In grandpa’s barn

If there isn’t a va­cant house avail­able on the fam­ily farm, you sim­ply make a plan with the out­build­ings!

Home Renovations - - Contents - By Beat­rice Moore-nöth­nagel • Pho­to­graphs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster • Styling Shelly Bergh

Rea­son for ren­o­va­tion

What are your op­tions when your whole fam­ily – par­ents, sis­ter and brother – all live on the fam­ily farm but there’s nowhere for you to stay? You ren­o­vate the old barn – as Wilna Hugo did. She now lives hap­pily in her own cot­tage in the space where her grand­fa­ther’s thresher once stood.

“The barn was built in 1950 and my grand­fa­ther used the wheel of a thresh­ing ma­chine to cre­ate the most beau­ti­ful win­dow. There was also a pit in the floor which he used when he needed to work un­der­neath his ve­hi­cles,” says Wilna.

“When I de­cided to con­vert this space into a place to live, it was ba­si­cally an empty shell with one plug, one light, one small cir­cu­lar win­dow and a large barn door.”

But this didn’t de­ter Wilna. She had a mez­za­nine level built in so that the bed­room could be on an up­per level, with a liv­ing room, kitchen and bath­room be­low. The project took two years and Wilna says she would not have been able to do it with­out the help and ad­vice of her friend Jaco Visser, her brother-in-law JB van Ee­den, and her dad Ger­rit Hugo.

Main al­ter­ations

• The small wheel win­dow was care­fully re­moved and built in higher up near the roof so that it wouldn’t be in the mid­dle of the new mez­za­nine level.

• The barn door was partly bricked up and con­verted into a large north-fac­ing win­dow. A kitchen door, a French door for the en­trance, and a bath­room- and kitchen win­dow were added. On the west­fac­ing wall, where the front door is, no win­dows were in­stalled to re­duce the heat from the af­ter­noon sun.

• A new con­crete floor was laid and raised by as much as 10cm in places to cre­ate a level sur­face.

• The bath­room was built on the ground floor next to the open-plan kitchen. An I-beam was in­stalled above the kitchen and bath­room to sup­port the new mez­za­nine level.

• Floor­boards were then sawn and nailed to the joists ( see box, op­po­site). The mez­za­nine level added 22m².

• Ex­tra wiring and pipes were laid and a sep­tic tank was in­stalled.

• Be­cause money was tight, the old cor­ru­gated iron roof was re­paired where nec­es­sary and a new ceil­ing was in­stalled.

• All the walls and floors were painted, while the pit was re­tained as a stor­age area – it was sim­ply cov­ered with a wooden lid.

of­ten When my fa­ther was lit­tle, the barn was used for stag­ing shows. Now, per­for­mances

four are held here once again by my brother’s

best chil­dren who re­gard my house as the

stage ever! – Wilna

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