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Maximize the Potential of Your Storage Barn

A well-organized storage shed isn’t just a place to stash your stuff—it’s a wise investment that can save you time, protect your possessions, and even increase the value of your property. Whether you’re storing vehicles, boats, ATVs, or farm equipment, an orderly storage building ensures everything is accessible and well-maintained. If you plan to build a custom storage barn on your property, here are a few essential tips to ensure you make the most of your investment and optimize the organization of your space. 

Implement a Strategic Layout

Buyers should start by considering the best layout for their garage or garages. The goal is to maximize space without sacrificing accessibility. Divide the barn into zones based on the type of items stored and how often you plan to access them. For example, keep all vehicles in one area and smaller equipment, accessories, and tools in another. Within each zone, place materials that you use most often at the front and less frequently used products towards the back. Consider the turning radius and maneuverability of larger vehicles like boats and ATVs when planning your layout to avoid tight squeezes and enhance your experience inside the space.

Opt for Adjustable Shelving and Storage Solutions

Flexibility is key in a storage barn. Investing in features that enhance how you organize, like adjustable shelving units, allows you to customize your storage space to fit items of various sizes. Heavy-duty, free-standing shelves or racks are ideal for holding heavy equipment and can be easily moved if your needs change. For smaller tools and supplies, pegboards or magnetic panels make great storage options. They not only save space but also keep your tools organized and within easy reach.

Enhance Lighting and Electrical Setup

Good lighting is crucial in a storage barn—not just for aesthetics but for functionality and safety. Installing bright, energy-efficient LED lights helps ensure your indoor and outdoor areas are well-lit, reducing the risk of accidents and making it easier to find items. Also, consider the placement of electrical outlets. Adding several conveniently located outlets to your design will make it easier to perform maintenance tasks within the barn and charge battery-powered equipment.

Secure and Protect Your Investments

Security is a major consideration, especially when storing valuable vehicles and equipment. When accessorizing sheds and storage buildings, buyers should consider installing sturdy locks and security systems with cameras and motion detectors. Additionally, ensure that your shop is weather-resistant to protect its contents from environmental damage. Insulate and weatherproof your barn to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to rust and decay of metal components and equipment. 

Regular Maintenance and Upkeep

Finally, maintaining the structure of your barn or warehouse and keeping it organized is crucial. Set a regular schedule to clean the barn, check for pests, and ensure all stored items, containers, and boxes are in good working order. This not only helps in prolonging the life of the items stored but also ensures that the barn remains a safe and welcoming space. 

By following these tips, your storage barn will be more than just a storage space; it will be a well-organized, efficient, and secure facility that enhances the value and functionality of your property.

Ready to take the next step in your project journey? Our team is here to answer any questions you may have regarding your barn plans, location, or anything else! Call us at (888) 975-2057 or request a digital product catalog here to gather more information for your project and begin designing your dream space.

Wood-Framed vs. Steel-Framed Barndominiums: Which is Better?

If you’ve been searching for a barndominium kit for your property, chances are you’ve already stumbled across hundreds of pre-engineered barndominium or barndo options online. From barndominiums with farmhouse flair to those with ultra-modern features and finishes, there are seemingly endless house plans for one’s project, making it exciting and challenging to choose just one for your future build.

While it’s natural to focus on appearances first, one of the more imperative factors in the barndominium research process is determining the best building method for your location, needs, and wants. Between steel construction and wood construction, you may be asking yourself: which is the better choice for my project?

Whether you’re just beginning your search or narrowing down your options, we’re here to help you make the most informed decision for your barndominium build. If you’re ready to take the next step in your project journey, continue reading below to learn more about wood-framed and steel-framed barndominiums and the top factors you’ll want to consider with either choice.

What is a Barndominium Kit?

More often than not, a barndominium kit is a prefabricated building package that is customizable to the homebuyer and comes with pre-cut, pre-designed framing elements for easy assembly. Using off-site construction methods, a team will prepare your package before delivery, ensuring all framing members are precisely labeled, fabricated, and ready for installation once they arrive on the job site.

Not to be confused with modular buildings, which are shipped in sections to form a whole structure, a prefabricated building package sees that your framing crews have everything needed to quickly and accurately construct your building envelope (i.e., your floors, walls, and roof components). Once they’ve done so, your contractor will finish the remainder of the build, ensuring total success with your barndominium project.

Key Features of Barndominiums

Barndominiums are multi-use structures that blend the simplicity of barn-style living with modern amenities and finishes. Many of these homes feature spacious garages and workshops on the main level, offering a unique and efficient approach to residential living. Of their distinct characteristics, however, barndominiums are best known for their flexibility and budget-friendly qualities. See why barndominiums continue to capture the interest of millions of homebuyers across the nation:

Open Floor Plans

Barndominiums are known for their exceptional flexibility and openness. With their wide-open floor plans and lack of load-bearing walls, these structures offer the ideal set-up for people looking for a versatile building design for their property. With a barndominium floor plan from DC, you can easily tailor your design to include things like bedrooms, bathrooms, a modern kitchen, porches, and more. Many of our barn houses come standard with open-ended garage areas, which you can adjust to include a workshop or room for items like skis, surfboards, or miscellaneous equipment.

Fast Construction

With a prefabricated barndominium kit, you can look forward to a streamlined installation process that cuts standard construction timelines by 30% to 50% on average. Additionally, prefabrication ensures better, more accurate results for your build while significantly reducing the amount of waste, noise, and pollutants produced on-site, making it an eco-friendly process with tons of benefits for homeowners.

Affordability

One of the main advantages of choosing a barndominium design for your property is its incredible cost efficiency. Barndominium kits often employ numerous cost-saving construction methods, making them some of the more affordable custom home options on the market.

Durability

While dependent on the building method used for your barndominium, most barndominium kits offer an incredibly durable and long-lasting frame. As building designs, these structures provide optimal security and safety for homeowners and their loved ones.

Wood-Framed Barndominiums

Wood-framed barndominiums offer a warm and inviting aesthetic that many homeowners find appealing in a new home or structure. Wood construction brings a naturally insulating property to barndominiums, making these structures highly energy-efficient and cozy in various climates. In many cases, the flexibility of wood construction allows for more complex designs and easy modifications or expansions like extended square footage. With a wood-framed barndominium, homeowners can enjoy the classic charm of exposed wooden beams and the unmatched ambiance of these rustic structures.

Types of Wood-Framed Barndominiums

Barndominium designs encompass all kinds of looks, styles, and configurations—not to mention building methods. While most barndominiums on the market are metal-built structures, below are some of the most popular wood-framed options for those seeking a naturally rustic barndominium for their property:

Clear-Span

Many barndominiums, like our Meridian Barndominium Kit, are clear-span structures designed with durable wood posts and trusses that span the width of the building. Vaulted wood trusses create a wide-open interior that doesn’t require additional structural supports like load-bearing walls, allowing you to do as you wish with your living space.

Post & Beam

Post and beam structures feature premium heavy timbers joined together by metal fasteners and connectors. The walls of a post and beam structure are positioned outside the frame, resulting in an interior defined by its exposed wood elements, vaulted ceilings, and exceptional durability.

Timber Frame

Like post and beam structures, timber frame barndos boast beautiful, exposed heavy timbers inside their spaces. However, the main difference between these structures lies in the way their timbers are connected, with timber frame structures instead relying on wooden pegs and grooves for a more seamless, traditional look.

Pole Barn

Pole barns are wood-framed buildings that use pressure-treated lumber embedded in the ground to secure their structural frame. While cheap and easy to build, this method usually makes for a solid outbuilding solution, considering its shorter lifespan and greater propensity to rot, moisture damage, and structural issues than a standard wood-framed structure.

What We Offer

DC Structures offers numerous time-tested building methods for wood-framed barndominiums, including clear-span, post and beam, timber frame, and conventional wood construction. However, for clients seeking a more cost-effective alternative to our signature heavy timber methods, our Meridian Barndominium Kit offers the perfect solution for your one-of-a-kind home. This clear-span barndominium design is a builder- and budget-friendly model with tons of versatility built into its framework. With our variety of options and upgrades, you can turn this barndominium kit into the home you always dreamed of and modify your interior and exterior to include the ideal layout for its intended use.

The Pros and Cons of Choosing a Wood-Framed Barndominium

There’s a good reason why wood is the primary building material for most homes built today. Wood is naturally insulating, renewable, and versatile, making it an excellent choice for homeowners seeking an energy-efficient and durable addition to their property. If you’re considering building a wood-framed barndominium, here are some pros and cons to consider with your investment:

Pros of Building with Wood

Cost Effective

When built with quality materials and methods, wood-framed barndominiums can be incredibly cost-effective in the short- and long-term. With wood construction, buyers can incorporate less costly materials into less frequented areas of their homes, like closets and garages, while ensuring durability is never an issue.

Easy to Build

Wood is known for being an exceptionally builder-friendly material that is easy to construct and lightweight. With prefabrication involved in the building process, you can expect an even faster and smoother installation phase that requires fewer framers and equipment rentals on site.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Wood-framed buildings are naturally beautiful, but they’re especially so when their structural materials are the focal point of one’s interior. By incorporating wood in your barndominium design, you can bring the natural beauty of the outdoors into your personalized living space.

Durable

Wood is an incredibly durable and structurally sound building material. At DC Structures, we source our lumber from top mill-direct suppliers in the Pacific Northwest, ensuring all our materials deliver superior strength and longevity for your structure.

Environmentally Friendly

Finally, wood is a renewable material that offers a low-carbon alternative to heavy-duty construction methods like concrete or steel. Its ability to absorb and release heat makes it a natural choice for barndominium owners across the United States and Canada, considering these structures offer built-in energy efficiency that keeps your living space cool in the summertime and warm in the winter months.

Cons of Building with Wood

Can Be Expensive Upfront

Depending on the construction method you utilize for your wood-framed barndominium, you could be looking at an expensive turnkey cost compared to cheaper alternatives. For instance, timber frame structures can be pricey upfront because of the skill, precision, and craftsmanship involved in constructing these buildings. However, to combat this, our team offers hybrid timber framing methods that allow you to pick and choose where you see timber frame elements in your structure. We can also utilize more cost-effective building methods, like post and beam construction and clear-span construction, to ensure you get the best value for your dollar.

Fire Safety Concerns

Building with wood comes with a laundry list of benefits, but one of the notable concerns of designing a structure with wood as the primary building material is fire safety. As summers get hotter and wildfire season grows longer, clients must equip their structures with fire-resistant materials that help protect their investment in the event of a wildfire. At DC Structures, we understand the concerns of our barndominium customers in wildfire-prone states like California, Oregon, and Texas and take our commitment to fire safety seriously. With DC designing and producing your wood-framed barndominium, you can ensure that our team has the best interest of you and your family at heart and that we’re well-equipped to help you design the ideal fire-safe home.

Issues With Pole Barns

Not to be confused with our post and beam, timber frame, or clear-span designs, pole barns are often cheaply built barns that people use as short-term building solutions. These structures usually last about 40 years and are highly susceptible to moisture damage, durability issues, termites, and rot. On top of that, pole barns are typically only designed as single-story buildings rather than multi-story homes due to their limited flexibility. In essence, pole barn barndominiums may seem budget-friendly upfront but can lead to further issues down the road that could cost you more money and less peace of mind.

The Pros and Cons of Choosing a Steel-Framed Barndominium

Steel-framed barndominiums are the most common prefabricated barndominium kit offerings on the market. These structures utilize prefabricated metal components, including posts, rafters, and trusses, that create a large, open interior expanse free of obstructions or additional supports. Liked for their modern appearance, openness, and customizable nature, metal barndominiums can be popular building options for home buyers. However, where there are benefits to these structures, there are also a few disadvantages to keep in mind for prospective customers.

Pros of Building with Steel

Cost-Effective

Prefabricated steel-framed barndominiums are generally cheaper purchases than traditional wood homes. Their budget-friendly nature is due, in many ways, to the abundance of steel materials on the market and the historically low demand for steel production in new home construction. However, with more people turning to steel for their barndominiums or commercial builds, the market is beginning to see a noticeable uptick in price for steel framing materials.

Easy to Build

Like our wood-framed structures, prefabricated steel-framed buildings can be quick and easy to construct, making them solid choices for those who want a building that can go up much faster than traditionally framed homes. With all framing components fabricated before delivery, you can enjoy a streamlined installation process that is budget- and builder-friendly.

Fire-Resistant

Steel-framed barndominiums are known for their incredible fire-resistant qualities. These buildings can withstand extreme heat without sustaining damage, making them an excellent option for high-rise buildings, production facilities, and outbuildings.

Durable

Steel is one of the most resilient building materials on the market. As a material, steel is known to stand up to extreme weather conditions, including high winds, heavy snow, and intense heat. However, metal-framed structures do require additional upgrades and reinforcements to make them livable in various temperatures.

Cons of Building with Steel

Not Environmentally Friendly

Steel production contributes to about 7% of global carbon dioxide emissions, with its production process being one of the most carbon-intensive in the industrial sector. Despite being one of the most valuable materials in the world, steel negatively contributes to our environment, with its production being highly polluting. As we look toward the future, green building materials like wood or carbon-neutral steel will be necessary to reduce the impacts of climate change on our world.

Poor Insulation & Energy Efficiency

Metal-built structures may be fire-resistant, but that doesn’t mean these buildings are necessarily safe in high heat or wildfire conditions. Without proper insulation, steel-framed barndominiums can be incredibly hazardous in high heat, considering their metal components absorb heat instead of releasing it like wood naturally does. The opposite can also be true for these structures—metal buildings can be incredibly cold and unpleasant in frigid temperatures, making it crucial to add robust insulation, heating systems, and additional energy-efficient features to your design.

Can be Ugly

Let’s face it—metal buildings aren’t as pretty as wood structures! We said it, and we stand by it. While metal structures can incorporate wood elements, these buildings typically boast a more modular look that hardly compares to the beauty of wood-framed homes.

Difficulty With Financing

Since steel-framed homes are relatively uncommon developments, you may find it hard to secure financing for these types of buildings. Ultimately, where you live will dictate the type of material you use for your home, meaning if you live in a county or HOA neighborhood with strict restrictions for construction, metal-framed barndominiums may not even be in the running. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your local city office or potential lenders to see what options are available to you.

Conclusion

Choosing between wood and steel for your barndominium can be difficult, but it’s something buyers should weigh heavily before making their final selection. All things considered, we want potential customers to make the best decisions for them, regardless of whether that means you decide to partner with us or with a metal barndominium builder for your project. As you search for your ideal barndominium, we hope you’ll keep this list in mind and the pros and cons associated with various barndominium construction types.

If you do feel ready to speak with one of our representatives about your barndominium project, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling (888) 975-2057 or requesting a free quote here.

5 Interiors We Can’t Get Enough Of

Love is in the air this week—and what better way to celebrate it than by highlighting interiors we love from past projects! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re rounding up a few of our favorite living spaces, wineries, and wedding barns that give us all the warm fuzzy feelings. 

Here are some unique spaces that we will forever adore as part of our project portfolio:

Anchored Roots Winery 

Located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, this adorable barn-style winery sits just a few miles from the bay. Designed with knotty wood ceilings, faux timber beams and trusses, and beautiful picture windows, this tasting room offers a cozy and casual setting perfect for weekend wine tastings and friendly get-togethers. 

See more photos of the Anchored Roots Winery here.

Washington Modern Farmhouse

This custom home in Walla Walla, Washington, is modern farmhouse goals at its finest. Our client came in with a specific vision of what she wanted for the space and executed it flawlessly with the help of our talented in-house designers. 

See more photos of the Washington Modern Farmhouse here.

Serendipity Farm & Vine

Originally built as a horse barn with living quarters, the Serendipity Farm & Vine venue features one of the most unique and enchanting interiors we’ve seen of any building. Converted horse stalls in the tasting room contribute to its extraordinary appeal, while wood accents give it that essential warmth and rustic feeling. 

See more photos of Serendipity Farm & Vine here.

Storm King Mountain Ranch Venue

One of our favorite venues and projects of all time, the Storm King Mountain Ranch venue showcases the timeless allure of heavy timber craftsmanship from top to bottom. We designed this structure using traditional timber framing, as seen in the main hall, covered patio, and entrance. As part of their design, the team at Storm King also elected to add antique wood siding and ceilings to their wedding barn, blending past and present styles to create its truly exceptional interior. 

See more photos of Storm King Mountain Ranch here.

High Desert Barn Home 

Lastly, this charming barn home in Bend, Oregon, is a classic project of ours — and one we will always cherish as one of our first barn home builds. Stunning tongue and groove ceilings and large picture windows take center stage in the living space, adding an air of sophistication and comfort to the home. Downstairs, our clients can take full advantage of a spacious RV garage, allowing them to easily hop on the road and embark on any adventure their heart desires. 

See more photos of the High Desert Barn Home here.

Want to start designing your dream space? Our team is here to help you begin the process whenever you feel ready! Call us today at (888) 975-2057 or request a digital catalog here. 

2024 Trends for New Homes: Embracing Sustainability, Technology, and Nature

In today’s ever-evolving world of home design, staying up-to-date with the latest trends is essential for homeowners looking to create a modern and functional living space. As we embark on the new year, we expect several exciting trends to shape how many homes are designed and constructed in 2024. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key trends that we believe will dominate the new home market this year, focusing on sustainability, emerging technology, natural materials, and the importance of building your dream home with a dedicated team of professionals. If you plan to build a new home or residential space this year, here are a few implements you may want to consider with your upcoming design as it relates to the future of our industry.

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: Powering Your Home with the Sun

Sustainability and energy efficiency have become paramount considerations in contemporary home design, with homeowners increasingly looking to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills. In 2024, solar panels are gaining immense popularity as an eco-friendly energy source, allowing homeowners to utilize direct sunlight to meet their electricity needs. With solar panel installations, you can reduce your home’s environmental impact while saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in energy costs every year. 

Additionally, adding electric car charging stations to home garages is becoming a standard feature, catering to a growing number of electric vehicle owners in the country. With an electric car charging station in your home, you’ll have the convenience of charging your vehicle overnight, ensuring it’s always ready to hit the road while contributing to a cleaner environment.

Prefabrication: Crafting Your Home with Precision and Efficiency

A significant trend in 2024 is the use of prefabrication in home construction. Prefabricated homes offer numerous advantages, including reduced construction time, minimized waste, and improved construction quality. By partnering with a dedicated team of professionals, you can customize your prefabricated home to meet your unique needs and preferences. The precision and efficiency of prefabrication ensure that your dream home is built with the utmost care and attention to detail and that you benefit from significant time and money savings during construction. 

Incorporation of Natural Elements: Building a Home That Connects with Nature

A return to nature is evident in the design of modern homes, with the incorporation of natural elements taking center stage. A naturally warm and inviting material, wood is used extensively in flooring, furniture, and architectural details, creating a cozy and organic atmosphere. When building your home, working closely with a team allows you to select the perfect wood finishes that align with your vision.

Stone accents in interior and exterior design also add a touch of rustic elegance, while indoor greenery and living walls bring the outdoors inside, fostering a deeper connection with nature. Collaborating with your design team to select the perfect natural materials for your space ensures that your home reflects your personality and appreciation for the outside world.

Smart Technology: Building a Home of the Future

The smart technology revolution will continue to reshape homes in 2024, with more homeowners embracing the convenience and efficiency of integrated smart devices and systems. From automated lighting and security systems to thermostats that adapt to your preferences, these technologies enhance daily life and even contribute to energy savings. When working with your team of builders and tech experts, you can customize your home’s technological features to suit your lifestyle, making your home truly “smart” in every aspect. 

Handcrafted Furniture/Accents: Infusing Your Home with Personality

Handcrafted furniture and accents introduce a more personal and unique touch into homes. Artisanal pieces are making a comeback, giving homeowners the opportunity to infuse their spaces with character and individuality. Supporting local artisans and businesses that offer handcrafted home items doesn’t just add charm to your home but supports the craftsmanship of talented individuals. Your team of designers can help you select and integrate these unique pieces seamlessly into your home’s design.

Building Your Dream Home: A Collaborative Journey

Building your dream home is a collaborative journey that involves working closely with a dedicated team of design and construction experts. This team will help you bring your vision to life, ensuring that your new home incorporates the latest trends while embodying your core values and tastes. 

Whether you’re planning for new home construction or considering a renovation project, these trends for 2024 will hopefully inspire you to create a living space that aligns with your personality and adapts to our ever-evolving world. Building your dream home with a trusted team ensures priority is given to your unique vision, resulting in a home that truly feels like you from top to bottom. 

Ready to get started on your 2024 project? See what makes our team the right choice for your project by requesting a digital catalog here or calling us at (888) 975-2057. 

4 Spooktacular Projects to Add to Your Fall Mood Board

Muahahahahaha! It’s officially the spookiest day of the year, and what better way to celebrate all that is Halloween than by showcasing some of our most terrifyingly beautiful creations to date. From vintage-inspired wedding barns to rustic cabins and homes, we’re rounding up four of our favorite spooktacular projects for clients to add to their fall mood boards, and trust us: these structures won’t disappoint! 

So buckle up, get cozy, and prepare for a haunting trip through some of our favorite past projects. Mere mortals, beware. This list isn’t for the faint of art. 

Michigan Workshop W/ Living Quarters 

Nothing speaks to our love of autumn quite like this workshop with living quarters in Daggett, Michigan. Designed with durable Douglas fir posts and beams, this barn-style structure features a stunning all-wood interior unmatched in fall vibes and warmth.

 

Modified from our most popular building package, the Oakridge Apartment Barn Kit, this multi-purpose workshop offers a home away from home for our clients and their loved ones. Whether embarking on a hunting trip or simply seeking a retreat for the season, our clients can rely on this boo-tiful structure to provide endless treats with no tricks in sight. 

White Salmon Barn Home 

This barn home in White Salmon, Washington, offers a gorgeous interior to match its idyllic natural surroundings. Located just a few miles from the Columbia River Gorge, this stately abode boasts a modern rustic living space that continues to capture our hearts — and arouse a little bit of envy! 

Inside, you’ll find three bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a host of frightfully delightful accents. If any of our completed homes could be the coolest of ghouls, we’d easily vote for the White Salmon Barn Home any day (but especially today). 

Dogwood Barn Wedding Venue

What do you get when you combine a vintage-style wedding barn with storm clouds and lightning? The perfect visual accompaniment to this blog post is what!

With this wedding venue in Milledgeville, Georgia, our clients started with a Legacy Event Barn Kit to create this masterfully built structure. Complete with vintage lighting fixtures, floor-to-ceiling wood walls, and antique furniture, this venue evokes a sense of nostalgia and historic charm that is scary good in execution and layout. 

Oregon City Custom Home 

Between the nighttime, twilight, and daytime shots our photographer captured of this custom home in Oregon City, Oregon, we can’t decide which we like more — or need more of! Completed in collaboration with DC Builders, this hybrid timber frame home is an extraordinary development with no shortage of eye-catching details throughout. 

 

From its heavy timber portico entrance to its massive two-story patio cover, this custom residence stuns in all aspects — inside and out. If your idea of a dream home involves lodge-style accents, repurposed materials, and plentiful space, this project will surely turn your other inspiration photos into the dearly departed. 


Ready to take the next step in your building process? With our fall sale still active, there’s never been a better time to invest in your dream design and materials package! 

Call us today at (888) 975-2057 or request a quote here to make the first move toward your ideal home or structure. 

Introducing our New Line of Coastal Cabin Kits

Anyone who’s traveled to the Oregon Coast can attest to its breathtaking natural beauty and allure. With its pristine beaches, magnificent evergreens, and soaring dunes, the Oregon Coast is one of the most stunning and accessible natural wonders in the world — and that’s not just us exaggerating or bragging about our home state!

When designing our new line of modern cabins, we created these structures with a vision of Oregon’s sensational coastal terrain as their backdrop. Taking inspiration from modern Scandinavian-style cabins, we crafted three contemporary cabin models — all named after some of Oregon’s most notable beach towns — that wouldn’t just complement the Oregon Coast but exude its uniqueness and beauty in any natural environment. 

Whether you’re seeking a stunning vacation rental or planning to develop a beachside resort, our brand-new contemporary cabins will undoubtedly make valuable and lucrative investments for your upcoming projects. Continue reading below to learn more about these new prefab cabin designs and the massive potential awaiting your chosen kit. 

The Manzanita

The Manzanita Cabin Kit is a gorgeous three-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin design named after one of Oregon’s favorite beach cities. This clear-span structure offers a compact yet spacious floor plan that includes a 924 sq. ft. main level, a 443 sq. ft. enclosed loft space, and a 276 sq. ft. covered patio with a heavy timber overhang — perfect for scenic properties with majestic mountain, coastal, or desert views. 

 

This two-story cabin boasts tongue and groove siding, a trapezoid-style wall of windows, and parallel chord roof trusses to achieve its distinct contemporary appearance. Depending on your style and preferences, you can swap any standard options with one of our enticing upgrades, like our new Millboard wood-free composite siding option, to create your dream cabin design! 

Click here to view our product page for the Manzanita Cabin Kit.

The Bandon

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin design features an attractive single-sloped roofline that maximizes simplicity and efficiency. Inside this prefab cabin, you’ll find a wide-open great room, kitchen, and dining area with a sloped window wall and access to a 273 sq. ft. covered patio space. Toward the rear, two bedrooms and two full bathrooms offer a cozy and comfortable area for you and your family, your guests, or even a set of offices.

 

Additionally, this building model comes with a 139 sq. ft. covered entry with a slat wall for enhanced privacy and curb appeal. No matter what you have in mind for your Bandon, our team is here to help you bring your vision for a contemporary cabin to life.

Click here to view our product page for the Bandon Cabin Kit.

The Gearhart

The Gearhart is a slightly modified version of our Bandon Cabin Kit, with this model boasting a 6/12 and 10/12 roof pitch instead of the original 4/12. This off-center roofline adds an incredibly unique touch to the cabin, giving the interior curvature in all the right places and accentuating the distinctness of its custom window wall. 

With 1,009 square feet of conditioned living space, plus a 273 sq. ft. covered patio, this apartment-sized structure offers endless possibilities for those seeking a personalized cabin retreat, a profitable Airbnb rental, or a detached mother-in-law suite. If you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind cabin with Scandinavian influences, our Gearhart could be the ideal fit for you. 

 Click here to view our product page for the Gearhart Cabin Kit.


Have an idea in mind for your contemporary cabin design? We want to hear it! Be sure to call us at (888) 975-2057 or request a quote here for the cabin of your dreams! 

Get to Know: Casey Rogness, Lead Designer

Have you ever wondered who captures our client testimonials, develops the designs behind our projects, or works directly with vendors to secure premium materials for each build? If so, this brand-new blog post series is made just for you! As part of our Get to Know Us series, we want to offer new and existing clients an inside look at the talented individuals behind our organization, all of whom bring a massive amount of passion, dedication, and expertise to their roles.

In this first-ever employee feature, we’re spotlighting one of our long-standing team members and a driving force behind our exceptional design work: DC Lead Designer Casey Rogness. Over the years, Casey’s contributions have helped advance our company in countless ways and inspired those around him. Continue reading below to learn more about Casey’s experience, his favorite aspects of DC, and the advice he would give new clients just beginning the design process!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Salem, Oregon.

Where are you currently located?

My family and I are currently living in Minot, North Dakota. It’s been about two years since we moved here from Sisters, Oregon, where we lived for about three years.

How long have you been with DC?

I’ve been with DC officially for over nine years, but before then, I spent a year freelancing in design for them and working on the framing crew.

How did you get started in this field?

After high school, I took a drafting class to fill some credits at the local community college and ended up really loving it. So after that course, I enrolled in their Computer Aided Drafting Program and graduated with a two-year degree in drafting. From there, I transferred to Oregon State University to complete my bachelor’s in interior design with a focus on housing studies, and once I graduated is when I started working for DC.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

My favorite projects to work on are typically homes or places that act as a home base for clients and their families. Adding a little modern timber look is always a plus too.

What is your favorite kit in the DCS collection?

The Thielsen Timber Home Kit is my favorite building package by far. The upcoming modern cabins with garages are also on my list.

In your opinion, what is the key to ensuring the success of a design?

I would say the key to success within design is working as a team, which includes first and foremost the owner, but also the contractor, any consultants, and the designer. Having everyone involved from the beginning tends to make projects go more smoothly, considering different people can provide their input and feedback early in the design process. It may take a few extra coordination meetings, but in the long run, it aids in creating a much easier and streamlined construction environment.

What are some aspects of our process that you believe set us apart from similar companies?

Well, there are a couple of aspects that set us apart. The first is utilizing design software that allows us to build 3D models in real time with our clients. We can make changes and adjustments live during meetings with them and provide a visualization tool to help make quick decisions. This process gives clients a first-hand look at how their structure will look and feel by the end and allows them to modify it as much as they want to fit their visions.

The second aspect is the sheer customization abilities of our baseline models for clients. We provide designs and material packages to clients across the country, and everyone lives in various climate types and has differing site development and family needs. Our ability to customize each model to fit their specific site characteristics, location requirements, and lifestyle needs makes it so that each client is really getting something unique, even if they’re starting with a standard kit.

What advice would you give to new clients just beginning the design process?

Hire a contractor early in the process who can be involved and give input on design, construction methods, and building department requirements. Doing so makes everything easier and gives you more peace of mind knowing your core team is working together from the jump.

And lastly, what’s something we wouldn’t know about you?

My wife and I have four boys. I love teaching the boys different sports, like golf and basketball, and fishing with them.

I also have a fish aquarium full of cichlids. I love taking care of them and having a unique setup!


Interested in joining Casey’s team or being a part of our growing organization? Be sure to check out our LinkedIn page for all open positions through DC Structures!

Free Real Estate? Here’s Where You Can Buy Land for $0 in the U.S.

The beauty of beginning the home-building process lies in the abundance of options available, including the land you’ll be building upon. Depending on your plans for the property and flexibility with location, you may be interested to know there are places in the United States where you can purchase land for next to nothing — if not absolutely nothing! Though many of the cities that offer free or cheap land aren’t exactly giving it away out of the kindness of their hearts, there are plenty of benefits to glean from building in these hidden gem rural areas. If you’re the type that loves sprawling countryside, small towns, and great deals, continue reading below to see where you can acquire real estate that, quite literally, pays for itself. 

Lincoln, Kansas

Lincoln, Kansas, known as the “Post Rock Capital of Kansas,” isn’t just rich in limestone resources; this small town of about 2,900 people also offers plenty of desirable residential opportunities. In an effort to boost growth, the city has started offering free home sites in a fully developed subdivision by a local baseball field, the city park, and a new junior-senior high school.

Located at the east ends of Lost Street and School Street, these residential lots range from 14,000 to 35,000 sq. ft. and provide hookups to all necessary utilities, making them ready for you to put down your roots. Although their eligibility criteria is sparse, the city outlines that buyers must agree to build a home that meets their timeline and design requirements and submit proposed plans with proof of income or a loan pre-approval letter as part of their application. 

For more information on their free residential lots, process, and criteria, visit their Housing Opportunities page here.  

Elwood, Nebraska

Elwood is a quaint small town located two-and-a-half hours west of Lincoln, Nebraska. The city offers free lots through its homeownership program to both in-state and out-of-state newcomers who wish to make Elwood their home. Again, the catch is that you need to start construction within a particular timeframe — that being one year — and occupy the residence within two years of the purchase date. However, Elwood offers a unique down payment assistance program that makes it especially attractive as a prospect. With this program, the Village of Elwood will pay up to 10% of the construction cost for a home costing $25,000 or more, at least until after construction has wrapped. 

For more information, you can visit the city of Elwood’s housing criteria here or call them at (308) 785-2480. 

Mankato, Kansas

Last but not least is the town of Mankato, Kansas — a city of about 900 people in the heart of Jewell County. This small town community offers free land for residential development, with these lots located in the Johnson addition on a horseshoe shaped cul-de-sac. As with Lincoln and Elwood, the city requires you to start construction within a designated period, ensuring that these projects contribute to community growth. That said, those willing to move to Mankato have the opportunity of a lifetime to make something special of their investments and add value to this small but promising town. 

For more information, please visit Mankato’s Free Land resource page here. 


Before getting too excited, remember to do your due diligence in researching zoning restrictions, sewage, water options, and construction access for each of these lots. Though these locations have taken significant strides to make their construction processes streamlined and less intimidating, it never hurts to understand the fine print behind your future land purchase. 

And while you may be thinking these opportunities sound too good to be true, remember that these cities are actively looking to grow and offer incredible incentives like free land to make that happen. Of course, building a house involves much more than simply finding a plot to build on. However, with the financial relief of acquiring land for free, you’ll find you have even more resources available for your dream home and can allocate any leftover money to making your new town even more alluring for you, your family, and other future residents.

Buying Land 101: Tips for Purchasing Your Property

Building a new residential or commercial structure is an exciting venture, especially if you’re doing so for the first time! While it’s natural to feel somewhat intimidated by the process, it always helps to take everything in small, actionable steps — the first and foremost being purchasing land for your building. Aside from location and financing, there are several factors you’ll want to consider when buying your first piece of land, including zoning restrictions, water and sewage options, and sufficient access for construction equipment, to name a few. If you’re wondering where to get started, don’t worry! In this blog post, we’ll break down some of the essential considerations for your property and how you can ensure total satisfaction and efficiency with your final decision.

Work with the Right Real Estate Agent 

Finding an experienced land real estate agent or real estate agent that specializes in land transactions is a must for any first-time property buyer, and finding one that specializes in your specific site needs is even more crucial! For example, many specialized land real estate agents only buy and sell horse-friendly properties or waterfront lots like those in Malibu, Carmel, or Miami, making them a wise choice for clients with property requirements beyond the standard must-haves. However, even if you don’t have any specific site needs, working with a local land agent is still incredibly beneficial, as they will have more in-depth knowledge about your area and local regulations.

While clients can hypothetically utilize a regular real estate agent or go it alone, the reality is that using a land agent or broker makes the entire purchasing process that much easier, better, and more cost-effective in the long run. With a trusted land specialist helping you identify suitable properties, navigate municipal regulations, and negotiate transactions, you can enjoy the experience of finding your perfect property and feel more confident in your resulting purchase.

Assess Land with Existing Infrastructure 

It never hurts to purchase an existing home with a few extra perks on its lot, like a detached garage, shop, or pavilion area, and the same goes for vacant properties. You may find that a site with additional assets, such as irrigation pumps or fenced pastures, could help cut building costs and make it more affordable to maintain the land over time. Before deciding to invest in a property with existing infrastructure, be sure to perform your due diligence to determine if the systems or structures in place are, in fact, operable or in satisfactory condition, especially since they could lead to additional expenses for repairs or replacement if not. Your land agent can help you with this process by obtaining the appropriate information from the seller or seller’s agent or helping you set up a site inspection.

Perform a Site Evaluation

Conducting a site evaluation is a necessary part of the land purchasing process, as this will help you better determine the suitability of your site and what issues, if any, you can anticipate with your property. For first-time buyers, we recommend visiting your chosen site several times during escrow to evaluate its unique characteristics and how they might impact the building process. For instance, some aspects that could increase the cost and time of construction include:

  • Slopes, which may require extra foundational work
  • Vegetation removal
  • Well and septic hookups
  • Unstable soils
  • And any environmental concerns, such as wetlands, endangered species habitats, or flood zones

By assessing the land and any resources provided on it ahead of time, you can make a more informed decision with your land purchase. For more information on what to look for during your site evaluation, check out this in-depth land-buying checklist through BuildingAdvisor.com! 

Read the Fine Print

 Are there any *encumbrances or easements on the land? Before purchasing your property, carefully read all attachments and the complete title report for your site and discuss any incongruities with a title officer. Easements, such as power, road, and irrigation easements, may require the attention of a lawyer. By taking steps to learn more about easements, you can better understand who can come onto a property and reduce the potential for unwanted surprises later on.

*An encumbrance is a claim made by a person or party who is not the owner against a property. This claim is something to look for, as it can affect the transferability of the property and make it harder to do as you please with your land until lifted. An easement, on the other hand, is a type of encumbrance that outlines a party’s right to use or improve the property. It can also restrict the title owner from using or developing certain portions of the job site. 

Know Local Zoning Laws & Special Programs

What a buyer plans to do with a purchased property might make them eligible for special programs, which may reduce the accompanying property tax! For example, in some cases, land purchased exclusively for farm use may be eligible for unique tax assessment programs. To determine the applicability of these programs to you and your site, speak with a county tax assessor to learn more about your options and any limitations for use or development as it applies to your zoning status.

It’s also worth mentioning that zoning laws are subject to change, making it essential to understand how this may impact your use of the land in the future. As a current buyer, it’s always a good idea to research local zoning laws in addition to any proposed changes that could alter them later.

Make Your Dream a Reality

Finally, once you’ve taken the proper steps to evaluate and research suitable properties, it’s time to purchase your preferred site and start designing your dream structure! With the help of our team, you can either build off one of our pre-engineered building models or create a fully custom design based on your unique design ideas. No matter the complexities involved with your design or land, we’re here to help you make the most of both investments.

Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to call us at (888) 975-2057 to speak with an experienced representative. We’re always just a click or call away and can help you get your project off to a great start.

 

Introducing our New Line of Cabins with Garages

When brainstorming designs for new kits, our team always begins by looking for improvements to our existing collection. While our line of cabin kits continues to evolve with enhancements like modern alternatives and A-frames, we also noticed a growing need for cabins with built-in vehicle storage for greater functionality, safety, and value. Today, we’re proud to announce our brand-new line of cabin kits with garages that fulfill that need while boasting efficient, family-friendly floor plans that offer dozens of possibilities for your space.

With our cabins with garages, you can easily create the ideal family home, vacation rental, backyard ADU, or anything else you envision for your property. Learn more about our all-new cabin models below! 

The Wildwood Cabin Kit

Our Wildwood Cabin Kit is the largest pre-engineered model in our line of cabins with garages, with this design boasting a three-bedroom, three-bathroom floor plan across two stories. With 2,104 square feet of conditioned living space, plus a 494 sq. ft. covered porch and 523 sq. ft. garage, you can configure this layout to serve as a cozy cabin-style home or a beautiful Airbnb that offers short-term and long-term hosting capabilities. 

The Sherwood Cabin Kit

The Sherwood is a striking L-shaped design with 1,885 square feet of conditioned living space, a 368 sq. ft. covered patio, and a 495 sq. ft. garage for efficient vehicle and equipment storage. A large window wall outside the great room adds character and improved natural lighting, while a stone fireplace gives the living space that authentic cabin feel. With this cabin kit, clients can enjoy a spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom floor plan. Clients can also utilize a 440 sq. ft. loft area for additional storage or as an adorable lofted bedroom. 

The Cottonwood Cabin Kit

The Cottonwood may be our most compact cabin kit with a garage, but what it lacks in square footage, it certainly makes up for in charm and curb appeal! Like our Wildwood and Sherwood, we designed this model with stick-framing methods and timber rafters to create an expansive interior with beautiful exposed wood members and minimal structural posts. Our Cottonwood offers a 1,480 sq. ft. floor plan with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an inviting open-concept living space. A 484 sq. ft. garage and a charming 180 sq. ft. covered porch also contribute to this model’s desirability, making it a perfect primary home or vacation rental that will surely increase the value of your property. 

Want to learn more about our cabins with garages? Give us a call at (888) 975-2057 or request a quote for your preferred model here

The Do’s and Don’ts of High Desert Homes

High desert regions like Joshua Tree, California, and Bend, Oregon, have experienced substantial growth over the last decade — and once you’ve visited areas like it, you can understand why. With their wide-open landscapes, expansive sky views, and vast array of plant and animal life, these high desert regions offer an alluring contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life. Not to mention these growing towns often feature the best hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and off-roading activities of any region, making them highly desirable to outdoor enthusiasts who crave adventure within a natural setting.

That said, building a home in a high desert area can pose several challenges for homeowners, with considerations like extreme temperatures, water availability, and fire risks playing a significant role in the final design and selection of your materials. If you plan to build in a high desert region, here are some of our recommended do’s and don’ts for your upcoming residential project:

Do: Use Appropriate Wood

High-quality timbers like ours are incredibly durable and dense building materials that perform outstandingly in various climates. However, that doesn’t mean these materials are necessarily impervious to the extremes of high desert regions. While our Douglas fir lumber makes a solid and beautiful siding material, this wood type can be susceptible to damage caused by UV degradation. Because of this, we recommend applying a UV-resistant finish to your wood, especially if you plan to include this siding material as part of your exterior. Western red cedar and redwood are also great options for your siding, as these wood species are naturally suited to handle the desert’s dry and harsh weather conditions.

Our team offers an exclusive pre-staining service that helps save you time on the job site and ensure long-lasting results for your siding. Our pre-stain machine evenly coats all six sides of your framing lumber, providing complete protection and coverage for your investment. We offer Timber Pro UV natural wood stains and finishes as part of this industry-leading service. To learn more about their available stains and the benefits of using Timber Pro UV, visit their site here!

Do: Plan for Thermal Insulation

Given the extreme temperature shifts of high desert regions, you’ll want to take the proper precautions to ensure your home is well-insulated and equipped to keep you safe and comfortable in any season. By selecting high-quality insulation materials and techniques for your home, you can help drive heat and humidity out during the summer and keep your place warm on chilly winter nights. When deciding on insulation for your high desert home, you’ll want to look for options that yield a high R-value, like spray foam insulation and structural insulated panels. However, clients should always consult their contractor or a local expert to ensure their insulation choice meets the requirements of their specific location and build.

Do: Install Quality HVAC Systems

Installing an efficient and effective heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is a must for any high desert homeowner, especially if temperatures reach up to 115°F or higher in their region. According to Architectural Digest, some of the best HVAC systems you can invest in for your home are through Lennox and Carrier. Lennox partners with Energy Star to offer some of the most energy-efficient air conditioning systems on the market, including units with high seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER). Carrier also offers top-tier HVAC options known for their quiet operation and energy efficiency, with most systems boasting high SEER ratings.

Do: Protect Against the Sun

High desert regions are notorious for their scorching summers. To protect your wood home against high heat and constant sun exposure, consider how your design and materials can help preserve the naturally durable qualities of your structure. For instance, and as mentioned earlier, clients should consider applying a UV-resistant stain to their siding for maximum protection, especially heavily pigmented options like semi-solid and solid color stains. The color of your roof can also play an important role in repelling heat and boosting your home’s energy efficiency, with lighter colors providing a “cooler” surface that helps direct heat away from your home.

Don’t: Ignore Fire Risks

Fire safety is one of the most important considerations involved in the design of a high desert home. As wildfires continue to intensify across the globe, homeowners need to consider how they can best protect their structures and families if a wildfire starts to spread in their area. At DC Structures, we offer several fire-safe building materials for our clients, including non-combustible cladding material through James Hardie and dual- and triple-pane glass windows through Andersen and Pella. To learn more about our available fire-safe materials and commitment to protecting your structure, visit our Fire Safety page here.

Don’t: Overlook Ventilation

Good airflow is essential in any desert environment, considering there’s nothing worse than dealing with unwanted heat and humidity inside your home. When crafting your high desert abode, don’t forget to plan for plenty of ventilation options like windows and doors. Our vented and windowed cupolas are also a fantastic addition for clients planning to build in the desert, as these gable-roof structures help improve the overall ventilation and airflow inside your space.

Don’t: Neglect Water Efficiency

Water scarcity can be a big concern for homeowners in remote high desert areas, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be top of mind for those in more developed desert regions. By incorporating water-efficient appliances and fixtures in your home, you can significantly reduce your water and energy consumption while conserving the critical water supply of your town. Clients can also help minimize water use by xeriscaping their backyards, which includes slow-growing drought-tolerant plants like perennials and cacti.

Don’t: Skip Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance and upkeep are critical for any home, let alone a wood-clad structure in the desert. To ensure your home remains strong and beautiful long past installation, you should plan to re-stain your siding every year or so for the first few years after construction wraps. While maintenance requirements vary by location, the extreme weather and temperature conditions of high desert regions make consistent cleaning and upkeep necessary for peak performance and longevity.

Interested in learning more? Call us today at (888) 975-2057 to speak to one of our representatives or request a quote here if you’re ready to get started on your high-desert design.

Introducing our New Line of Custom Home Kits

The term “custom home” conjures up a broad range of designs for most people, from rustic timber frame and post and beam homes to Southwestern adobes and contemporary farmhouses. While primarily used to describe a tailor-made home personalized to its owner, we also thought this term made perfect sense for our brand-new home kit collection, considering these residential designs encompass several different architectural styles, building methods, and floor plan opportunities. With our custom home kits, you can create a unique and luxurious residence from one of several distinct starting points, including our Terrebonne ranch-style home, our Trillium modern home, and our Applegate farmhouse. If you’re interested in building a beautiful home outside our signature barn style, keep reading below to see what new and exciting options are available to you and your family! 

The Terrebonne 

The Terrebonne is a ranch-style home with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, multiple bonus rooms, and a wraparound covered porch that gives your exterior a cozy countryside feel. With this residential design, you can look forward to dozens of attractive features in your space, including two-story high ceilings in the great room, a catwalk loft above, and gorgeous Andersen windows and doors. We designed this pre-engineered building model with Douglas fir timbers and open web floor trusses to create an incredibly durable framework for your home that leads to expansive, wide-open spaces inside. For clients seeking a Southwestern-inspired home built for any location or climate, our Terrebonne could be the ideal choice for you. 

The Tryon

The Tryon is an impressive Craftsman-style home inspired by our Eugene Custom Home project. This pre-engineered building model features a whopping 4,511 sq. ft. floor plan that includes five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, and an open-concept living space with access to a 1,155 sq. ft. outdoor patio area. Our clients designed their Eugene Custom Home with a full basement to fit their hillside property characteristics, which we can add for you if your site calls for it or if you desire more room for your hobbies. No matter your vision, our experienced designers can help you turn your Tryon into the heavy timber home you’ve always wanted.

The Alder 

Our Alder Custom Home Kit boasts a rustic mountain design reminiscent of modern wood lodges and homes. With its high-quality craftsmanship, angular layout, and attention to detail, this heavy timber structure offers an enticing blend of artistry and simplicity. Inside, you’ll find three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a den, an office, two hobby rooms, and a two-car garage. A covered porch in the back provides a relaxing setting for after-work hangouts, family gatherings, and more. With hundreds of customization options and high-quality materials available for your home, you can easily personalize your Alder to meet your needs, style, and location. 

Not seeing what you’re looking for? We also offer contemporary farmhouse and modern home kits under our Custom Homes category that may suit your vision better! 

For more information on our farmhouse home kits, please visit our Farmhouse Home Kits page here. 

For more information on our modern home kits, please visit our Modern Home Kits page here.