The Story of Our Barn: From Concept to Finished Build

HartLand Barn in the snow

Dotting the countryside throughout our great land, the barn is an American icon.  Dating back to the 1600’s, the barn was the anchor of farm life.  Barns house animals, provide a place for farmers to separate grain from straw (known as “threshing”), and provide storage for machinery and equipment.

Barn Style Garage: Our Storage Solution

Although we do not have any animals at HartLand, we still wanted and needed a barn. With fingers crossed, we’re hoping that a horse named Banjo will someday be in our future!  At the moment, our barn functions as a garage for our cars, equipment, and our cool little Can-Am UTV. 

Choosing an Attached or Detached Garage

When thinking about the garage, we had to consider the house first.  One of the best things about the Four Gables farmhouse is its versatility.  We just love perusing social media, admiring the many variations of this home, and seeing it with both attached and detached farmhouse garages.  We had to decide whether to attach the garage or build a detached, but this decision ended up being relatively simple.  The Four Gables plan can be modified easily by purchasing the CAD version from So, there are lots of floor plans out there with attached and detached garages. 

From the HartLand in the Snow

Reasons We Chose a Detached Garage:

  1. First and foremost, house placement.  We stood for many an hour gazing up into the valley, imagining this incredible view from our front porch.  Looking down the valley, coming down the lane, we loved that you would only see the house at first, with the barn revealed second.
  2. We really wanted more of a barn-style garage that could function as a garage for the cars and equipment.
  3. We love the idea of being able to photograph the house separately from the barn.
  4. We can walk right over to the barn from the side entrance of the house.
  5. We still have good views from the house.
  6. The barn offers privacy to the pool in the back.
  7. The size.  The barn is big– 30’x60’ and would not compliment the house if it were attached.
  8. The angle.  The farmhouse-style garage doors face the side entrance of our Four Gables.  The sliding barn doors face the valley.

Finding Garage Inspiration for Farmhouses

We had a local architect draw up the plan for the barn.  We spent countless hours poring over Pinterest photos for barn-style garage ideas, knowing we wanted a separate building that complimented the Four Gables, without being too matchy-matchy.  The architect got pretty close, but we ended up with several versions until it was just perfect.  The original design included a porch on the front side that faced the valley and the driveway.  We ended up nixing that idea, because the windows were too large and the porch was…off.  Because the barn has an upstairs loft, we could see the stairs through the window, which was undesirable.  We needed a new solution.  

We went back to Pinterest again for some more barn garage inspiration and added sliding barn doors with an eyebrow roof above.  Our designer, Tracey Rapisardi, talked us into changing the long windows into 3’x3’ square windows, and we’re so glad we did!  The structure now looks in keeping with the land, while still complimenting the house and maintaining some of the same elements.  We had no problem choosing colors and materials.  We wanted a traditional white barn, so we used the same materials, roof, doors, windows, and colors of the house.  The one problem we did have however, was choosing the correct garage door style the first time.  At first we selected doors with 8 longer windows rather than 16 small square windows, which better complimented the 3’x3’ barn windows.  As soon as they were installed, we knew they were WRONG.  Three-thousand dollars and three weeks later, we had the right garage doors.  It was an expensive mistake, but one that had to be corrected.

List of Exterior Materials We Used in Our Farmhouse Garage Barn:

  • James Hardi cedarmill siding (7”)
  • Standing seam metal roof in Galvalume
  • Provia doors (we have a double set behind the barn doors to keep out the critters)
  • Marvin Brand windows
  • Benjamin Moore exterior paint in White Diamond
  • Barn doors by Mistymeadows CabineTree
  • Barn door paint:  Benjamin Moore Yarmouth Blue
  • CHI garage doors from D & D Overhead with crossbuck lower panel and 16 window squares
  • Cupola:  Penn Dutch Structures
  • Weathervane

Our Barn Interior Finishes

The interior of the barn is finished, including the loft.  We have white shiplap on the lower wall that goes up to the window sill.  We chose this to protect the walls from scratches and to give it a nice finished look.  The flooring is a super-duty floor by Stronghold Flooring and is made with Novolac epoxy.  It is so durable it can withstand diesel fuel spills, which is important when storing equipment, mowers, and cars.  The finished loft has Korlok floors that look like old barn wood, but without the maintenance. 

The Barn Construction Process

Shawn Smith of Knight Builders began construction on the barn before the house.  This was because the Superior Walls foundation took five weeks to build and deliver, so rather than wait, work could begin.  But there was another reason, and it was a Godsend:  the barn was a storage facility for all of the materials we needed for the house, and the loft upstairs was converted to a paintshop.  All of our shiplap, trim, beadboard, flatstock, and doors could be painted right on-site and installed in the house as needed.  The barn was stick-built, and was constructed over a period of about 10 months from start to finish.  There are no posts whatsoever, allowing for a huge wide open space, ideal for our car, truck, mower, Can-Am UTV, and more.  

Inspiration for Your Farmhouse Garage

A few finishing touches made our barn just as pretty as our Four Gables:  pre-wired window candles from and Barn Light Electric Company’s American-made light fixtures. We chose their galvanized finish to go with our roof, and to compliment our white exterior.   We selected the Laramie wall sconce for the side door and Laramie goosenecks over the garage and barn doors.

how to make your garage complement your house

The Keys to Successfully Building a Barn-Style Garage that Compliments Your House

With careful attention to detail, you can successfully build a barn-style garage that beautifully compliments your house, whether it is attached or detached.  The key is to choose the right location on your lot, position the garage in a way that compliments the house and floor plan, and consider the proportions.  The garage should not overwhelm the house.  Select exterior finishes that compliment your home and be sure to repeat elements such as roofing, siding, window styles or trim details.

From the HartLand with love,

Monica, Brittany & Cheyenne

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