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Earthbag Building & Other Natural Building Methods

Grain Bin Homes

Sized Just Right Grain Bin Home

Sized Just Right Grain Bin Home

There are many clever ways to use steel grain bins as parts of homes, and the above picture shows just one possibility. It was designed by Mark Clipsham, who has specialized in developing grain bin concepts. You can see many other of his designs at www.dreamgreenhomes.com.

The advantages to using these bins as modular components in building include:  they can be assembled rather quickly; they can be extremely well insulated if one is nested within another and the space between them is insulated; they are very durable, lasting perhaps a century without maintenance; the steel itself often includes recycled content; they are fireproof, wind resistant and earthquake proof;  and they can be fairly economical.

9 Responses to “Grain Bin Homes”

  1. Carroll says:

    Very nice looking and I suspect well heated in winter. Could you use spray insulation and then apply mortar over that? If so, which side would be best? Interior or exterior for the insulation? I’d guess interior but, alternative building can sometimes fool you.

    • Kelly Hart says:

      I presume the bins could be insulated with spray foam like they do with steel quonset type buildings, if you don’t opt for the nesting of one bin inside another. In this case I would suggest putting the foam on the inside for durability.

  2. Chris Steen says:

    My friend is putting a couple up right now. I suggested some salvaged field fencing inside her bins to cheaply form an insulative space. Maybe some plaster netting already attached to the fencing, stretched and stapled to the backs of some exposed round timber posts…

  3. uma says:

    these are quite creative, and it would be fun to convert into a home. The double wall is a fantastic idea. How much would it cost to fill the space with spray foam insulation? (guesstimate).
    Oh! Aren’t these Grain Silos? Grain Bins have legs to hold it off the ground and the center is funneled, to allow the grain to be chuted into a waiting truck or feed trough. Or are you cementing the legs into the concrete, insulating the funnel, and covering over for a thick insulated floor?

    • Kelly Hart says:

      It would depend on how thick the foam space is, but with foam being so high in insulation value you would only need about six inches most likely. I don’t know the costs of this. No, these are the cylindrical silos…sounds like I used the wrong word…sorry.

  4. Faith and Malcolm Alkire-Eaton says:

    ok where can we find a website with a price for a grain bin roof???

    • Kelly Hart says:

      You can probably buy the roofs separately from the main manufacturers.

    • Owen Geiger says:

      You’ll have to use a search engine to find grain bin suppliers in your area. Find someone local because shipping is now a major expense. Also, look for recycled roofs from old grain bins.

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