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Old buildings repurposed into special family spotOld buildings repurposed into special family spot

Slideshow: Some people call it the “grain bin house,” but this unique building is much more than that.

Tom J Bechman 1

March 18, 2022

14 Slides

A farm pond with a couple of trees around it is a great place to spend Sunday afternoons with the family. Rick Roach and family, Monticello, Ind., had the pond with a few trees, but they didn’t have any shelter. What they had was an old small grain bin, a cattle barn that needed to be remove, an old wooden granary and lots of leftover parts from various projects. They also had a dream.

“Dad heard about someone who turned an old grain bin into a house, and he got an idea,” Rick’s son Richard Roach recalls. “One thing led to another, and we thought it would be a great addition to the area around the pond.”

Rick, Richard and Rick’s son-in-law Kyle Dyer began the project in January 2021. It was finished late that year. The “grain bin house,” as some call it, features a wood interior, kitchen, living room, bathroom, upper-level bedroom, and both heating and air conditioning.

“We built it for our use,” Rick explains. “The neatest thing is that we incorporated lots of our family and farm history into the furnishings.”

Indeed, there are important pictures of different family members on one wall, and a framed, completed puzzle that Rick’s mom and oldest grandchild completed on the other wall. Grandma, now passed on, let her grandson insert the last piece into the puzzle.

“Almost everything in here was repurposed from something on the farm,” Richard says. “The only things that are new are the bed frames upstairs, the couch, flooring, and the heating and air conditioning units.”

The family and farm crew did the bulk of construction work, including pouring concrete for the foundation. They required assistance on finishing the electrical work and plumbing. A local craftsman finished some of the countertops in the kitchen, working with wood from a building on the farm.

However, during the entire project, they had plenty of help from family and friends, Richard says. Nearly five dozen people contributed in one way or another, he says.

“It just means a lot to have all these memories in one place,” Rick says. Rick’s sister and her family spent a week in the new “old” house over the holidays and are already making plans for the next holiday visit to the farm.

“Now we’re going to focus on sprucing up the outside and then enjoying the place when we have time,” Rick says.

The Roach family received extra incentive to finish the grain bin house last year when approached by a TV show that wanted to feature their project. The show “Building Off the Grid” devoted Episode 2 of Season 11 to the grain bin house. It first aired on Sept. 28, 2021. The episode is available to watch through several streaming services if you want to get a closer look inside this unique house.

You can also check out the accompanying slideshow.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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