One of the things my husband and I struggle with is keeping our projects "in their place" and out of the way. My art studio doubles as a soap drying room, an onion curing room, a sewing room and currently a box storing room. This is too many projects for one room. My husband's room is his closet, his art space, and his gourd storage area: which does NOT work for me, a woman allergic to gourds. Our bike shed is currently sharing space with bushels of dried gourds, and our laundry room is stuffed with tools and gardening supplies. I make my soap in the kitchen, which is where i do most everything else too - you can see the problem! We need separate spaces for separate activities, and ultimately we need them to be truly separate for potential legal issues: can you say "commercial kitchen"? Here are some of the out building dreams i have:
Milking Shed. This one will be one of the most necessary out buildings when we start our flock of goats. Luckily, milking sheds do not need to be huge or elaborate, and we'll most likely be able to build it ourselves. Check out Heidi's sweet milking shed over at Yellow Door Barn. She and her husband built a sweet little milking parlour with shelves for feed and supplies, two stands and great little neck holders to keep the girls safe and secure on the stands.
Chicken coop and run. This one would be great if it was already standing, and can be a reclaimed shed or stable. We'll also have tractors for bunnies and broilers, but a good coop with a secure run will be necessary - especially since we plan on breeding for color. We'll still have plenty of free range availability for the chickens, but would like a big enough enclosure that they can be left alone for a few days.
Soap shed. I desperately need a separate area to make my soap. Big double sided sink (to double as a dog wash tub), outlets, a burner or microwave or both, and plenty of well ventilated drying racks to store the curing inventory. Drawers out of the sunlight would be great for storing the packaged inventory as well. A separate shed will make taxes that much easier to claim for 'business use of home' and will keep my felting projects out of the way of dinner preparation. I can't wait!
Cheese shed. Once i get into cheese making, if that happens - i'll need a commercial kitchen to legally sell my cheese. Unless Oregon has a cottage industry law that allows people to make small amounts of things to sell without the need for a commercial kitchen, i'll need that separate space to be legit. And again, it's no fun to have to clean out giant stock pots of crusty milk before you even start dinner.
Wood shop. We'll need a place to work on our building projects, and my husband needs a place to rock out, wood burn, dremel and clean out gourds away from my allergies. An old barn or part of a big shop would be great. He deserves plenty of space that's climate controlled and suitable to gourd crafting without damaging his health. This could also be a free standing garage.
Tool Shed. Self explanatory.
So, as you can see our hunt for a new homestead will be heavily focused on what out buildings are already standing, what condition they're in, and how they could be used or refocused. The house itself is secondary - we can live in about anything as long as the foundation is sound and the wiring isn't ancient. Fencing and cross fencing are another detail we'll be watching for, but i'd sure love to find a place with a great old barn that could be used for several of these purposes, plus house happy sheep, goats and spoiled broody chickens- maybe even some human guests. :)
What's your favorite out building??