The truth is – not everyone wants to live in an old barn. Vintage timber frame barn homes, like most historic properties, are for a certain kind of person. Having done this work for nearly 30 years, I’ve had the chance to meet all types of people who are interested in owning a barn home or transforming a historic timber frame into an office, studio or barn.
What my clients and colleagues share is an appreciation for history and for preserving the memories, the craftsmanship and the artistic talents of a former generation. Old barns exude a warmth and a feeling that just appeals to some people.
Over the years, I have built many new timber frames as well, and they, too, feel great. Owners love the vintage style and the look of the exposed post and beams.
But the old barn houses somehow remind the owners of times past – like you are suddenly a kid again visiting your grandparents or reliving a 4th grade class trip when you were able to step back into history.
Perhaps it’s the timbers talking…
So why buy a historic barn?
You buy a historic barn because you want to preserve our New England heritage. Maybe you want to imagine what it was like in 1816 when Vermont had no summer, frost every month and you wondered if you would even have any crops left to put in the barn. Maybe you decided to move west after that year. Maybe you took your barn with you! Or left it behind, abandoned but not forgotten, for other poor souls hoping for a better growing season in 1817.
When you restore an old barn, you get to sit in a building that was standing while the United State of America fought Britain for its freedom. It was standing when Lincoln freed the slaves, when Lewis and Clark went canoeing, when Dickens had yet to gripe about Christmas.
And the trees themselves? Were they around before Columbus sailed and da Vinci was sketching out the Mona Lisa?
If you have a taste for history and antiques, on old barn home may be the perfect way to surround yourself with what you love. In an old barn, you can curl up at night under centuries-old timbers and listen to the stories they tell.