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They built a tiny barn cabin so they can live their dreams (she quit her job, now they work and travel together)


This is Christine’s 16 x 32 lofted barn in Leesburg, Alabama and here’s her story:

Three years ago with the kids grown I decided to quit my job of 20 years as a medical assistant and join my owner operator husband on the road full time. We found a piece of land on Weiss lake with a camper on it and talked about downsizing.

We looked at many options including log cabin builders, Amish built cabins, park models and even moving an old cabin or cottage. Our goal was to be as thrifty as possible without being cheap. This would be done with extra cash and time with an end result of being mortgage free.

We found a company who sells lofted barn storage buildings on 16 centers with ventilated roof system and heat wrap. They were willing to raise the walls in the loft for standing room and stick build the shell on our property. We ordered without windows and purchased Pella windows.

We were not looking to go off grid and wanted to build to code even though in the county there are virtually no restrictions. My husband and his carpenter buddy did most of the work. We contracted hanging the knotty pine and the electrical to a licensed professional.

We were moving along but slowly. Looking back on the pictures I recall thinking “this is never getting done” LOL. Then we got a cash offer on our house so we sold, took the equity and finished in 3 months. We finally moved in the middle of March. We still have some small things to do like a sliding barn door for the bathroom (currently a curtain) and a mini split system, but am enjoying my cabin by the lake.

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Related: Jason’s 800 Sq. Ft. Gambrel Roof Small Home

Christine’s Tiny House… A 16 x 32 Lofted Barn in Alabama

They built a tiny barn cabin so they can live their dreams (she quit her job, now they work and travel together)

I love the idea of a large covered front porch.

Christine's Tiny House... A 16 x 32 Lofted Barn in Alabama

Kitchen with solid cabinets and full-sized appliances.

Christine's Tiny House... A 16 x 32 Lofted Barn in Alabama
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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Massachusetts.
{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Keith Couture
    June 25, 2017, 9:29 am

    I liked this a lot. Definitely a show stopper.

  • Avatar Jo Sullido
    June 25, 2017, 7:14 pm

    Very nicely done. Love this one. Reminded me of the log house my dad designed and built…. knotty pine, loft and, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, nice bath… I am glad you built your hone, and hope you are mortgage frees, and enjoy many years of peace, hit, and live, and God’s blessings be upon you. Amen. 🙂

  • Avatar Steve in Micco
    June 25, 2017, 7:19 pm

    Fantastic looking. Great staircase. I think the ground floor bedroom makes lots of sense. Those lofts tend to get a bit toasty in a Southern summer.

    Two beds? LOL

  • Avatar George
    June 25, 2017, 8:09 pm

    One of the best articles I have seen on this site. I love the way the kitchen table sets into the nook. Very, very clever. In fact, lots of clever ideas here.

  • Avatar Lita
    June 25, 2017, 10:17 pm

    I absolutely loved this! Ya’ll did a fantastic job with the layout. Tiny living without sacrificing comfort and ease. And I loved the loft for, what I assume, is space for the kids visiting….as well as storage. To me, the biggest draw back to THOW’s is the lack of head room in lofts and safety of getting up and down to them. But they do make sense for storage and ‘guests’. *chuckles* I truly love this little house. I so wished MY county didn’t have restrictions on building something like this on my land. Be Blessed!

  • Avatar Danielle DiLisio
    June 25, 2017, 10:36 pm

    Great job!

  • Avatar Patty
    June 26, 2017, 2:57 am

    I like this. I have no need to move a house, so this is nicely done. I even like the loft, as the stairs are much less scary than most. Nice wood touches & views. Congrats on a great job!

  • Avatar Mike
    June 26, 2017, 9:38 am

    I really like the way this style of roof allows for headroom in the loft area; I never liked the idea of stooping, or crawling around in a room/living space in a home, and this “barn style” domicile is quite attractive on the outside as well as the inside–I wonder if putting in a skylight or two might make the inside even lighter and more inviting–would that be possible (or feasible)?

  • Avatar Linda
    June 26, 2017, 1:52 pm

    I really like this option. Love the walls in the rooms. The loft seems roomy. I’ll be looking into this option for our property. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • Avatar Linda
    June 26, 2017, 8:48 pm

    I would really love to know the cost of this project, Natalie.

  • Avatar Christine
    June 26, 2017, 10:02 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. We are so appreciative of your love of our home. We had no set plan, only an idea and it came together perfectly for us. We opted for the loft mainly for the kids visiting. Haven’t really tallied up total cost but no more than 50. I never thought we would be here. If you have a want, a wish or a hope, then just start. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish. Thanks again

  • Avatar Lori
    June 27, 2017, 7:48 am

    WOW! This one is wonderful! LOVE, LOVE IT! That additional loft would be my craft room. I would change the pantry area a bit though: pull-out shelves on wheels put in that space sideways (a 90 degree turn from the one in there now). Think along the lines of a bookcase on heavy duty wheels, a shallow lip on the shelves themselves to prevent things from falling out, with a strong handle on the side so you can pull it out. You could get maybe three of those side by side in that same space, just pull out the one you want into the “hall” to access the shelves. Much more storage in the same amount of space. Just build the tops of them to follow the slope of the stairs.

  • Avatar Amy
    July 1, 2017, 1:14 am

    I love this but cost-wise it seems like most people are able to ‘do it yourself’. I could never do this work and I’m only 1 person. Probably couldn’t afford it to pay someone to do all the work.

  • Avatar Lynn G
    July 23, 2017, 9:54 pm

    Very nice! We are building in Little River Canyon….would love to see your cabin. We love the area!

  • Avatar Susan Bailey-Mathews
    September 8, 2017, 6:13 am

    Absolutely LOVE EVERYTHING about your home . Husband & I recently retired for health reasons & now on monthly budget plan trying to dwnsize & mortgage free. Have a few questions :: Did you already have land or bought on weiss lake ??? If bought I’d love to chk on other property for sale there as well . We live close by in Birmingham, Al area . Small town outside B’ham ( Leeds, Al)
    Also , would you guys be willing to answer questions or have a list of things /ways /layout plan that yall did in order to get this same look for us ???? Adnd if so how much would you charge me for the info ???? Would MOST DEF PICK THIS SAME SIZE & STYLE BLDG , IF!!! I knew you would so we could get pretty much the same outcome look .
    Thank you , hope you have a blessed weekend ☺

  • Avatar Kendra Yates
    May 5, 2019, 11:11 pm

    Can you possibly send me a floorplan?

    • Avatar Alex
      May 7, 2019, 2:13 pm

      We don’t have the floor plan, Kendra, sorry.

  • Avatar Beverly
    May 13, 2019, 5:56 pm

    Love it love it. Anyone know where I can get a barn kit?

  • Avatar Beverly
    May 13, 2019, 5:58 pm

    Please let me know where I can obtain a barn kit approximately 800- 1000 sq ft. Thanks

  • Avatar Micha
    July 9, 2019, 5:11 pm

    Really love this. It’s spacious enough for guests (with a family that visits as often as mine does, that’s a NEED lol) and it’s on the lake (goals!)! I love the bathroom and the pine ceiling! Absolutely gorgeous.

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