Home ยป Transforming Metal Barns: Innovative Ways To Convert Storage Into Livable Spaces

Transforming Metal Barns: Innovative Ways To Convert Storage Into Livable Spaces

by UrgentRCM
Metal Barns

American farms are known for their distinct outbuildings and vast crop fields. These outbuildings are essential for the proper functioning of a farm as they provide space for storing harvest yields or for parking farm vehicles and machines. But the question is, ‘Can steel barns be transformed into a living space?’ The answer is – Yes, they can. But how? Well, you see, you will need to make some basic changes to make metal barn buildings livable. Let’s see them one by one.

How To Make Metal Barns Livable For Animals & Humans?


First things first: You must clean the entire structure thoroughly. You can use a regular garden hose or a pressure washer with a mild detergent for cleaning. After you are done cleaning, the inspection part comes next.


You must inspect for any rusting, cracks, holes, or leakage that can cause a draft. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • If you notice any rusting, then fix it promptly. For minor rusting, you can rub it with sandpaper, apply a coat of primer, and finally coat it with acrylic latex paint.
  • You may need to replace the whole panel for any large or major rusting.
  • Any air leaks, holes, or cracks must be filled with silicone, polyurethane, or butyl sealant.


Check to see if your roof is sturdy and good to go for upcoming years. The roof is the most crucial part of a living space. Hence, its structural strength must remain intact. Further, if you want your home to be energy efficient, install solar panels or shingles.


Before moving any further, you must have the planning permission to transform steel barns into a living space. This permission will vary with state and city. You can check your city’s website or visit local authorities in person. You can also hire a licensed contractor to do work on your behalf.

Note that at the end of the day, the homeowner must ensure all remodeling work is being done lawfully. Generally, permission isn’t necessary as long as you are not adding any extension to the existing barn or building a new one.


Plumbing plans and work need to be done before insulation. Whether you want to convert metal barns into living spaces for animals or humans, water is a necessary utility. You must plan plumbing for faucets, sinks, bathrooms, and kitchens.


Steel barns should have adequate lighting. One way to achieve this is to install skylights on roofs. However, if the barn is located in an area that obstructs natural light, you must install electric cables. This work needs to be done before insulation.


Metals are an excellent conductor of heat. Unfortunately, that is not good news for metal barns. To fix it, a simple solution is to install insulators. Some of the most affordable yet quality insulators are fiberglass and closed-cell spray foam insulators. The fiberglass insulator is the most popular option as it comes with a variable range of R-value.


Even though a metal barn building is an eco-friendly structure with no associated toxic fumes, you will still need to install vents for air circulation to make the barn livable. There are two kinds of vents to choose from. Passive vents like gravity, windows, or wind-driven vents do not need electricity. Active vents like ceiling fans, floor fans, or AC require power.

Wall Finishing

The most used wall finishing is dry walls. You can add further finishing, such as trim or designer floor, to make it more like a house. If you have a concrete floor, you can create texture and stain it to make it look like a wooden floor but with more robustness.


Whether you want metal barns for animals or yourself, fencing will add an element of safety to your home. Your animals will have free space to move around, and if you use metal barns as a living quarter, you will have free space to set up outdoor furniture & fire pit or to make a nice garden area.

Some Ways In Which Metal Barn Building Can Be Used For Human Occupancy Are

Workshop: Metal barns can be used as a workshop. You can pursue DIY projects that require welding or woodwork. Since this kind of work creates a lot of dust and debris, you don’t have to worry about cleaning them every day. You can wait till the project is complete and then clean it afterward.

Business Store: A small storefront often has a lower operating budget. Steel barns could work great here because they are fast to install, easy to maintain, and resistant to elements. You can even decorate it with external landscaping and paint it with colors that match your brand.

Barndominium: Want to have a living quarter, but you are on a tight budget? Steel barns can be a great livable space for you. They can be energy-efficient structures that require minimal upkeep.

Restaurant: The business is tough, and the profit margin is tight. Here, metal barns can be handy. They will reduce the operational cost. You can even install solar roofs to lower your energy bills. In addition, you can go for an external façade to give your business a unique look.

Event Venue: Metal barns can be used to organize weddings or other parties with less budget. They are large enough to store supplies and equipment needed for the event.


You can convert a storage metal barn building into a livable space. Metal barns generally act as multi-purpose structures; hence, investing in them is a good decision. Today, what you are using as a farm machinery storage can be a livestock shelter or a living quarter in the future.

Before investing, ensure you get the best raw materials and quality workmanship to ensure the longevity of your building. For this, you can rely on a reputed and experienced metal builder.

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