Buildings & Interiors

Barn Homes

Whenever I see one of the stunning barn homes built by J4 Building Solutions, I think of what my mother used to ask me when I forgot to shut the door behind me or tracked in mud or dirt.

“Were you born in a barn?”

Nowadays, the answer might well be yes, as 40-somethings re-purpose their lives, giving up suburban split levels to move out to where the sun rises and sets on 100 acres of big bluestem and sideoats grama.

This re-purposing also includes starting a family for many career women and couples. These are people who have been in the corporate scramble for two decades and solidified not only their position but a wage that allows for expansion.

So, yes, one might be born in a barn, but in the 21st century this is a reuse of salvaged barn materials coupled with superior insulation and vapor barriers, and triple pane, gas-filled, low e vinyl windows for a structure that looks quaint but performs like the space shuttle in terms of thermal exchange values.

Using old barn timbers and siding, as well as salvaged barn flooring and foundation stones, and topping it off with old but solid barn roofing and technologically sophisticated, energy efficient heating and cooling and accessories, means that the future homeowners are not only reducing the construction materials waste stream – a bonus for overused landfills – but creating a lasting heritage with a tiny environmental footprint regardless of its square footage.

On the other end of this building equation, J4 offers highly permanent, low maintenance steel buildings which serve a number of functions, as garages, workshops, storage buildings, boat, camper, or farm equipment storage. Besides never needing paint, and withstanding extreme heat, extreme cold, high winds (up to gale force) and termite infestation – which no stick-built structure can do – these metal buildings feature pleasant, neutral color schemes that won’t ruin the view and highly attractive interiors, including storage shelving, windows, electric service and bathrooms.

But the uses for these buildings are not limited to the descriptions above. More and more, smart ranch and farm managers and owners are realizing the true benefits of steel above traditional timber-framed barns and sheds. Used for storing hay, grain or feed, metal buildings are less likely to attract or harbor pests like rodents and bugs. Durable and non-combustible, these metal storage buildings go barns one better by offering the option of mist or sprinkler systems in the event a fire should start, in overheated hay bales for example.

They also improve on barns by providing a plumbing-ready interface and security systems to protect valuable livestock and equipment. Finally, the buildings can be outfitted with heating and cooling equipment and high ceilings to provide the optimum environment for making priceless breeding stock healthy and comfortable.

Best of all, owners won’t have to spend a single minute painting, and the wide doors mean inexperienced crew can drive even a Montana 4340C tractor in without taking out the doorjamb. In fact, these metal buildings are so attractive, and provided with so many features like bathrooms, meeting rooms and even showers, that they can be used as riding academies or arenas to keep students (and valuable horseflesh) out of the hot, noonday sun.