Live/Work Barn

        conceptual building and business model


I've been thinking to rehabilitate and occupy an old barn for a couple of years now.  Having dwelled in cities most my days, I'm wanting to try out a more basic existence. Living in a more natural world might promote clearer thinking and stronger focus as byproducts of a deeper connection with the spiritual realm.  Or maybe that's just woo-woo nonsense.


American barns are mostly German/Dutch built with sturdy frames and ideal qualities for creative workplaces: 1) expansive volumes 2) natural day-lighting [sometimes, or easily added] 3) relatively inexpensive 4) large clear spans wide open for build out  5) located on farm land and usually near fresh water  6) great architecture and vibe. 

A joint live/work space in one building is also very appealing, kind of like the old town two-flats with the shop on the first floor and apartments above. 



Here are the areas I am focusing on:

     Sustainable design and building, Passive energy devices

     Name-your-style furniture and accessories using traditional construction methods

     Organic horticulture

     Occasional chef


Once the model is up and running it will be feasible to market off-grid planning and construction services to others looking to do the same.  Retreats, spas, and seminars could also be held on site.  Really anything that people might enjoy and pay a fair price for are open to consideration.

I'm looking for others who might want to participate in this project.  They can work with me on my operations or bring other trades that add to the mix.  Hit me up if you're interested!



    first floor plan


The plan ultimately includes a school of sorts with the goal of passing along practical skills in a natural environment that help people cut expenses (stress) and reconnect with a more balanced reality.  Some may come to learn from the courses offered while others may just be seeking inspiration in discovering their own life mission.

Curriculum will include design+build, appropriate technology, organic produce cultivation, and food prep and storage -- basically a few of the self-reliance fundamentals.  Given the ongoing trend of stagnant wages and rising costs plus tuition / low return of many college degrees, I think this would be of benefit to some people. 


  south building section 










Site plan for a project in rural Oakland County.  Similar features could be developed on this site (click image for full size)







              urban version

              click image to enlarge




The Daily Grind

live a life close to the land in the most authentic way possible: grow and cook real food, build useful things, and enjoying nature with a small, self-reliant community

Prepare and Develop Garden Beds

   permaculture design of gardens, structures, and buildings
   prepare organic / no-till beds
   start seeds
   plant, maintain, harvest crops
   preserve surplus

Whole food Chef with knowledge of nutrition and many ethnic cuisines

Design/Build + Woodworking

Share and teach knowledge of above

Keep learning

Resources Required

Land (1/4 acre min. to be scaled up as required)

Small residence + shop (existing or new construction)

Biomass (compost, mulch)


Misc. supplies, seed, etc.

Potential Collaboration

Apprentice / co-worker

Fulltime Farmer

Additional Trades

Partner / Investor / co-op


more restoration proposals are here