Plans for a 1200 square foot loft apartment for practical living over a general purpose barn feature a unique 30 x 40 design that makes use of 100% of the attic space. This design features 6 x 6 posts and separate 2 x 12 beams for the roof and floor system. Plan includes a cross section of the framing detail, and step by step instructions.
Barn with Loft Living Space
Center the posts on eight foot to keep the beam strength high enough for living quarters. Build a deck on each end of the barn so you do not have to enter the barn to enter your home. Build a run of posts down the center of the barn to support the three ply 2 x 12 girder; the main load bearing framing member. Stack a central wall directly above this girder to transfer the vertical load of everything in the “guts” of the living space. Use No. 2 kiln dried pine for all framing members except the studs; they will be 92 5/8” premium. Use AdvanTech® ¾” for sub-flooring, 2 x 10 for floor joist, 2 x 8 for rafters, 2 x 6 for ceiling joists, and 2 x 4 for wall girts.
Start with the outside posts. Check with your local building inspector to make sure 18” x 36” deep is massive enough for the concrete footing around the post. Remember, these plans are not stamped blueprints. It is up to you to present to your local building inspector any necessary blueprints. Governing processes and requirements vary from county to county. Some will accept a cross section of the framing detail, and a simple floor plan, while the county next door may require a stamped set of blueprints from an architect just for a wood shed.
Proceed to the roof beams and outside floor beams. One ply notches into the post. Go ahead and run the wall girts if you want. Be sure not to remove any braces from the posts just because they are secure along one axis. Cut the posts in the middle of the gable walls for the center girder to ride on. Build the center girder all the way through. Use a string to ensure straightness, and position props so they are clear of the posts. The center posts are more like piers; they will sit on top of 2’ x 2’ x 2’ footings. Make sure they fit nicely under the girder. Use some type of “L” brackets on each end. Run the floor joist. Use 16” oc layout. Read more about layouts here. Be certain to use double floor joists below any walls running parallel with the joist. Practically any 30 x 40 floor plan for living space will work. Aim for a design using a main center wall.
All other construction processes are detailed on this site. Use our search engine if you need help with a particular area. Use PrintFriendly at the bottom of the each page to print or download a PDF file. Good luck with your project and barn living.
1200 Square Foot Barn with Living Space in the Loft