Monday, September 14, 2015

Blue Ridge Barn Compliments Eclectic Home

We live on 55 acres; most of which is forested but our home is located in the middle of an approximately 8 acre meadow.  We wanted to add a barn to allow outdoor activities in the winter (covered space), store larger outdoor equipment, have chickens and space for potting, composting etc. Our goal for it's architectural design was for it to work well with the house, be a simple structure but have some interest architecturally because we can see it directly out of the Great Room windows in the house. 

One part of the trick of building this structure was site.  We eventually chose to put it just east of the house in the meadow, within easy walking distance.  We can get up to 4' of snow in the winter here so the idea of not having to trek real far to get to the barn had tremendous appeal.  We also did not want to block any of the house's primary view, which is expansive.  It looks over the southern end of the Roanoke Valley at the Blue Ridge Parkway on the distant mountain ridge. 

The site was the only larger flat area in our meadow; we did not want to spend a great deal of money excavating. Even still, when the footers of the barn went in they found that area was in fact old fill and there were nails dating back to the early 1900s in the dirt.  We're not sure what was there, but likely some smaller outbuilding for the original owner's cabin, which was located a bit west of where our current house is. 

To both reduce cost and create some architectural interest, the barn was designed in a T shape.  The longer area is my husband's space where he currently has his batting cage, a wonderful stress relief from work.  The smaller front area is mine, we piped in water so I could add an outdoor sink for potting. I've already got a large barrel composter and my garden tools out there and I'm starting to design my workspace.  Rather excited to get in to that next spring.

The bank of windows above the barn doors on the north elevation let in a tremendous amount of light, as do those lower windows, which can be opened, for breeze in the summer.  We chose also to install large square outdoor fans in the peak of the roof (north and south elevations) to be able to force air through in the summer and further cool the barn during the peak of the summer heat.  We are able to turn on these fans and the barn's outdoor lights from inside the house.

Given we enjoy some 'fun' in our architecture, we wanted to leverage the wonderful Windswept Weathered Wood siding for the outside... but use a color that was not used on the house.  We ultimately choose the color Cowboy brown that echoed the tone of the small old barn we have below the house, the last remaining 'vintage' structure on a property that has known only 3 owners since the late 1880s.  We also love this vintage barnwood siding for use in this area where there are wood-boring bees that can cause tremendous destruction in buildings they take a fancy to.It was our observation after moving in to our home that these bees do not like the Windswept siding, we assume it has something to do with the production process and the more deeply embedded finish.  Whatever the reason, by eliminating the threat of those pests it is a highly desirable material here.
The roofing is a classic metal, echoing the roof on the house.  We used the same exterior sconces over the large barn doors that we used on the southern side of the house, large grey barn sconces.  The trim and pergolas were painted the same gray that was used on the house; similarly the barn soffits were painted the 'haute blue' that we have come to love on the house.  All these elements were leveraged to create a stronger visual tie between the structures.

For more information contact:

Glen Ehrhardt, President

Harvest Timber Specialty Products
PO Box 59 
Lakebay, WA  98349
p. (253) 884-6255  
f. (253) 884-6256