Barn house plans relate closely to Dutch Colonial house plans in that their defining feature is a gambrel roof. As a result, barn house plans (as well as Dutch Colonial home plans) can sometimes be referred to as gambrel house plans or gambrel roof house plans. It’s this signature gambrel roof which gives the home the look and feel of a barn, hence the term "barn house plan" or "barn home."
A gambrel roof is unique, eye-catching. If you don’t want your new home to look like every other house on your street, selecting a barn house plan might be your best bet. At the same time, you don’t want to look completely out of place. So, do some research on your building location. For example, if you’re planning to build in a neighborhood that features nothing but ultra modern architecture, a barn house plan might not be quite right. On the other hand, if your soon-to-be neighborhood is a mixture of Colonial and Farmhouse homes, a barn house plan could be perfect.
Barn home plans tend to be two or one and a half stories tall. Bedrooms typically lie under the gambrel roof while the kitchen and living area rest on the main level. Like your typical Colonial house plan, a barn home plan design will typically feature a symmetrical façade with a central front door flanked by balanced windows. If you’re planning to age in place, consider selecting a more modern barn house plan that features the master suite on the main level. Presenting the master on the main level provides homeowners the ability to bypass stairs, if need be, later in life. Likewise, if you regularly entertain guests over dinner, or have small children to watch over, consider selecting a barn design with an open floor plan, so one or both homeowners can communicate with others while preparing meals.