Considerations When Planning a Barn Apartment
Do you have a family farm with a barn that no longer serves its purpose? Instead of letting that construction go to waste, why not convert it into something you could use? A lot of people are taking their old barns and turning them into recreational spaces, guest houses, and more. Maybe you have a child who would like to be a bit more independent but still live at home? Turning the barn into an apartment for them could be a great solution for both parties. Even if you have horses in one part of the barn, you could still design an apartment in the upper barn area. Regardless of what the purpose of your barn is going to be, here are some things you should consider before you start with renovations.
Different barns have different layouts. Consider how you will be able to access the barn apartment once it is finished. If your barn is completely empty, you will have many options at your disposal. However, if one part of the barn is reserved for horses, your options are limited. Going to and from the apartment while having to walk through an aisle with horses can be a challenge. Therefore, take some time to find the best location for the entrance. Also, take weather into consideration. The apartment resident will have to use the entrance rain or shine, so an apartment with an exterior flight of stairs is a good option only if you live in a place with a warm climate.
If there are horses in your barn, you should consider soundproofing the apartment. Also, place the bedroom above a quieter area, such as the feed room. You can use sound dampening materials to keep the apartment less noisy. Decide whether you want to soundproof the entire area or just the bedroom.
Your new barn apartment will need to have running water and heating, which means you need to ensure utility access. To save money and make your life easier you could position the bathroom above the barns bathroom, so you won’t have to invest in extra utilities. When it comes to heating, you will need oil or gas furnaces or tanks. Take that expense into consideration when planning your budget. Once you start heating that area, condensation might appear. That is why it is important to properly insulate the apartment. Check how to insulate a pole barn before you start with renovations, so you wouldn’t have to do any additional work when everything is finally done.
Fire safety measures
Designing the apartment with fire safety in mind is essential. Not only will you protect the apartment resident in case there is a fire in the barn, but you will also keep the barn safe from any fire risks that could originate in the apartment. If the apartment is right next to the hayloft, invest in a wall barrier made from fire-resistant materials. Contact a professional who will check whether your new apartment is up to code. You could also consider investing in a sprinkler system that will activate in case there is smoke.
Get needed permits
While a barn isn’t a residential state, an apartment is, so you will need new permits for this area. Your renovation plans will need to meet specific safety measures. Keep in mind that constructing a barn apartment can impact your home and farm insurance. Since someone will be living in the bar and using the kitchen facilities, the risk of fire will automatically increase. Therefore, as a result, your insurance premiums will increase. Make sure you take this into consideration when planning your budget.
Converting your barn into an apartment is more than picking new furniture and kitchen cabinets. Before you start choosing the color pallet, make sure all of your plans and papers are in order, so there are no unpleasant surprises.