In the early years of the last century, it wasn’t uncommon for hired help on farms or ranches or even newlywed children of the owners to live in a converted shed or outbuilding on the …
In the early years of the last century, it wasn’t uncommon for hired help on farms or ranches or even newlywed children of the owners to live in a converted shed or outbuilding on the property.
Things have come a long, long way since then, but many homebuilders are again choosing to go that direction with their build, but with a lot of upgrades.
Whether the referenced building is called a barndominium (barn + condominium), a shouse (shop + house) or any other hybrid name, the options are mind-boggling.
Jim Cross built quite a few of the shop houses, as he calls them, during the 40 years he was heavily involved in building.
His buildings were constructed just like a regular house, he said, complete with a crawl space foundation. Many had big shops constructed as part of the project, connected to the housing unit.
One client was wheelchair bound and wanted a single story home where he could easily get out to his garage to work on projects or access the vehicles.
Another wanted easy entry to his shop and garage where he kept his ATVs and other toys, without having to walk across a cold, wet or snowy yard.
“I built a lot of those shop houses through the years,” Cross said. “They are not necessarily less expensive, but it was just what the customer wanted.”
But there are other types of construction also used to create the shomes that vary greatly from the traditional stick built homes.
Coy Ford, general manager of Cleary Buildings in Cody, said there’s interest in what is properly called post and frame construction. The advantages are that the shell can be constructed in five to six days, provided the concrete slab is ready, and the exterior is usually less costly, depending on the finishes selected.
On the other hand, the interior is going to cost the same as a stick-built house — unless the homeowner has the time and expertise to complete the work him or herself, Ford said.
The barn style, though, is especially adaptable to the open floor plan concept because, according to Ford, the heavy trusses and laminated uprights allow for wider spans without as many interior load bearing walls.
He said the company is bidding one or more prospective builds each week.