Typical barn inventoried by Heritage
NETZERO: A building that produces as much energy on-site as it uses.
Phase 1 - Have a point of view
Our original plan was to reconstruct an old barn as a home somewhere down south, where we would like to retire. Each of us had reasons for being attracted to the barn as a home - Dixie's parents grew up in farmhouses with barns, and Greg loved the architectural aspects of soaring ceilings and post and beam construction.
In April 2015, Greg took a new job off Long Island that created a dangerous and soul-sucking commute. This required a transition, and as is so often the case, change created opportunity.
Within weeks of accepting the position, we were traveling in ever widening circles around his company's community, looking for a home to buy. Nothing appealed. Eventually, we crossed out of New Jersey and back into NY's Orange County. This was more like it. In fact, we found many nice homes but realized there were truly beautiful undeveloped properties available too. It dawned on us that we could build the barn here, now, rather than down south, later.
But not just a pretty barn. An energy efficient, minimum carbon footprint, environmentally friendly barn -- and a warm and friendly home -- and a space that attracts what we love: music, people, good food, community.
Finding the Barn
We had found a company, Heritage Restorations in Waco, TX, that takes down old barns in good shape, cleans and fumigates the posts and beams, stores them as a system and reassembles the structure on the foundation you build. Over the years, we pulled up their website, www.heritagebarns.com, and poured over the photos of barns and the gorgeous homes that had been built from them. We even visited one of their installations in Hudson Valley, NY, on a snowy day in 2013, and watched the workers haul the giant beams into place and carefully peg them. We were hooked.
We stumbled upon Warwick during a weekend of househunting. Meeting the Realtor at her office in the former railroad station in town, we looked around us and liked what we saw: a walkable downtown with a wide variety of dining options, shop and professional services, a hospital and more. Enterprise lives here. Yet just miles away: farms, barns, grain silos and cows. Beautiful views for miles. And best of all no city traffic, bridges or tunnels. This could be home.
"Black Dirt" farming in Warwick
"May you always do what you are afraid to do."