Convert Your Old Vintage Barn Into a Custom Timber-Frame Home

Barn Salvage - Vintage Barn to Custom Timber Home Jay Brightwood


Turning a vintage barn into a custom timber frame home is a classic case of effort versus reward.  Barns which are no longer useful in their traditional role are being resurrected into beautiful new living spaces as varied as the tastes of those who tackle these projects. The strong long lasting timbers with character impossible to find in newly milled products are increasingly being reclaimed and refitted into custom homes with striking results.  Part of the attraction of this process lies in the ability to create new from old, and in keeping living trees from the mill.

This trend in reclaiming old barns will in all likelihood not last forever simply because there are a finite number of timber frame barns existing.  However the inventory of these old structures is still great enough to keep salvagers busy for at least the short term future.

The freedom of design possibilities in timber framing is popular with planners. The structural strength of the beams is such that interior bearing walls are not necessary, making larger rooms possible, and useful loft areas more probable.  The adaptability to the addition of skylights, solar panels, decks and balconies allow the planners to be very creative while increasing the overall efficiency of the home.

In addition to the beams, other rustic wood products salvaged can be used throughout the home. Weathered barn wood has an appeal that can be shown in almost any room.  Barn wood siding, (if cleaned properly), can be very attractive in the interior of the home.

There are challenges that need to be dealt with. Timber frame style barns are a hot commodity for their salvageable framework, and finding a building with little or no rot can be tough. Geography plays a role in that most barns west of the plains are not classic timber frame structures. Dismantling is a huge job requiring experienced workers. Moving to a new building site is another challenge.

These and other obstacles can be overcome. The internet is a great place to find the barns. If you are not prepared to dismantle the barn yourself, there are salvage companies who specialize in the process. And moving is a matter of finding a flatbed trucks for the dismantled timbers to be loaded onto and shipped to their new destination.