Grain Bin House

Marissa     General     ,     5    

We’ve long fantasized about having a grain bin house at the farm.  No idea what that is?  Oh boy, are you missing out on the fun!  Essentially, you take a grain bin – yes those big round metal buildings – and you convert it to a living space.  Everyone is going to go about this different and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination…and construction skills! Just to whet your appetite:

Montesilo – an incredible double-bin house with a blog that covered its construction:

Grain Bin Cabin (672 sq ft) by Mark Clipsham.  You can even purchase the plans and some of his consulting time to create your own.  Photo from Mother Earth News:

Well we may not just be dreaming of a grain bin house anymore.  Dale noticed some abandoned grain bins for sale on the highway awhile back and Mom and Pops tracked them down.  They went up for a visit and talk with the owner recently.

There were three bins clustered around a grain elevator thing.   One definite problem is getting the heavy conveyor pipes taken down…without letting them crash into the elevator or the other bins.  The owner said a crane would have to be hired for that job.   The one on the left is the only one that hasn’t buckled….and its roof is in the best condition.

The good bin had a scary ladder going up the outside and another one on the inside. Pops climbed the inside one and stuck his head out of the roof hatch…about 25′ off the ground.

These bins are about 25′ in diameter and 25′ tall to the eave.  That’s very close to 10,000 bushels.   There are 9 rings, each made up of 8 sheets….72 sheets in all.  Each sheet has 50 5/16″ bolts securing it to the neighboring sheets…..3600 bolts in all.    Pops roughly estimated that the cylindrical part of the bin would weigh about 4000 lbs.   That means we could haul the whole thing home with his truck and new trailer.

It would be scary taking the roof apart but Pops think we could handle it pretty well.  From there, the rest would be straightforward.   But he doesn’t think we can take the conveyor pipes down……at least he hasn’t figured out how yet.

Of course, these things are bare on the inside and the outside even needs work.  But I guess at least they are pretty clean!


  • Leigh said:

    Jun 15, 2011 4:41 pm

    Those grain bin houses are just too clever. And how amazing that you found some grain bins for sale! What a job to move them though. What an adventure!

  • FineBlend said:

    Jun 16, 2011 12:39 am

    I really love The way these things look, the first time I saw one in person I was amazed. I wonder if it would be possible to install a large picture window on the third “floor”,I think that would make a great office :)

  • Donna Thieme said:

    Jan 24, 2012 11:41 am

    I’m intrigued with your grain bin house as I am adding a grain bin unit to my Bed & Breakfast which will sit only a 100 feet from the b&b cottage on our farm. Would like to see pictures of the inside.

  • Sheri Adams said:

    Mar 24, 2013 11:25 pm

    We have three small used grain bins on our new farm property. I am interested in turning two of them into guest quarters. Any suggestions for how to insulate, put in windows, what did you do about dorr frames and window frames , suggested flooring used and any comments about how to utilize space best..sleeping loft or???

    Such an exciting idea.

  • Tara said:

    Jun 30, 2013 12:09 pm

    I read about these houses in the Mother Earth News magazine and I am going to build a grain bin house! I have people holding me to that too

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