Tag Archives: barn home kit designs

Apartment Barn Kits For Family & Financial Gain

The way Americans view their living spaces has been upended with the recent explosion of the shared economy. This trend–exacerbated by the fact that nearly 30% of American adults ages 18-34 stay with their parents–has given rise to an entirely new definition of a roommate. Formerly dormant bedrooms and living spaces can be transformed into lucrative endeavors, for those bold enough to forego privacy for profit. New, hybrid buildings are constructed every day to reflect patterns of flexible, small-scale living.

Thankfully, the team at DC Structures has evolved in lock-step alongside these recent developments, with the growth of our apartment barn kit product line. While the idea of a bespoke living space above a garage was once an upper-class luxury, we here in the Pacific Northwest have designed and built these gorgeous and affordable structures nationwide for over 15 years. Chances are, we have a project in your neck of the woods. Check out our gallery to see what we can create for you and your family.

If you were considering a new garage or mixed-use building for storage, take advantage of our trusted team of project specialists and designers and consider an apartment barn for your property with living space above for extra income or the occasional visitor. You could even be so generous as to host a lingering son or daughter, or use it yourself to finally carve out that special space for your hobby or workshop.

At DC Structures, we won’t just send you your materials package and head for the garage door – we are partners for the duration of your project long after completion. We know that by using our sturdy post-and-beam style of construction, combined with a durable mix of cedar and Douglas fir materials, your garage with living quarters kit will be built to last.

Let us help you create a heavy-timber style apartment garage built for the 21st century. We’ll share the expertise; how you use your structure is up to you. From shared living space designs for paying guests, to stunning wraparound decks and exterior staircases that overlook your property, DC has the versatility and experience to handle the most ambitious of projects.

For a simple overview of our design and procurement process, visit our process page.

Oregon’s Old Mill District

The Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon draws thousands of visitors a year from all around the world. Shops, art galleries, and music venues now occupy what was once home to the two largest sawmills in the world.

The Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company established a mill in 1916 on the Deschutes River’s west bank, with another mill built by the Books-Scanlon Lumber Company on its east bank shortly after.

This mill confederate dominated Bend’s economy for 78 years. At one point, the companies were two of the largest pine sawmills in the world, operating around the clock with more than 2,000 workers producing 500 million board feet of lumber a year. 

Bend’s population leaped from 536 in 1910 to 5,414 in 1920. By 1930 the city’s population was 8,821. Twenty years of heavy logging created massive deficits in the surrounding forests. Up to 200,000 acres were cut down indiscriminately. The Bend Chamber of Commerce addressed this issue with the mills, but these warnings fell on deaf ears, eventually leading to official closures in 1983.

Balanced harvesting practices have drastically altered timber framing. Deforestation nearly destroyed the concept. Old growth in Northwestern coniferous forests are iconic natural attractions. Enjoying the great outdoors is something every builder, designer and sales associate values here at DC Builders. You don’t need to be from the Northwest to understand this. That’s why we provide kits that emulate these ideals, along with sustainable practices.  

The Deschutes cabin was named for the very river which the Old Mill District sits on. It emblematically represents the balance between progress and sustainability because respect is an inherent virtue above all else. The 776 sq. ft. floor plan gives you an opportunity to haul more manageable pre-engineered components anywhere a 4×4 can go.

 

Stillwater: The Perfect Small Barn Home Kit

The Stillwater is a small barn home kit that’s based on a custom structure we designed for satisfied clients in Oklahoma. DC’s designers created a typical modern-style small barn home kit configuration with a lofted bedroom hovering gracefully above a spacious open living area. A straightforward floor plan like this, requires very little thought as you move through its design and building phase.

A sturdy post and beam sub-floor complements a parallel chord roof truss, creating a dynamic open living space. The window wall in this small barn home kit brings generous amounts of light, where every square inch is basked liberally. Double-pane windows provided by Andersen cancel unwanted noise, without compromising insulation.

The vaulted ceiling stands at an impressive 25 ft. high, commanding a triumphant presence on any property, no matter how small the structure. This modern small barn house kit’s lofted bedroom occupies the space above in perfect volume. You won’t find a cozier night away from the hustle and bustle.

This kit also features two dozen high-quality doors. The combination of cedar and Douglas fir is a prime coalescence between excellent hand craftsmanship and intuitive design. You won’t find a more approachable barn home kit like the Stillwater. However, we won’t be bashful to say you should give it a try!

In fact, this makes transporting the pre-engineered materials package a breeze, thanks to the Stillwater’s minimalist floor plan. No other barn home kit in the DC arsenal offers a more seamless blend between convenience and durability.

Looking have a kit built ASAP? Check out these simplified living plans that offer an array of big ideas for small living.

Post-and-Beam Kits Made Easy

The 2008 financial crash necessitated unsettling change amongst many businesses across the country. When we came up with DC Structures, we wanted to accentuate an approachable and comprehensive process inherently featured in post-and-beam kits, without sacrificing aesthetics and high quality.  

The process most kit companies put people through can be a nightmare. Most will simply drop off your pre-engineered components without so much as a follow-up email. Every step in the DC process has been carefully and methodically thought out to avoid any inconsistencies.

One key tool provided by our team are 3D isometric design instructions. These are unique in that many companies don’t provide them to their clients because it’s viewed as an unnecessary feature.

Too often builders assume clients cannot grasp the construction process behind their own structure. We think this is disingenuous. Everyone should have the material needed to build their own structure—even if it’s just a gesture.

What’s novel about these instructions are their accessibility, made specifically to be interpreted by anyone. Each page incorporates detailed illustrations surrounded by precise measurements, access points for joinery and scheduling for parts.

Everything from the knife plates down to nail placement, are accentuated in effortless detail, and organized chronologically like any other technical manual. Offering 3D isometric instructions provides even the most amateur of builders a pathway to success.

 

Planning for Solar Panels on Your Barn Home Kit

solar panels

Solar is the fastest growing alternative energy source in the world—a trend most would have dismissed as a fluke 48 years ago. That’s because photovoltaic systems back in 1970 were wildly expensive, costing around $70 per kilowatt an hour. Today, you pay significantly less at just 12 cents an hour per kilowatt. The overall price for kilowatt hours has dropped 10 percent since 1980. If these trends continue, analysts believe solar will inevitably contribute 20 percent to total energy consumption in the United States by 2030.

It’s easy to see why solar is one of the best disruptive technologies out there, and why an increasing number of homeowners are opting to make the switch. While we ourselves do not manufacture solar panels, we can definitely help you get set up with some when you go through the process of designing a barn home kit with us.

Here are some things you should consider before retrofitting your barn house building kit.

Infrastructure

Sixty percent of households don’t have sufficient roofing infrastructure to support solar panels.

One standard 60-cell residential solar panel can weigh between 40–50 lbs. Powering a house efficiently will require the majority of your roof’s surface area, in order to properly aggregate enough power to the inverter and into your battery bank.

A good night’s rest comes courtesy of our homegrown Pacific Northwest timber. This wooden material is handcrafted onsite and cured using a process that denotes longevity. If you don’t mind sacrificing a little open space in the vaulted ceilings, the installation of extra support beams can reinforce the weight of the panels. We also recommend tweaking the roof pitch for maximum sun exposure. Check out our Flex Design option to learn more about how to further customize your kit!

How Much Does Solar Cost?

The average gross residential cost for solar panels before factoring in tax credit reductions can hover between $16,800 and $30,000. Sleek solar products like Elon Musk’s powerwall and solar roof can cost $12,000 to $15,000 for a 2,000 sq. ft. home. The powerwall, a highly efficient and discreet battery system, will add another $3,000 to $6,000 depending on your needs. However, sticking with conventional solar panels is still the better option at this point in time.

Simplicity is a universal philosophy amongst our rustic designers. For a 3,000 sq. ft. home with a $200 monthly power bill, a conventional 8.5 kW system would only cost $26,000 to install. At this scale, Tesla’s photovoltaic cells would only be able to produce 6.25 kW at a $60,000 price point, giving you less for more.

Tax Credit Reductions

Federal tax credits for solar last year saved the average individual $5,000. A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of the price you pay for installation. 30 percent is the current reduction rate. Eventually, this rate will drop to 26 percent in 2020. A trend which will continue to fall unless Congress chooses to renew the program’s reduction policy. With only one year left, applying for these reductions before installation would be the most prudent move you could make.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering protects the energy you generate onsite from being abused by utility companies. If a utility company overuses the power you contribute to the grid, then you’re entitled to reparations. Running your meter backwards will result in credit that can be used on your next electrical payment. Each state is different depending on where you are. Be sure you do some research before turning your kit into a self sufficient off-grid mecca.

Ready to take the first step toward designing your dream home today? Request a free quote to get started!