Walking around the new property (and why I’m not turning the barn into a shop)

Welcome to the new backyard! About 10 days ago or so, I posted a little video announcing that we bought this property here. Today I want to take you around the property a little bit, show you the land, and answer some questions that came up in the last video. For example “what kind of crazy person puts a shop in a garage when you have a perfectly good barn?” 

As I mentioned in the previous video, this used to be a horse property, so we have a few of these horse shelters throughout the property. This one here is near the middle of the property, and we’ll keep that as a focal point, as we’re walking around to give you some bearings. I have some slabs that I brought over here to stack, because I’m going to use these shelters as slab storage areas. 

Backing up a bit from that horse shelter now. I didn’t mention how big this property is in the announcement video: this is 22 acres. It’s a mostly rectangular lot. Now it’s really hard to show this on camera, but the property is very rolling, which is what we really like about it. It makes a really interesting topography and landscape. 

If I spin around here, you can see I’m not even at the bottom of the lowest spot of this property. The property line is those needle bearing trees lined up back there. From the bottom of the property to where I am standing right now is probably about a 30 foot rise, with the house and the barn up another 30 foot rise. 

One of the things that’s nice about the hill is that it shields us from the neighbors, but we still have neighbors nearby. We still wanted to have neighbors, in case we need help with anything, and there are two neighbors just over this hill. From down here, you can’t even see their houses. There is also a neighbor on the front of the property. 

From this view, you can see the house now. It’s just peeking out from behind the storage shed and barn. The driveway comes up through all these pine trees on the left, which is a really nice scenic drive up this big hill to the house. 

This is the old front area of the field, just to the right of the pine trees lining the driveway. As I was thinking about places to put the arboretum, I’m thinking this is a good spot. The house is perched up on a hill, which creates a really nice view to the west. We want to try and keep this area somewhat open to preserve that view, so this right here would be a nice spot for a tree collection. 

The lower area of the barn is set up as an area for livestock, and the top section is a finished space that was previously used as an art studio. 

Speaking of livestock, I have a small steer in here currently. (That’s hopefully my only bad joke in this post). There are four stalls in here, which are all horse stalls with dirt floors on one side and deck floor on the other side. The barn is 22 feet deep, and it’s 30-something wide. Total square footage down here is 748 square feet. 

The previous owners left me a few things, including the old-timey tool collection and a Shopsmith. 

Now, to answer the question of why I’m going to be converting the garage into the shop and not the barn: the garage is much, much closer to being move-in ready and is a much nicer space to be in compared to the barn. I think a lot of people are assuming the barn is a lot bigger than the garage is. In reality, the barn is 748 square feet, and the garage is about 650 square feet. By the time you fill out the walls for insulating the barn, you’ll probably be around 700 square feet. So for an additional 50 square feet, it’s not really worth the effort to get the barn converted to a working shop right now, when I have a garage that is basically ready to go. 

This is the finished loft space. This is about 12 feet wide and 20 feet long. This was previously set up as an art studio. We are not really sure what we’re going to use it for quite yet, but it will be a nice space for sure. 

We have a big old Cottonwood here. This is a really, really massive tree, and I love it. When we toured this house, I noticed that this tree has an old pulley up there. At some point, people were trying to lift things using this tree. 

Here is the garage: it is a three car, three door, three stall style garage. It’s a tuck under, so there is living space above it. It is extremely similar to the shop I’m in right now, just 50% bigger. The nice thing about the garage, and one of the reasons why it’s so much closer to being move-in ready, is that the walls, the doors, the ceiling, and the floor are all insulated, and it has in-floor radiant heat already. 

We just finished painting the floor in here, and it’s not quite dry yet, but this is the space which will be the future shop. It has a couple of additional advantages over the barn. The barn has two support posts in the middle. I currently have one in my shop, and it’s limiting, to say the least . Having a nice big open space in this garage is a plus. 

The ceiling height in the garage is sort of interesting. The wall height is eight and a half feet, and then there are some support beams with some duct work in them, so it is seven feet from the floor to the bottom of the beam. In my current shop, the ceiling is seven feet high, so it will be nice to have some added ceiling height here. 

One disadvantage of having the shop in the garage is noise. And I’m actually more worried about noise coming into the shop versus noise leaving the shop. At my current shop, because there is living space above it, you can hear the kids screaming and yelling and running around and dropping toys, and it’s loud. This ceiling is insulated with drywall, so it should deaden the sound. 

I’m walking down the driveway a little bit, and we’ll head up into the woods. In this wooded area, we have the section of pine trees, which the driveway runs through, and then there are some hardwoods on the other side of the pine trees. That area is about two acres or so. 

We’re up on a ridge here that is technically the front side of the house, and that is the little wooded area. 

This is the highest ground of the entire property, up in this area. I was talking about doing the garden and the vineyard and the orchard, and I figured that’s what this section over here could be. It’s all high and it’s fairly flat. 

Now we’re back where we started, at the back corner of that first pasture. This is where I would like to put the shop, when that actually happens. I really want to have a two level shop, and this hill would give me the ability to put the shop right into the hill and have ground access on the second floor. 

I’m not really sure where the permanent spot for the sawmill might go. It’d probably be down here in the flat area. 

We’re just in time for a beautiful sunset. So that was a quick walk around the property! 

Our timeframe for renovations on the house have changed from the last video, however. A more realistic start date is next late spring-early summer, based on how delayed everything is right now. Which is fine, it gives us more time to plan. But it also means that we are going to move here before the renovations can be done. 

That actually brings it back to the garage workshop question. With the move in mind, that means that I am going to move my shop starting immediately. I have already started painting in the garage to get ready to receive all the stuff for the shop. I wasn’t really planning on moving my shop right now, but that’s how life goes sometimes! Hopefully that will go as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I am literally going to move the shop and transplant it. I’m not going to really change very much about the shop in terms of layout. 

Hopefully this gives a little better idea of what’s all here on this new property, and what’s to come! Thank you as always for joining me, I greatly appreciate it. For any questions or comments, on the property or anything back in the current shop, please feel free to leave me a comment. As always, I’ll happily answer any question you might have. Until next time, happy woodworking! I wish I was woodworking, and not moving a shop!

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