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Living Is Easy "Grain Bin" Home
"I never pictured myself in a subdivision living close to other people," says Carolyn Riedlinger, whose residence was built from three connected 28-ft. dia. grain bins. The Riedlingers live in one, their daughter and her husband live in another, and the bin in the center is a garage with a game room overhead. Bathrooms are located in the structures that connect the silos together.
  Carolyn and her husband, Don, bought the bins on a local farm and moved them to a 9-acre home site near Gilbert, Ariz. A crane set them on concrete pads and the Riedlingers transformed them into a home with plenty of hard work, much of which they did themselves.
  The silos were secured to the concrete foundation with anchors bolted to the tabs at the silo base. The 2 by 6's used to fur out the interior were wedged in place "like a puzzle" and later secured with sprayed foam insulation after all the wiring and plumbing was installed. Don notes he was concerned about the bins heating up, but the insulation with nearly an R-50 rating solved the problem.
  Most of the walls were covered with sheetrock, by cutting shallow slits on the back of the 1/2-in drywall, so it could be slightly bent to fit the curved walls.
  Getting everything to fit in about 550 sq. ft. on each floor took some planning. The narrow staircase follows the curvature of the wall, and a pantry is tucked underneath.
  Putting flat on round was also tricky. Narrow kitchen cabinets were chosen and given narrower backs to fit snugly on the wall. The Riedlingers' son, Matt, built a round shower.
  "The biggest challenge was sealing the windows," Don says. Though the windows were narrow, they required flashing and a lot of caulking to seal them properly.
  Carolyn designed the floor plan and picked out the dÚcor. "We left the metal exposed in some places, like in the bathroom and part of the kitchen," she says. "I like the tin roof; it's fun to listen to when it rains."
  She used old barn doors and other junk store finds to decorate. Her favorite is an old $50 ladder she uses as a bookcase.
  While the Riedlingers love their home, and Don would build one again, climbing steps is getting more difficult. They plan to tear down a barn for the second time - move it to their property and make it into a home. The family first tore down the 1906 post and beam barn in Iowa in the early 1990's, and had it built into a craft boutique business that the Riedlingers operated. The plan was to make it a church, but it doesn't meet certain codes, so the family will move it once again and make it into their home.
  The Riedlingers also had a grain mill torn down in Virginia and shipped by three semi trailers to Arizona. They rebuilt it into Shenandoah Mill, a popular wedding and reception facility, owned and operated by the family.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Don and Carolyn Riedlinger, 1359 S. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, Ariz. 85296 (ph 480 892-2001; www.shenandoahmill.com).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3