Living Barns

Published by Schiffer Books

How to Find and restore a Barn of Your Own

Since was established in 1996 this editor has received dozens of inquiries from individuals intent on converting unused and often deteriorating barns to a residence.  I’ve tried to be helpful by citing books that have varying amounts of pages devoted to this adaptive use, but had never found a single volume that satisfactorily covered the subject.

I should mention that only accepts the idea of adaptive use if otherwise the barn is likely to be totally lost and only if the altered structure’s identity survives as that of a barn. 

Originally published in the 1970s, Living Barns is a newly revised hardcover edition of 191 pages entirely devoted to adaptive restoration of period barns into homes.  Its pages encompass dozens of examples coupled with literally hundreds of color photos showing the “before and after” and frequently diagrams of room layout.  Having once considered such an adaptive project, I can imagine how useful Living Barns is as an inspiration and reference for those embarking on such a demanding project.  Living Barns is well worth the price for those contemplating adaptive use themselves or those committed to barn preservation and seeking ways to save this notable vernacular architecture.

Living Barns was released in 2006 by Schiffer Publishing Ltd, Atglen, PA 19310; phone 610.593.1777.  Please contact or for purchase information.

Edited by Charles Leik, July 2006.