Barndominium Style

House & Home

April 13, 2021

Since our home remodel has been pretty much put on hold until the unforeseeable future courtesy of insane lumber prices and labor shortages we are slowly making the short term fixes around the house and farm. We are patching the brick instead of replacing and we are holding off on new windows until we are able to complete the house. It was a real bummer but once we came to that conclusion it did feel like a bit of a relief. Everything felt so rushed that it didn’t feel like we were making the best decisions. However now we are going to be doing some fun, diy (mostly by us) projects around the house. The first up is going to turn our two lean to’s behind the large wood barn into a barndominium style hangout.

Future plans for this old barn We are turning these lean to sheds into a future outdoor living barndominium

What is a barndominium?

A barndominium is a barn or barn like structure being remodeled or converted into a living space. You might remember the barndominium (which is now on VRBO)  from Fixer Upper season three. Barndominiums are a great way to maximize the space without breaking a budget. According to The Handy Man blog, Barndominiums cost about half the price per sq. foot of a standard built home.

You can buy barndominium kits or design your own custom floor plan. Since we already have a structure in place we are going to be designing our own floor plan with the existing materials in place.

Here are some of my favorite inspirational pins for barndominium styles

We are not going to be converting our large barn into a living space but we are going to be converting the two lean to’s behind the barn into an outdoor living space. Last year we planted an orchard of apples, pears and plums in the green space facing the lean to’s and are planning to add our grape vines to edge it off later this spring.

Old Lean to shed being transitioned into a outdoor living space Old Farm Lean To

When I saw this lean to structure posted by Camp Wandawega on instagram  inspiration finally struck on what to do with that space.

Our to do list for this is borderline extensive with the biggest task pouring a fresh level slab of concrete for the middle. The original has concrete but it’s been broken and weathered from years of use. We have all of our wood stacked against the wall in one of the lean to’s and that is most likely going to stay that way. I am hoping to build some sort of shelf structure over the top of the wood so we can have that also function as a counter for storing camp fire supplies as well as yard games.

The lean to facing on the other side will have a long table for dinners and gatherings while the center will be able to have additional seating and room for yard games.

Old large 1800's barn Early start to our farm orchard

I hope to hang string lights in between the lean to’s to add to the ambiance and then hopefully someday when budgets and builders are better available convert the bottom of the barn into a bar/ hang out area. Right now the basement of the barn is an old fieldstone and it’s amazing how cold it stays throughout the summer.

The barn used to be used as a hatchery and the large old incubator is installed against the wall where the milk house was because the barn was also used for dairy cows once upon a time.

Our barn has a weird look to it because a tornado came through in the 50’s and damaged the middle part leaving the top in tact so they made the barn roof level with the ground.

The old beautiful barn is one of my favorite characteristics about this property and I can’t wait to continue to fix it up as the years go on.

I envision us having dinner al fresco in our barndominium style patio looking over the orchard. I am currently on the hunt for a large piece to go against the wall and as summer flea markets kick off (thank goodness) I will be on the hunt for something massive. We need to shore up a few boards and give the structures a good paint job which will most likely be white to match the barn.

Then finally we will add in the landscaping. Along each wall I am planning to plant a David Austin Iceberg climbing rose with a mix of clematis and lavender to keep bugs and rabbits at bay.

We have our work cut out for us for sure but it should be a fun project to work on together and enjoy for years to come. I can’t wait to take you along as we work on it. First things first though, clean up the wood pile.


barndominium Dreams


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  1. Lori says:

    Can’t wait to watch the progress!!

  2. Thanks so much for explaining what a Barndominium is. My sister recently moved into her own farm and she’s been wanting to create a space for her guests to be in when they come to visit her. We’ll have to look into Barndominiums and their ability to become a living space.

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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