Apartments in or above barns can be convenient and appealing to both boarders and barn owners. A barn apartment offers many advantages, but building it requires special planning. Be sure to do the following when designing your barn apartment.
Investigate Local Housing Codes
Before you dig into planning out the barn apartment, find out just what your local housing codes require for an apartment to be inhabitable. Different areas have different requirements in terms of the number and location of exits, amenities (such as a fridge or stove) provided in the apartment, width of entrances, and electrical coding. The best way to find out about local housing codes is to contact your state’s housing department for the information and resources that you will need.
Think About Location
Just where in the barn you locate the apartment can have a significant impact on its convenience and functionality. Many apartments are located above barns, which does require everything to be carried up stairs. Additionally, the noise of the horses can carry very easily through the apartment’s floor. If you opt for an upstairs apartment, then locate it above a quieter area, like the tack room or feed room, rather than directly above a block of horse stalls.
Another option is to locate your apartment on the ground floor of the barn. This option can be more expensive than building the apartment upstairs, since it will require additional space and materials. When planning out an apartment’s location on the ground floor, locating it near the barn’s bathroom can save you money in terms of the plumbing cost.
Incorporate Fire Walls
Don’t forget about the importance of fire walls, especially if an apartment is located in a barn. It is ideal to avoid storing hay in the barn at all for your barn’s fire safety, but if hay must be stored in the barn, then make sure that all of the walls and doors separating the apartment from the hayloft are fire doors and walls. Be sure to also plan for a fire alarm system both in the barn and in the apartment, and include plenty of fire extinguishers.
Work with an Experienced Builder
Selecting a builder who is experienced in building both barns and residences is vital to the success of your project. An experienced builder can help guide you through the process, and can turn your plans into reality.
The Classic Equine Equipment team would love to help you plan your barn, and we have resources of experienced builders all across the country. As you plan your barn, don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Original source: Tips for Building a Barn Apartment