This amazing DIY office studio barn renovation is brought to us by reddit user Hank White, who carefully documented his process of renovating an old hayloft into a gorgeous modern studio office.
Bought a property with an old but well built barn. This is pretty much the state it was when I started.
Upstairs in what was originally a hayloft, someone had run electrical (which all had to be redone) and randomly insulated one wall and put a sheet of drywall on another. Another, more recent, previous owner had also let his sheep wander up the stairs…which is why there is sheep shit everywhere.
Here’s the plan: build a space that will be used as an office but could also be a small apartment. Hot water tank and laundry/storage room under the stairs. Small kitchen area and a bathroom upstairs. Because of the barn roof there is lots of opportunity for built in storage.
This structure is called a cupola and was added by one of the many previous owners in the center of the barn roof. I don’t know what they had planned but someone but in a lot of effort.
Originally there would have been a ladder up to the loft. Someone had added some questionable stairs. Here I’ve started adding some structural integrity to them.
First job. The siding is board and batten with no sheathing underneath. On the part of the barn that I’m converting to living space I take the siding off, put sheathing and house wrap on and then put the siding back on but in reverse. The lower entryway bit is done in this photo. Also someone added some crappy windows where the original hayloft doors were which I plan to replace.
Perfect weather. Reframing for new windows, found some new/used that are the perfect size.
Nice big header already in place from where the doors were.
Sheathing going on in phases to avoid snow/rain getting inside.
Seemed like a good idea to add a bit of flashing along to the rim board.
I used ropes and pulleys to lift the large windows in place. Pulley was actually already there from when the loft was used to store hay.
Boards going back on in reverse.
Trimming out the windows. Small window is the bathroom.
The other side of the barn gets a lot more weather. Many boards have to be replaced.
Repeat process. Leaving the lower part for another day.
Cupola is in rough shape. Existing metal flashing is stupid so I hired a roofer to do it right.
New flashing done and boards going on. Really hard to get up here so I had to pre-cut everything and carry it up
The existing electricity came from the adjacent house but was inadequate so we had to get a new electric hookup. $$$
Had the electricians run two wires in case we decide to build another building nearby. The conduit is like this because there was trees in the way.
Waiting for hookup.
We built the interior wall to separate the office entrance from the barn aisle.
Adding in soffits. Had to get creative as this lean-to affair was lain on top of the old shingle roof (why?!) i had to cut the shingles back and square the ends of the joists.
Soffits done here. Salvaged the perfect door and light.
This side of the barn was in the worst shape. I had to add soffets and we wanted to board some horses so we decided to reside it.
Soffits are in on all side now (aluminium). Also completed is plumbing. Running drain pipes was one of the hardest parts (you can see a pipe there in the ceiling). Pretty sure I got all my slopes right. Fortunately I was able to bring water in from the nearby house through some exisiting water lines.
Wires are being run. I did everything myself up to hear, I saved money by helping the electricians but mostly I wanted them to wire the panel.
This is the original ladder that would have been used to get up to the loft.
Built some new railings at the top of the stairs out of rebar and salvaged would to match the barn feel. Made the walls make sense.
Bathroom is all framed in.
Installing shutes so the air can move behind the insulation from the soffits.
By far the worst job.
Thank god that is done.
View of the laundry room.
Drywall. Not doing this part myself!
Boarders made short work of this. So worth it.
Salvaged old doors. I’ll restore them later.
At around this point I realized the little room under the stairs would be a perfect dark room.
Mudding is done. Added a secret door to get behind the wall for storage.
The floor of the barn still hadn’t been insulated. I decided to attach styrofoam to the underside. There is no vapour barrier and this is only like R5 but I sealed it pretty good and heat rises right?
Covering ceiling with stryofoam with t&g pine. Cheap and easy to put up by yourself.
Added the chimney.
Found the perfect lights.
Getting ready for painting. At this point we’ve decided to leave the floor as is.
Entryway and bathroom get tile.
Lighting mostly in.
Added a fan in the cupola.
Moving to dads shop for the cabinets.
Small kitchen. Counter is going to be concrete.
Making countertops out of concrete, this is the bathroom. Kitchen was harder.
Decided experiment and do the stairs in MDF
I stained the MDF a little and then added several coats of varithane.
Pretty much done!
Baseboards in. Stove in place. Found this beautiful old Waterford for $300.
My sister gave me a really nice cover for the electric panel.
Darkroom getting setup. HW tank is beside the enlarger. A washer/dryer could fit in the space where it is.
Really high ceilings in the darkroom so I built more shelves.
The MDF stairs are really nice but a little slippery. I’ll add a railing later.
The cupola makes for really nice indirect lighting.
That is all! Thanks for reading!
If you liked this DIY home office studio barn renovation then checkout Hank White’s other work at http://hankwhite.co!