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Friday, August 01 2014


"You Live In A Barn?"

Well, we will. Yep. That's the plan.

Upon hearing this, many people tilt their heads, much like the RCA puppy listening to his master's voice in a phonograph.

"In a barn?"

Yes.

"With the animals?"

Yes.

I don't try to explain it anymore. My horsey friends get it completely. Since they'd have their horses in the bedroom if they could, the idea of living in the barn appeals to them. Don't get me wrong, there are sacrifices. Lots of them. For instance, I've had to sacrifice the cute factor for function. I love cute. Clapboard wood-frame houses are just adorable to me.

Unfortunately, I'm having to build a home that can withstand forest fires and requires little to no maintenance. Other Half and I will grow old in this house. We can't be calling the kids up to North Texas to fix things because we're too old to climb up ladders, and too poor to pay someone else to do it.

Thus, I had to give up my idea of a cute little gingerbread house and make do with what was, in essence, a metal box with an apartment inside. I have faith though, that even my metal box will become a really cute home after we add the porches, paddocks, and a garden.

At the moment, it's little more than a metal box, but I love staring at the ranch house and planning what will be. While others see a simple metal box, I see my dreams. I pour through photos like a child studying the Sears & Roebuck Christmas Catalog. I just dated myself and lost half my audience! For you younger folks, imagine someone has given you a large sum on an Amazon Gift Card and you are trolling Amazon while your mind calculates, runs down rabbit trails, and returns again.

I must balance my wants with my needs, my bank account with my dreams. There is also the inevitable power struggle with the Other Half. It's not so much a power struggle as a space struggle. He claims valuable real estate for things like welding machines and tractors, I claim the same space for goats and dog kennels. It is said that building a house is a sure test of a marriage.  Now that's Reality Television for you!

Who wants to see drunk kids in Jersey when you could watch the more realistic drama of a husband and wife plan a house together? Put them in a remote region of Texas and arm them both with pistols, and you will have a recipe for real Reality Television!

Other Half has already solved part of our problems by deciding that he must build a 'shop' behind the barn. At first I stroked  because I had planned to put turn-out paddocks there, but he pointed out that he would cover the area between the barn and shop, thus giving me "covered" paddocks. Deal!

And that's really what planning a house is all about - running down rabbit trails in your head, only to find that your spouse has run down different rabbits.

Here are some photos of My Metal Box. With just a bit of imagination, you can see beyond the box to the home it will be!

 Because the water retention tank is here, we cannot have livestock in this area, thus, it'll be fenced as a garden for plants I don't want goats eating.

 This runs the entire side of the building.  Things that need protection from the sun and hail can go here.  This area has been the object of multiple space fights. (grin)

 Peeking through the barn aisle. This was supposed to be the back door into the home, but since the Builder tilted the house on the lot, this will end up being the front door. The barn aisle is extra wide. We'll have gates on both sides to lock animals in or out of the barn area. The loft area isn't finished yet. It'll be accessed by a spiral staircase inside the house, but we'll have aisle access to the loft too.

A French door will be put in the loft so that you can walk out the loft to stand on top of the patio and overlook the pasture and the mountain.

The four stalls will open up to covered paddocks behind the barn. Other Half plans to put in a shop behind the paddocks.

Once the Loft Porch is put in, this will be the view: 

Current view from the kitchen window

 The dairy goats and sheep will have access to this area. It slopes down into a pond area which is dry now, but holds water during the winter and rainy season.

So there it is, bit by bit, with each new project, my metal box will become a home for us and our animals. So to answer the question,

"Yes, we will live in a barn with the animals!"

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:14 am   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
Here in Missouri we call that a Shouse. A combo shed/house , made of course of metal. And I totally get it!
Posted by claire s on 08/01/2014 - 02:07 PM
In Wisconsin, those are known as barndominiums. I go past a nice one every day. They raise Belgians (horses, not dogs LOL).
Posted by Peg H in Wisconsin on 08/01/2014 - 04:20 PM
"watch the more realistic drama of a husband and wife plan a house together" Yes! Especially when it's you two, because I know you'll end up making smart choices. Fascinating goings on. Planning a house is fun - what your views will be, where the sun will shine in at different times of the day, etc. Have you made a sketch (blueprint - like) of your planned interior? Will you have a balcony? I always want a cozy, sunny reading area with a lazy-boy type chair and couch & bookcase(s). That's something I don't have in this house and I miss it.
Posted by Terri's Pal on 08/01/2014 - 05:30 PM
Happens here too. there are even purpose built sheds that include house part. Common in old Europe. http://www.theshedcompany.com.au/home/lifestyle-solutions.html This one has some great ideas http://www.houzz.com/photos/2740993/Gentlemans-Barn-eclectic-garage-and-shed-new-york
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 08/01/2014 - 05:58 PM
Yes, we'll have a balcony where the loft is on top of the patio. I will probably make a reading area/library in the loft too. My books are so important to me.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 08/01/2014 - 06:02 PM
I love it! It's shaping up to be the perfect house - if the ponies get to live in it too! (and the sheep and goats and dogs, of course!)
Posted by AlbertaGirl on 08/05/2014 - 10:01 AM

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