Phase One of this project is being featured on Houzz.com. Last year they did a write up on the studio and now they are featuring it in the “6 Artist’s Studios That Model Great Design”. Check it out.

Heating and Cooling from a Cabinet!

What do you do in a small space like the silo for heating and cooling? A wall mount mini split is the perfect answer as their is no ducting to take up space, just a nice little box that will hang on the wall. What do you then do if you don’t want to look at that nice little box on the wall? Build a cabinet around it which is exactly what we did. We built a cabinet that allowed maximum airflow, removable panels to allow for maintenance and even added additional filters to the unit. The long opening on the bottom will get a custom grill that is in route and the propped door return air will get some type of grill as well, just not 100% what that will be yet.

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Spring is in the Air…

Ducks are on the pond.  The spring is gushing.  The geese are romancing.  The crocus are blooming.  And the silo is expecting.  Yup.  We are adding on.  Already.  I know. I know. Premature yes.  After much discussion we decided why not?  We are infatuated. Mark’s illustration is a great visual of what the finished project will be.

Silo / Studio


Front Entry / Courtyard


A view from below. The spherical structure is a gift from our son Josh that Mark is making into a great light fixture.


Communication is key.. Mark and Jason talking about something of great importance I am sure.


This is where the addition will be…

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Outside the Box


It is needless to say this whole project is outside the box, we are venturing into new territory building inside of a grain silo…but without someone pushing the envelope we would never get anywhere. After we started the project the homeowners mentioned adding on to this to convert this into the full home, instead of just the guest house. At first I didn’t know what to think as I couldn’t visualize what they could. As the ideas started to make it to paper the homeowner sketched up this drawing which made it all make sense and remind me how neat and unique this whole project is and how it is still pushing outside of that box.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

Refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with a single still image… This recommendation came from my very clever friend who said she would love to see pictures with explanations of what she is seeing…. As follows!

Standing in the center of the Silo looking South at the Back Door and the window in the Living Room

Looking down from The Loft into the Living Room and the Stairs that carry you there and to the basement

Looking up from the LR into The Loft and structured ceiling

Standing at the Back Door looking North to the front of the Silo, also the Entrance

Standing in the Living Room looking at the Kitchen on the Right and the Bathroom to the left of the Kitchen. Further left is the Mudroom / Entry

Standing in the center of the Silo looking out the Back Door on to the slab of concrete which will be the back porch. Kitchen Window on the left. Living Room window on your right.

Framing of the entry

View from the Living Room window

View from the Loft. Looking North

Standing in the Loft looking South. Note the view.

Mark being Mark. Goofball

Square Peg….Round Hole



Proper window installation is always key to a well built home. Proper installation of a window will prevent water damage and improve efficiency by reducing air infiltration. And to do ours we’ve got some of the best installers in the area, Chad and Jon from All American Windows. While our installation is not normal they have helped devise a plan to flash our windows and prevent water and air infiltration.

Since we are putting a flat window (square peg) into a round building (round hole) we had to find a way to create a flat surface to install the windows…while also leaving ourselves a way to flash the opening to prevent water infiltration. To do this we built window bucks to penetrate the curve of the building, as you can see in the pictures. Then Chad and Jon installed flashing tape on the sill of the windows and around the nailing fin after it was secured. The next step is to break custom metal to cover all the wood and caulk this in, this will ensure a window that will not leak.

Stairway to Heaven and/or The Loft

Word of the day.  Activity.  Doorway cut out.  Windows cut out.  Framing continuing and stairway up and around.  It is such a small space and the stairway is taking up a huge portion of that space. Rooms are defined. All four of them.  A full six hours was spent researching and shopping for a wood burning stove. Size being paramount in a 700 square foot space. The smaller the stove the less burn time. The smaller the stove the smaller the logs. The smaller the stove the less choices you have. The second most important factor in the selection is the clearance from the back of the stove to the wall and the side of the stove to the sidewall. Some require a 20″ clearance, which meant we would either be using the stove or the staircase to sit on as there would not be room for any furniture. The one we ended up choosing required only an 8″ clearance.  Hence it’s selection.

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The Art of Construction

I love the constructive-ness aspect of framing the interior space!  It has nothing to do with the space itself or the prospect of the future living quarters.  It has to do with the materials and literally the composition of the structure.  I appreciate from an aesthetic perspective the lines and framework and how they merge into an architectural symmetry.  Today is an appreciation of the art of construction.

Framing 6871.2.Silo