The Benefits of Living in a Barn With Living Quarters

barn with living quarters

Years ago, barns were only used to shelter livestock and store farm equipment. More recently, however, we have seen the construction of more versatile barns that also function as people’s living spaces. A barn with living quarters includes all the rooms in a traditional home.

Barn homes can be made from an existing barn or built from scratch. The construction or conversion of a barn intended for humans to live in must follow building codes in your respective locality.

Barndominium floor plans should have enough living areas for people to thrive, including a space for a bathroom, a living room, bedrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room. The open floor plan of a barn makes it easier to maximize the space when building your living quarters.

Can People Live in a Barn?

modern barndominium house canadaYes, they can. A barn with living quarters is suitable for humans to live in. While this setup has some advantages, there are also some issues you may face, like noise and sanitation.

A horse barn plan, for example, may show living quarters on the same floor as the area for horse stalls or on a second floor on top of the main level. Living with horses also means rats, mice and other “visitors” may wander inside.

Horses can also be noisy and disturb a night of restful sleep. But, if humans can live with such flaws, then there is no doubt that humans can live in a barn with extra space suited for living conditions.

Benefits of a Barn With Living Quarters

A barn is not only meant for animals and hay storage nowadays. Barns that function as living quarters provide several advantages for homeowners. The benefits of having a barn with living quarters are:


The convenience of living where you work saves you time and effort. You don’t have to waste time travelling from one place to another. With your workshop and home in one building structure, you can skip the daily commute or walking and use the time doing more productive things.

Cost Effective

Building a barn with living quarters saves you money and resources. There is no need to construct two separate structures, which can be pricey if not planned correctly. With a barndominium floor plan, there is enough storage space, a workplace, and an area for living quarters.

Energy Efficient

A barn house is also a more energy-efficient choice over a traditional home because of its post-frame building construction. The columns in a pole barn home are spaced closer to give the room proper insulation and ventilation all year round, regardless of the season.

Unfortunately, heating bills may also balloon if the barn is not properly constructed. Because barns have high ceilings and no heated flooring or basement, they can become drafty and cold during the winter season. That is why hiring a skilled builder for a barn with living quarters is essential to guarantee that it is appropriate for human living conditions without breaking the bank.

Less Maintenance

Steel is the material of choice when building a barn with living quarters. A metal building is more durable than wood and requires less maintenance or renovation. Barns with metal construction may even last up to 40 years. This will save you a lot of money in repairs and labour costs for the future.

Open Floor Plan

Barndominium Inside InteriorThe most favourite part of barndominium owners in the building process is choosing the layout. The open-floor concept of barns allows homeowners to practice their creativity. Some take inspiration from Pinterest, while some use existing blueprints supplied by the contractor.

Of course, the design should also depend on the available square footage of the barn and the local building codes that need to be followed. A bigger space allows the inclusion of a porch and a garage in the plan to maximize the area.

How to Add a Living Space to a Barn

Barn living is not for the faint-hearted. Aside from unwelcome visitors like rodents and loud noises, privacy can become an issue when other people working in the barn come and go. A barn filled with hay and shavings is also a fire hazard. To help mitigate such problems, you must consider the following when adding a living space to an existing barn:

Choose the Right Location

barn home by lakeSure, you have a big estate that you can build a barn anywhere you want. But not all areas of your property are ideal for a barn with living quarters. When choosing the location, ask yourself: Do you need a separate entrance for the living quarters? Will the living quarters be on the main floor or the second floor? Should it be facing the sun or not? These questions will help you determine the perfect location for the barn with living quarters.

Determine the Purpose

What’s the purpose of the living quarters? Will it be for yourself or a staff member helping on your farm or stable? Will you be renting it to someone or using it for a guest room? The purpose of the living quarters inside the barn should be determined before construction because some reasons may not be appropriate for a barn apartment. For example, guests may find it unsanitary to live inside a barn, even if you find it a unique experience.

Know Local Protocols

Your locality has its own rules and regulations about what you can do in a barn. A permit may or may not be required depending on the protocols in your area. Before any construction –minor or major – always consult with your jurisdiction’s ordinances.

Hire a Professional Builder

large metal barn houseSome people opt to build a barn with living quarters by themselves. Some even renovate old barns into refurbished ones with living quarters in a do-it-yourself manner to save on costs. While this is an option, we suggest partnering with a professional builder with the skills and knowledge to add living space into the barn.

A professional knows your area’s codes and regulations, making the entire building process seamless. They are also equipped with the right strategies to minimize noise, smells, and other disadvantages of living inside a barn for a pleasant living space.

To hire barn builders you can trust or to get your quote, contact an expert here.