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Q? - House part of barn or attached to barn

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  • Q? - House part of barn or attached to barn

    My husband and I have been discussing this alot - if we had to do it again - we would like our house as part of the barn.


    Less maintenance - not two buildings to look after
    In the barn if there is any problems and right there for foal watches


    Need a separate building for hay storage

    Would like others opinions - especially if you are thinking about it or have done it or are living that way now.

  • #2
    My barn is connected to the house- a door on the far side of the garage opens into the feed room.

    The barn has its own hay loft.

    I can't think of any disadvantages.

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


    • #3
      I've never done it myself, although you might find these floor plans interesting:

      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


      • #4
        When a friend of ours purchased her home, her husband insisted on detaching the house from the barn before they moved in, leaving a good amount of space in between the two buildings because he was afraid if there was a fire they would lose the house. Fast forward 20 years later: for whatever reason, the barn went up in flames, spread to three other storage buildings, taking those with it. The fire departments couldn't do anyting to stop it, so they concentrated on saving the house. The fire was so hot that it cracked every window in the house, peeled off part of the siding, and severely damaged the filled inground swimming pool.

        The other reason I have heard offered against doing this has to do with influxes of bugs.

        Romantically, it sounds great, but after seeing this fire, I'm not sure it's a great idea.
        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



        • #5
          hm, check out some alpine farms: barn on the first floor, living quarters next, storage/hayloft above that.

          of course, that thing catches fire, your whole farm is up in flames. but it has it's advantages, especially when you up to the second floor in snow drifts.

          I would probably not want to build that construction in wood tho...go for something more substantial, for numerous reasons. but I's have the hay storage separate anyhow.



          • #6
            My trainer has an apartment above her barn where she lives with her husband and 4yo son. It does make it convenient for her in foal watch, etc., but their particular arrangement makes me nervous. There is only one entrance up from the barn aisle, so in case of emergency they would have a 20' drop out a window. Citing fire safety, her husband doesn't allow box fans on the stalls but he has converted a stall to his workshop. He won't allow an oven -- they use toaster oven/cook top only. BUT they have all other household stuff, e.g., heat/air, electronics, washer/dryer, ceiling fans, etc. It's an older barn, too -- lots of wood.

            I have an apartment in my barn that my daughter uses. It has 3 entrances and is on the ground floor, so I don't worry as much about her as I do my trainer! Daughter is constantly complaining about the copious amount of bugs, dust and rodents -- but not so much that she's moving.

            What I've run into is insurance. My carrier insures my barn as a barn only. If there was a catastrophe, only the structure and barn-specific items are covered.


            • #7
              I know of a barn where the living quarters are on top of the barn, I have heard it works well for them. I wonder if you could get a building permit for it these days though....

              I also know of a barn where house is connected to barn via first an office and then a tack room and then that opens into the barn. Very efficient for them, they breed as well so foal watch is simplified.

              We live in a very cold climate so there is an obvious energy saving.

              As to the fire risk, I would want the hay stored away from the barn/house building but is the normal barn activity more fire prone than if you were, say, renting out a bottom floor to tenants? Wiring would really need to be rodent proof, encased in metal. Cob webs and dust swept religiously. No box fans on all day. I guess you would have to take those extra precautions.

              My husband and I were tossing this idea around for the future. He expressed concern about rodents, bugs and smell.


              • #8
                I would also consider re-sale value. I would think that it might be easier to sell your property if the house were not attached to the barn. Though, I've always thought it would be awfully convenient to have my barn attached to my house...

                Also, as previously mentioned, flies and bugs might be a problem with the attached setup.


                • #9
                  This is my home:


                  I have lived here for 8 years and I'll bet I can answer just about any of your questions...and trust me - I will be honest! ha ha...


                  • #10
                    I have a friend whose house is attached to the indoor arena, just across the driveway from the barn. Just another option for those that want to be close, but worry about fire hazards.


                    • #11
                      I've heard of people having trouble getting insurance on a house/barn combo. Or, as a friend calls his, a "barndominium". I don't know if that has to do with fire safety or not, but some of the previous posts seem to indicate that that might be so.
                      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                      A life lived by example, done too soon.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ESG View Post
                        I've heard of people having trouble getting insurance on a house/barn combo. Or, as a friend calls his, a "barndominium". I don't know if that has to do with fire safety or not, but some of the previous posts seem to indicate that that might be so.

                        Not every single insurance company will insure such a structure - but we did not have 'trouble' getting insurance - but we had to sigh a paper saying that we would not store over X amount of bales of hay in it. The cost has been right in line with what it would cost to insure a house of the same value too.


                        • #13
                          Don't mean to hijack but equusvilla- your place is beautiful. Lucky you!!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by riff View Post
                            Don't mean to hijack but equusvilla- your place is beautiful. Lucky you!!
                            Thank you...but life dealt us a few blows over the last couple of years and although I do love my home very very much...we were not planning on living above the barn. Depending on what happened with our horses - we were either going to have it as a trainers living quarters ...or just rent it out (possibly to a trainer).

                            Let me dismiss some non-truths for you.
                            1. It is nearly impossible to get a normal mortgage on such a home.

                            2. If you keep your stalls clean - there is no smell.

                            3. I had the same amount of flies in my house when I lived in my former residence ... where the house and barn were not one. For a couple of months ...flies get in and you have to keep a fly swatter handy and it has never been bad....but my stalls are clean and we do have an automatic fly spray system.

                            4. No matter how much insulation you use - you will hear your horses in this kind of structure. I can even hear mine moan when they lay down or roll. Over the years - I have learned to LOVE this though.

                            5. It is WAY more expensive to build something like this than you would probably ever imagine and sadly - most people think the opposite. Barn kits are not structurally strong enough to support a (full) second story.

                            6. I am physically, spiritually and mentally closer to my animals because of my home...but I really miss having a fire place..ha ha

                            7. Mice were a problem up stairs and down this last winter for the first time in 8 years ...so we had to resort to sticky traps. They are gone now.

                            8. Downstairs there are 3 climate controlled rooms - the laundry room, the bathroom and the feed/tack room. It is very hot and humid down here and my tack never molds...so this is probably my favorite aspect!

                            9. Thick heavy rubber stall mats are worth their weight in gold...opps - I guess that has nothing to do with the house part..but it is still true!

                            10. If I had a crystal ball about the future ...I would have built a house first and then a pre-fab barn..... but you would have to know my whole story to understand why I say this. If we had done it that way though - I always would have wanted to build what we have now too...so ?????


                            • #15
                              The noise of stomping and pawing and bucket rattling might bothere some, but the other day mine got cast and we were able to run out and help her because my barn is two steps from my house. Nice in the wet weather. I must be known as the pajama lady on the street because I can feed when I get up before coffee.
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                              • #16
                                My barn and my house are physically separate structures that happen to meet for a 4 foot overlap. The house has a ful external wall independant of the barn.

                                The insurance company said "please explain" when i ent them the diagram, but were fine when I said that they wer separate structures that meet at an external wall.

                                We got a conventional construction loan for the house, and used a home equity loan to pay for the barn. Then rolled the whole thing over into one mortgage.

                                I store hay in my barn.

                                My late father's house has an barn (larger than the house) connected to it. Thee are doors between the two on both the first and second floors. It has been standing for over 200 years.

                                No problems with fire, bugs, noise or smell at either house

                                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                                  The noise of stomping and pawing and bucket rattling might bothere some, but the other day mine got cast and we were able to run out and help her because my barn is two steps from my house. Nice in the wet weather. I must be known as the pajama lady on the street because I can feed when I get up before coffee.
                                  That is funny. I can just imagine. Not gonna go there with my barn fashion! ha ha

                                  As for the noise - I did have one boy I had a "coming to Jesus" meeting with when he decided it was fun to drink all of his water at night and then stick his head into the empty bucket and roll his nose around in circles. The bucket, which was attached to the wall with one of those clips would kind of bounce around and it sounded like someone was dribbling a basket ball...but a lot louder! This particular horse was about 90% personality and 10% brain..if you know what I mean and giving him 2 water buckets did not help ...actually it just gave him 2 drums to beat! That was the only time that I can remember the noise being an issue.


                                  • #18
                                    My apartment is a wing off the barn. I have also seen some really lovely places with barns attached to a short covered walkway. A friend of mine has her house above the barn.
                                    Attached Files


                                    • #19
                                      My first concern is living on a second floor is not such a good idea when you have a foot that didn't get out of the way of a horse's hoof, or a broken leg, or such.

                                      I would first nix living on a second floor for anyone that has to be there every day feeding and cleaning.
                                      You can hobble from a first floor to do chores, you can't hardly get up there and down again if injured.

                                      I wanted to build my hourse as a barn apartment, but all discouraged me and, honestly, a barn 140' away is no inconvenience and I can see the horses from the house anyway.

                                      I know several trainers that built their house in the barn and they are not quite as happy as they thought with the arrangement as a permanent solution to living close to our animals.

                                      I have lived in barn apartments before, some above the stalls and of course in much of Europe, that is where we lived, on several floors of stables and the house above them.

                                      I guess it is a decision no one can make for ourselves but us.


                                      • #20
                                        In my Wishbook I have a rough drawing (not a finished blueprint) done by the company that built my barn. It has a 500sf house - 2BR, 1.5BA - attached to a 3-stall barn. I used the floorplan of one of the Lowe's Katrina Cottages


                                        Even adding in the cost of the land it was not at all outrageous - around $250K including excavation, hookups for electric, well & septic.
                                        Of course this was 2 years ago so material costs are probably higher.
                                        But then, in this economy, land costs are probably lower.

                                        Some day.......
                                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015