To homebuyers who have a strong vision and the means to see it through, an abandoned utilitarian structure can become a stunning antidote to the common McMansion.
Changes in technology, industry, and occupations have resulted in a decrease of barns, stables, and carriage houses being used for their intended purposes.
Church attendance is not what it used to be and consequently many beautiful houses of worship have fallen vacant. Happily, many obsolete structures can be reclaimed, as with this church seen in a previous CNBC slideshow on converted homes. One company even specializes in dismantling and rebuilding old barns, as you’ll see in the slides that follow.
Because of home conversions, what could be the sad gradual loss of a well-built structure is really a boon to an enterprising homebuyer. A building that once housed farm animals can now go for more than a million bucks—and onve renovated it can look like a million bucks. Click on ahead to see inspiring examples of such repurposed structures, suggested by Realtor.com.
By Colleen KanePosted 29 September 2011
Location: Dallas, Texas
This was once St. John’s United Methodist Church, but around 2007 it underwent a three-year transformation at a cost of $1.5 million to become the part-time vacation home of a family based in California.
Because the church sits in a historic district, they had to preserve the church’s exterior character. Inside, they were free to make changes, so wood from the pews was repurposed for repairing the front doors and used for detailing the kitchen.
Beds / Baths: 11 / 11.5
Square Footage: 14,929
The church is now a multifamily residence or could function as an unusual mansion. The upstairs unit (pictured here) features 8 bedrooms and 8.5 baths, and the former choir loft can serve as an art studio. It also has the century-old restored stained glass windows. The basement unit is now a three-bedroom, three-bath, 5,000-square-foot residence (or business offices), including a large living area that likely once hosted many post-church coffees and church suppers.
Original Location: central Pennsylvania
Built: circa 1850
This structure existed for its first 150 years or so as a traditional German style bank barn (built into a hill and accessible from land at both upper and lower levels) in central Pennsylvania, until Heritage Restorations intervened. The cost of the barn and its dismantling ran the current owner $110,000 in 2007.
Current Location: Austin, Texas
Beds / Baths: 3 / 4
Square Footage: 4,369
The structure was transformed into a contemporary house by surrounding the sturdy post and beam barn skeleton with glass and stucco. This is one barn no one can call drafty due to structural insulated panel walls that ensure the house is energy efficient.
Other energy-efficient features include solar panels and tankless water heaters. The three-bedroom original Patterson homestead on the 4.17-acre property is now billed as a guesthouse, and also on the premises are a 1,600-square-foot workshop and a saltwater pool. The building is registered with the Texas Film Commission, so it has appeared in a Dell ad, and hosted a pool scene for an upcoming Richard Linklater film.
Location: West Cornwall, Connecticut
This barn had been sitting vacant and dilapidated for years when it was first converted to a home back in the 1970s. Perhaps for those renovators, the bridge going to the upstairs level (making it another bank barn like the previous barn), served as the inspiration to preserve and upgrade the building.
Beds / Baths: 5 / 4
Square Footage: 4,100
The sellers are the second owners since this barn has become a light-filled contemporary home, and they converted some additional portions of the old structure into extra square footage. The driveway goes below the aforementioned bridge to the upper level, making it a carport for rainy days. An additional small antique building is also included on the 24.5 acres.
Location: New Preston, Connecticut
In 1956, the original renovators looked at this brick riverfront structure, one of many cider mills once found throughout the state, and saw a potential home. (No photos exist of the pre-renovation mill, but click ahead to see the interior.)
Beds / Baths: 2 / 2.5
Square Footage: 3,056
This antique brick structure is now a unique home on 3.2 acres that includes river frontage and a distinctive waterfall out front. Inside, the many exposed beams make it easy to imagine the structure’s former incarnation.