Cylindrical Sheet Metal Grain Bin as a Weekend Home

Categories: Homes / Dwellings

Anywhere farmers are growing corn, soybeans or wheat, you’re likely to see empty, used steel grain bins. Those grain bins are durable, and steel is recyclable when the building has served its purpose. Why not convert a used grain bin or two into a usable building — maybe even a house or getaway? Check out the photos below of nifty grain bin conversions.

You can probably pick up a small used bin for a few hundred dollars (or even free). Used bins are frequently available on craigslist or ebay. You could also put an ad in a local newspaper or on your local farm co-op bulletin board. There are companies that can move the bins to new sites — ask around at farm stores to find them.

Prices of new steel grain bins depend on the diameter, height and region of the country, but costs start at about $7,000 for an 18-foot-diameter bin, not including the cement foundation slab or assembly.

Basic carpentry and mechanical skills are required to convert a grain bin to another use. The number of doors and windows will be limited, as too many can weaken the structure. So plan ahead and check with an engineer if you have any doubts.

Here’s an out of the ordinary idea for a vacation home that will leave you speechless and will make you wonder if it would be a good option for you too. Take example from M. J. Gladstone, who used a cylindrical grain bin to create his dream house in Germantown, N.Y. He originally wanted an octagonal vacation home, but what resulted is a merge between differently shaped living spaces.

The reason he wished for a rounded house was, that it offers way more options when it comes to the interior decoration than a regular shaped house with rectangular rooms. Dispersing the furniture in a rounded room can prove to be a real challenge, but it also provides an excitingly new vision upon things. The idea of using a grain bin came from Manhattan based architect Michael Altschuler, who did an amazing job creating a large area of 450 square foot with a living room and a bedroom. 

A 450-square-foot combination living room and bedroom resulted, inside a galvanized sheet metal cylinder. Mr. Altschuler made what he called “a stage set,” meaning the octagon, using eight panels of sheetrock. “The notion was to use the bin to keep the weather out,” he said. To ensure warmth, Mr. Altschuler ordered two roofs, suspending one 12 inches beneath the other; he filled the space between with insulation. The room’s soaring, 19-foot-high ceiling is topped by an oculus, which allows diffuse light to pour through, creating a moody ambiance.

via NYTimes


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