What Do You Think...Can I Do This?

enduringMay 31, 2014

Hi everyone, I want to get some thoughts and discussion going on this dream I have. I am nearing the end of the remodeling of 2 bathrooms and am finding that I am restless again to create something new. I have been thinking about this for several years.

I want to move and remodel a granary that is on our farm. It is on skids. I want to put it near our wind break and use it in warmer weather for guest. It would be rustic. I might use it too as a retreat. I thought I'd start it off with a warm weather type shelter. Then if needed, update some more, insulate, and put a stove in there - if it would work out. I don't see why not. But initially I am thinking of phase one, just a summer cabin.

It is 160 sf. 10x16. Tall on one side, probably 12' or so.

I'd want to site it up against this wind break. This is a long way from the house and would be isolated:

Or closer to the house across the drive next to the small lot west of the barn. This is very near the house, about 80 feet:

And isn't this just the cutest stoop? It has it's own built in step:

I have posted a thread on the remodel forum. I will link it below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turning granary into a cabin

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Yes, but locate it closer. I don't think you'll have room for a bathroom...and your guests will appreciate it :)

Just make sure you have some way to keep bugs...spiders, bees, wasps, etc. from taking over your shed. Sounds like a fun idea!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Bugs, what bugs, LOL we don't have bugs! Not. Screen door will be in order. Thanks for the reminder about bugs Lavender Lass.

To be honest my main concern was having a mammal, such as a skunk, getting under the thing :( Though I don't see skunks around. I do see raccoons from time to time. They get in the barn.

There would not be a bathroom so the location near the house would really be best in that regard. I could run an extension cord for a lamp too.

I was thinking just a bed, and a seating area. I thought about using some old 5 paneled doors that I have as partial dividers between the sleeping area and the seating area. I could hang them from chains or mount them on a rail and the doors could be sliding. Maybe a dorm fridge too. The bed could be an air bed. Furnishings, just simple junk that I have around, an old dresser, table, a few wooden chairs. No stuffed furniture so that critters won't nest in it.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 5:11PM
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This sounds like a fun idea. I say, do it!!!!!!

But, you have to keep us posted every step of the way. (Mmmm, maybe we can figure out how to get some herringbone in there.)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Ellendi, LOL I was thinking I could tile a piece of plywood (backsplash) and mount it on the wall above an old funky base cabinet! The cabinet is currently down in the basement. It has been there for lord knows how long. It used to have electrical supplies in it that belonged to my bro-in-law. Now its empty. I told DH that it was mine and will be going into the cabin. Ha!

I have my fair share of left over tile scrapes :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Sarah Richardson added a 'guest cabin' at her lake place. No plumbing, but she did have lights. Have you seen it?

From [TV kitchens](https://picasaweb.google.com/113704953485102437421/TVKitchens?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLLgnOesgvbUzgE&feat=embedwebsite)
    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 7:19PM
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A pin from Pintrest of some thing close to what you are showing.

Love your idea. Closer to the hose would be better unless you can out a small port a potty out back of the shed with some sore of privacy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pretty shed do over.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:54AM
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LL, that cabin is very classy. I would like to do a search and see more of it. Thanks for posting it.

Shades of ID, that is exactly the concept and spirit of what I want to do. Maybe not so fancy as some of these, lets face it, I don't have the energy for doilies ;) These images are very helpful and inspiring. Thanks for the link.

Still thinking. Over on the remodel forum Debrak2008 commented that her DD would love something like this. I loved hearing that.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 8:08PM
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I had some thing like this at our last house. Called it my granny shed . the people that bought that house did make it into a guest cabin. It also was 10 by 16. I only spent one night out there just for fun. I used it mostly for quiet get away when Hubby was watching TV.

It was going to be my glass studio. Then I found out you can not cut cold glass. Most of the time I had to work on my glass projects was in winter so the glass moved back into the house.

If I were you I would go for it. Less doilies. Heck I am almost not having them in my house any more. Too much to deal with. LOL Have fun with it. I am sure your kids will love it. And their kids later on. Not every one gets to sleep in a converted grain bin. We are in farm country here too and I dream of having a small silo. Neighbor has two of them just across my fence. Sigh.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 8:32PM
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I like the idea of a little cottage in your shed, Enduring. It can be a nice retreat that anyone in the family can use. A wood stove in the winter and an operable skylight and low set windows for good draw in the summer will keep it comfortable year-round. It would be a chance to use a nice bowl and pitcher set. Even if the water is room temperature, having a bit of water to wash with can be nice.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 12:10AM
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You say start out with a warm weather cabin. However, you'd be better off to site the cabin where you would not need to move it if it works out as a studio.

I would not put a bed in it. There goes its function as a music room or a studio for artwork or even a playhouse. Plus, if you want to take your tablet/laptop out there, way off from the house, would you get WiFi connectivity? AND POWER. For lighting, I'd do the solar lights, they work handsomely. Just a few initially. Decide later what to do.

Plus, if you want it for warm weather, make yourself an outdoor shower catching rain water off the roof, or fill up a 55 gallon black-painted drum with a water hose. If it is in a private location, think rustic like in M*A*S*H. And a composting toilet is a real nice feature to consider down the road.

Look online for a great book by Debra Prinzing book called STYLISH SHEDS. Oh mercy, I fell in love with that book! Not all fancy either. But STYLE, even rustic, can be exciting.

I'd definitely open it up by making a pair of double doors that can be folded back and look like shutters or whatever. On the 16 foot long wall (the high one) center a pair of doors that are 4 foot wide each. that will fold back against the wall They'd look good being glass, of course, but that would be pretty expensive. Think about maybe cheaper thinner Lexan sheets added to wide screen doors, something to keep out the rain and dust. Then go from there. Put windows on the end walls, none on the back wall. That is where the shower might be located.

Have fun. It sounds like a great chance to create your own getaway.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 2:12AM
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Shades of Idaho, your cabin sounded perfect. We have a silo and it is on the older side of style. I love the roof and have always dreamed of building a room by raising the roof and wrapping an exterior stairway to the top. We are fairly near a river valley and I am sure the top of that silo would bring it into view. I thought about having windows surrounding the top for 360 viewing. Just a dream though.

Nancy, I like the idea of a wood stove. It would be something I'd do down the road, if the warm weather cabin use extended into fall and winter. DH and I were, once again, looking at site location and there is a spot really close to the house that could be used for this shed. Like the idea of having place for water pitcher.

Moccasinlanding, love the idea of french doors. keeping the back without windows is a nice option, providing a spot for privacy. I was hoping on french doors so much. We would have to find them used and functional. I do need to do a Craigslist search. There is a lumber yard that sells windows that are returns or miss ordered. I will need to see if they have anything that could be useful for this project. I am thinking that narrow windows would work, the studs are 24" on center instead of the conventional 16". If I got something narrow, I wouldn't have to have structural headers, I don't think, because there would not be any cutting of the studs, only the cladding. I think a row of clerestory windows would be fantastic over the door, especially if I had to use a conventional door instead of french.

Several of our sites would allow access to our wifi, and close to the bathroom/shower facilities. The one remote site, way north of the barn, is a good location for real retreat, and a composting toilet would be very handy. The sites close to the house, DH said we could run power to it. Like was done years ago to brooder house. I am not sure about that, as it might be bumping up against code. I want to keep this simple with regards to getting others involved in my business.

Thanks you guys for the input it is very helpful in helping keeping me inspired. This isn't going to happen over night thats for sure. So I will be posting on this project now and again over the summer. This next week I will be going on my own week retreat up in Minnesota. I do it yearly. I think of it as my adult "camp" time. I loved camp as a kid. This is a Buddhist retreat, and for most of the 8 days it is in silence. Up at St Johns University in Collegeville, near St Cloud. Magnificent campus!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 7:15AM
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Have you checked out the Tiny House blog? Lots of examples with great ideas. Most are intended for full-time living, so have a lot of stuff you don't have to fit in, like mini-kitchens and baths, but you might find some specifics for tiny wood stoves, different layouts, etc.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 12:05PM
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I think you'll find the sheds book by Prinzing to be the spot on source of pictures. She collected examples of sheds such as your dream conversion. No full houses, but some sheds with a lot of features for comfort. If you ever need to set up a home office that you plan to take off taxes as a business expense, this would be a good way to go. Keep your records though.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:07PM
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lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b

Don't forget Habitat for Humanity for used doors/windows.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 10:32PM
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You can advertise on Craigslist, too. Let people know you are looking for an older pair of French Doors, at no more than a set price. They'll contact you!

Have you seen the new Vintage Gardens magazine? It's wonderful! There's an article on a life-sized fairy garden party (my cup of tea LOL) and the owner has a metal day bed with pillows, she uses outside. With outdoor fabric, this might be an idea for your retreat.

BTW, that's a very fun magazine, if anyone wants to give it a try. Lots of charming garden ideas :)

From Courtyard Garden album

And this link might let you download the magazine...not sure, but maybe worth a look.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to magazine

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Many years ago, we had a friend stay in our cabin which is now our garden shed. It had a bed, a dresser, a chair and he used a kerosene lamp for light. Only thing is, it is very close to the outhouse so he had that as his "private bath". Spartan but functional. He stayed a couple of months over the summer as I recall.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Hi everyone! I haven't been notified of these post except for AnnieD's, today. I have been back from my retreat for several weeks now. Thank you for the further ideas. My children (3) will be visiting in a few weeks and I will run this idea by them, and ask about siting the building too.

I will look into the Tiny house blog. I love looking at tiny houses. Also the Prinzing book. I will see if our library has it.

I will need to look into Craigslist. When ever I go to Hab. for Humanity, everything seems too expensive. But I haven't got my needs determined. That will help a lot - getting that list made.

LL, I will look at that mag. I appreciate your love of charming spaces.

Thanks very much. I will keep you informed. I am grateful for your support :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:18PM
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