Barn beauty | Living the Country Life

Barn beauty

Most folks would have thrown up their hands and torn it down, but Judy Parker saw a bright future for this old barn.
Judy Parker and her family did much of the labor to move this old barn and then to remodel it into a home and bed-and-breakfast. Total cost of the project was about $200,000.
Judy and her family did most of the work, they hired professional barn restorers to shingle the roof and to install steel siding.

She lives in a barn

Judy Parker does her book work in calving pens, sends guests to the hayloft, and serves breakfast over a horse stall wall.

Yes, she lives in a barn.

Both rustic and modern, Judy's barn home near Geddes, South Dakota, has amenities such as a whirlpool tub, but it maintains the look of a circa 1924 barn. It took 10 years of hard work, but Judy, a retired teacher, says remodeling the barn was the right choice. Judy, her extended family, and a passel of friends did most of the work.

The first thing they did was brace the sidewalls and put a cable in the rafters to straighten the barn. Then they moved the barn from its original location across a pasture to a heated cement slab where water and electricity access were better. Once they started moving it, "The whole town came out to watch," Judy laughs. With a crew walking inside and outside the barn, the driver drove on the slab and lowered the barn onto sill insulation. "It fit perfectly," Judy says.

Then the real work began. She power-washed the barn, starting with the rafters and working her way down to the main floor with its horse and cow stalls and granary. Stalls were removed, except for one dividing the kitchen from the living room.

"You can see where the horses chewed on the beams," she says, pointing to a gnawed area under her wall phone. She wanted to keep as much barn wood as possible, but realized the house would be too dark, even with 25 windows. She compromised, leaving some of the granary structure, floor joists, and beams exposed, but insulating and drywalling the walls. A contractor also sprayed the inside of the barn ceiling with an insulating sealant.


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