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In the mid 1800's there were over 34,000 farms in Vermont. Both the population explosion and modern farming practices have led to the rapid disappearance of the small "family owned" farm and the need for traditional barns. With less than 1200 working dairy farms remaining in Vermont today, there exists a large number of barns and outbuildings, spared for sentimental and aesthetic reasons, (usually used for storage but no longer earning their keep), which are now relics of the past and represent an irreplaceable reminder of our agricultural and architectural heritage and the vitality of the land that once supported them. People from throughout Vermont contact The Barn People in hopes of selling us their barn for a number of reasons. Since there are so few people who relocate antique barns, we actually get calls from all across America. Many current owners can’t afford to maintain their barn’s upkeep or continue to pay taxes and insurance on them.
Finding a good barn that is worth the effort of dismantling and reassembling elsewhere is one of our strong points. Our product is essentially the barn frame. We are not too concerned about the exterior siding or roofing, which as a rule has been neglected for years and usually presents the barn as derelict. After viewing hundreds of barns for so many years, we’ve become very selective about the barns we choose to work with. Although old barns have withstood heavy snows and strong New England winds for almost two hundred years, many are unexceptional and many more have deteriorated beyond repair. Those who wish to include a vintage barn frame in their construction plans must be sure to direct their resources wisely and with a well-informed choice of barns.
A large attraction of the barn dwelling concept is the idea that no two barns are exactly alike. Thanks to the enormous flexibility of the frame, the possible configurations of personalized living spaces are unlimited. The exciting challenge is to create wonderful living spaces which make the most of the antique posts, beams, rafters, etc. However, just as in planning a conventionally built home, decisions must first be made about your personal needs and preferences. Because your barn dwelling is basically a custom home, there are no floor plans from which to choose from. You, as the new owner of an old barn, begin with a large volume shell, and you must first decide what it will contain. . . how many rooms of what size. . . their relationship to one another and the approximate overall square footage you require. When your preliminary planning is done, it will be much easier to choose a barn that best meets your requirements.
Because of distances and operating costs, The Barn People reassemble the barn frame only. You will need to hire a local contractor to complete your project. We are a small company, concentrating on a specific product, the vintage barn frame, which cannot be duplicated, mass-produced or handled like a prepackaged housing unit. We strongly suggest that you use an architect to help plan your home and oversee its construction. Architects can be very helpful with such concerns as scale, size, orientation and cost. At our shop we take exacting dimensions and provide your architect with drawings from which to create working drawings (blueprints) necessary to obtain building permits and to assist your local contractor in creating a refined estimate for the remaining work.Your architect will then work with our photos and blueprints to design any modifications to adapt your barn frame to your needs. For modifications to be made properly, careful thought and exact specifications are essential. The Barn People are always available for consultation for both you and your architect. Many people have found that our past experiences proved invaluable when planning and finishing their barn frame dwelling.
Although many clients have purchased a barn from us without actually seeing them except in photos, we do offer the exciting and unique opportunity to come for a visit and tour a few of the barns we’ve located that we feel may well meet your requirements. This visit affords you the chance to view the barn in its original setting and can be quite helpful in making some basic design decisions. Also, by exploring the interior of the actual barn in conjunction with the scale drawings, as well as taking pictures, you will be well on your way to visualizing your future barn project. This is why we prefer to keep our barn inventory standing in its original site, if at all possible. Once you have decided to visit, contact us for a shop and office visit and/or site visit. Our office is actually a barn frame/model home which helps most visitors gain a much better awareness of what a converted barn looks like, how it’s constructed and the materials choices which can be used, both on the exterior as well as the interior. A barn site visit will give you a feeling for the specific structure and it’s original setting. The Barn People are quite sure that during your time spent with us you will find the barn of your dreams and feel excitement in understanding its roots and origins.
And . . . a confidence-inspiring visit to our shop will enable you to view the care and attention to detail that goes into each of our restored barn frames. You may also view many photographs of previous projects for possible ideas about your own barn.
The Barn People
2218 US RT 5, Windsor
SELLING VINTAGE VERMONT BARN FRAMES FOR 40 YEARS!