Convert 'Backyard Barn' to livable Mini-Cabin?

Andy3rdOctober 17, 2002

Just how much work would it take to convert one of those Backyard Barn type structures into a livable Mini-cabin?

No utilities or electricity- just weathersealing, insulation, interior paneling, etc.

Anyone ever do this or investigated the possissibility?

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composts(Z6 SW-Ohio)

Yes, I already have one.

Though I did not build it, I looks simple. As an Engineer I can also tell you where you will need to Stiffen the structure to meet your needs. We have some week spots that drive me NUTS!!!

The cabin we have is built around a clasic bran style shead with the hipped roof. There is a poarch on the front and a seperate bed room on one end.

But before I get into this project, would you answer a few questions?

1) Are you modifing a shed you already own?
---- If you are buying then there are better options for the same money and a lot less effort.

2) Is this shed on site or be moved there?
3) What is the ground like?
4) Is this a weekend cabin or full time housing?
5) What part of the world are you planning to put this cabin?

Bottom line: Yes you can have a very nice livable cabin.
But let's get the best answer for where you.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2002 at 9:37AM
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Andy3rd

Yes, I already have one.
Though I did not build it, I looks simple. As an Engineer I can also tell you where you will need to Stiffen the structure to meet your needs. We have some week spots that drive me NUTS!!!

The cabin we have is built around a clasic bran style shead with the hipped roof. There is a poarch on the front and a seperate bed room on one end.

But before I get into this project, would you answer a few questions?

1) Are you modifing a shed you already own?
---- If you are buying then there are better options for the same money and a lot less effort.

1)I was planning to buy.
2)Right now it is nowhere-see #1.
3)Flat innercity lot
4)ok- Here's the tricky part. My present house was built in 1923and has had NO upkeep. I bought it in 1984 but it was in such bad shape that I only paid $20,000 for it. It has been livable but is now on its last legs- wood rot thruout, Roof leaking and plaster falling from ceilings, etc.

The plan it to make the mini cabin home while I (slowly) tear this house down and then add a 2nd mini-cabin where the bathroom is now and then join the two mini-cabins with an enclosed greenhouse atruim type room and add a 3rd mini-cabin where the kitchen used to be so that on one side you have the bath and kitchen "cabins" the atrium/greenhouse and on the other side the other "cabin" which will be the sleeping/living area. This arrangement will let me use all present utility connections

5)I'm planning to do this as inner-city homesteading in Nashville, TN.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2002 at 5:11PM
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composts(Z6 SW-Ohio)

Okay,

As you do not have a 'cabin' yet. I would suggest you look for pre-fab'ed cabins. These are kits like the backyard barn but layed out for living space. The Amish stores up here have these for around $3500 to $5500. That is very comperable to a $2000 barn plus the extra it will run you to make it more livable.

I also found that the under floor support is lacking. THese are made to sit on worked leveled ground. Mine was placed on posts to compensate for ground slope and the floor was not stiffened.

A small wood burner stove provides plenty of heat.

Your project sounds good.

I did 5 min. of web surfing on back yard barns and found this site that has some nice plans. I would suggest you also surf a bit. I picked this site for you as it has lots of pictures. And I feel that if you do not limit yourself to a Home Depot Parking lot model you can get a nice stylish little building that you may like a lot better.

Even with the poarch and extra room. Our cabin still looks like a storage barn. Just a thought. YOu are not limited at this point.

Great luck Keep us in the loop.

Here is a link that might be useful: Other Cabin Ideas

    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 12:57PM
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