to go adjoining rather than up due to the increased load bearing issues for going up. And, having lived in a two story house, an upstairs apartment, and a midrise apartment for a short time - I really never want to lug every single thing I buy up stairs or an elevator ever again!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    I just can't stand the idea of lugging groceries upstairs !
    You just have to install a dumb waiter, but I hear kids think they are lots of fun.

    I love living next to the barn, ground floor, but people do knock on the doors a lot, and yes, sometimes they think it is the barn office and walk in. We had to put a Private sign up. For privacy, I would probably prefer to live up so I could leave more curtains open, etc.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,552

    Default

    I have lived in both, I would rather live in a same level apartment, not a loft.

    Down south I think it would be beneficial to be able to have a cupola or ridge vent above the horses to keep air circulating in the barn when it is hot or humid, not to have that circulation blocked by an apartment above the barn. In the barn i currently live in up here in the north we have a humidistat in the barn and air intakes and ventilation fans that keep the air a proper temperature and humidity year round.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2007
    Posts
    2,206

    Default

    have absolutely NO 'real' insights, but as far as just dreaming...I'd love to have a living quarters on the same level...say, adjoining the barn (imagine aisle barn....entry to living quarters mid way on one side)...but the 'adjoining' LARGE area be a good sized enclosed /year round mudroom/patio/breeezeway....so, that the actual 'entrance' to your house/apt would be across this area with another door. Tiled floor, LOTS of storage/coat racks boot racks.. and skylights, so actual 'door' area into house could be presented with say a few steps/topiaries at the sides, etc...to really define it as an entrance...NOT part of the barn.l
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,735

    Default

    I have a two story apartment in my barn. The living room is on the first floor and the second floor has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and dining area. The upstairs would stay warm but not the downstairs. I lived in it for ten years. My choice would be adjoining.
    Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,687

    Default

    Adjoining.... alas, none of us is getting any younger and the thought of hauling ANYTHING upstairs is daunting.

    Besides--poop happens and regardless of the fact that your dad's house is on the same land, should you wind up in crutches or (God forbid) worse, you would certainly prefer to recuperate within the walls of your own abode.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    31,968

    Default

    But you gain views...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    1,106

    Default

    So, here's my thought... Instead of looking at plans for a 6 stall barn, I look at plans for a 10 stall barn (plus tack room and wash stall). Makes 6 stalls on one side of the barn, tack/lounge, feed, wash stall on the other, leaving about 12'x36' of living area downstairs. The barn that I like has a 12'x72' hayloft (over aisle and length of barn) that looks down onto stalls. If I took the hayloft area above the downstairs living area and made 2 bedrooms and 1 bath upstairs loft style, and kept the other half of the loft for storage (probably would not keep hay up there, but maybe shavings and blankets/tack, etc.), I could essentially seal off the apartment from the barn (firewall between the two) and still have PLENTY of living space. Since this is a planned living space (all the barn apartments I've lived in were definitely NOT) I want to make it as energy efficient (both my energy and environmentally green! ) and comfortable as possible!
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Every kick in the night, will make your teeth clench. I worked for a man in Pa that had an old hill barn & turned the top into a great place to live. Could Not sell the place!!!!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,488

    Default

    I really am rarely bothered by barn noise, as for the most part, they are pretty quiet. If one IS thrashing around, I am happy to hear them so I can check. It is super easy for me to step into the barn for a quick look.

    I will admit though that a few weeks ago, one of the horses decided to spend his morning, scraping his feed bucket on the wall. By the end of the day, he had a new rubber bucket and that has spoiled his playtime.

    One thing though if you live over or next to a barn is that you need to be happy with air conditioning. Leaving windows open, even with good screens, or just coming in and out of doors will bring in LOTS of flies. When the inside is kept cool, they don't seem to try to get in.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2001
    Location
    Sheridan, IN
    Posts
    3,439

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fizzyfuzzybuzzy View Post
    So, here's my thought... Instead of looking at plans for a 6 stall barn, I look at plans for a 10 stall barn (plus tack room and wash stall). Makes 6 stalls on one side of the barn, tack/lounge, feed, wash stall on the other, leaving about 12'x36' of living area downstairs. The barn that I like has a 12'x72' hayloft (over aisle and length of barn) that looks down onto stalls. If I took the hayloft area above the downstairs living area and made 2 bedrooms and 1 bath upstairs loft style, and kept the other half of the loft for storage (probably would not keep hay up there, but maybe shavings and blankets/tack, etc.), I could essentially seal off the apartment from the barn (firewall between the two) and still have PLENTY of living space. Since this is a planned living space (all the barn apartments I've lived in were definitely NOT) I want to make it as energy efficient (both my energy and environmentally green! ) and comfortable as possible!
    This is about the set up that I lived in. The stalls were on one side and the wash bay, tack room, and downstairs of the apartment were on the other side.

    Just an FYI--it was very expensive to heat & the mice ran rampant. It was nice to roll out of bed & be able to take care of the horses in your slippers.



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