All posts by Eris Creative

Barn Workshop Kits: Grow Your Business

barn workshop kits

Ready to take your business to the next level? Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty work space or a place to conduct your business operations—or both!—the versatile barn workshop kits from DC Structures are a durable and cost-effective solution to your company’s needs.

This spacious home business workshop outside Seattle, Washington is a shining example of how our barn workshop kits can help small companies grow. Starting with a Powell monitor barn kit, these clients opted for a number of modifications and upgrades to satisfy the requirements for their business operations.

In addition to widening the structure by 10 feet for additional square footage, this workshop is reinforced with double-wall constructions. A heavy timber frame center-aisle loft makes for a great vantage point to oversee production, as well as extra storage space.

See for yourself in the photos below!

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Thinking about a barn workshop kit for your own home business? Request a digital catalog and start building your dreams today!

Finishing Touches: Barn Home Accessories

barn home accessories

The process of designing and building a new structure is a lot of work, but it’s not all doom and gloom! Personalizing your structure with barn home accessories is where the fun comes into play, as no house or horse barn would be complete without them.

Barn home accessories can be both functional and aesthetic, allowing you to individualize your project both internally and externally. From barn toppers and ventilation to the lighting fixtures that illuminate your structure, we make it easy to make your kit your own.


Cupolas are an iconic addition to any barn or barn-style structure, and are often an identifying feature for classic barn designs. Serving as an extra skylight, cupolas provide more opportunities for natural light to pour into the space. If positioned appropriately, a small spiral staircase can lead up to the cupola, which will then double as a lookout.

Weather Vanes

An alternative or accompanying barn topper to cupolas, weather vanes are also a symbolic barn identifier. Weather vanes are purely decorative, and can be customized to suit your building’s desired aesthetic. Whether you choose the traditional rooster or a quirkier icon such as a pineapple or a mermaid, your weather vane will inevitably add character to your barn or home.


A big trend in building is to optimize natural lighting. Not only is this a more cost effective way to think about lighting a space, it’s simply more attractive. Skylights and large windows strategically placed throughout your barn or barn-style home will keep your structure safely well lit. Once the sun goes down, though, we’ve got plenty of options to point you toward for durable and attractive lighting fixtures.


A well ventilated barn is key to your horse’s health. If you choose to use the top of your barn for storage, we’d recommend opting for Barnstormer fans to keep the air circulating.

Horse Proofing Your Barn

Animal safety should be the number-one consideration for any barn. Our horse barn accessories are non-slippery, safe and easy to clean, and will go a long way toward keeping your horses happy and healthy.

Thinking about barn home accessories for the structure you have yet to build? Request our digital catalog to get started on your dream building today!

Video: Michigan Workshop with Living Quarters

michigan workshop with living quarters

This beautiful Michigan workshop with living quarters is a stunning example of the versatility of our post and beam building kits. Starting with an Oakridge 60’, this apartment barn design was modified to serve as a functional home base during hunting season.

This heavy-duty workshop with living quarters features a five-door garage that provides ample work space and storage on the ground floor. Upstairs, 1,800 sq. ft. of cozy living space includes a bunk area, wet bar and gaming area.

Thinking about your own workshop with living quarters? Request our digital catalog to get started on your dream building today!

First Impressions: Wood or Hardie Siding Options

siding options

When you choose between siding options for your house or barn, you’re deciding on the first impression of that building for years to come. What kind of message are you trying to send?

Nationwide barn kit company DC Structures boasts an innovative line of flexible and functional post and beam building packages. We fully support your individuality, which is why we offer a versatile selection of options and upgrades that enable you to personalize your structure. That includes siding options for the exterior of your barn or barn-style home!

There are two general routes people go when choosing their siding: wood or hardie. Wood sidings tend to require more upkeep over time while hardie is generally more low-maintenance. If you’re willing to put in the effort to maintain it, the benefits of wood siding are all in the rustic elegance it imparts. That said, the siding you choose should work for your desired aesthetic and lifestyle.

Wood Siding Options

Cedar Board and Batten siding package

Cedar board and batten siding is the standard offering for our barn home and apartment barn kits. This beautiful and durable siding choice features 1” x 10” visual-grade, tight-knot Western red cedar boards and 1” x 3” battens with smoothed edges.

Doug Fir Tongue and Groove siding package

Doug fir tongue and groove siding is the standard offering for all our horse barn kits, and is frequently selected as an upgraded covering for interior walls and ceilings. This beautiful wood siding works well with a range of vibrant stain colors.

Cedar Tongue and Groove siding package

Cedar tongue and groove siding is offered as an upgrade from the standard Doug fir tongue and groove package. Western red cedar is celebrated for its rich color, straight grain and its natural resistance to the elements.

DC Barnwood siding package

DC Barnwood siding is new cedar that has been treated to resemble reclaimed barn wood. Less expensive than actual recovered barn wood and easier to obtain in large quantities, DC Barnwood is available in more than a dozen colors.

Hardie Siding Options

Hardiepanel siding package

Hardiepanel vertical siding is available in four textures, including stucco. More fire resistant than wood, hardiepanel requires less maintenance over time. With dozens of colors to choose from, this siding option comes with a 30-year transferable warranty.

Hardieplank siding package

Hardieplank lap siding is available in dozens of textures and colors. Requiring less maintenance over time, hardieplank is also more fire resistant than wood. This siding option comes with a 30-year transferable warranty.

Curious to know how you can make one of our kits your own? Request our digital catalog and imagine the possibilities!

Easy on the Hooves: Tips for Planning Horse Arena Footing

Arena footing—sounds easy enough, right? Decisions surrounding the footing you choose for your riding arena are a lot more complicated than you might think. Poor footing will subject your horse to an increased risk of injury and long-term degenerative problems. As such, footing selections call for an informed and measured approach that takes a variety of factors into consideration.

When evaluating any arena footing material, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kind of maintenance will this footing require?
  • Do the pros of using this material outweigh the cons?
  • Does this footing make sense for its intended use?
  • Will this material interact well with the natural environment?
  • Is it possible to combine this footing with additional materials for a better effect?

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Of course, any equestrian knows that caring for horses is no easy task! So long as you are guided by the will to create a safe environment for horses and their riders, everything—including dirt, sand and wood—will settle into place just fine. That said, some aspects of your arena footing are non-negotiable.

All arena footing must be absolutely:

  • Free of holes and uneven or shifting surfaces
  • Stable yet shock absorbent
  • Non-slippery and well-tractioned

Arena footings that meet these three necessary requirements can be comprised of a variety of materials—both natural and synthetic—as well as a combination of footing types. While there are countless products and formulas on the market, the most common footing materials are made from clay- or silt-based dirt, sand or wax coated sand, and wood products or natural and synthetic fibers. The arena footing materials you choose should be right for your regional environment and equestrian discipline.

Before you even think about choosing an arena footing, you must have 100 percent confidence in your riding arena’s base. Solid arena bases adhere to high standards for the three D’s: drainage, durability and depth. If you live in a wet region or know your arena will be getting lots of traffic, it may be necessary to go beyond standard recommendations.

  • Drainage: Opt for a strong base that will enable water to seep into the ground rather than flood the surface.
  • Durability: Make sure your base is compacted above a 90 percent density so it will hold its integrity and keep rocks from creeping to the top.
  • Depth: Keep your base layer at no less than four inches deep and up to one foot deep if your equestrian activities call for more support.

Thinking about a horse arena of your own? DC Structures offers two covered riding arena kits for year-round equestrian enthusiasts. Check out our Prairie arena kit and our Canyon arena with stables package. Request our digital catalog so you can get started on your dream arena.

360° Barn Home Tour: Garage With Living Quarters

garage with living quarters

DC Structures’ post and beam building kits are designed to bring you closer to your passions—literally! Guided by the idea that where you live and what you love should be one in the same, we offer flexible and functional packages that can be modified to suit your unique lifestyle.

This garage with upstairs living quarters in Bend, Oregon is a shining example of the ways in which home can effortlessly combine with hobby—all without sacrificing on luxury. Adapted from an Oakridge 60’ barn home kit, this stunning barn-style house features a large garage and storage space on the ground floor and sweeping open-concept living quarters upstairs.

Tour the inside of these stunning upstairs living quarters!

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Ready to turn your hobbies into a lifestyle? Request our digital catalog to get started on your dream building today!

Where the Party at? Backyard Party Barn Ideas

party barn ideas

Remember the good ol’ days when you could avoid the humdrum of homework and chores by escaping to your backyard tree house? Or, if your own childhood was devoid of tree house adventures, then perhaps you secretly long for the return to innocence that was those easier times. Either way, a backyard party barn could be just the thing that’s missing from your property.

Party barns are what you make of them, and can serve a range of purposes from work space and man cave to backyard bar and gaming room. Just think of it as a place you’d like to unwind after a long day of grinding away at your regular 9-5, or the place you’d like to practice your craft after hours.

DC Structures’ flexible line of post and beam barn kits are easily reimagined for a number of party barn ideas. Our designs can be modified to include anything you think would add to the personalization of your backyard getaway.

This backyard party barn in Damascus, Oregon is the perfect mix of your favorite pastimes and some much needed relaxation. Starting with a Columbia 24’ barn kit, these floor plans were modified to include a workshop, man cave and upstairs loft. A custom bar and handcrafted timber frame stairs add to the rustic aesthetic, while upgrades to the sweeping deck make this structure the perfect all-seasons hangout.

Tour the inside of this party barn in the interactive photo below!

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Are the wheels of inspiration turning for your own party barn ideas? Request our digital catalog for more!

Video: Cornelius Apartment Barn Testimonial

apartment barn

For the team at DC Structures, building relationships is just as important as helping customers build their dream barn or barn-style home. We take pride in the quality of our product and service offerings, making client connections a priority both during and after completion of their projects.

One of the many benefits of maintaining an open and honest line of communication with our customers is that they are happy to share their thoughts about what it’s like to work with DC Structures. We can sing our own praises for days, but we know the most valuable insights will always come from clients themselves.

Sustainable Living at its Finest: Apartment Barn Testimonial

The apartment barn is an efficient structure that makes good use of space with its hybrid design. Combining home with hobby, our apartment barn kits offer the benefit of bringing you closer to the things you love the most. Not to mention a reduced carbon footprint!

This sustainable apartment barn in Cornelius, Oregon boasts two horse stalls and two dog kennels on the ground floor, and a cozy living space upstairs. Modified from an Oakridge 36’ apartment barn kit, this functional and attractive structure boasts an array of energy-efficient upgrades. Skylights optimize natural lighting for the upstairs living quarters while a solar panel and electric car charging station reduce energy consumption.

Hear what the owners of this sustainable apartment barn have to say about working with DC Structures in the apartment barn testimonial below!

Thinking about an apartment barn for your own property? Request our digital catalog and get started on your dreams today!

Barn Conversion Cons: Why Remodeling Might Be A Bad Idea

barn conversion

Thinking about a remodel for that old wooden barn sitting unused on your property? Here are a few things to consider when planning for a barn conversion.

The idea of restoring an old barn into a rustic barn house might sound great in theory, but most of the time it’s a lot more costly and painstaking in practice.

The biggest barrier to a barn remodel is without a doubt financial. Hidden expenses will crop up in the form of things like fumigation costs and re-engineering fees. In other words, it won’t take long for the cost of the barn conversion to exceed the cost of an entirely new barn-style home.

If you’ve got an endless cash flow and a zen-like capacity for headache-inducing regulatory hiccups, then maybe a barn conversion is for you. If you’re like most people, however, you’ll probably prefer the path of least resistance.

Barn Conversion Woes: The Rotten, the Infested and the Costly

Before you begin to plan a barn remodel, it’s important to identify whether your barn is even worth converting. If your structure is a pole barn, don’t even bother.

Pole barns have short life spans because they rely on treated wood posts in concrete in lieu of a proper foundation. This means that, regardless of what chemicals are used to protect the lumber from the concrete’s moisture, the posts will inevitably rot.

As such, appraisers, banks and lenders do not always recognize pole barns as permanent structures. This complicates financing requests for your already spendy barn conversion. Further, many pole barns are not properly engineered to meet the structural requirements necessary for a residence. And good luck getting permits for that kind of project!

To add insult to injury, you’ll likely need to hire an architect or structural engineer who can create blueprints of the existing barn. If you don’t have the old plans, you can’t get permits or accurate bids for the new plans.

Even if the barn you’d like to remodel has a proper foundation, existing blueprints and adequate structural integrity, there is yet another roadblock to make you wary. Six-legged pests such as powder post beetles will wreak havoc on the timbers that support your barn.

Fumigation is expensive enough, but costs will be astronomical if you delay the process until after your old barn has been remodeled. Would the financial burden and logistical nightmare of vacating your residence be worth that rustic barn conversion?

The Post and Beam Barn House Alternative

DC Structures offers a diverse and highly modifiable line of post-and-beam building kits that will stay standing for two-to-three times longer than their pole barn counterparts. Whether you’re looking for a barn-style home, hybrid apartment barn, or a workshop or garage with living quarters, DC Structures has a kit to suit your lifestyle needs.

Our pre-engineered barn home kits are both efficient and cost-effective. We offer our clients the benefit of a rustic barn aesthetic that is built to last—all without the headache.

Request our digital catalog for a better sense of how we can make your barn house dreams come true.

Project Preview: North Carolina Horse Barn

north carolina horse barn

Oregon-based DC Structures partners with clients across the U.S., turning unique visions into pre-engineered materials packages. From apartment barns and barn-style homes to wineries and wedding and event venues, DC has several projects under construction at any given time.

Relationship building is the backbone of our operation, which is why DC Structures provides builder support to your chosen contractor throughout the duration of your build. We keep in contact with our customers long after the plans and materials package have been shipped—and even after construction is complete just to make sure you absolutely love your finished structure.

Learn more about our process here!

North Carolina Horse Barn in the Making

This past fall, construction finished for our client’s Tryon, North Carolina horse barn. Modified from a Columbia 72’ horse barn kit, this barn with caretaker’s quarters and upstairs viewing loft is an equestrian enthusiast’s dream.

The ground floor boasts eight horse stalls, a double-size tack room, a wash bay, and a full bathroom with shower and laundry. Upstairs, a 72’ center-aisle loft with heavy timber framing and fir tongue-and-groove decking offers a wonderful vantage point to check up on the horses.

The horse stalls are complemented by Classic Equine Legend Series stall fronts, and include such necessary amenities as stall dividers, rubber stall mats and chew protection. Black powder-coated steel-framed Dutch doors enhance the aesthetic, while also meeting DC Structures’ high standards for barn animal safety.

Additional upgrades to this Columbia horse barn kit include custom 12’ timber trusses, powder-coated breezeway doors with windows, and a steel-framed hayloft door. Natural lighting is optimized by the windows of two Nantucket shed dormers, as well as those of the iconic cupola.

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Stay tuned for photos of the finished project this spring!

Thinking about a horse barn for your own property? Request our digital catalog to learn more about our top-quality post-and-beam barn kits.

Oakridge Apartment Barns: One Kit, Limitless Potential

apartment barns

DC Structures designs apartment barns for the dedicated hobbyists; the people who put as much energy into their passions as they do their livelihoods. Much like our clientele, we prefer an original approach. Our innovative line of post-and-beam barn kits offers flexible utility to meet our customers’ unique lifestyle needs.

The Oakridge apartment barn is our best-selling kit, as it is easily our most versatile design. Making efficient use of one structure for two purposes, the Oakridge brings our clients closer to their favorite personal pursuits. Whether you’re looking for an apartment barn to call home for you and your horses or a workshop with upstairs living quarters to hone your craft at all hours, the Oakridge can work for you.

The Swiss Army Knife of Apartment Barns

Below are three different ways the Oakridge apartment barn kit has been repurposed by our creative clients. We’ve seen the Oakridge evolve into a garage with sweeping upstairs living quarters, an energy-efficient apartment barn, and a hunting cabin with equipment storage and workspace. Of course, we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this functional structure’s potential.


This massive garage with elegant upstairs living quarters was adapted from an Oakridge 60’. With ample storage and workspace on the ground floor, this beautiful Central Oregon barn home is as functional as it is attractive. On the top floor, a sweeping open-concept kitchen, living and dining area is complemented by a large 600 sq. ft. covered deck.

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This efficient apartment barn was modified from the Oakridge 36’ kit design. Featuring a host of sustainable upgrades, this hybrid home houses two horses and two dogs. Skylights optimize natural lighting while a solar panel lessens energy dependence. The addition of an electric car charging station minimizes the burning of fossil fuels.

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Designed from an Oakridge 60’ apartment barn kit, this workshop with cabin quarters serves as home base during hunting season. The attractive and functional structure boasts plenty of storage for heavy outdoor equipment, as well as fun additions to the living areas like a gaming space and wet bar.

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Scheming about what you would do with your own Oakridge apartment barn kit? Request our digital catalog for more inspiration!

No Horsing Around: Pro Tips for Horse Barn Safety

horse barn safety

Horse barn safety is DC Structures’ top priority when it comes to designing our top-of-the-line barn kits. Injuries pose a real threat to horses, as the road to recovery can be especially arduous for them. There are a number of preventative measures you can take to ensure the safety of your four-legged equine friends. Read on for our recommendations for best practices.

DC Structures’ top-8 horse barn safety tips

  • All barn materials should be free of chemical treatments as they present health risks to horses that chew on them. DC Structures uses top-grade untreated lumbers for its post-and-beam kit designs.
  • The areas within and around a barn should always be free of clutter. Loose items scattered about the aisles are a safety hazard.
  • Walkways should be no less than 12’ wide to allow horses to pass freely and turn around with ease. DC Structures’ barn kits all include plans that meet this requirement.
  • The aisle ways should have an even and well-tractioned surface. Textured concrete or dirt without rocks are both great options.
  • Stall fronts should have smoothed edges to avoid injury to the horse. All DC Structures horse barn packages include Classic Equine’s powder-coated, pre-galvanized steel stall fronts, designed specifically to protect your horse from scratches.
  • The only direction a stall door should swing is outward, as inward-swinging doors can create potentially dangerous situations for caretakers if the horse is anxious to get out.
  • Barn lighting should be mounted high away from a horse’s reach, or otherwise secured within strong wire casing.
  • Floor-to-ceiling height should be adequate for rearing horses. DC Structures designs its barn kits with a minimum of 9’ from the floor to the ceiling.

To learn more about DC Structures’ top-of-the-line horse barn kits, request our digital catalog.