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Homesteading and Building a Barn

Posted By On 06-08-2018

Homesteading in today’s modern age looks a lot different from the days of the settlers, but the main goal is the same: self-sufficiency.

Homesteading is getting a lot of hype these days. With tiny homes giving us whole new meaning to “house goals,” people are looking into their options for small carbon-footprint living that also teaches them new skills. Homesteading means grappling with the art of doing for oneself and learning how to live independently. It’s a great confidence boost to know that you can do your own repairs, grow your own food, and even produce your own textiles.

No matter your living situation, you can incorporate homesteading principles into your way of life. If you are lucky enough to have your own plot of land, then building a barn is the natural next step.

The type of barn you choose will depend a lot on your property, your acreage and the types of animals you decide to have. It’s advisable to start with smaller, easier to care for animals such as chickens. They’re cheaper than larger livestock like cows, less draining on your land, and easier to kill for a first-timer.

Here are seven well-regarded styles of barns that suit the North American homestead well:

  1. Bank Barns
    -rectangular with two levels, the lower level for livestock and the upper level for hay storage.
  2. Round and Polygonal Barns
    -the rarest of barn types, with animal stalls lined along the circular walls. Common in animal husbandry schools, these buildings have self-supporting ceilings.
  3. Tobacco Barns
    -originally meant for tobacco farmers to hang and dry their yield in after harvest. They are heavily ventilated and are made from oak, poplar or regional lumber.
  4. English Barns
    -Small and rectangular with an A-frame roof. The interior contains a centre aisle and a threshing floor. Animals are kept on one side, feed and equipment on the other.
  5. Dutch Barns
    -Dutch barns are known for their luxurious look featuring broad, gabled roofs. They have an H-shape structure which adds to their signature look
  6. Crib Barns
    -Crib barns are named for the one to six cribs stored inside of them that contain storage or livestock. There are also “double-crib barns” with a second story loft.
  7. Prairie Barns
    -These barns provide a lot of storage space for hay and grain, making them a popular choice for prairie farmers. Animals are housed on either side of a wide open, central space.

Speak to farmers in your area about their barn recommendations. Guaranteed they’ll chew your ear off going on about their views on the subject. The best advice you could ever get is from someone else who knows innately what it’s like to live off the land.

The next best thing you could do for advice is talk to your local experts at In The Backyard, located in Hamilton, Ontario. We do indoor and outdoor renovations, custom woodworking, and backyard shed solutions. We’d love to be your initial help on the road to homesteading success. Call us at 1-844-212-1284, or contact us here.

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