For anyone who lives in farming country, driving past a grain bin may put visions in your head of an unusual and nearly ready-made home just ripe for the picking. Actually, people have built homes out of grain bins and silos using various techniques and styles. Grain bins come in various widths and heights and are used for storing harvested grain. Many of the older silos are standing empty or are being torn down to be sold for scrap. However, there are some builders and architects who have begun designing homes and barns out of the metal structures.
Grain bins can be reinforced and insulated in various ways with typical wood framing, straw bales or even an additional grain bin inserted into a larger bin. The area between the two bins is then insulated. You can learn more about how to build a grain bin home from this article from Mother Earth News. The Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri documented their renovation of a grain bin into a small duplex and even some homes have been built for the people of Haiti from brand new Sukup grain bins from Iowa.
You can also purchase a grain bin home plan from Dream Green Homes. Their design is a one bedroom, two bathroom 692 square foot cabin with the bin inside bin concept. The insulation can be spray foam or straw bale and the structure is self supporting with no studs needed. Their design can even be relocated. The plans cost $415. You can purchase new or used grain bins from individual sellers on Yakaz or eBay or several companies including Used Feed Bins ( $1,500 for 18 foot tall bins to $3,500 for 24 foot tall bins) or Grain Bin Sales.
This is on our list of things to build when Cozy Home Plans gets more site traffic and sales. Thanks to my brother, we have two of these disassembled and sitting in Iowa plus a spiral staircase just waiting for the time and money to be put together.
Photo by Visit Missouri