Fix a Barn

Taking Care of Your Barn

Fixing up an old barn can often be a labor of love more than one of pure economics. From DIY to hiring a contractor and from roof repair to adaptive re-use, the NBA encourages everyone to do their homework and learn more about the options available to restore that old barn!

Rehab/ Repair Toolbox

Basic Maintenance

The New York State Barn Coalition have done a great job of compiling a list of technical repair bulletins from the National Park Service and other resources which address the maintenance of specific features of barns (i.e. painting, window, roof, and foundation repair).   This is a great place to start for anyone trying to do barn repair work themselves, or looking to learn more about what it takes to maintain historic buildings. Another great resource, available from the Preservation Trust of Vermont, is a web page “For Barn Owners” with tips for basic barn care.


The Michigan Barn Preservation Network does a great job addressing questions frequently asked regarding a number of barn preservation topics

NPS Bulletins

The National Park Service understands the importance of historic barns and has included information on their preservation and repair with their Technical Preservation Briefs.

No. 10: Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork

No. 20: The Preservation of Historic Barns!!!

No. 31: Mothballing Historic Buildings

No. 39: Controlling Unwanted Moisture in Historic Buildings

Moving a Barn

On occasion, it may become necessary to move a barn in order to save it….  NBA Board Member, Charles Bultman, an architect from Ann Arbor, Michigan, shared his thoughts and experience with saving, relocating, and re-adapting old barns into houses, retail and office space.  His article is posted on the NBA blog and gives some great advice on re-adapting old barns.

Financial Assistance

Tax Credits

For those looking to do a serious overhaul of their barn and want to preserve as many of the historic features as possible, it may be worth reviewing information on the Federal and State tax incentives for historic preservation.   Obtaining the historic tax credit requires a three-step process that includes a lot of paperwork and patience, but the amount of your credit (anywhere from 10-25% of the cost of work) can often be used receive additional funding from a lender or to line your pocketbook after the work is said and done!


In addition to historic tax credits, a few preservation organizations offer small grants to assist property owners in assessing the condition of their barns and/or making repairs to existing structures in specific states.

YouTube Channel Videos

Learn the history of a barn or how to repair the weatherboard on one – YouTube has it all! Check out the National Barn Alliance’s selected videos to see what we’re watching.