It’s common knowledge that, oftentimes, a simple house project can bring people together. In the case of Jan and Terry Price, their project turned into something much bigger — both literally and figuratively.
“We built our barn for a purpose,” explains Jan. “We lost a grandchild, and we felt like this barn would not only be a way for all of us to plan and work toward something together, but we also thought it would be a great place for families to gather.”
And gather they did. The 6,000-square-foot barn that sits on the same property as the Prices’ full-time log home, has become a popular rental getaway, housing family reunions, work retreats, girls’ nights out and other celebrations throughout the year. “We’re as busy as we want to be,” says Jan, who has past experience in the bed and breakfast industry. “We’ve had intimate holiday parties and we’ve had 150 people come in for a luncheon. Everyone absolutely loves it.”
When deciding on the type of structure to build, the Prices knew they wanted a floor plan that would work well for entertaining paired with a style that would fit in with their personal aesthetic. “We’ve always loved log and timber homes, so that’s always been our personal style,” says Terry. “We’ve found that people feel like they’re always on vacation when they stay in this type of house.”
Because the barn they purchased only came as an unfinished shell, made from a structural timber frame that reaches all the way down to the concrete slab, it was up to the Prices to make the interior space function well and feel comfortable for groups both big and small. To accomplish this, they went with a second-story multipurpose plan with an oversized east-facing window that overlooks a lake. Built-in bunkbeds with sliding barn doors for privacy line one entire side of the barn and sleep up to 16 people. A dining area and two separate seating spaces with a wood-burning fireplace provide plenty of places for conversation. A full kitchen with modern appliances rounds out the design. “It’s been wonderful to have that kitchen available for caterers,” says Jan.
The lower level of the barn, although uninhabitable, is just as impressive. “Jan’s interest was the upstairs where people could enjoy the space, while my interest was downstairs,” says Terry with a laugh — and we can see why. Terry’s office is located on this level, as well as ample storage space and his shop. On the other end is the 3-car garage and behind that, space to house and service a full-sized RV. “There are huge doors that open to a 53-foot-long space for a motorhome,” says Terry. “The upstairs bunkbeds were actually raised a few feet to make room for the bay that’s located underneath.”
Four years after building the barn, the Prices feel like they achieved their dream — and then some. “When people come out here, they feel like they’re out in the country, away from everything,” says Jan. “Even when our family comes to visit, we all stay in the barn as a group. It feels nice for all of us to be together.”
Square footage: 6,000 total; 2,500 livable space
Builder: Montgomery Construction, 479-925-8574
Built-in beds; cabinets; interior doors: TL Wood Products, 479-927-0472