If you are pressed for space on your farm, a barn home may be a solution for you. A barn home, which includes a living space in the loft of a barn, is a solution for places where a rancher cannot afford a separate home, or needs a second home for a ranch hand. Large animal vets also find barn homes practical living quarters from which to monitor livestock.

Vacation Home

A barn home is a good weekend getaway or vacation home for people who want a little place in the country. An apartment in a barn can be very basic, with just a bathroom, kitchenette and a living space with a fold-out couch that sits over your tack room and shares a hot water heater with your horse bathing stall. Or it can be a very elaborate home with a full kitchen, laundry, bathroom, living room and bedroom that extends over the entire second story of a two-story gambrel-style barn.

Prefab

Due to the market for loft-style apartments over barns, a number of barn makers sell blueprints and prefabricated home plans for combination dwellings and barns. According to the website BarnPro.com, a prospective owner can save up to 30 percent on construction costs by purchasing a prefabricated dwelling and barn combination structure over the cost of purchasing a separate barn and home. Other advantages prefabricated structures offer is that the plans and prefabricated kits are compliant to local building codes, and the companies provide customer service. The barns are typically attractive, while the homes are on par with an apartment built specifically for dwelling purposes. People with building experience can use the blueprints and instructions to build their own structure, or can hire a contractor to assemble the building for them.

Do It Yourself

Converting barn space to a multipurpose dwelling is typically more challenging. Barns are rarely built with the building codes for human dwellings in mind. Before converting barn space to dwelling space, you must bring the barn up to code and reinforce the building structurally. Once this is accomplished, plumbing, electricity and a heating and cooling system must be put in place, along with fireproofing, insulation, and plans for controlling dust and sound for the apartment. It may require an architect and contractor for changes like these.