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50 Ideas for Your Barn Conversion Project

Tags: , , , ,     Categories: Agritourism, Barn Conversion, barn design

So, we convinced you to keep your barn!

Now, what are you going to use it for? Here are some ideas to give your old barn a new life. We hope these suggestions ignite your creativity for repurposing your old barn into something unique!

Barn Restoration for Agriculture Uses:

There is nothing wrong with reusing the barn for agricultural uses. A barn conversion doesn’t need to be fancy! With a few structural or ventilation upgrades, the barn can return to doing what it does best: support your farm operation!

barn site visit

Barn that has been reinforced and modified to house cars on the upper level

Barn Restoration for Agriculture Uses:

1. Shed 

2. Storage 

3. Man Cave 

4. Workshop 

5. Garage 

6. Horse stables 

7. Animal housing (with modern updates to the building) 

8. Hay and Straw storage (with modern updates to the building) 

9. Worker’s housing 

10. CSA pick-up, packing and storage 

Barn Conversion to Agritourism Uses:

Using your barn for Agritourism will require the most upgrading, but they do have a WOW factor you can’t buy! Upgrades may include zoning, structure, fire safety, barrier-free, septic, insulation, energy, etc. Let your imagination roam on how you can share and enjoy the magnificent space inside these barn cathedrals!

veld architect project, huron estates winery

Veld architect project: Huron Estates Winery. Night-time rendering of their future processing and tasting room.

Barn Conversion to Agritourism Uses:

11. Airbnb 

12. Event Space 

13. Farm market 

14. Pavilion 

15. Gift shop 

16. Restaurant 

17. Workshop space 

18. Bakery/commercial kitchen/cooking & food classes 

19. Gallery 

20. Antique store 

21. Petting zoo 

22. Play gym 

23. Theatre/performance space 

24. Hotel/farm stay/farm vacation 

25. Winery/cidery (not distillery for fire reasons) 

26. Vet/dog boarding 

27. Maple Syrup shack 

28. Trail shelter for bikes, hikers, snowmobilers (location dependent) 

29. Indoor play attraction (hay maze, hay bale tower, zip line) 

30. Farm store 

31. Washroom building 

32. Ticket booth 

33. Concession stand 

34. Spa 

35. Backdrop to weddings 

36. Instagram photos

cabins and pools in a rural area

The Wanderer Resort offers cabins and hot tub luxuries in a rural setting. Location: Prince Edward County

Other Barn Conversion Ideas: 

Here are some random ideas that may be suited to your property or more urban barns. These would be great in urban settings where the farm property is being developed. Saving a moment of history is a value-add for any city or commercial space! Barn conversions are not as complicated as you think and can even help you sell the ambiance of a housing development! 

37. Personal Services (massage, yoga, physio, wellness) 

38. Business Offices / commercial / Professional services 

39. Education/research centre 

40. Community space/youth centre/classrooms / not-for-profit space 

41. Bowling alley 

42. Dance hall 

43. Remote working space 

44. Childcare/forest school 

45. museum 

46. Photography studio 

Barn Conversion to Residential Uses: 

Of course, there is the classic barn conversion to a house. But there are also other residential conversions you could consider. 

pool in a barn

Pool house out of barn conversion (Credit: John Cullen Lighting)

Barn Conversion to Residential Uses:

47. Apartments 

48. Pool House 

49. Garden shed 

50. Conservatory 

51. Craft or project space 

52. Recreation/entertainment/movie/games space 

53. Basketball court/gym

So, we aimed for 50 and got to 53! Did we miss any barn conversion types? Let us know. We’d love to add it to our list!

barn converted to a beautiful cozy home

Veld architect project: Barn House 2, A barn onversion to House with low-energy and high-performance qualities

Closing remarks on our Barn Conversion Ideas

The options include fixing and maintaining it or doing nothing! Let the barn stand majestically in the rural landscape. You may have a use in the future, but at least it will be there for someone else to use! 

Only some of these conversions will be easy. Review our “Myths of Barn Conversions” video to learn about some hurdles you may face in the transformation process. That is why we always start with Project Scouting Service, to check the feasibility and your commitment to that challenge.  

Building is challenging, and a barn conversion only adds complexity, but the results are one of a kind!

If you are considering it, start with the Barn Condition Report and VELD architect. 

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