In the last few years, the costs of residential homes and building costs have skyrocketed. As someone who lives in a large (and expensive) metro area, I've watched "starter home" prices become unaffordable for many. That's why I'm always interesting in housing alternatives, whether they be manufactured homes or kit homes you build on your own land or something else...
A book I found at Amazon falls into the something else category. Converting Old Buildings Into New Homes is just what is sounds like, a book that discusses turning old schools, factories, barns, and other largely abandoned buildings into livable dwellings.
If you live in a big city, you've probably seen this trend with turning old factories or warehouses into lofts or condos. Well, there are no rules that say you can't have a building all to yourself, and if you watch the Home & Garden Channel's ReZoned show, you'll see all sorts of examples of people who have taken old public or private buildings and turned them into cool homes to live in.
Of course, if you're remodeling a huge space, the cost is going to get expensive, but an old barn or smaller building could be an effective way to get into a great home... providing you're willing to do the work (and there sure is a lot of work involved with something like this).
To get the lowdown on the process, check out the book shown here. Here's the cover blurb:
"This book examines every aspect of converting types of redundant property including surveys, legislation and regulations, professional help and advice, and budgeting and insurance. It also discusses design and location of various living spaces; external features; lighting, heating, ventilation, energy conservation, and acoustics; and it guides the reader through contracts, quotations, planning the project, timetables, and on-site operations. It includes a number of case studies which demonstrate what can be achieved with different types of property."